Screenplay by Benjamin Radford
from a story by Benjamin Radford and Edward Summer
(c)2007 Benjamin Radford, All Rights Reserved
FADE IN: TITLE CARD
“Sirens” is written in Papyrus font script. CLOSE ON TITLE CARD
Page is turned from right to left revealing that the title is printed on a book page. Sound of book page turning.
RIGHT HAND PAGE OF BOOK The book rests on a wooden stand. The page title “Sirens” is at the top of three columns of text. There are two large illustrations on the page: Centered at the top is a woodcut image of three sailors in an ancient looking boat afloat on the sea Near the bottom is a drawing of a bare-breasted woman with bird wings.
CLOSE ON THE WOODCUT The black and white woodcut of the sailors begins to move. The boat and sailors rock gently and listlessly on the ocean. The FIRST SAILOR is slumped down; the BALD BLACK SAILOR, wearing worn clothing, holds an oar; the BEARDED SAILOR leans against a flagging sail and mast.
VOICE OF SIRENS
(Singing… a strange, eerie sound, not quite human sound … .)
(The singing continues throughout all of the following.)
All three sailors turn toward the source of the sound. Their eyes widen. They are enchanted by the singing. EXT – THE WOODCUT – BOAT ON SEA Pull back from boat until the wide shot shows it approaching a small, rocky shoal. On the rocks are three females, THE SIRENS. The partially nude women are singing. CLOSE ON FIRST SAILOR CLOSE ON BALD BLACK SAILOR CLOSE ON BEARDED SAILOR
EXT. – THE WOODCUT – BOAT ON SEA – DAY
The SAILORS row the boat quickly toward the shoal. The oars splash in the sea.
(Clears her throat)
CLOSE ON FIRST SAILOR He turns toward the sound.
INT. – LIBRARY – DAY
Medium shot of a BOY at a table. THE BOY is about ten years old. His eyes are wide with interest and excitement.
There are books to his right. The boy looks up and behind his right shoulder is the LIBRARIAN. She has a name tag reading “Miss Sanders” pinned to her dress and a book pin on her lapel. She looks down at the boy and then leans down. CLOSE ON TABLE. An open math book lies on the table open to a page of Algebra problems. The Librarian’s hand moves into frame. Her fingers tap expectantly on what is obviously an unfinished math worksheet. CLOSE ON LIBRARIAN – BOY’S POV She has a cocked eyebrow and her lips are faintly pursed to one side inexaggerated disappointment. CLOSE ON BOY He looks up at the Librarian. He shrugs shyly and shakes his head “no.” CLOSE ON TABLE The math worksheet. The Librarian’s fingers tap on it expectantly. MEDIUM SHOT – TABLE – BOY’S POV The camera moves from teh dull, gray math textbook to the colorful, illustratecd mythology book. ON BOY – LIBRARIAN’S POV The Boy looks up at the Librarian with his best cute, puppydog eyes and protruding lips. ON LIBRARIAN – BOY’S POV The Librarian smiles despite herself. She shakes her head slightly, turns and walks away. THE BOY AT TABLE – FROM ABOVE The Boy moves closer to the page about Sirens. His head moves back and forth slightly as he reads. BALD BLACK SAILOR – WOODCUT He is rowing. EXT – THE ROCKY SHOAL – DAY – ON THE SIRENS The Sirens are singing and smiling seductively. The camera moves closer to them as the SAILORS row. A small rock looms up in the foreground as the boat approaches. ON THE BOAT FROM THE SIDE The boat nears the island. The FIRST SAILOR reaches out to the woman. None of the sailors see the SMALL ROCK! The boat HITS THE ROCK and RIPS A LARGE HOLE. There is a load “crack” of tearing wood. CLOSE ON THE SIRENS They stop singing abruptly. WIDER ON THE BOAT AND ISLAND The boat is on the rocks. It shakes violently in the waves. The SAILORS yell and panic, waving their arms. The women watch silently as the boat begins to sink. CLOSE ON BEARDED SAILOR His enchanted smile changes to a look of panic. He looks around desperately as his face sinks down out of frame.
(They yell loudly in panic!) Help! Help! Save us! Save us!
ON THE SIRENS – MEDIUM SHOT All are exquisitely BEAUTIFUL!
(They sing their eerie beautiful “song” in chorus)
As they sway and sing, their WINGS unfold from behind their backs.
THE SIRENS (CONT’D)
(They sing louder and louder until the sound of the sailors’ yelling is drowned out completely)
WIDER ON THE ISLAND AND SAILORS The sailors are splashing desperately in the water. The boat sinks out of view. The last sailor’s hand reaches toward the heavens. Then it sinks beneath the waves.
THE SIRENS CONT’D)
(They continue to sing…. )
VERY WIDE ON THE ISLAND The camera pulls back farther and farther until the island and THE SIRENS disappear in the gently rolling ocean. INT – LIBRARY – DAY – CLOSE ON BOY The boy’s face fills the frame. He is looking down. His eyes are still wide with excitement. Behind him is a light fixture. THE TABLE – FROM ABOVE The BOY’s head is over the book page. It scans from side to side as he continues to read for several more seconds. THE BOY – FROM BELOW He is still reading the book. His lips move slightly as he reads.
(an unknown voice/sound – faint)
On the ceiling above him and the wall behind him, there is a brief but distinct flash of color: first RED, then BLUE. Startled, the BOY looks up from the book. He is puzzled. INT – THE LIBRARY – WIDE ON THE ROOM – BEHIND THE BOY The BOY is sitting in a wooden chair. He turns his head to look around. The camera PULLS BACK to reveal a mid-sized LIBRARY READING ROOM. There is a window on one wall. There are a few tables. There are bookshelves. THE BOY FROM BELOW He look puzzled. Then he returns to reading. THE TABLE – FROM ABOVE The BOY turns the page with his hand. Now it is an illustrated book about DRAGONS. The page layout is similar to the SIRENS, but there is a LARGE PAINTING OF A DRAGON breaking the borders of the art. THE BOY FROM BELOW He is really excited about the DRAGONS. Behind him, the RED / BLUE LIGHT FLASHES
(the mysterious singing sound again. It CONTINUES throughout.)
CLOSE ON THE BOY – FRONT He looks into the camera. His expression changes from PUZZLEMENT to INTRIGUED. THE TABLE AND CHAIRS FROM BEHIND The BOY stands and RUNS OFFSCREEN TO THE LEFT. INT – THE LIBRARY – BOOK AISLES The camera tracks the BOY as he RUNS down the aisles between the bookshelves. He passes PATRON ONE and PATRON TWO, nearly bumping into them. They GLARE at him. THE LIBRARIAN – MEDIUM SHOT She turns to watch the BOY. She looks STARTLED and CONCERNED INT – THE LIBRARY – BOOK AISLES The shelves fly by — right to left — as the BOY runs. CLOSE ON BOY His face is excited. CLOSE ON BOOKSHELVES They fly by like black streaks. EXT – LIBRARY – DAY A brick library building with double doors leading to a platform entrance. The plaform is framed by a sign above the door reading “PUBLIC LIBRARY,” four concrete steps down to a sidewalk and street, and two medium-sized pillars on either side with marble balls atop each. A wrought-iron fence leads away from the pillars to the sidewalk. The DOUBLE DOORS BURST OPEN. The BOY rushes out. INT – LIBRARY Looking out from the library, we see the boy’s head and torso as he disappears out the door and down the steps. The STREET is briefly visible as the doors close behind the BOY. EXT – THE LIBRARY = DAY The BOY pauses on the sidewalk in front of the library steps. The street is nearly empty except for one MAN carrying a briefcase who is walking away to the BOY’s left.
A sedan is parked to the BOY’s left. CLOSE ON BOY He looks puzzled. He glances left, then right. He turns to the left again and..
(Singing starts again!)
A look of DELIGHT and ENCHANTMENT crosses his face.
The BOY looks STRAIGHT AHEAD at the camera. Then he begins to look around again. EXT – LIBRARY – DAY – PULLING OUT FROM MEDIUM SHOT OF BOY As the front of the library comes into view, the LIBRARIAN appears at the door scanning the street.
(It becomes LOUDER!)
CLOSE ON BOY He looks to his right. EXT – THE STREET – DAY – BOY’S POV The MAN with the briefcase turns the corner. A DALMATION is sniffing a red fire hydrant near the parked car. CLOSE ON BOY His head turns to look around. The red / blue FLASH appears again behind him.
(It becomes even louder and more insistent.)
EXT. – THE STREET – THE OTHER SIDE – BOY’S POV
There is a SMALL NEWSSTAND and a BARBER SHOP DOORWAY. Next to it, a barber’s pole is spiraling. EXT – THE STREET – ANOTHER ANGLE The BOY proceeds into the street. He passes the parked car on his left.
He turns to the right. The SINGING seems to come from that direction. The CAMERA PANS RIGHT showing a QUIET, EMPTY STREET. CLOSE ON BOY He turns his head to the left. EXT – THE STREET – BOY’S POV He immediately sees the front of a RED FIRE TRUCK rushing toward him as the SINGING BECOMES VERY LOUD. ZOOM IN TO GRILL OF FIRE TRUCK A BRIGHT FLASH OF RED Then the screen goes black. EXT – THE STREET – FROM ACROSS THE STREET The FIRE TRUCK HITS the boy in SLOW MOTION from the side. The BOY has a terrified look as his HEAD SNAPS BACK VIOLENTLY and he is PLASTERED TO THE GRILLE. He is partly sucked under the tires as he desperatley grabs for safety. The FIRE TRUCK LUMBERS TO A STOP in halting, slow movements peeling the boy off the front as it does. EXT – THE STREET – FROM OVERHEAD Looking down on the hood of the fire truck. The boy is laying beneath it.
(off screen people are yelling and screaming)
FIRE ENGINE SIREN
(blaring VERY loud!)
SCREAMS BLEND INTO SIREN’S SONG
(the fire engine sounds slowly transform into the song of the Sirens from the beginning)
FADE TO BLACK CREDITS