The Promised Land | Skillshare Projects



The Promised Land

My project:I have chosen to adapt ‘The Pastures of Heaven’ by John Steinback for my 8 minute short screenplay.’’As is the case with screenwriting generally,the most valuable part of this process will be giving and getting feedback on your work from your peers’’.


Harriet-tomboy,13 years old,stubborn,loves horses especially her horse Moses,she would do anything for him,doesn’t get on that well with her mom Annie because of the accident,never forgave herself for Angie dying.Also loses her arm in accident.

Angie-14 years old,Harriet’s best friend.Her horse Meredith dies in the tragic accident and so does she unfortunately.

Annie-Harriet’s mom,finds it tough going bringing up a 13 year old sometimes.Has lost interest in her relationship with her busy husband,Hank who is a lawyer upstate.

Hank-Annie’s husband,nearly loses all hope in his family after the accident.He takes each day as it comes now.

Moses-Harriet’s horse,free spirited,loves roaming through fields and chewing on warm buttercups.The miracle of the story.

Meredith-Angie’s horse,the one that got the worst end of the stick in the accident.Yes,she dies..

Evan Sandford-Innocent,well mannered young man who always says ‘mam’,who unfortunately is too late at inviting Angie to the Harvest Dance.

The Horse Whisperer-Although he doesn’t have any lines in the story,he just may be the way out they’ve all been looking for,after all he can work miracles!..He has an underlining meaning in the story,which has not yet been reached.

Harriet and Angie-Georgia-May Jagger look-a-like and Cara Delevingne esque.

Annie-Harriet's mother,Susan Sarandon from 'the movie Stepmom' with Julia Roberts inspired this look.

Hank-Harriet's Dad,good-looking,late 40's,a busy lawyer upstate whose world is gradually falling down around him.

The Barn where the horses are kept in the Winter.

Some of Harriet's drawings of Moses,her horse (Im thinking of drawing a few myself for the short story as I also enjoy doing Art.)

Moses falling from Heaven.

The barn scene.

Starting off I wasn’t very familiar with the texts that were given to adapt but upon further research I learnt alot more.In the ’The Pastures of Heaven’ pain is a reoccurring theme caused when people try ineptly to help or please others.In ‘The Promised Land’ pain is shown also when Angie and Meredith die.In some ways it would of been easier if Harriet had died in the accident too as it is so hard to go on living without her best friend.

‘The Promised Land’


Written by


Jenny Hughes




*HARRIET’S house early in the morning-5.30am,HARRIET and ANGIE woke early to meet and feed their horses-MOSES and MEREDITH and to ride them in the forest.



*Their voices echo in the field covered in snow and they laugh and play with arms outstretched

Harriet:So you wanna go feed Meredith?

Angie:Yeah,sure,shes starving,just like me,hard gettin’ used to these early starts with you Harrie’!

*ANGIE is panting and laughing

Harriet:Dont you worry I’ll have you and Meredith in tip top form for ‘’The Queen’s Plate’’ next Spring in no time if you keep up with my pace..!(‘The Queen’s Plate’ is a major horse competition)

Angie:Yeah,I sure hope so Harrie’,I sure hope so.

*They walk to the stables in the snow covered ground

*Their footsteps make two sets of prints in the snow,with the horses making more

Angie:Yup,she sure is hungry,my girl.

Harriet:Soooo,I heard Evan is gonna’ ask you to the harvest dance in the next week or so,you excited huh?

Angie:No,way hosay,he couldn’t be,I saw him inviting Jenny to his birthday party,shes the bees knees to him and you know it.

Harriet:Not what I heard,you just wait and see Angie.You,know you’re a like a zillion times prettier than Jenny,come on!



Angie:Haha,wanna put a bet on it?

Harriet:Fine,20 bucks Evan asks you to the dance..haha,this will be easy.

Angie:And,if I win?I get..hmmnnn,to be in utter control of your diary for a day,no questions asked..?Deal Duckface?

Harriet:Hahaha,I know,you’re not going to win,so its on hotlips!

*Both HARRIET and ANGIE finish feeding the horses.

Harriet:Dont forget we have to take our weekly trot in the forest with Meredith and Moses before the mornings finished,okay?

Angie:Cant wait,Harrie!

*HARRIET and ANGIE hop on their fed horses and as the snow fall thickens they make their way into the ever deepening bleak forest

Harriet:Okay,I’ll start off,you ready?

Angie:Okay,Im ready,as ready as I’ll ever be!

Harriet:’’Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall’’..

Angie:’’Humpty Dumpty had a great fall’’...

Harriet:’’All the kings horses and all the kings men’’...

Angie:’’Couldnt put Humpty together again’’...

*HARRIET and ANGIE both laugh uncontrollably,they are as free as they’ll ever be,or are they?

Harriet:Angie,watch out!!

*Suddenly a small avalanche of snow comes falling towards ANGIE and MEREDITH,she loses control and the stirrup breaks

Angie:Harrie,please help,I don’t know what to do!!

Harriet:Wait,Im trying to catch Meredith’s reigns!Hold on!

*ANGIE is now hanging on for dear life and seems to be half unconscious,dangling from the reigns and being dragged around by Meredith who has completely lost it.

Harriet:Whats that noise?

*A lorry has signalled its presence but has not yet caught glimpse of the two horseriders,flashing yellow lights can be seen inbetween the thin piney forest trees.




*In an instance,the huge lorry comes speeding around the lost forest road and clashes straight into MEREDITH and MOSES.

Harriet:Sorry Angie,I have to let go.

*HARRIET apologizes to ANGIE for letting go,but really just says it silently to her in her head as in instances like that there really is no time frame.


*Days later,HARRIET has come home from hospital but this time with one of her arms missing.

Annie:My sweet,sweet girl,what has become of you,hmmmmnnn?

Hank:Its ok Annie,let her get some rest,you know how the doctor said to let her rest and that honey?

*HARRIET wakes up

Harriet:No,No,No,make the lights stop flashing..where’s Meredith and Angie..where’s Angie??

Annie:Shes,gone honey.

Harriet:How can I live without them?

*Sobs relentlessly

Harriet:My life is,o o over.


*ANNIE and HANK fight in kitchen while HARRIET eavesdrops on the stairs

Annie:Look,I know this really talented guy back down south,somewhere in Texas,we could travel up there with Harriet and Moses,we all could?Hes supposed to be some kind of horse whisperer or something?What do you say?

Annie:I know you think everything is going to be ok again,but its not,its just not,okay,for christs sake?!

Hank:Im sick of this,I need to get outta here for a while,clear my head,you know?

Annie:Oh,sure you do whatever you need to do,have some ‘you-time’.*sarcastically

*HANK slams door and drives off leaving  ANNIE and HARRIET in house together

*HARRIET presses her foot down on stairs accidentally and ANNIE spots her,HARRIET runs to room like a bold schoolgirl

*A few moments later HARRIET can be heard screaming and screeching to her heart’s content in her bedroom,loud thuds and bangs can be heard through the ceiling

Annie:What in the world is going on in here?You’ve gone completely crazy!

Harriet:Well,maybe I have,maybe I just have,thats what you wanted right?Ive  lost my best friend and now Ive lost my Dad.Ive seen the way you look at him,you don’t love him anymore,do you,do you?

Harriet:Answer me?!

*ANNIE justs stares at HARRIET for a moment and in that moment they both know what Harriet has just said bares alot of truth

*There is a knock on the door,ANNIE spruces herself up as she has been crying for so long and answers it


Evan:Why,hello mam,my name is Evan Sandford.Im a good friend of Harriet and Angie’s.I was actually hopin’ Angie might be home.I was thinkin’ bout’ askin’ her to this harvest dance we got comin’ up you see mam?

Annie:Oh,well Im afraid thats not possible.Im surprised you hadn’t heard already,Angie and Harriet were involved in a terrible accident with their horses in the forest..

Evan:Yeah,I heard,a few cuts and grazes eh Mam?

Annie:Angie died...


*HARRIET is listening to the whole conversation and is sobbing wishing she hadn’t let go of ANGIE’S reign.She is playing with her china horse figurine she has had since kindergarten.A teardrop falls on it just like a snowflake...



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