Erik | Skillshare Projects

Emma Ferran

Lover of Film




Step 1 - Selected Text - 'Loneliness' by Sherwood Anderson in Winesburg, Ohio.

What intrigued me about Winesburg Ohio in general was how close Anderson looked at individual characters. Coming from a very small town myself, I know what it's like to walk amongst people who you see every day but know nothing about, yet they must have a story. It's easy to sympathize with Enoch Robinson, the character in 'Loneliness' because he attempts to keep up to the conventions of a mid twenties working man but what do you do when the most difficult obsticle to you is sustaining relationships with people? He's put himself between a rock and a hard place.

Step 2 - Final Short Screenplay

Step 3 - Final Logline - 

Erik has what he’s always dreamed of, the sweet conventional lifestyle of a working family man but what lengths will he go to in order to sustain the only link he has left with this reality?

Below are my drafts and various other thoughts and processes that got me to the end...

Thursday 19th June 2014 - 13:33pm - I bit of a Treatment ...

Erik grew up alone. His mother was physcially there until he was sixteen but always emotionally invisible, until she eventually left one morning with the town's local scum. In order to cope, Erik speaks to The Voice - his mother's entity who controls his independence and leads him in the direction of a somewhat conventional lifestyle. He gains a wife, a daughter and a hot shot business man job  but what does he do to stop them from slipping through his fingers? When neighbours report unusual disturbances coming from Erik's home, the Police come to investigate, finding the bodies of his wife Jennifer and daughter Rosie, sitting propped up watching the TV - dead. Erik's taken in for questioning, blissfully unaware that he's been continuing to go to a job that he was let go from weeks ago and sitting amongst his wife and daughter who threathened to leave him only days ago due to his unhealthy connection with his dead Mother.  

Step 2 - First Draft Screenplay - UPDATED Tuesday 24th June 2014 - 10:15am 

I'm not such a computer whizz, so for now, heres my first draft (copy + pasted from my Microsoft Word Document).


 Written by

 Emma Ferran

 Email: [email protected]




 POLICE VIDEO CAMERA watches ERIK (31) sitting cross legged in a chair. INVESTIGATOR 1# sits behind POLICE VIDEO CAMERA.

 We see ERIK’S temple pulsate and jaw tensing as THE VOICE speaks to him inside his head.


                        THE VOICE

                   They’re waiting for you

                   at home Erik.


Erik rubs his temple in slight irritation. A collective group of images appear in quick bursts in Erik’s mind.

 IMAGE 1# INT. BEDROOM. NIGHT - Erik as a ten year old boy lying on his bed staring at the ceiling.

 IMAGE 2# EXT.GARDEN. MIDDAY - Erik at thirteen sitting on a swing, grubby and alone. CAMERA then switches to:

 IMAGE 3# INT. LIVINGROOM. MIDDAY – His Mother, MAGGIE (36) is passionately kissing an UNKNOWN MALE. The window is in behind them where we see Erik in the distance.

 IMAGE 4# EXT. DRIVEWAY. NIGHT – Through a sixteen year old Erik’s eyes, we see Maggie get into the car with an unknown male and bags. The same male shares a last glance with Erik; not forgiving, just conniving as he exhales cigarette smoke. FLASHBACK ENDS.

 Erik returns back to the POLICE INVESIGATION ROOM. BIG CLOSE UP of his eyes, squinting and then sharp and focused.

 We see Erik through the POLICE VIDEO CAMERA again before he begins to speak.



              Jennifer’s berry pie is

              my favourite. I could eat

              that every day you know.


                        INVESTIGATOR 1#

                   (slightly irritated)

              I didn’t ask you about your

              wife’s cooking, Erik.



              (beat) Don’t tell my Mother

              though. She likes to think she’s

              still numero uno.


Erik smiles pleasantly at Investigator 1#. We see Erik’s temple pulsate again.


                        THE VOICE


              You love your mummy.



                   (in his own mind)

              Not now mummy – I’m in

              a meeting.

 Erik giggles aloud but softly. He locks his hands around his crossed knees. We hear Investigator 1# and INVESTIGATOR 2# whispering from behind the POLICE VIDEO CAMERA. Erik momentarily keeps himself busy glancing around the room; child like.


                        INVESTIGATOR 1#

              So Erik. Tell me about the last

              few days. Have you been up to

              much? Do anything nice?



              No, nothing much.


                        INVESTIGATOR 1#

              Tell me what you’ve been up

              to since Sunday. Good weather

              we’ve been having.


Erik’s jaw tightens.


                        THE VOICE

              Sit up straight Darling.


Erik straightens himself. BIG CLOSE UP of Erik’s mouth.



              Yes, delightful weather Sir.




Erik, his wife JENNIFER (29) and daughter ROSIE (7) sit at a garden table. Food lays scattered across the table and drinks are spilled. Rosie is tearful and Jennifer is shouting towards Erik. Erik sits nonchalant at the head of the table.

                        ERIK V.O.

              In fact, it was that warm myself

              and the girls ate outside on

              Sunday. (beat)Delightful.

I lit a barbeque and made their




 Jennifer hurdles down the stairs with a suitcase and Rosie’s hand in hers. She goes to open the front. Erik slams it shut. Erik slaps Jennifer across the face. BIG CLOSE UP of Erik’s eyes and pulsing temple.


                        ERIK V.O.

              Jennifer suggested we go out for

              a walk but clouds were coming

              over and little Rosie has a runny




 Rosie stands crying; nose runs and eyes stream heavily.


                        ERIK V.O.

              So I made popcorn and put on

              a movie. You know, a family

              favourite for us all to enjoy.



 Jennifer and Rosie sit propped up on the sofa, restrained in rope and gagged with cloths. Eyes puffy and red. Panicked.

 Erik holds a DVD in his hands. He breathes over the disk and wipes it clean with his dishevelled shirt. He sees himself in the reflection. His jaw tightens.

 Erik enjoys a bowl of microwave popcorn in his single arm chair, smiling at the television.


                       INVESTIGATOR 1# V.O.

              Was anybody else with you? Any



                        ERIK V.O.

              Well it’s funny you say that.

              my wife and I had a small tiff

              on Sunday about my Mother coming

             over. She thinks she probes too

             much on our marriage.



 Erik is fixing himself a drink. Jennifer, a fuzzy picture in the background and still tied with rope, spits out her gag and shouts in the direction of Erik. Jennifer comes into view, spittle comes from her mouth in aggression.


                        ERIK V.O.

              Are arguments never last.

              they aren’t even worth being

              called an argument really.


Erik giggles lightly.



 CLOSE UP of Erik’s face, turning red and tense as he strangles Jennifer to death.

We see his hands around her neck as Jennifer stiffens under his hold.


                        ERIK V.O.

              We just seem to understand

              one another.



 Rosie hands slip free from the rope. Panicking, she glances around the room before standing to slack the rope.

She’s at the back door and turns the knob slowly. A CLICK SOUNDS.

Erik’s head appears around the door way to the hall. Rosie sprints out the door and into the garden.

As Erik runs outside, his hand grabs for the heavy metal spade.

SLOW MOTION captures Rosie running towards the gate. Erik, in behind, spade in the air as he runs behind her.

                            ERIK V.O.

              It was my turn to put Rosie

              to bed though. She’s a little

              rascal – has me around her baby




 We are back to looking at Erik through the POLICE VIDEO CAMERA. He continues to appear nonchalant.


                        INVESTIGATOR 1#


              That’s nice. And what about




 Erik sits at the head of the dining table eating cereal. The dead bodies of his wife Jennifer and daughter Rosie sit propped up in the chairs either side of him. He takes the handkerchief from his shirt pocket and wipes at his wife’s mouth. He smiles at his wife’s clumsiness.


                         ERIK V.O.


              Eh, Monday. Monday. Ah yes.

              we always start the week off

              with a healthy breakfast




 Erik washes dishes at the kitchen sink. He glances at the digital clock to his left – it reads 8:36am. Drying his hands on a nearby cloth, he grabs his suit jacket off the back of a kitchen chair.


                        ERIK V.O.

              And it’s a Monday, so somebody

              has to work to keep my girls.



 Jennifer sits upright on the sofa. We see the back of her head, shoulders covered by the top of the sofa. Erik approaches her from the back of the sofa and nuzzles her ear. He smiles and nibbles her lobe.


                      ERIK V.O.

              Jennifer’s a morning person if

              you know what I mean. But I had

              to get to work and Rosie still

              wasn’t ready for school so I was

              happy to get out of the way before

              the mad rush.



 Rosie sits upright leaning against her bed. Pencils, papers and a school bag sit amongst her.



 Erik crosses the opposite leg. POLICE VIDEO CAMERA still on Erik.



              And then I left for work.


                       POLICE INVESTIGATOR 1#

              Yeah? And how was that then?



              I got there and forgot I had

              actually booked this week off.

              I must be losing my marbles.


A smile appears in the corner of Erik’s mouth.

Consecutive still shots flash on the screen one at a time.

IMAGE 1# - INT. OFFICE – A gold plaque reading MR. L. BANKS is displayed at the front of a desk. A distorted Erik sits at the desk behind.

IMAGE 2# - INT. OFFICE – FEMALE RECEPTIONIST barges in, encouraging Erik to leave immediately.

IMAGE 3# - INT. OFFICE – CLOSE UP of Erik’s forearm wrapped around a struggling Female receptionist.

 We see Erik again through POLICE VIDEO CAMERA; content.

Whispers come from Police Investigator 1# and 2#. Rustling of papers.


                   POLICE INVESTIGATOR 1#

          You mentioned your mum earlier Erik,

          do you speak to her regularly?



          Oh, all the time.


Erik’s eye dilates.


                        THE VOICE

              Mummy loves you baby.


CAMERA PANS upwards from Police Investigator 1#’s shoes and to his lap, where MAGGIE’S DEATH CERTIFICATE sits on his lap.


                        POLICE INVESTIGATOR 1#

              Tell me about your Mother.


Erik tries to get something out from between his teeth with his tongue. SLURPING noises SOUND.


              Well…what would you like to know?


Erik’s smile fills the screen. FADE OUT.

UPDATED Wednesday 25th June 2014

Hi folks! I've been getting some really helpful feedback from my fellow screenwriters - heres my general response to your suggestions.

Some were curious about my ending - was that the end or is there more? I've decided to stick with it. I'm nuts about cliff hangers!!! And I like the way it has potential to adapt into a feature length script if one day I decide to write more. 

Most fellow feed-backers seemed to be rather interested in my plot and storyline which was a delight to hear! But one thing you's wanted me to understand more about was FORMAT FORMAT FORMAT - and I couldn't agree more! So I downloaded Celtx which was a treat. So thank you guys.

There was one feed-backer in particular that suggested I mess around with adopting unique voices for my characters. I didn't neccessarily dive into this suggestion straight away but it did make me think twice about how Erik speaks to his mother internally, initiating an idea that his inner young Erik spoke to her instead of present Erik. So cheers for shaking my thoughts up a wee bit!    

Step 2 - Second/Third Draft - UPDATED THURSDAY 3rd JULY 2014 

Hi people! Here is a link to my second/third draft if yous want to have a read and leave me feedback if possible? 

Step 2 - Final Draft - UPDATED 21/07/14

Here I have my final draft. Give it a read if you like! Feed back welcome. I changed a little scene sequence about two pages in. Hope you enjoy!







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