Lifeless | Skillshare Projects

Tom Moulson

Luckily we don't live forever




Step One - Chosing The Text

CHOICE - I have chosen to adapt the piece 'Henry Layton" from Spoon River Anthology for my screenplay. I wrote it on a hetch a sketch so it was hard to transfer onto a computer.

WHY - I feel the piece has lots of emotional gravity to it that appeals to me. I like to write about things i can emotinally connect to, to me it makes the Screenplay more true and relateable if raw emotion is put into it. I think, to write a good screenplay you have to connect to and relate to the story and characters. I have depression, anxiety, and something kinda like split personality disorder so i can put some of my feelings and experiences into the story.
Instead of focusing on in family life in the house, showing the two sides of his parents, I've decided to show how the different personalities of his parents has affected him as a person, so im writing about Henry as a character, trying to show how his two halves has turned him into a teenage boy who struggles everyday with the burden of not knowing who he is, what he is and how to deal with his inner demons. 

EXERT - "But neither half of me wrought my ruin. It was the falling asunder of halves, Never a part of each other,
That left me a lifeless soul."

MESSAGE - How hard it can be to define yourself and how easy it is to quit when it all gets too much. Nature defines Nurture. Theres something amazing about giving up, the pressure to try and keep going with something you lost all passion for, the structure of life isn't for everyone and luckily...we don't live forever.

NOTES - I have decided to make the main character a Kurt Cobain-esque character, the tortured soul, lost and confused about his own identity type.
I will modernize the piece but still stay true to the overall message and story as that is what's really important.
I see the piece as Henry Laytons suicide note, telling people not to blame themselves but it was his own failure to deal with these two halves of himself that led him to his decision.
I want to show him really connecting with a loved one, a loved one who is just as broken as himself, someone who understands him like nobody else. Then that loved one will become endanged will will lead to Henry unleashing his violent side out and commiting an act that the loved one cannot forgive and if the one person who understands him does not want him anymore, he can finally give up the battle against himself, so he was only battling his two halves for the loved one.

Love interest - Rose. The only person he cares about, She is just as broken as Henry. Nobody understands them, apart from each other. It's why they connect so well, they understand each others pain. She is passionate to save Henry from himself, but she struggles as she has her own demons to fight.

I've decided to show Henry go from gentle boy, to a sinister violent boy due to the upset he feels when he finds out someone has been bullying his loved one (Rose) making her self harm.

TAGLINE - Broken, Split, Lifeless or Sometimes we have to give up and lose

LOGLINE - A distressed teenage boy must battle his two personalities for sanity, His two very different parents make this increasingly difficult. Maybe the battle is already lost OR after being born with multiple personality disorder, Henry must deal with his dual personalitys in a battle for sanity.

BRIEF SYNOPSIS/ DESCRIPTION - Henry is a teenage boy who has been raised very differently by the same parents. His mother a violent, angry teacher is always telling him how pathetic he his and how she is ashamed of him. She beat him physically and emotionally. Then his father a soft neuturing person, comforts him and cares for him when he his in emotional and physical pain. This gives Henry a violent side and a gentle side. He is a tortured soul, hes an apathetic boy who is soft sweet and gentle but when someone he cares for comes to harm he becomes enrages and lets his inherited violent side out.

IDEAS - Henry has a therapist? Henry's parents fight a lot over how they parent Henry? Should Henry's terrible act be a murder of someone trying to harm his loved one, if so should his Father find out and being the gentle type help him cover up? THen if the mother finds out, being nasty and violent, calls the police on her own son or even do something more violent to Henry?  Henry is an unwanted child. His mother wanted to get rid of him, but his father made her keep it. Leading to their different approaches to parenting him. Dark Twin Theory?

DARK TWIN THEORY - This theory suggests that in some cases of twins, one of the foetuses in the womb is stronger than the other and the weaker is absorbed by the stronger and ceases to exist. In the Dark Twin Theory, that would mean that Henry was a twin and absorbed his sibling and therefore his spirit lives on in Henry giving him a form of dissociative personality disorder. (Dissociative identity disorder is an extremely complex disorder that results in two or more split identities).

LOOK - This is the sort of look i want the characters and locations to have. 90's grunge theme


Step Two - Drafting The Screenplay

DRAFT 1 - here

DRAFT 2 - here

DRAFT 3 - here

Updates -  completely different first scene & few dialogue and action changes throughout




Please sign in or sign up to comment.