Sample Screenplay Profile Screenwriting Fundamentals (THIS IS NOT NECESSARILY AN "A" PAPER. IT IS ONLY A SAMPLE) BLACKOUT: Screenplay Outline 1. BACKSTORY: The extreme heat in New York city is going to cause the biggest blackout the city has ever seen. The problem presented by the subway not functioning will test the abilities of and the relationship between the two main characters. 2. MAIN & SUPPORTING CHARACTERS: Protagonist: Jimmy Antagonist: Social Services Worker, Cop (those who will take Anie away from Jimmy) Foil: Eric Toady/Nemesis/Villain: Mr. Maiers Head of Campus Maintenance Mentor: Charlie 3. GENRE/TONE: Drama 4. HOOK: The sun is just beginning to rise in New York City as Jimmy is awakened by the sound of gunshot. He goes to his closet and grabs his baseball bat and sneaks to the door of his room. He hears voices and as he sneaks out of the room we can hear a female voice saying every line before the voices of the husky men. He drops the bat as he falls to the floor in relief. 5. ORDINARY WORLD -- What is valued? Annie is in her room standing inches from the television. She knows every line to the movie and pre-empts the television with her own rendition. Her brother Jimmy comes in and argues with her about the volume level. Jimmy threatens to take her camera away if she doesn’t turn it down. She gives in and then pouts in her corner wishing her mother were there. Studio Dressing Room Maile smith goes over her agenda for the day with her assistant while her hair and make-up are being done. She hopes this ad campaign will help bring her back into the public eye. IHOP Jimmy takes his sister out to breakfast to make up for their fight. Despite Jimmy knowing her usual order, Annie demands a menu but read it upside down and orders the usual. 6. FEAR & FLAW SHOWING WHAT IS VALUED: Jimmy is afraid of hurting his sister. He tries to make her feel independent while keeping enough control over her that she will be protected. His biggest fear is that the state will deem him an unfit guardian and put Annie in a home, so he works for a college maintenance department rather than attending school. He values the respect of his peers at work and the safety of his sister. He dreams of designing landscapes rather than trimming them. His biggest goal in life is to live up to please his late mother who he tells Annie is an angel watching over them. 7. ESTABLISH TIME LOCK, THEME NEED: Jimmy needs to prove himself to his coworkers so that they will let him help design the landscapes for a building the college is remodeling. He also needs to learn to let go of his sister. 8. ABOUT PAGE 4—DO WE KNOW WHAT THE MOVIE IS ABOUT YET? This movie is about a man trying to get respect in the workplace and a mentally disabled girl trying to prove herself to her brother. 9. ABOUT PAGE 10—CATALYST OR INCITING EVENT creates the first ripple of unrest in Protagonist's world. EXT. Subway Station. Jimmy and his sister part ways. He puts her onto one train and gets on another while reminding her of how to get there and what to do. She tells him to stop treating her like a baby. 10. ABOUT PAGE 17— MINI-CRISIS, SET UP. Subway Train Annie leaves her cell phone on the train. Bard College Maintenance Entrance Jimmy checks his cell phone for calls on his way into the back entrance of a school building. Maintenance Office Jimmy checks into work. He picks up an application for a position as Assistant Landscape Architect for the remodel on one of the campus buildings but loses it in a pile of papers when he looks at the clock and realizes Annie hasn’t called. Picture Palace Charlie, Annie’s manager, gets a call from Jimmy who’s worried sick, because Annie didn’t call him when she got to work. She’s fine. He feels silly and tells Charlie to let her keep working. 11. ABOUT PAGE 30—FIRST ACT BREAK. (TURNING POINT 1) Charlie sends Annie home early from work. Just as she gets to the subway station the Blackout hits ACTION TAKEN ON MAIN GOAL/PLAN: All the electricity is out in NYC. Annie has to find a new way home. Jimmy has to find her. What happens if goal is not attained? If Jimmy doesn’t fins her soon she may be hurt or killed. What's at STAKE? Custody of his only other family member, because if the police find out he lost her, Social Services will count it against him. 12. NEW WORLD - NEW RULES: No cell phones, no subway, no electricity. 13. FORMATION OF TEAMS: Protagonist's team: Jimmy, Eric, Maile, Maile’s assistant, Charlie Antagonist's team: Annie, the boys who taunt Annie, everyone who takes her farther away from Jimmy by guiding her home. 14.) DEVELOPMENT OF SUBPLOTS Maile Smith is a child actress who’s no longer “hot stuff” in the gossip columns. Her escape from the elevator at the hands of hunky hero Jimmy is just what she needs to revamp her career, but as she’s about to go into an interview to tell all about the traumatic event she realizes there’s more to life and goes to help Jimmy find Annie. 15.) LOVE STORY: Protagonist and love interest should have kissed, literally or figuratively, by about page 40/45 INT College Dorm Right before the blackout Maile falls into Jimmy’s arms as she trips on the elevator door. 16. TEST OF PROTAGONIST, WHICH HE FAILS. VERIFICATION OF WORST FEAR. Jimmy has to carry Maile out of the elevator shaft, because she sprained her ankle when she tripped. When he gets to where his cell phone works he calls Charlie only to find out Annie is gone. 17. ABOUT PAGE 50. ANTAGONIST IN CONTROL OF PROTAGONIST. Sequence to Mid-point: Protagonist creates and executes a plan to shift power. Jimmy sends out his team to look for Annie checking all the places she knows. 18. MID-POINT: Superficial resolution. Annie’s friend Liz takes her to her house. Liz’s mom calls Jimmy’s cell phone. Maile helps Jimmy by getting her chauffer to take him there. 19. WITHIN MID-POINT scene or scene immediately following, antagonist defeats protagonist. Must face greatest fear and flaw-and lose again. While Liz’s mom is on the phone calling relatives to see if they are alright, Annie tells Liz she has to get back to Jimmy. Liz get a cabbie to take Annie as far as she can afford using the money Annie has been saving for a new camera. With each loss now, more determination. No going back. Jimmy arrives and is devastated when he finds Annie gone. He falls down and cries. Maile comforts him, but all that he can think of is that he has failed his mother. He calls the cab company begging for their help. RAISED STAKES. EXT Brooklyn Bridge Annie gets out of the cab at the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge and thanks the cabby. He points her in the right direction to home. INT Liz’s House The cab company tells Jimmy she got out already. 20. BIG PIT: The very thing that the Pro fears the most occurs. And it's bad. Maile calls the police to put in a missing person’s report. Jimmy yells at her, because it will go on his record as her care-taker. 21. JUST WHEN IT CAN’T GET WORSE, IT DOES! Annie gets ambushed by some boys with silly string and loses her way. 22. EPIPHANY: Annie sees the sign for the subway station where she and Jimmy got on that morning. She runs to it and hugs it. She starts on her way home again. (SECOND TURNING POINT) CROSSROADS/CHOICES: Jimmy gives up. He tells Maile he will give the report to the policeman. NEW GOAL/NEW PLAN: Jimmy gets a call from his Boss. After seeing his perseverance in getting the girl out of the elevator he has decided to allow Jimmy to be taken on as one of the Assistant Landscape Architects. Jimmy calls the Social Services agency to tell them that when the police find Annie he will use his boost in income to put her in a nice home. He thinks he cannot care for her as well as his mother once did. They put him on hold. STAKES INTENSIFY: Annie is close to home. Maile’s assistant is close to Jimmy’s house too. TICKING CLOCK: BOOM. The assistant sees Annie coming. She calls Maile’s cell phone to try to get through to Jimmy. The policeman is ringing the doorbell at Liz’s house to take the report. Jimmy is still on hold. BIG CLIMAX: Maile hangs the phone up as Jimmy gets off hold. He turns to her and is about to yell, but she tells him Annie is safe. SHOWDOWN: Liz lets the policeman in. Jimmy sends in Liz’s mother. FLAW/FEAR OVERCOME: Liz’s mother tells he policeman it was a prank call by Liz. Jimmy and Maile drive to his home. Jimmy runs up and finds his sister. Je hugs her, and she asks him if she was bad. He tells her she made momma proud. They promise one another they will never lose each other. TRUTH EMERGES: Jimmy remembers Maile. He brings her up and apologizes for how rude he’s been. He asks her to stay for dinner. 23. RESOLUTION: Jimmy looks at Annie and remembers his promise to his mother. He will never give her up. He has also learned that his family can grow. He has let Maile in. 24. END PLACE: Jimmy cooks breakfast for dinner. He knows Annie’s order.