Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Final Short Film Treatment

Logline: An old man that is stuck in the past tries to change modern youth by radical means.

An old house with a neat front lawn. An old man wearing khaki pants, a navy blazer, and a duck billed hat steps out of the front door onto a wooden porch. He relaxingly closes the door, walks onto the sidewalk and proceeds to begin his daily tasks.

The old man walks casually down the street, calmly observing the neighborhood around him. He glances over to the other side of the street and sees a pair of young kids playing with a handheld game, eagerly looking over each other’s shoulders. A deflated red ball sits just a few meters away from where they are sitting on the sidewalk.

A red ball is kicked. Children’s laughter is heard.

The old man, slightly disappointed, continues on his walk as he does everyday. This is nothing new to him.

The man arrives at old fashioned coffee shop. He lethargically opens the door. The waiter behind the counter says to the old man “good morning Bob” the old man replies “good morning”. “black coffee like always?”. “Yes, thank you”. The waiter then asks him “Are you sure you don’t want to try our new espresso?” The old man grunts. The old man takes out some crumpled old dollars and places them on the counter. The waiter puts the daily newspaper on the counter in exchange. The old man takes the seat of his choosing. The waiter puts a napkin and his coffee on the table. He grabs the daily newspaper, and opens it up. In the corner of the of his eye he sees a group of people paying without giving a tip. He waves the page in front of him to reestablish his vision.

The old man is sitting in a park playing chess with a friend. He moves his queen in place and declares checkmate. In the background, kids are playing basketball. Suddenly, a basketball strikes the chessboard. A teenager runs past the two old men to retrieve the ball. The two old men yell in protest but the kids smirk and continue their pick up game.

The old man opens up the front door to his house and hangs up his jacket. Immediately an old phone begins to ring. He walks into the kitchen and picks up the phone. His son tells him how he and his son are supposed to come over that same day. He walks over to the refrigerator, glancing at some old photos. In passing his son asks about how that computer he sent him is working for him. The old man glances at a computer monitor sitting next to the garbage can in the front yard. The old man says fine.

The old man opens the front door for the dad and his son to walk in. The kid is texting on his phone even as his dad tells him to put it away. They exchange greetings.

At the dinner table dad and grandpa quietly eats while the kid is still texting on his phone. Dad seems to not be disturbed with his son texting at the table. Old man firmly asks the kid to put his phone away and that its rude to be on the phone at the dinner table. The kid reluctantly puts his phone on his lap. Dad suggests that the two of them go to the park together, for a little bonding time.

Old man and the kid are sitting a few feet away from each other on a park bench. The old man reaches into a small plastic bag and disperses some bird feed to the pigeon. The kids seems very bored and irritated. The old man offers the kid the bag, but instead he pulls out a gaming handheld. The old man turns back towards the birds and continues feeding them.

The kid is sitting in front of the TV set trying to set up his game console. The old man is sitting in his chair reading his paper. The front page talks about how “technology has ruined modern society”. However, when he looks to the rear of the TV set, he discovers that the game system is not compatible with the TV. The kid screams at the TV displaying static in frustration. Suddenly, the old man gets up, picks up the game console, and thrusts it on the floor. The kid, in utter awe and confusion, is yanked by his father while he is yelling at his dad (old man) about how . . .

The old man stands confused and unsure of himself as dad and son pack up to leave. The door closes on the old man, still dazed by the unfolding of events.


  1. Very specific story line with numerous encounters for the old man. Conflict, however, doesn't really seem shown. We see the old man going to all these places experiencing things that trigger his past, yet it just seems like the plot just drags on. Character development is shown, but we don't know too much of who this person is. Climax seems to sudden, as there really is no development leading into the ending. Overall, good story, tho lacks legitimate conflict.

  2. As i read through this I cant help but feel overwhelmed by the building up emotion Bob feels. The genre i can see is drama as there is conflict between Bobs reality and modern societies reality.

    In terms of 3 act structure, to me it was really clear what the problem was at first. We could only assume at the beginning based on the interaction with the little kids sitting down that he might have a problem with kids but otherwise, only by watching through the entire movie could we understand the full problem the man has. The problem is introduced at the end when he says his line that technology has corrupted society. For the build up where he has constant interactions with these hooligans and technology, especially with his relatives coming over, the movie Gran Torino popped into my mind. The main character in your concept and in Gran Torino each despise the community around them and its at the ending of the films where they both go out with a bang. Your ending is less climactic then Gran Torino but the same emotion is translated to the audience.

    For character and conflict, like i said before, it is not made clear at first. But its at the end where it all matters because the ambiguity throughout the film allows for the audience to focus more. It a very good idea for character and conflict but maybe a little more devolopment on why Bob feels that technology isnt necessary to society.