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Sonofjoe
September 2nd, 2010, 05:07 PM
This is my first attempt at a TV drama/action/comedy script. What have I got wrong? What have I got right? Below is the fist eight - ten minuets. I would like to hear your thoughts on dialogue, scene settings etc. I understand that the format is not showing as it should be :-(

The story is set in 1730 North Yorkshire.


FADE IN

EXT.OFF SHORE NORTH SEA.DAWN
One mile off shore a twin mast schooner is at anchor. Two men in a rowing boat head towards the schooner. Slightly rough seas. Wind and rain.
 
INT.EXCISE OFFICE. SCARBOROUGH TOWN.DAWN
Charles LeGrey, late 30s imperious, is standing behind a large desk looking out of a window on to an 18th century harbour. Rain. Some people milling about carrying fishing nets and lobster pots.

LEGREY

Yes... yes indeed. I’m going to enjoy my time here. I’ll show those thieving scoundrels that I’m not one to be messed with. They have picked the wrong man if they think they can get one over Charles Legrey.
Three men walk in to the office: William Vine early 30s, Henry Fisher early 30s and Robert Sutton late teenager. LeGrey turns and greets them.

LEGREY

Good morning gentlemen. I have one thing to say to you, my good fellow Riding Officers. I hope you are all prepared. Today is going to be a good day for you, the Customs and Excise and King George.
EXT.NORTH SEA
The rowing boat is at the hull of the schooner fighting the swell. Jacob Coles, well built late thirties, is holding a rope attached to the schooner looking up. Joss Graham, slight build early 20s, is standing with arms upwards waiting to grab hold of something being lowered.

COLES

I asked for three! Two’s not going to pay. I asked for three and I want three! Or - you will not do business on this coast again - understand! You know my money’s good captain, AND, my word! Now send down three!
DUTCH ACCENT (VO)

Yes! I do, Mr Coles, but we are at risk and the Custom Excise Officer at Whitby will question my consignment.
COLES

Don’t worry about him. I have him in my pocket. He will sign your papers without questions believe me, or he will meet with a bloodied end.
A sack is lowed to the rowing boat on a rope. Graham unties the rope and it is pulled up. Graham positions the sack to the side of the rowing boat next to two barrels. Another sack is lowered.

INT.EXCISE OFFICE (CONT'D)
The four men look at a map of the coast on the desk.

LEGREY

I have it on good authority gentlemen, that they will land their catch here, Ravenscar. My informant tells me that they will store it in an old barn north of the Alum works.I am told that their will only be two men so it will be an easy arrest.
VINE

Begging you pardon sir, but informants around here cannot be trusted. We know they are paid to give false information.
LEGREY

(beat)I am aware of that William, it was the same in the South. But… we must act on anything we get, it’s the only way we can stop these thieves of our King.
FISHER

What if we are spotted sir and they make their escape by boat?
LEGREY

A cutter gentlemen, is as we speak, making its way to apprehend the Dutch vessel and is informed to keep a look-out for any vessels making way to or from Ravenscar cliffs. Sutton?
SUTTON

Sir?
LEGREY

I understand this is your first ride as a Riding Officer?
SUTTON

Sir!
LEGREY

You go where Mr. Vine tells you to go and obey his orders. You understand?
SUTTON

Sir!
LEGREY

If you have to shoot, aim low. I want them alive. Gentlemen! Time to ride, we have one hour.
 
EXT.NORTH SEA
Coles and Graham are rowing the boat towards a beach. They beach the rowing boat below high cliffs, they drag it ashore. Another man, Isaac Graham, twin brother of Joss early 20s, helps. They each grab a sack and carry it to the cliff. Two go back and take the barrels to the cliff. All go back to the boat and drag it further onshore. They pick up the sacks and enter a cave.

EXT.WOODS.DAY.RAIN
Four horsemen (Legrey, Vine, Fisher and Sutton) ride through the woods at a gallop.

INT.DAY.INN CELLAR
Coles, Joss Graham and Isaac Graham exit from a secret panel in the wall, each with a sack.

COLES

Right lads lets get these on to the wagon, quick sharp now. I want to get these to the barn as soon as we can.
EXT.DAY.VILLAGE
The four horsemen approach the outskirts of a village.

EXT.DAY.INFRONT OF INN
Isaac is replacing planks on the false bottom of a cart covering the sacks. Coles and Joss lift on open-ended barrels containing liquid. They see the horsemen approaching.

COLES

Riding officers!
JOSS

And an Excise man, the new one.
COLES

Stay calm boys. If they ask questions leave it to me.
Coles, Joss and Isaac mount the cart and begin to move away. The four horsemen come closer.

LEGREY

You men, in the name of the King stay where you are!
The horsemen approach the cart and prevent it from moving forward.

LEGREY

State your business?
COLES

Who wants to know?
LEGREY

The King! I am Charles Legrey, Excise Office of this region. Here to hunt, capture and bring to justice all the thieves of the King namely, smugglers. What is on the cart?
COLES

Wine sir.
Coles looks around furtively.

COLES (CONT'D)

You look tired gentlemen would you like a little refreshment? I’m sure the king would understand. His men, his loyal men. Out so early in the morning, galloping around the countryside looking for smugglers.
Isaac and Joss giggle.

LEGREY

I hope you have the appropriate paperwork for this consignment. Which I doubt! I sir, was not born yesterday, I have helped imprison many a scoundrel like you.
Legrey dismounts and approaches the cart and removes the tarpaulin and reels backwards sharply.

LEGREY

My god man! What foul stench is this?
VINE

Urine sir.
COLES

Wine like I said. Golden wine, the finest in northern England. Made by hard working men. One of the barrels could need to be topped up if any of you gentlemen are in need.
Legrey stands back from the cart holding a handkerchief to his nose.

LEGREY

What in damn nation are you doing with a cart of, of, this foul liquid?
VINE

It is used at the Alum works sir, gallons and gallons of it. It is collected from all the houses and inns through out the county sir.
COLES

Aye and if you wouldn’t mind we have a lot of more to collect. The Alum works is a very thirsty business.
FISHER

We are wasting time sir. If we are not quick sharp we will loose our quarry.
Legrey remounts. A rye smile is passed between Fisher and Coles.

LEGREY

Yes, Mr Fisher you are correct. About your business you men, sorry for the delay.
 
COLES

Thank you sir, we have to keep taking the piss... It’s our livelihood.
The four horsemen ride off and the cart begins to move away with the three men laughing.


FADE OUT

mockingbird
February 26th, 2011, 05:43 PM
Hi there Sonofjoe from mockingbird. Not a bad start. Keep scene headings the same and day, night etc should be at the end. Watch out for their and they're, lose and loose and all similarities as grammar won't pick it up. Do some research and find out the slang for Excise Men as smugglers would say that all the time. Heading infront of inn just say Ext. INN - DAY notice the dash. I don't know if they would say urine, use as much slang as possible and plenty of expletives to boot. Keep at it as I've been writing scripts for 11 years and still don't have an agent, although I have had some notable actors read and say yes - gerard Butler, Clive Owen, Gary Oldman - and still I have no agent to guide me. It's very very very tough. Do you know about turning points? Use them to take the action into another pace when the action takes a lull.

Sonofjoe
February 27th, 2011, 01:33 PM
Thanks for the feedback mockingbird, really useful info and taken onboard :wink:. No I don't know about turning points :-k but I will certainly look it up.

mockingbird
February 27th, 2011, 05:02 PM
A little titbit on turning points - a turning point kickstarts the action in a totally different direction from act1 to act2 and act2 to act 3. Example - Witness - Harrison Ford has interviewed the boy witness and shown him mugshots, but that's it. Then the boy sees pic of cop and points it out. Now Ford knows there are corrupt cops but how far does it go. The TP is when He is shot by crooked cop and finds out his boss is also in on it. Act 2 starts with Ford being driven to the Amish community and learning their ways it slows down. Act 2 TP is when the bad cops arrive to kill Ford which goes into act3 action as Ford kills them off and concludes the film. Hope that helps from Mockingbird.