Wednesday, 23 November 2011INDEX

Brief Encounter of The Third Kind
This is a treatment for a film script I could write (or produce in collaboration with other writers).

The background is very steam train heavy. Lots of steam trains since there are many steam railways run by enthusiasts and it might be possible to get access to their system at a reasonable cost. The project would also need a disused railway station, a sand pit in a park (with a nearby path big enough for an ice cream van) and a hill with a railway line running up it (Snowdonia would be nice but might be expensive).

The kernel is boy meets alien (or dreams alien). Falls in love. Lips quiver. He obsessively starts to build train shaped sculptures (for example a train shaped sandcastle in a sandpit). Meanwhile everywhere he goes he hears a set of five to eight notes and sees people with bent arms moving them backwards and forwards in a co-ordinated way like children playing trains. The ice cream van, for example plays the five to eight note refrain while he is creating the train sandcastle.

The film starts with images of pipes being oiled, clearly overheating. The pipes thrash about in a frenetic way as old fashioned steam piping does but the camera is so close it is impossible to see any context. Eventually as the tension builds the viewpoint shifts to a billowing white cloud, through which a steam engine appears.

It concludes with a meeting as a railway station on top of a hill at which the two star crossed lovers decide that cultural differences are just too great and their love can never be consummated (apart from anything their plumbing works in such radically different ways making such an event quite impossible). It ends with the alien departing on the train.

Along the way there is a psychiatrist who says the leading character (let us call him Trevor Howard) is mad, police officers who chase him to a field where wide eyed locals have gathered to watch the ghost train pass by and a station tea room where Trevor imagines he entertains the alien (let us call it Celia Johnson) and she seems to take embodiment.

Posted by Jonathan Brind at 08:24
Wednesday, 23 November 2011INDEX