Thursday, 29 March 2012

First draft of script from Tim Burton's forthcoming film - 'The Lonely Story of Winston St. Sadness, the Boy with a Thistle for a Brain'

The following should be read with Johnny Depp as Winston, Helena Bonham Carter as Gloria and Christopher Walken as The Sad Toymaker. Music by Danny Elfman.

ext. the church garden, night time

The shot pans across the church garden, showing the gnarled up trees and moss-covered tombstones. Snow is falling and children are playing in the streets, separated from the garden by a tall, cobbled wall. The camera focuses on one snowflake, following it as it is blown on the breeze through the garden.


Winter is a magical time of year,
See all the wonder that's happening here.
Children playing out in the crisp, white wonderland of snow,
As it falls in blankets on the streets asleep below,

The snowflake floats just above and out of reach of a group of children building a snowman.


Creating life from frozen stars that have fallen to earth,
Building snowmen and snow-women that are adults from birth,

A family walks past, a child holding hands with both parents, and the parents smiling to one another as they pass the children building snowmen.


Wrapped up warm in their coats and their hats and their gloves,
Knowing Christmas is coming, which everyone loves

The shot follows the snowflake still as it loops up in the airs and then slowly falls to land on the small window facing up from the basement.


But for some people winter is not so much fun,
For some people, the winter is solemn and glum.

Behind the window we see a small boy's face pressed up against the glass, looking at the snowflake as it lands directly on the glass in front of his nose. He is small and pale, with unruly, wiry black hair that sticks up and out, unkempt. His complexion is smooth, and it is noticeable that he is made of wood. His eyes are dark - one is a shiny coin, the other is a button, but both are full of wonder.

int. the church basement

The room is small and dark, the shot starts wide at the door and slowly zooms in to focus on the small boy staring out of the window.


Down in the basement, below the old church,
In the dark shadows cast by the wizened old birch,
Lived Winston St Sadness, a half-child-half-toy,
Whose previous owner was a mean little boy

Winston stands up shakily, the shot focuses on his feet which consist of one bare wooden foot and one leg ending in a roller-skate nailed in at the ankle, and pans slowly up over Winston, as we see he has wooden legs, wearing red shorts and a white buttoned up shirt, with black braces and a red bow-tie.


When Damien Meanie had Winston for playtime,
He dragged him around in the mud in the daytime,
For Damien thought that Winston was not
As cool as a skateboard, or ball or robot.

FLASHBACK "One year ago":

int. Damien's garden

Damien is seen dragging Winston through the mud and throw him down on the ground, a close up shot shows Winston's face covered in mud but with a huge smile painted on still.

Back to present


So at Christmas when Damien had one wish to pick,
He used his to play such a mean little trick.

We see Winston hobble (stepping with one foot, dragging the other along on its wheels) over to a little table and sit down, lighting a candle and warming his hands for a little too long - he singes his finger and jumps back, tumbling as the wheels move underneath his roller-skate foot. He lands on the floor and looks at the black burn mark on his little finger.


He wished life for Winston, but not quite completely,
Then discarded the toy, not safely or discreetly


ext. street outside church

Damien runs along parallel to the wall, then looks around a and pulls Winston out from under his coat, and throw him high over the church wall, then runs off.


Merely threw him away, up and over a wall,
Where he lay for a week, no-one noticed at all,
And the saddest part was, that the wish had come true,
He was just as alive as me, him, it, or you.

A close up on Winston's still smiling face, but with a tear rolling down the cheek as he lies in the snow outside the church.


Now Winston, you see, had a heart in his chest,
And when he thought of Damien, he always thought best,
Convinced that he'd come back, he lay there for days,
Until realising the error of his ways.

Winston slowly gets to his feet, and hobbles toward the church, but falls and tumbles down the stairs, and does a clumsy backward roll through a shoddy, unlocked door that swings open as he hits it.


Winston learned to survive on his own in the basement,
While wondering where in the world was his placement,
While for now he'd resigned to his life all alone,
He longed that one day he'd call somewhere else 'home'.


Winston sighs and picks up a photo album marked "Family Members", opens it up and reveals there are no photos, just sheets of sandpaper. He removes on and starts to rub at his finger, removing the singed part. The camera moves across to Winston's wrist, up his arms to his head, showing several places where the wood has clearly been sanded back.


But 'till then he'd be sad, but then again how,
Could Winston have known that 'one day' would be now?

There is a knock at the door, and we see that the door has been repaired since he arrived. Winston slowly hobbles toward the door, and we see a glow coming from underneath it.


Who is it?


Asked Winston, only slightly afraid,
As the light from his candle was starting to fade.


Let me in, I implore you!


The second voice asked,
Winston unlocked the door and opened it fast.

At the door stands a ragdoll, propping herself up with a red and white striped candycane, followed by a large black spider wearing glasses and lipstick.


I'm so sorry to bother you, but I've looked all around,
I almost gave up - you're hard to be found!
My name is Gloria, I'm a little out of breathe,
It's so cold and snowy, my feet are all wet.

Winston's face is shocked, as he surveys Gloria - she has indeed got wet feet, and he can see stitches on her elbows and legs where she too had been fixed.


But I'm here for a reason, I've come here for you,
You have to come with me, there's so much to do


But I'm lonely and sad, Gloria, what use am I?
All I do is stare longingly, sometimes I cry.
Forgive me if your words don't go straight into my head
Where I should have a brain, there's a thistle instead.


Well that's just what we need, things have really got bad,
The toymaker who made you, he's ever so sad,
So I've come here to get you, you must think I'm mad -


But she wasn't, you see, for I'm really their dad.

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