Thursday, 24 March 2016

The Sky Beneath Our Feet written by Milan Schere


THE SKY BENEATH OUR FEET is a science fiction love story about space exploration and the difficulties of long distance relationships.
Full proof of concept shooting script available here: https://gumroad.com/l/czmNS

Page 1

1 EXT. CITY. DAY

ESTABLISHING SHOT: TORONTOKYO WITH SPACE ELEVATOR
Tomorrow, leading nations will be run by large corporations and company executives will replace government officials. Every power country has a space elevator, after Disnemerika has shown them all how to physically create one. Being the only territory to own two. They are constructed from top to bottom, utilizing natural gravity forces for stabilization in the building process.


We take in a beautiful warm opening shot of the city with the space elevator visible in the background. The word TOMORROW fades in briefly at the bottom and just as it fades out again, two K'harg ships swoosh by the camera, creating a camera shake. Their heat waves distort the air behind them.

SKY SHOT: TRACKING ALONG AIRCRAFTS
Camera follows the invaders as one after the other opens fire.

UP SHOT: FOLLOWING LISA'S HEAD-MOVEMENT
Star shaped alien flight vessels attack the city from the air. Colour temperature fades into a cool tint. Camera follows missiles as they hit. The explosion creates dark smoke, which quickly engulf the screen.

HAND-HELD STEADY CAM: AS CONTINUOUS VFX SHOT

LISA is sneaking around, dodging alien fighter ships that swoosh by and generally trying to remain in the shadows. While resting between dirty ruins, LISA pulls out her iPhone and holds it tightly in her left hand. The display is flashing a no incoming mail icon.

FEMALE COMPUTER VOICE
You have zero new SpaceCom messages



2 EXT. SPACE. NIGHT

WIDE: CAMERA CENTERED ON SPACE ACCELERATION RING GATE (S.A.R.G.) BY GLIESE. PLANET NOT IN FRAME. CAMERA STARTS PIVOTING TO SCREEN RIGHT AROUND S.A.R.G. WHILE PUSHING IN SLOWLY.

Symbols on S.A.R.G. start lighting up blue. Whirring sound begins (Yes, a sound in outer space, sorry).

MEDIUM CLOSE UP: WE STOP MOVING AND HOLD ON PROFILE VIEW OF S.A.R.G.
Four Space Command ships shoot through the gate screen left to screen right in evenly spaced time intervals, and slow down into formation. These spaceships are spherical in design but not smooth. They have multiple levels of metal parts in various shapes and sizes, with the same type of symbols as seen on the gate's surface.

SLOW DRIFT AROUND SHIPS WITH A SLIGHT PIVOT TO SCREEN RIGHT

The formation is first a queue then the leading ship becomes the spearhead as Gliese comes into frame.


 

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Page 2

3 EXT. FARM. DAY

WIDE SHOT: CAMERA REVEALS FARM ENVIRONMENT WITH DISTANT CITY IN BACKGROUND
We see girl wandering around the farm property and fields.

(Piano melody background music starts playing.)
 
It is a hot summer day and she is wearing a dress.

LISA (VOICEOVER)
Growing up outside of the city
walls, I have always had enough
distance from the space elevator,
not to be really interested in any
of its implications.
 
 When she stops and looks up we consciously take in the distant city for the first time, and also get a glimpse at the girl's face.



Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Page 3

4 EXT. ROADSIDE. DAY
 
LONG SHOT: FROM ACROSS THE ROAD


LISA loaded with an extremely large hiking backpack and an iPad in her hand is leaving home to move to the city. She is waiting for a transporter.


LISA (VOICEOVER)
That was...

SEAMLESS TRANSITION AS A CAR PASSES BY FROM SCREEN LEFT




5 EXT. DOWNTOWN. DAY
 
LONG SHOT: FROM ACROSS THE STREET


As vehicle exits frame right, LISA is revealed. She arrived in the city, wearing the same clothes as before. LISA is framed in the identical composition as in the previous countryside departure shot. It is a busy Dundas Square morning rush. Everything is in motion while she stays rooted to the same spot.

LISA (VOICEOVER)
...until I met him...




JOHN stops next to LISA while he's staring at one of the large digital screens playing a Space Command advert.


LISA (VOICEOVER) (cont'd)
...and believed that by devoting
myself to whatever he loved, he
would love me back.

He is completely sucked into the commercia with his full attention span. Soldiers have become the sports superstars and celebrated athletes of society, and companies are ruling the earth, sponsoring heroes of war, like football players used to be. The advertisements on the holographic billboards around the square display the names of the leading brands, which are merged enterprises based on old companies and organizations or governments: iCoke, Googlsoft/Microogle, BMVW, Canamac, Kraftlé, etc.
The image on the screen switches to a news flash progress report on the Space Acceleration gate Ring construction. We see motion graphics explaining the venture with an attractive news caster reporting on the latest developments.

REPORTER
...being able to transport 4.62
tons of mass per second through
space. After successful completion
Space Command anticipates to be
able to start the Gliese 581 C
exploration mission within less
than two years, planning to
colonize the planets nocturnal side
in a second wave as part of a yet
to be announced enterprise.

An animated Space Command logo pops up ending the infomercial and switching over to regular advertisement. John slowly escapes the trance and notices LISA for the first time, instant love at first sight striking him. She is equally fascinated by his focus and pretty much everything about him. There is no logic behind it but they hit it off.

MONTAGE: SERIES OF SHOTS DEPICTING THE DEVELOPMENT OF THEIR RELATIONSHIP OVER A SPAN OF MULTIPLE MONTHS


Monday, 21 March 2016

Page 4

6 INT. RESIDENCE. DAY

LISA and JOHN are sitting together filling out space command applications on their holographic dining table. He is very enthusiastic while she is visibly happy to see him so uplifted.

LISA (VOICEOVER)
I would not even have tried out for 
Space Command if it wasn't for him.

Like a little kid, JOHN has some space ship toys and is making them fly through the air, accompanied by shooting sound effects and everything.







7 EXT. INSTITUTE. DAY

JOHN exits large monolithic building, looking smug and grinning like a fool. He's wearing a tie but obviously doesn't really do that very often. They both just took the Space Command test. He is looking for LISA. His eyes are not searching for long before he spots her slumped onto a bench. He walks over to her, still quite happy with himself, assuming they both got the same results, or rather thinking that she probably performed better.

LISA (VOICEOVER)
Ironically, the very thing which kept us 
together for so long, ultimately tore us apart.

When she looks up, he can read a clear sign of devastation on her face. She was probably even crying earlier, before he showed up. All end of the world feelings bombard JOHN at once, as LISA shows him her test scores on her iPad:

Space Command evaluation
EARTH: SPACE ELEVATOR - Engineering

Now, he is reluctant to show LISA his and doesn't need to. She lowers her head again. As if there was a chance he might have misread his own scores, he checks his phone one more time. A tear runs down his cheek, as he stares off into empty space.

CLOSE UP: PUSH IN ON IPHONE SCREEN

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Page 5



The results say:

Space Command evaluation
GLIESE: SPACE FORCE - Scouting





8 INT.RESIDENCE. DAY

MEDIUM WIDE: SILHOUETTE SHOT WITH BED IN FRONT OF WINDOW
It is early morning. LISA sits up in bed.

LISA (VOICEOVER)
It felt much more comforting to 
know he could hop on a train and 
come over, instead of the finality 
presented by the distance of outer 
space.



9 INT. SPACE COMMAND BASE. DAY

MEDIUM CLOSE UP: CAMERA CREATES UNCOMFORTABLE CLOSENESS
JOHN gets out of bed and we see a quick succession of multiple close up shots showing him put on his uniform.

LISA (VOICEOVER)
Regardless of the situation's paradox 
reality, since we couldn't spend any time 
together once he received his uniform 
anyway.


10 EXT. SPACE ELEVATOR. DAY

WIDE: SPACE ELEVATOR DOORS FRAMED STATICALLY
JOHN enters the elevator. His back is facing the camera.

(Soft piano melody stops playing in background)


MEDIUM: FROM INSIDE THE ELEVATOR OVER THE SHOULDER
Through the elevator's large glass portions JOHN sees LISA run up. She is merely a few seconds too late. The elevator doors are closing. She puts her hand on the glass and frantically screams.

LISA
John!! John!!!

There is a short pause where both stare at each other deep into the eyes.

CLOSE UPS CUT BACK AND FORTH OF THEIR DESPERATE FACES

Saturday, 19 March 2016

Page 6



The weight of the true realization that he will never see her again finally crushes JOHN and makes him rethink his entire life in one quick moment. For once really understanding how much he actually loves and needs her, JOHN starts to panic, frantically banging on the elevator buttons, trying to pry doors open, etc but the launch mechanism has been activated already. It is too late. What he thought he wanted all his life suddenly doesn't appear so fulfilling anymore.

 
TWO-SHOT: FROM OUTSIDE
We see elevator starting to move.

(Cinematic orchestral music starts playing in background)




MEDIUM CLOSE UP: FROM INSIDE
JOHN
I will write you. Every day! I promise.


 

MEDIUM: SHOWING LISA
She's sobbing by now. In tears. Crumbling. Devastated.

LISA
Don't... go... .

She's almost whispering it. Pleading. They both know it's too late.




WIDE: CAMERA PANS UP
Elevator is speeding into space.

CUT





FLY BY: CAMERA MOVING ALONGSIDE SPACE ELEVATOR
CRASH ZOOM OUT


Friday, 18 March 2016

Page 7

11 EXT. SPACE STATION. DAY

FLY BY: CAM CONTINUES TO PULL OUT AND PAN LEFT TO WRITE
Space station is being revealed, as we pan by. Then four spherical spacecrafts, including JOHN's, launch and head for a S.A.R.G to the right. The symbols on the gate light up. The ships enter and disappear, leaving a faint supersonic fast blue trail. The space acceleration ring consists of a
series of large circular gates wich enable lightspeed travel by basically catapulting an object from one gate to the next. Their angle of orientation has to be carefully calculated. With the correct alignment multiple gates can be used in a sequence and anything can be sent great distances
at speeds greater than light. Having signed a military contract and committed to the mission, JOHN would have been court-marshalled if he had turned around attempting to ride the space elevator back down. Furthermore, this mission and by extent the future of the entire human race rests on his shoulders. As his logic and sense of responsibility slowly started returning, he forced himself to carry on.







 

12 EXT. DOWNTOWN. DAY

ESTABLISHING SHOT: TORONTOKYO WITH SPACE ELEVATOR
 

LISA (VOICEOVER)
We shared an unspoken connection
beyond words and for some reason I
just assumed that we would always
be together.



 

OVER THE HEAD: 3/4 DOWN SHOT: Busy Dundas Square with people crossing diagonally.


LISA (VOICEOVER)
And as one naivety tends to lead
the inexperienced right into the
next, I was also ignorant enough
not to understand the consequences
of poking a hornets nest. While
preparing to set out for the
battle, war has come right to our
doorstep without even bothering to
knock.

PAN OVER: FOLLOWING LISA'S HEAD-MOVEMENT
Star shaped alien flight vessels attack the city from the air.

LISA (VOICEOVER) (cont'd)
Respecting the nature of all things
in any throw-away
society-structure, a reboot always
appears more efficient over the
prospect of patching up a sinking
ship.

MONTAGE: EDITED AS CONTINUOUS VFX SHOT
LISA is sneaking around, dodging alien fighter ships that swoosh by and generally trying to remain in the shadows. When the military finally takes one down, LISA appears almost shocked. At first we think she's dazzled at the fact that her own people seem to be winning but once she starts
running it becomes apparent that the crash-landing star destroyer ship is headed her way. She makes a run for it and barely clears the deathly radius of the impact.
 

LISA (VOICEOVER) (cont'd)
With all the scars that experience
has to offer one clings onto any
hope of a future as if it was THE
almighty joker in a game
misunderstood by all players
involved.

Standing in the middle of the chaotic aftermath, LISA pulls out her phone to check her messages.

FEMALE COMPUTER VOICE
You have zero new SpaceCom
messages.
CUT



Thursday, 17 March 2016

Page 8



13 INT. COCKPIT. NIGHT
JOHN is busy pressing buttons on holographic displays all over. Motion Graphic controls are hovering in mid air. There is seemingly no cockpit and he appears to be floating in space between the stars.


JOHN (VOICEOVER)
Sadly, what we had is seemingly all
we're ever going to be able to
share.

JOHN starts moving has fingers in an irregular pattern, while letters start forming holographic words. He is typing.

CAM PULLS OUT
 

14 EXT. SPACE. NIGHT

WIDE: PULLOUT CONTINUES
The exterior of JOHN's spherical space ship becomes visible. It is a sophisticated dark but reflective alloy, that seems to have camouflage abilities, while the interior walls must consist of displays showing the pilot what's on the outside in every direction. The texture of the spaceship fades into the familiar metal with the symbols engraved, as seen at the beginning of the movie.

JOHN (VOICEOVER)
I don't know why I never told her
how I truly feel. Maybe I was just
too afraid it might all go away if
I start to acknowledge that it's
real.

The Space Command spaceships are designed in a spherical shape because this is the most perfect form from every aspect. The covering parts can shift in a complicated intricate pattern along the outer surface, depending on various specific situations but overall always remain
looking like a large floating ball.



 

15 EXT. CITY. DAY

MONTAGE: SEQUENCE OF URBAN CITY LIFE SHOTS
The human forces on earth have successfully fought of the previous K'harg attacks but with their main military force sent off to Gliese, everyone is starting to run out of stamina. There hasn't been an invasion in almost two months. Normality has almost re-entered everyday life between the ruins and devastation. For most at least. We observe LISA going about her regular business. Waiting for the train, picking up some take out food, etc.


LISA (VOICEOVER)
I thought I knew what I wanted,
until he entered my life. With him
gone it seems as if I had changed
while in fact it was the whole
world that had changed around me.

She once again checks her messages, like a bad habit or practically useless ritual.

 LISA (VOICEOVER) (cont'd)
Every single day, I promise myself
not to check but I can't. Even
though it's always the same
message.

FEMALE COMPUTER VOICE
You have zero new SpaceCom
messages.



Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Page 9

16 INT. RESIDENCE. NIGHT
LOCK-OFF CLOSE UP: FLOOR
It is evening. The sun has gone down but it is not dark yet. We hear the apartment door open and close, followed by the lights being turned on and the sound of keys being placed on a flat hard wooden surface. LISA places her shoes where the camera has been fixed all this time.


MEDIUM WIDE: CAPTURING MOST OF THE APARTMENT
LISA walks deeper into the room. Her back is towards the camera. She places today's take-out bag on the counter. Her place looks a bit worn.

 LISA (VOICEOVER)
I'm so proud of him. It must be the
absolute loneliest journey anyone
can possibly imagine. Drifting
through darkness by yourself,
uncertain what awaits you at the
other end.

Even though the authorities managed to reinstate the electricity, unfortunately there is still no running water. Against all hope LISA checks anyway but the faucet remains dry.





LISA (VOICEOVER) (cont'd)
Today, I am selfish enough to admit
I should never have let him go. If
I had just one more chance, I would
beg him to stay with me and the
hardships of our unknown world,
instead of chasing after the
answers in an over-sized universe.

She gets a gallon bottle of water out and fills a bowl with the over-priced filtered destilled water in order to wash her face. She has just finished and is right in the middle of looking for a towel when her iPad makes an unfamiliar beeping noise.


FEMALE COMPUTER VOICE
You have 729 new SpaceCom messages.

LISA freezes, backs up against the nearest wall, and slumps down onto the floor, first staring into space, then resting her head against her knees. The display is showing JOHN's full name accompanied by the letters "M.I.A." next to it.



LISA (VOICEOVER)
Seven years is a long time. Almost
enough to move on, including a few
failed attempts of forcing myself
to forget. Just when I thought I
was finally able to ignore what
happiness felt like.





 

17 EXT. GLIESE. DAY

ESTABLISHING SHOT: BEAUTIFUL GLIESE ENVIRONMENT WITH SPACE ELEVATOR IN DISTANCE


JOHN (VOICEOVER)
Dear Lisa, (pause) I'll probably be
halfway down our solar system by
the time you get this.

MEDIUM CLOSE UP: OVER THE SHOULDER
From inside the glass elevator we see the reflection of JOHN's face and the estonishing Gliese landscape, as we descend to the planet's surface.


LONG SHOT: BOTTOM OF SPACE ELEVATOR ENTRANCE
We see JOHN exiting and stopping for another moment to take it all in.


NATURE SHOT: GLIESE WILDLIFE


JOHN (VOICEOVER) (cont'd)
It is so pretty on Gliese. I wish
you could see it. Not through a
screen but in person. By my side.

WIDE: WE'RE ON A LUSH GREEN HILLTOP.

JOHN (VOICEOVER) (cont'd)
Earth looks so... civilized... from
space. Like there's some kind of
logic to it all. It's all so clear.
But you get down to the surface and
nothing makes sense anymore.

JOHN sits down on the grass, gets his iPad out, and starts typing.
JOHN (VOICEOVER) (cont'd)
All the history of human life has
been a struggle between wisdom and
stupidity.



18 INT. RESIDENCE. MAGICHOUR
 

LOCK-OFF CLOSE UP: CAMERA FIXED ON KEYS AS THEY LAY ON A FLAT HARD WOODEN SURFACE WITH WELL COORDINATED BUT SEEMINGLY RANDOM CLUTTER AROUND IT.
Female hand grabs keys from screen right to screen left.


 
(Sound of apartment door
opening and closing.)
LOCK-OFF CLOSE UP: CAMERA FIXED ON KEY HOLE.
LISA's hands lock door and exit frame.

(Sound of heavier fire door
opening and closing.)
 
LOCK-OFF CLOSE UP: STAIRWELL. CAMERA IS FIXED ON EMPTY
STEPS.

(Sound of quickly approaching
footsteps.) 
LISA runs by screen right to left.

(Sound of shoes hurrying up
staircase continues.)
 
CUT

19 EXT. ROOFTOP. MAGICHOUR
 

WIDE: PROFILE VIEW OF LISA. LISA stands at ledge, staring out into nothing in particular.


LISA (VOICEOVER)
When I read his messages, I
envisioned him all alone. And it
hurt.
MEDIUM OVER THE SHOULDER: OVERLOOKING DOWNTOWN ENVIRONMENT WITH SOME ADVERTISEMENTS AND FUTURISTIC DISPLAYS BUT QUITE A LOT OF THE CITY STILL IN RUINS. IT IS EARLY MORNING WITH THE SUN STARTING TO COME OUT AND THE LIGHTS STILL BEING ON.
LISA (VOICEOVER)
I stared at those words so
intensely it was as if I could feel
him through space and time.

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Page 10

MEDIUM WIDE: STAIRWELL DOOR FRAMED ON SCREEN RIGHT THIRD WITH SOME SUGGESTED SEMI-FUTURISTIC URBAN BACKGROUND AND DESTRUCTION. 
LISA walks across frame screen left to right. Camera pans up to the left into the sky as the lighting turns into morning.
 

 
SEAMLESS TRANSITION AS ONE CAMERA MOVE


20 EXT. GLIESE. DAY
ESTABLISHING SHOT: MATTE PAINTING
An abandoned old K'harg city located within a canyon.

CAM IS FOLLOWING JOHN
JOHN is exploring.


JOHN (VOICEOVER)
I never told you but my heart was
always pounding when we were
together. It made all the blood
race through my body like there was
some kind of world record to be
beat, while rendering me unable to
move. It's the same feeling I get
when I think of you now.
  

Sunday, 13 March 2016

Page 11

FULL SHOT: SEQUENCE
JOHN is hiking through the unknown Gliese terrain.
 



JOHN (VOICEOVER) (cont'd)
There are so many things I wanted
to tell you, so many things I
wanted to ask. In the end none of
them matter because I know how you
feel and there aren't any words
that could explain. You were in my
heart even before I met you. There
must have been an empty spot
reserved for you but when you
filled it, I knew I was complete.
 



21 EXT. DOWNTOWN. DAY
 

TWO-SHOT: SEQUENCE OF LOCK-OFFS
 

LISA, filled with determination, walking through the semi-destroyed Torontokyo concrete jungle.

 
 LISA (VOICEOVER)
If I was a dog, I would have been
wagging my tail every time we were
together. He made me so happy
simply by being there. 


She is taking in the devastation as she makes her way to her destination.


CUT