Elizabeth Kelly

BEAST AND BONES

80

126

One Elephant Dreams of Heavenly Pasture

Step 1: TEXT

John Steinbeck weaves magnetic beauty, family, fire, and feats of extraordinary strength throughout his tale The Pastures of Heaven. The story arc of my project One Elephant Dreams of Heavenly Pasture draws from all twelve chapters of The Pastures of Heaven.

-

Step 2: SCREENPLAY

-

              "ONE ELEPHANT DREAMS OF HEAVENLY PASTURE"

-

                                             by

-

                                   Elizabeth Kelly

-

-

                                       based on

                        "The Pastures of Heaven" by

                                  John Steinbeck

-

-

INT.  CAGE - NIGHT

ZOO is an African Elephant skeleton, her bones RATTLE as she

shifts positions and falls back asleep. AFRICA is her

imaginary soul mate. She pictures him in her likeness, they

are both skeletons, but he is bigger and full of life.

-

AFRICA emerges from the fog. So happy to see his familiar

colossal skeleton, ZOO jumps to her feet. Africa greets her.

                               AFRICA

                  This concrete is hard on the feet.

                               ZOO

                   Tell me about it. It's either wet 

                   or wicked hot, and it's always 

                   abrasive.

                               AFRICA

                   What are those?

                               ZOO

                    Buckets.

                               AFRICA

                    And those?

                               ZOO

                    Jars. The less stuff I eat from

                    buckets, the more things from jars

                    they give me.

                               AFRICA

                    And what is that?

                               ZOO

                    That's a slice of something.

                               AFRICA

                    Something you like?

                               ZOO

                     It's all right, better than that

                     chunk over there.

Africa tastes everything from the shelves and buckets, none

of it is good enough for the love of his life.

-

INT.  CAGE - DAWN

Africa tests the strength of the bars.

                                AFRICA

                    These bars look tough. Lucky you,

                    no worries about predators.

                                ZOO

                    Lucky me.

Africa gets the shock of his life.

                                AFRICA

                    Ouch. What do they call that

                    dangerous thing?

                                 ZOO

                     An obstacle. It has another name

                     too.

                                AFRICA

                     What?

                                 ZOO

                     Electricity.

Africa redirects Zoo's attention before he makes his move.

                                  AFRICA

                    Check this out.

Africa bows, the electricity goes out and the bars disappear.

-

EXT.  ZOO - DAWN

Zoo faces the breeze, and then she sees Africa's injury.

                                 ZOO

                   What happened to your ivory?

                                AFRICA

                   Long story.

Zoo moves closer and offers help with wound care.

                                ZOO

                 I know where they keep all the

                 bandage stuff and antibiotics.

                               AFRICA

                We have to hustle, and these wounds

                will not slow us down. Did I ever

                show you my other side?

Africa turns, his bones have survived so many attacks.

                               ZOO

                When's all that damage from?

                               AFRICA

                A while back, when I was young.

Zoo inspects herself.

                                  ZOO

                My skeleton is in fine form.

                                  AFRICA

                It sure is.

                                  ZOO

                 No flesh wounds.

-

EXT.  TRAIL - SUNRISE

Africa leads the way through the tricky brush. Zoo is

energized.

                                 ZOO

                   Flying Unicorns and Pegasus' and

                   you know, whatever.

                                AFRICA

                   What in the world are you talking

                   about?

                                ZOO

                   I didn't mean to say that out loud.

                                AFRICA

                   We are making good time.

                                ZOO

                   It's so alive and fresh. Where

                   are we headed?

                                AFRICA

                   You will see.

Zoo stops  and paws at the soft earth.

                                AFRICA (CONT'D)

                   Now what are you up to?

                                ZOO

                   Burying my issues. I'll catch up in a

                   sec.

                                AFRICA

                  Take your time.

-

EXT.  PASTURE - MORNING

Zoo and Africa reach the edge of the pasture. Zoo doesn't

think she's allowed to go any farther.

                                AFRICA

                   It has been a long time since

                  elephants grazed here. Follow me.

Safe with Africa in charge, Zoo skips to catch up with him.

                                ZOO

                   Who owns all this? The weeds are

                   out of control.

                                AFRICA

                   Where did you learn to skip?

                                ZOO

                   I had a weird job.

Africa adore's Zoo's unique way of speaking, he seeks more

knowledge.

                                AFRICA

                   When?

                                ZOO

                   A while back. I was pretty good.

Zoo remembers one of her best circus moments.

                                ZOO (CONT'D)

                   I knew a lot of tricks, and a fast

                   learner, but not what they needed.

                                AFRICA

                   You look worried.

                                ZOO

                   It's so dry, what if there's a

                   fire?

                                AFRICA

                   It's morning and there is no wind.

                   And a little rain last night. Danger

                  from fire is low.

Zoo takes a deep breath.

                                AFRICA (CONT'D)

                   Smell all that good air? Nothing to

                   worry about here.

Revitalized, Zoo replaces worry with curiosity. She hears a

SNEEZE, from their distance, red suspenders is all she can

see of the FARMER'S work clothes.

                                ZOO

                   Who's that guy over there?

                                AFRICA

                   An enthusiastic farmer.

                                ZOO

                   Let's go smell what he's growing.

                                AFRICA

                   He prefers when we leave him be.

Zoo and Africa graze side by side.

-

EXT.  PASTURE - DAY

The tall grass waves in a gust of wind.

                                ZOO

                   Is there a Gift Shop around here?

                                 AFRICA

                   What's a Gift Shop? Wait, let me

                   guess. It's like a General Store?

Zoo's mouth is overstuffed with the sweet pasture.

                                ZOO

                   Sort of.

                                AFRICA

                   There used to be one.

Zoo takes a break from grazing to survey the landscape.

                                ZOO

                   What happened to it?

                                AFRICA

                   Do not take this the wrong way, but

                   it burned down. Just tell me what

                   you need, I'm on it.

                                ZOO

                   A water bottle.

Africa guides Zoo to a creek. Zoo is in awe of all the places

Africa knows, and he is an excellent teacher.

                                ZOO (CONT'D)

                    This is the best thing I've ever

                    tasted. How'd you know how to find

                    water?

                                AFRICA

                    Practice.

                                ZOO

                    I'd like to live here. It's the

                    most beautiful place I've ever

                    seen.

                                AFRICA

                    Things do not turn out so well for

                    those who stay. This land prefers

                    visits.

                                ZOO

                    What's beyond the valley? Let's

                    have a look?

                                AFRICA

                    Another day. This pasture is

                    fantastic.

Zoo basks in the crystalline sunlight.

                                ZOO

                    It sure is.

-

INT.  CAGE - MORNING

A human WHISTLES. The massive cage door CLANKS across the

metal tracks. Zoo eases to her sore feet and lumbers to the

concrete yard. The light is too bright, she closes her eyes.

-

EXT.  CONCRETE YARD - MORNING

                                ZOO

                    Stay for breakfast?

The human CLAPS three times.

                                 AFRICA

                    Another morning.

Disappointed, Zoo tries a new approach.

                                ZOO

                    My handler reads to us with his

                    unlit pipe.

                                AFRICA

                    It does sound nice.

                                ZOO

                    Please, stay with me? Don't go. You

                    get used to it. It's not that bad.

                                AFRICA

                    I know, but I am out of here.

Zoo's loney heart takes a hit. Shoulder to shoulder, Africa

offers comfort.

                                AFRICA (CONT'D)

                    Sometimes saying something out loud

                    is not the way to go. I'm sorry.

Zoo lightens the mood.

                                ZOO

                    Like Pegasus' sound ridiculous when

                    you make them plural.

Africa and Zoo LAUGH.

                                AFRICA

                    I love when you laugh. When I

                    return I'll introduce you to some

                    family, and we'll show you how we

                    do breakfast.

                                ZOO

                    That sounds like heaven.

The thing in the world Zoo wants the most turns to leave. She

is brave and calls to Africa.

                                ZOO (CONT'D)

                    Keep it loyal.

                                AFRICA

                     Always.

Zoo pictures squares of green orchard and squares of yellow

grain and squares of violet earth. How quiet and easy a

family could live on a little place. She doesn't take her

food and refuses the things from jars. Instead, she dreams of

heavenly pasture.

 -

END

-

Step 3: LOGLINE

An African Elephant skeleton named ZOO dreams of

life outside her cage.

-

[email protected]

-

Other Skillshare Projects:

"Bob Dylan Does Business: And Makes a Classic Mistake"

http://www.skillshare.com/classes/business/Run-Your-Own-Business-Lessons-from-Biggie/802854165/projects/20463?reply[saved]=1

Comments

Please sign in or sign up to comment.