• Wondering which camera, gear, computer, or software to buy? Ask in our Gear Guide.

Short film - Sheol (looking for some helpful narrative feedback, tips and even ideas)

1. INT. CHRISTIAN’S DREAM. NIGHT 1

CHRISTIAN (Mid 20s, un-groomed hair) and NATALIE (thin petite woman, early 20s) are seen naked lying side by side under white covers that seem endless like the ocean.

CHRISTIAN Mansell (V/O)


I recall as a child my family had a guard dog. At night he would lay on the end of my bed, watching me sleep. He was my dream catcher; protecting me from the darkness. Until one night my father had locked him outside to sleep. All night he would howl and sulk scratching at the front door, my guardian angel was afraid of the dark.

Natalie:

(whispers)

I need you, Christian.

Christian Mansell (V/O) (CONT'D)

After that night my father saw no use for him… so he killed him.


Christian witnesses Natalie being dragged from under the covers by a dark figure, he crawls after her though she’s nowhere to be found. The covers grow heavy until Christian is unable to hold them up, being engulfed into the sheets.

2. INT. Fremantle Prison CHRISTIAN'S CELL. MORNING.

Christian awakens lying lifeless on the bed of his prison cell. He then attempts to sit up, grunting and whaling with pain as he fails to move an inch.

CHRISTIAN Mansell (V/O)

It happened again, most mornings when I wake up, I find myself to question being awake. My body is numb...

Christian is seen grunting in his attempt to move his body, but struggles to do so, all that he accomplishes is the small twitching of his right hand beside him.

I feel like I'm paralyzed, like my body isn't really my own.. I think I’m dying.

CHRISTIAN Mansell:

Fucking move!

CUT TO: Christian in the corner of his cell, leaning over a bucket filled with feces, throwing up his last meal. Christian feels a cold shiver down his spine as he hears a loud banging from the corridor, reminding him of gunfire during the war.

3. INT. Flashback - Trenches of gallipoli. Day

Christian sits anxiously crouched in the trenches in the second row. His hands trembling as he clutches onto a photograph of his fiance. The first row are called upon to attack, where Christian sits frozen in the trench listening to their screams.

4. INT. Fremantle Prison Corridor. Afternoon

DEVLIN (balding man 40s, rotted yellow teeth) slowly makes his way down the corridor to Christian's cell banging his bat against the cell doors along the way.

A dozen guards follow Devlin holding trays of food handing them to the eager prisoners each waiting by their cell doors.

Warden Devlin

I will stretch out mine hand upon thee, and will deliver thee for a spoil to the heathen; and I will cut thee off from the people, and I will cause thee to perish out of the countries: I will destroy thee; and thou shalt know that I am the LORD.

Devlin stops at Christian's door to find he is the only prisoner who is not waiting by the cell door. He signals a guard to hand him the plate of food and open Christians cell. He finds Christian ignoring his words, while clenched over the toilet bowl in the corner of his room. Devlin throws the tray of food at the wall in which Christian is faced.

Warden Devlin (cont'd)

When God speaks, you'd better stand and hold your ears higher then your bloody head takes you!

Christian remains still, clenched over the toilet bowl, hoping he'd leave. Devlin enraged by his ignorance, grabs his head and holds it deep into the bowl. The guard standing at the door watches too afraid to speak. He lifts his head from the bowl to throw Christian against the wall.

WARDEN DEVLIN (CONT'D)

you can eat your dinner on all fours like the damned mutt you are.

Devlin leaves slamming the door behind him, leaving Christian bleeding from his head on his cell floor. He crawls over to his bed, reaching for his blanket to wipe his face.

CHRISTIAN MANSELL (V/O)

The preacher was Warden Devlin... He deserves to rot in this hell as much as anyone else in it, but instead he runs the place.

5. INT. Fremantle Prison unoccupied cell. Late afternoon

A woman is seen with tears in her eyes with her head pressed up against the pillow of the bed, covering her mouth to prevent her from screaming as she clutches tightly at the sheets. Mr. Delvin is seen holding her head down aggressively, while having sex with her from behind.

Christian is seen standing behind Devlin, looking over his shoulder at the woman being raped. His face hollow in expression.

CUT TOO: The woman shaking as she finishes getting dressed

The woman:

Can i see my husband now?

Warden Devlin

Visiting hours are over today, love. But, ill take care of you next week.

She sits still on the bed facing the floor, attempting to hold back her tears. Meanwhile Mr. Devlin zips up his pants, grabs his hat and wedding ring from the table and leaves. Christian remains standing in the corner of the room, blankly starring at the woman, who's leg appears to be shaking while blood drips down her leg.

6. INT. Fremantle Prison Cell. NIGHT.

Mr. Devlin retracts his fist from Christians face. Blood dripping down his nose. His lips bleeding with small slits.

CHRISTIAN MANSELL (V/O)

For some reason at this moment in time, i was reminded of my father... Though, i think my father was able to conceal the bruises he'd given me.

Mr. Devlin throws Christian to the ground where he lies wallowing in pain. He then takes a stroll around the cell, catching his breath by lighting a cigarette.

WARDEN DEVLIN

Do you believe in the lord, Christian?

Devlin begins coughing furiously. Christian remains silent and still on the floor.

Warden Devlin (Cont'D)

Now you see, god doesn't care much for a soul like yours and why would he? i don't think there's all to much ticking in that old time bomb of yours.

Mr. Devlin climbs on top of Christian pinning his arms down with his legs, blowing smoke into his face.

Warden Devlin (cont'd)

You've sinned am i right? Yes, or why else would you be in this coffin? (laughs)It's no laughing matter, Christian. What you did was an unspeakable thing, you deserve to have your lips stitched shut. Not that your a man of many words.

Devlin grabs Christian's jaw tightly with one and places the lit cigarette above Christian's eye with the other.

WARDEN DEVLIN (CONT'D)

Now here's the game for this evening. Think of me as your priest. I want you to confess, Christian. Tell me exactly what you did and why you're here.

Christian remains silent, struggling to move.

WARDEN DEVLIN (CONT'D)

Do i look like I'm taking the piss. Common Christian, common! tell me you killed her!

Mr. Devlin pushes the lit cigarette into Christians closed eye lid, causing a loud screech of pain echoing through the halls.

WARDEN DEVLIN (CONT'D)

An innocent man never run's, Christian. confess! confess and the lord will take mercy upon you head!

Mr. Devlin smacks Christians head against the harsh cell floor, causing him to be knocked unconscious.

7. Int. Sheol prison cell. night.

Christian regains consciousness on the coldness of his cell floor, he remains lifeless starring at the ceiling watching a flake of ash float down from the ceiling.

Natalie:

Get up Christian.

He rushes to sit up, scanning the room to find the source of the voice he’d just heard. Though, the room remains empty.

CHRISTIAN MANSELL (V/O)

Maybe they were right about me.

Christian sees a flake of ash drop down on his hand, he looks up once again to see many flakes surrounding him to the point where the room had appeared to be raining ash.

Christian Mansell (v/o)

Pull yourself together, Christian. This isn't possible. It can't be real.

Christian stands up waving his hand through the ash, trying to see clear. He peers his eyes to see smoke building from the gap beneath the door. Startled he begins to bang on his cell door, trying to contact the guards.

CHRISTIAN MANSELL

Hey! Open up! Let me out of here!

Christian grabs his blanket from the bed attempting to cover the gap. The room still fills with smoke, struggling to breathe, he begins with a wheezing cough. He grabs the door trying to pry it open, though the heat from the door burns his hand with a searing pain.

Natalie:

It's ok Christian.

Christian turns around to see Natalie standing in front of him. He forgets entirely about the fire.

Christian Mansell

Natalie?

NATALIE

It's me, baby.

CHRISTIAN MANSELL

Are you real?

Natalie slowly walks towards him, grabbing his hand placing it softly against her cheek.

Christian Mansell (cont'd)

But i buried your remains from the fire.

The room catches alight, but neither Christian or Natalie take their eyes off one and other. Natalie slowly makes her way to Christian kissing him on the lips.

8. EXT. Sheol - Lake. Day.

Christian and Natalie stand kissing on the middle of a small island in the middle of a lake. Natalie highlighted by the sun is wearing the wedding dress her mother had passed down to her. Christian wears his military uniform.

Christian slowly pulls away from her lips to open his eyes to discover the location.

CHRISTIAN MANSELL

The lake? how'd you?

NATALIE:

Remember when we were kids we'd come here? I always thought this is where we'd get married.

CHRISTIAN MANSELL

What is this?

NATALIE:

Does it matter? You're free, we can be happy again, like before. We can forget everything and start again.

CHRISTIAN MANSELL

Am i dead?

Natalie makes her way to the water, lightly brushing her hand against the swell.

NATALIE:

Who's to say what death is.. Maybe we're finally alive, we have no vessel of flesh holding us back, there is no such notion of death here.

Natalie dives into the water.

CHRISTIAN MANSELL

Natalie!

Christian panicked dives in after Natalie. He sees her with her eyes shut drifting downward into the water with a calming smile on her face. Christian wraps his arms around her.

9. EXT. SHEOL - Hilltops. Night.

Christian and Natalie are teleported from the lake to be now rolling down a hill together. Natalie laughing hysterically, while Christian appears worried and confused to what exactly had just happened. He slowly makes his way up off the ground to find Natalie seated at a two person dining table under a tree in the middle of a field.

NATALIE:

You thought I would drown?

She pours Christian and herself a glass of wine.

CHRISTIAN MANSELL

You can't swim.

NATALIE

I don't need to be able to.

Christian takes a seat across from Natalie.

CHRISTIAN MANSELL

You're no longer afraid?

NATALIE

There's no need for fear. I was afraid of the water as i feared drowning, and ultimately death. But without the consequent of dying, fear does not exist.

Christian Mansell

This is heaven?

NATALIE

This is whatever we make it. Don't you see baby? We can finally be happy, this world can be our paradise.

CHRISTIAN MAnSELL

I've missed you so much.I thought I'd never see you again.

NATALIE

I've been watching you,Christian. Everyday since that day.

CHRISTIAN MANSELL

What happened that day? I got home...

NATALIE

I never left you, not once. You have no idea how hard it was to watch you without you knowing that i was there.

CHRISTIAN MANSELL

Natalie, what happened that day? the day of the fire?

NATALIE

It doesn't matter, I'm glad what happened, happened.

CHRISTIAN MANSELL

It does to me, I need to know.

NATALIE

You know me. I left the stove on and fell asleep on the bed. I never would have made a good mother.

CHRISTIAN MANSELL

The stove. So many nights i couldn't sleep. I ran through every possible answer of that day, so many times.

NATALIE

Christian, your nose.

Christian looks down at the white table cloth to see red splotches of blood. He wipes his nose.

CHRISTIAN MANSELL

What's happening?

Natalie's nose appears to be also bleeding, though she ignores in panic.

NATALIE

You need to go.

Natalie anxiously rises from the table, looking out into the distance.

CHRISTIAN MANSELL

Natalie, what's going on?

NATALIE

You need to leave now. Christian don't follow me, they'll find us if we're together. I'll find you when they're not on our trail.

CHRISTIAN MANSELL

What are you saying? who's following us? Don't leave me again, please Natalie.

NATALIE

I'm sorry.

Natalie vanishes in thin air, while Christian remains standing by the table. He looks around anxiously. The sky turns black and the ground seems to cover in fog. Off in the distance is a dark figure emerging from the fog, holding what seems to be a staff lit with a flame.

10. EXT. Sheol - Woods. NIGHT.

Christian breathing rapidly fearfully sprints through the woods, afraid of the creature that follows. He trips over falling to the ground. Breathing heavily he tightly closes his eyes to afraid to open them.

11 EXT. SHEOL - GALLIPOLI Trenches. Night.

Christian opens his eyes to find he lies in the trenches of gallipoli.. He hears footsteps and a deep growling sound coming from over the trench. One hand covers his mouth as he attempts to remain completely still and quiet. Christian shuts his eyes tightly.

12. EXT. FLASHBACK - GALLIPOLI Trenches. Day.

Christian's is lined at the front of the trench with the next row of men being called to attack. The gun goes off and he remains frozen with his eyes tightly shut in the trench as the rest of the men head over into slaughter.

Sargent

Private! Private Mansell!

The Sargent points his pistol directly at Christian's head, where he just sits frozen shaking in fear, clutching at his fiances photograph.

Sargent

If you don't head over that trench I'll be forced to put a bullet in your head!

The Sargent then pulls back trigger to prepare to shoot.

13. EXT. SHEOL - GALLIPOLI TRENCHES. NIGHT.

The creature jumps intp the trench, landing in front of Christian, causing him to open his eyes and lock sight with it. The creature then lets out a loud screech as it places its talons onto Christians forehead.

14. INT. Fremantle Prison cell. night.

. Christian awakens on his cell floor. Once again he is too weak to move and lacks control of his body.
Christian slowly tries to get up onto his feet though fails. He then slowly crawls over to the food stuck to the floor, where Mr. Devlin had thrown it earlier that night. Starved, he then began to eat the food from off the floor.

CUT TO:

Christian grunting and wailing in pain as he tries to stand on two feet. He Holsters himself up by stabilizing himself with his bed. Mr. Devlin opens Christian's cell door to check why there was all this noise.

Warden Devlin

There we go again sulking like a fucking dog. Why are you up again, making all this noise for?

Christian collapses on the floor, unable to get up. Devlin slowly makes his way over to him, to crouch down beside him.

WARDEN DEVLIN (CONT'D)

Your pathetic, scum like you and the rest of the animals out there shit me.

Devlin sniffs Christian.

WARDEN DEVLIN (CONT'D)

What a waste of life. You know what i do to my bitch of a dog, when i smell her shit in my presence?

Devlin drags Christian over to the toilet bowl, causing Christian to moan from pain.

WARDEN DEVLIN (CONT'D)

I rub her fucking nose in it.

Christian grabs the side of the bowl, trying to hold his head back.

CHRISTIAN MANSELL

Plea.. plea.. please..

Devlin dunks Christian's head into the bowl, holding it down.

15. EXT. SHEOL - LAKE. RAINY DAY.

Christian's head rises from under the water of the lake, though he is dragged back down.

16. INT Fremantle prison cell. night.

Devlin pulls Christian's head up from the bowl.

Warden Devlin

You make me sick to even look at!

Once again, Devlin forces Christian's head under.

17. EXT. Sheol - Lake. Rainy Day.

Christian's head comes up from under the lake.

CHRISTIAN MANSELL

Natalie! Natalie!

He makes his way to the island, where he collapses and slowly pushes himself over onto his stomach. Then after catching his breath he stands up, frantically peering around for Natalie.

CHRISTIAN MANSELL

Natalie! Where are you, i need you!

Natalie appears out of nowhere from behind.

NATALIE

Baby, I'm here. I'm sorry.

CHRISTIAN MANSELL

Why'd you leave me?

NATALIE

I had to, i had no other choice.

CHRISTIAN MANSELL

Those thing's, what are they? and what do they want with us?

NATALIE

It's hard to explain.

CHRISTIAN MANSELL

What do they want?

NATALIE

I'm not sure, I've heard stories but no one knows (distress). No one that's been caught has ever come back.

CHRISTIAN MANSELL

Come back from where?

NATALIE

Some think they take the souls to the unknown, the true death.

CHRISTIAN MANSELL

Natalie, one caught me.

NATALIE

What do you mean?

CHRISTIAN MANSELL

I don't know. I don't think I'm actually dead, i don't think I'm meant to be here. It touched me and i was returned to my body.

Christian's feels a drop of blood land on his hand, he looks down to see the drop. Then looks back up at Natalie, who is unaware of the gather behind her that emerged from out of the water.

CHRISTIAN MANSELL

Natalie! behind you!

The gatherer wraps its arms around Natalie, engulfing her in the darkness of it's cloak. Another appears behind Christian grabbing the back of his forehead.

18. INT. Fremantle prison cell. night

Christian awakens on his cell floor, forcing himself with every bit of energy that he had to stand on two feet.

CHRISTIAN MANSELL

Natalie! Natalie! Natalie!

He bangs his fists against his cell door, alerting Devlin who comes rushing down the corridor, and opens Christian's cell to have the bucket of feces thrown into his face.

Warden Devlin

Oh you little shit! I'm gonna fucking ring your neck.

Devlin pulls his bat out of his holster and starts pounding Christian half to death.

Warden Devlin

Are you fucking happy?!

CHRISTIAN MANSELL

please, please just kill me!

Devlin continues to viciously beat Christian with his bat. Loud cracks of his ribs are evident to them breaking.

Warden Devlin:

Is this what you want! This pain make you feel better about burning your fucking girl alive!

Christian shoots Devlin in the leg with his own gun. Devlin shocked, grabs at his holster with no gun.

CHRISTIAN MANSELL

I didn't kill her, I loved her. I do blame myself for her death though... and that's why i ran from the fire. She killed herself, because of me.

Warden Devlin

Oh god! oh fuck! you shot me in the fucking leg!

CHRISTIAN MANSELL

Shut the fuck up. You're listening to my bullshit for a change. While i was off at Gallipoli, she was alone. She wanted a baby so bad,she just wanted to be a mother, but she couldn't. I came home from the war and she was still alone. I turned into my fucking father, always drinking, not giving a shit how she felt. Now that i'm realizing this it's too late isn't it?

Christian slowly moves the gun up, pointing it at Devlin's head, who is now pushed up against the closed cell door, trying to hold the wound that leaks with blood.

WARDEN DEVLIN

What are you going to do now, kill me? there's no way you can escape.

CHRISTIAN MANSELL

No, you don't deserve to die. I'd prefer you rule in this hell before spending a second in paradise... I'm gonna save my wife.

Christian turns the gun to his head and pulls the trigger.

Darkness.

CHRISTIAN MANSELL (V/O)

They say when you die you see a white light, or your life flashes before your eyes... they were wrong. I know you wish you could see through my eyes right now. If i could I'd let you. But, we both know you're not ready. Not until your time has come... You're expected to have faith.
 
Top