DAWN: Synopsis–Act 1–Draft 1

Hi guys, another post about the creating of DAWN. As you may know from last weeks post I have no completed a draft of the beat sheet for the whole film plotting out the main points. I am aware the description of the second act wasn’t very strong but I have started writing the synopsis now and I am half way through the second act and I know where it is going a bit more now. With that in mind tomorrow I am planning on doing a re-draft of the beat outline to reflect this. For now I want to share with you the first draft of the synopsis of Act 1 of my feature film DAWN.

Act 2 and 3 will follow shortly so until then I hope this teases your intrigue into the film. As I was writing this it became more of like a micro-story, and I am aware for a synopsis there is far too much description but I will cut it down once I have written the rest of it. So without further ado here is the Draft 1 of Act 1 of the synopsis of my film DAWN. For more information on DAWN on the right hand of this page you can click “DAWN” under “CATEGORIES”.

ROY is depressed. His job is awful, problems ensue with his girlfriend and he is slowly falling into a downward spiral. Drinking seems appealing, something that he hates about himself as his dad was an alcoholic before dying earlier in the year, and he is beginning to turn to it himself.

After an argument at home with his girlfriend ANNA, he storms to work. Whilst there his boss comes to his desk and after yelling at Roy about the level of effort he is putting into his work. Roy, fed up of his manager’s bullshit, decides he will try to stand up for himself for a change. This doesn’t go according to plan as his manager’s god complex is wounded and he then fires Roy. Roy packs up desk and makes his way home. Arriving home he goes in and calls for his wife. No answer. Making his through to the kitchen he drops the box he is carrying and the contents of his desk spill onto the floor.

On the kitchen side is a note, and on top of the note is Anna’s wedding ring.

Roy rushes over and holding the ring tightly in his hand he begins to read the letter. Anna has left him, fed up of his depression and how it is bringing her down. She has done her best to support him but there’s only so much someone can do. Roy storms into the living room and swipes the phone up and punches in her number. Answer phone. He rings again. Answer phone. Angry he throws the phone at the wall, smashing it into pieces.

Later, after he has calmed down and it has begun to sink in, we find Roy in his local pub, The Guild. Finding solace in the bottom of his drinks he is slowly getting more and more inebriated. Sat on his own he begins to think more and more about his life, about how little he has done with it. He staggers home, it’s only 9pm. Reaching his house Roy digs deep into his pockets and pulls his keys out, opening the front door. He goes to the study and takes a pad of paper and scrawls on it, writing up his suicide note. Roy makes his way to his bathroom and opens up the medicine cabinet, ripping the contents out till he finds what he wants. He finds strong prescription painkillers are the back of the cabinet and starts to take them one by one, methodically and calmly. Taking a deep breath he sits on the bathroom floor and waits.

A while later Susan, Anna’s friend, knocks on the door and rings the bell. About half an hour has passed and Roy has passed out from the drugs and the alcohol. Susan takes out a key and lets herself in, under the instruction of Anna. She is here to collect Anna’s things and as she goes upstairs to the bedroom she walks past the open bathroom door and see’s Roy led there pills around him two notes discarded on the floor next to him. His suicide note and Anna’s note. She pulls out her mobile and calls 999, an ambulance is on its way. The next morning Roy awakes in the hospital bed, he groggily calls for a nurse and asks why he is here. She answers literally, telling him how he came to be in the hospital but this frustrates him as he meant why he is still alive. She draws a blank on this and tells him to get some more rest. Eventually he is discharged from the hospital, there’s not much more that they can do for him, he is given assurance that someone from the suicide crisis team will be in touch with him within the next day to arrange some treatment.

Roy leaves the hospital a mess, still suicidal but having hidden it well enough for them to discharge him. He gets a taxi home and arriving back at his house he pays the driver and without even going into his house he climbs straight into his car and drives back out. He drives onto a motorway crossover bridge and pulls up at the side of the road. Climbing out of the car he slowly makes his way to the barrier, tears in his eyes. He looks over the edge and the gravity pulls the saline straight down, tears spilling out. A car drives past him and the driver seems to know what is about to happen, he slams his brakes on and pulls over. He climbs out and shouts at Roy to get away from the barrier but Roy ignores him and climbs up and without missing a beat he tumbles down onto the motorway below.

In the darkness signalling the end of Roy’s life we hear some indistinguishable noises, that slowly fade up into an electronic sound, like something has just been plugged in and powering up. An electronic voice declares over the darkness:

“Hello. Welcome to DAWN unit.”


8 thoughts on “DAWN: Synopsis–Act 1–Draft 1

  1. Hmmm interesting! I was waiting to see when and how DAWN was going to be introduced, thinking it would be a place of escape after losing his job and wife, but I sure did not see it happening right at the end! Intrigue! Looking forward to reading Act 2 and 3.

    If you would be so kind as to check out my writing too, I would appreciate some feedback on my writing: Ascribetodescribe.wordpress.com. Thanks!
    Keep up the good work 🙂

      1. oh just general posts on my blog. Without some feedback there is no helpful input/criticism to help improve the writing you know? It’s great that you have so many people helping you out in regards to DAWN. apdiggs in his comment below has some great points and that is something I am looking for too.

  2. This is a much better introduction than the earlier versions, more nuanced. My only concern is that you have dedicated the entire first act to Roy’s depression. Were this a TV series I’d say this is a superb pilot. As a film of, let’s say 120 minutes, spending 40 minutes drudging the viewer into Roy’s world can be torturous.

    Two suicide attempts are not needed where one will do. Rather than spread out his misery you can compress it in the opening scenes, or just get right to the suicide attempt from the start. Look at how Mel Gibson does in in the first ‘Lethal Weapon’. Oh, and taking pills is a suicide for females, jumping from bridges is defiantly a way guys do it.

    All of what you have here is fine, but don’t end the first act with DAWN. Bring DAWN in in the middle of the first act. The end of the first act should show the ultimate objective for the Hero (rescuing the damsel, killing the villain, escaping from New York, what have you).

    Consider this. Right now your first act is
    a. misery, misery, misery, misery, misery, misery, suicide, misery, suicide, death, rebirth, DAWN
    when it should be.
    b. misery, suicide, death, rebirth, DAWN, fresh start, happiness, ‘hey, what the hell was that?’, doubt, fear, ‘I got to get out of here’

    Act 2 show is how the hero plans or tries to accomplish the goal and fails
    Act 3 shows how the hero has changed, and that change enables him to succeed.

    You are on the right track, so far. Less gadgetry, more emotions, and that’s important. Just remember that writing is rewriting, and more rewriting. It is refreshing to see that you are willing to listen to other opinions and try different approaches. Most writers believe their first drafts are written in stone, which is why they will only be self-published.

    With you, I can see DAWN being produced on the BBC. That way, I can illegally download it here in the States rather than wait a year before BBC America airs it.

    Good luck, and keep writing.

    1. Wow thank you for the feedback this is really helpful if you read the article here I have answered some of your concerns http://wordsformwindows.com/2012/11/14/dawn-synopsisall-3-acts-draft-1/#more-1574

      I will definitely take your advice on board, I did think the OD was a bit over the top but as that article says it was a sly dig at some recent circumstances from in my life but I guess the film isn’t the best place to vent that.

      I would like to think it could be something the BBC would make, even as a 2 or 3 part one off drama, ultimately though I would love it to be a feature film but I guess that’s what good about it is that it can easily be adapted to a few different mediums.

      Thanks again!

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