July 31, 2018
The Bellevue Bicycle Bandit,
An Unfinished Project
This summer, my brother Jonah and I developed a screen-write for a short film.
We filmed the first scene with some friends, but ran out of time to film any more.
Despite our failure to produce the movie, we are excited to share the script with an audience.
Here are a couple notes to help you enjoy the script:
INT/EXT means Enter and Exit.
Each new clip or piece of footage is designated numerically.
The story is about forgiveness. Jonah and I want to point something out about forgiveness. Forgiveness does not necessarily mean that justice isn't delivered. Forgiveness requires sacrifice, one way or another. If a law is broken or a crime is committed, someone must pay the respective price.
Without further ado,
INT Berkly Park (Evening)
A black screen opens to Lester riding his bike on a trail.
Lester stops to look for birds.
He parks his bike and walks towards a thicket.
Something obstructs the camera’s view, and a chicken replaces the bike.
A new perspective displays the chicken’s detail and Lester walking back to where the bike was.
He notices someone and starts sprinting.
Lester is running down the road and the camera catches a glimpse of a jacketed thief biking away.
(running to tree stump where Girl with Book sits)
“Did you get a good look at the guy?”
GIRL WITH BOOK
A quick camera pan shows a WANTED-sign pinned on a nearby tree.
Lester waves his fist.
The camera gives a perspective from above Lester.
He reads the sign.
“The bicycle bandit?
I’m gonna bust you, bike bandit!”
The title is displayed:
THE BELLEVUE BICYCLE BANDIT
INT Forest (Noon)
A black screen opens to a map.
Lester puts the map in his pocket and begins walking through a forest.
INT Berkley Park
Lester wears a dark blue shirt and walks past children playing soccer and riding bikes.
He is angry and sweaty.
(sitting at table, wearing orange and selling oranges)
“What’s shaking, Lester?”
(putting money on the counter)
“I’m trying to find the guy that sole my bike.”
(handing Lester an orange)
“Oh! I hope you find him,”
“pleasure doing business with you."
(eating orange slice)
EXT Berkley Park
A song plays as four different shots display Lester knocking on doors and asking people questions.
In an animation, the screen displays dots appearing on Lester’s map.
Lounging on a couch in a red blouse, Jane peers out her window through black binoculars.
Through the glass, she spies Detective Lester on the road.
Lester is standing in front of Jane’s door.
He is tired and sad.
The animated dots stop at Jane’s house on the map.
Jane hears a knock on her door.
INT Jane’s Living Room
Can I help you?”
My name is Lester.
I was wondering if you had any info on the chicken robber,”
Jane is just as confused.
“hold up, you don’t know about the chicken robber?”
(shaking her head)
“He steals chickens?”
You actually don’t know who I’m talking about?
He was in today’s headline!
He’s got a price on his head, too."
Lester holds out a newspaper
“This guy has stolen all kinds of stuff from the residents of Bellevue:”
Multiple shots display the evidence for each theft.
“Petty cash, forty-something pearls, two diamonds, a radio system.
They call him the chicken robber because–"
A shot shows chicken being placed on grassy ground.
“he replaces the stolen items with chickens."
(shaking his head)
“I’m so mad at this guy!”
“You know what they say: the crooks all have excuses for the things they do, even if what they do seems terrible."
“I don’t want excuses.
I want justice."
“Anyway, let me get you something to drink, you look parched."
The two walk in.
The camera pans across the room’s interior.
(pouring Lester water)
“You can have a seat by the counter.
So, why are you so intent on getting this guy, anyway?”
“Well, you see, the chicken robber stole my bike."
“Oh! I’m–I’m sorry to hear that."
The camera comes in close on Lester’s face.
“And it was a special bike too, black and white, with all-terrain tires.
I was out in the park looking for a rare bird when it happened."
“When I came back to where I had left my bike, all I could find was a stupid chicken."
“When did this happen to you?”
“Why do you care?”
I was just curious."
Camera pans to a chicken coup outside the backdoor of Jane’s living room.
“I think I’m on the wrong street.
Nobody around here knows a thing about the chicken robber."
Chickens gobble outside.
“Wait a minute,”
Jane is shown very worried.
“where were you Friday morning?”
Jewelry lies on the kitchen counter.
Jane says nothing.
Lester comes into the camera’s focus and attentively examines Jane.
“Where were you Friday morning?”
“Get out of my house, Lester."
Lester runs out the back door to see the chickens.
“You have so many chickens.
And this one looks exactly like the one that I saw in the park!”
“You really have to leave.
My parents will throw a fit if they see I let you in."
I’m not trying to get you in jail, I just want my bike back.
You can’t blame me–I have to suspect you as the chicken robber.
Everyone else is too innocent around here anyways."
Lester points outside, where Crosby is saving a cat that was stuck in a tree.
56, 57, 58
As the two walk inside, a new perspective shows the two and then begins to zoom in on Jane’s face.
Two more shots are new angles on the past bike-stealing event.
Lester, I stole your bike.
But I’m NOT the chicken burglar.
Friday morning, I slept in way too late.
I jumped out of bed, fed my chickens, and then ran to the bus stop.
I had twelve absences already and I knew that if I got one more, I was gonna get whipped.
I missed the bus and hopped on your bike.
It was just sitting there in Berkly Park and no one was around so I jumped on.
Oh! I must’ve spilled some of my chicken food on the ground.
That would explain the chicken."
“Okay, so where is it?”
60, 61, 62
As Jane speaks, two new shots display Jane biking and then crashing.
“I raced towards the school.
But, on my way, I crashed.
Lester, your bike tumbled down the Bellevue mountain.
I’m so sorry."
“Forget it all."
Crosby walks by the window outside.
“Will you forgive me?”
Lester looks down at the floor and Jane appears anxious.
I forgive you.
I get it now–if I had been in your situation, maybe I would’ve done the same exact thing.
You know what they say, the crooks all have excuses for the things they do!”
(relaxing and smiling)
“This doesn’t mean your not going to help me pay for a new bike!”
A loud noise echoes through the room.
“What was that?”
The camera follows Jane and Lester to the garage.
EXT Living Room
A man in a black cape is setting a chicken down on the floor.
“The chicken burglar!”
"He's stealing my dad's telescope!
Lester grabs a wrench off a table.
The man in black sweeps Lester’s legs.
The burglar looks down at Lester and is preparing to step on him when Jane knocks him on the head with her binoculars.
“Yeah, of course I am."
Jane helps Lester up.
“So, who is this chicken burglar?”
Lester takes off the thief’s mask.
(with confidence, to Jane)
“It’s usually the ones you least expect."
INT Bellevue Trail
“It wasn’t easy.
After missing so many days, catching up was hard!
But, I ended up getting an A-minus in History!”
(with a smile)
“That’s great, Jane!”
Lester frowns as kids bike by.
The camera abruptly halts in its tracking.
“This is where I crashed."
The camera pans over the edge of the cliff and then stops.
A bike is shown, dangling by the grasp of a few vines.
The camera shows a perspective from below the two.
“Wait, that’s it!”
“Right there, that’s my bike.
It didn't fall all the way down.
We can still get it!"
A shot from the side of the trail displays the two bringing the bike up to the road.
“Go on, have at it!”
The picture fades to black as Lester bikes away.
the first scene in its rough form
Bellevue Newspaper, hand-tailored for the project
by Ellie S.
Matthew 18: 21-35:
“Then Peter came and said to Him, "Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?" Jesus said to him, "I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.
"For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves. When he had begun to settle them, one who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him. But since he did not have the means to repay, his lord commanded him to be sold, along with his wife and children and all that he had, and repayment to be made. So the slave fell to the ground and prostrated himself before him, saying, 'Have patience with me and I will repay you everything.' And the lord of that slave felt compassion and released him and forgave him the debt. But that slave went out and found one of his fellow slaves who owed him a hundred denarii; and he seized him and began to choke him, saying, 'Pay back what you owe.' So his fellow slave fell to the ground and began to plead with him, saying, 'Have patience with me and I will repay you.' But he was unwilling and went and threw him in prison until he should pay back what was owed. So when his fellow slaves saw what had happened, they were deeply grieved and came and reported to their lord all that had happened. Then summoning him, his lord said to him, 'You wicked slave, I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. Should you not also have had mercy on your fellow slave, in the same way that I had mercy on you?' And his lord, moved with anger, handed him over to the torturers until he should repay all that was owed him. My heavenly Father will also do the same to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart."”