Film treatment- Saving Crackerjack


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I wrote this treatment to outline the storyline, characters and key events in my film 'Saving Crackerjack'.

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Film treatment- Saving Crackerjack

  1. 1. SAVING CRACKERJACK GEORGI AND CHARLI HONNOR A heart-warming tale told and narrated by an older woman about her childhood and the challenges she faced in her attempts to rescue a neglected horse.Characters:Old NancyThe story is told and narrated by her. She is between the ages of 70-90, has grey hair andcomplies to the old woman stereotype in that she reminisces the past. She is theprotagonist and is represented through the ages by three different actors. She is married toFred.Teenage NancyTeenage Nancy is a character our primary audience can relate to being in the same agegroup. She is aged between 14-15. She can ride horses very well. Teenage Nancy appears inthe later part of the film as it is young Nancy who rescues CrackerJack (horse).Young NancyShe features in the majority of the film. She is a young girl with dark hair and brown eyes.She loves horses and is the girl who rescues Cracker-Jack. She regularly sneaks out herhouse to go and see the horse. She becomes good friends with Fred (the horse’s owner’sson).Vera (Nancy’s mother)She is aged 30-35 and only features very little in the film, often in the scenes set in thehome. She’s protective and tells her daughter to stay away from the gypsies and theirhorses.
  2. 2. George (Nancy’s father)Aged between 30-35 and is also protective of Nancy. He also, like her mother, tells Nancy tostay away from the horse and the gypsies that own it.Young FredA young gypsy boy aged around eight with a scruffy appearance. He has weathered skin andsun-lightened hair. He becomes good friends with Nancy and they are both scared of hisfather Bo.Old FredHe is the older version of Young Fred. He is aged between 70-90 (will have to cast same orsimilar looking age to Nancy). He is married to Nancy and although an old man has adistinctive likeness to the actor playing younger Fred.Young EdieEdie is also aged 7-8. She has blonde hair and is Nancy’s best friend. She is less daring thanNancy and when out with both Fred and Nancy is the cautious one and questions theiractions.Scary Bo (Freddie’s father)Aged 40-45 he is the scary father of Fred and is also a gypsy. He too has a scruffyappearance and dark grubby hair. He is a man of a big-build and has a typical threateningappearance. He must have a deep and intimidating tone to his voice as he’ll be required toshout a lot. He is known by the village as ‘Scary Bo’.Lu (Freddie’s mother)We see little of her. She is also a gypsy and is ‘scary Bo’s’ wife. We often see her in thebackground cleaning up around the gypsy wagon. She has a whiny voice with a slight accentand is not well spoken. She is ditsy, a little dumb and blonde. She is aged 35-40 and has anaged appearance. She is the opposite of Nancy’s mother in that she is scruffy and doesn’tcare for her child.Bette (Edie’s mum)Only features once in the film, when she’s out looking for Edie. She is blonde like herdaughter and aged 25-30. She is loving and caring.Ed (Edie’s father)Aged between 30-35 he is also caring and loving. He has fair hair like his daughter Edie andonly features once in the film when out looking for his daughter.
  3. 3. Police officerTall, broad male who only features once in the film when bringing the news of Fred andcrackerjack’s future. We do not hear his voice so when casting will not need to concern overhow his voice sounds.Animal sanctuary workerFormal appearance, makes an unsuccessful attempt to save Cracker-Jack. Has light-darkbrown hair and wears a uniform.Who, what, when, where?Set in today’s day, we are acquainted to an old woman Nancy who narrates a story of herpast and rescuing her horse Cracker-Jack. The story starts in the early 1950s as Nancy is 8years old. She regularly hides apples and carrots in her schoolbag to take to themalnourished horse she finds. The horse belongs to a gypsy couple Bo and Lu. She is oftentold to stay away from the horse not only by its owners but by her parents. In the process ofbefriending the horse both her and her best friend Edie become friends with the Gypsycouples son Fred. Fred, like his horse is also terrified of Bo and wishes to escape. It is thethree young children who contact the animal sanctuary who can’t do anything forCrackerjack as Bo is uncooperative. It is then the children who spend days together oversummer devising an escape route on how to get Fred and crackerjack free. As time passesboth the horse and Fred grow well and happy. It is at the end of the film when Nancy’s storyends that we see Fred walk in to the room where Nancy is seated. As an old man, we learnthat Fred married Nancy as he shows her a black and white photo of their wedding day.ACT 1The story opens with footage of a teenage Nancy cantering her horse around open fields.
  4. 4. It is then that Old Nancy wakes up from her armchair. She uses a remote control to turn offthe television which has a programme covering a show jumping competition. It is this on thetelly that led her into remembering about her childhood and Crackerjack. She then standsup and walks to a mantelpiece and collects a photo of a young Nancy with a basket full ofapplesWe are introduced to vera.Vera: Nancy, put those apples on the shelf and get to school. Hurry, you’re going to be late.Nancy: Okay mum.Nancy then sneaks a few apples into her backpack and hurries out.MATCH ON ACTION SHOTAs Nancy jumps off of the stool that she uses to reach the shelf she lands after jumping offof a stile fence-crossing onto some sticks/leaves.Nancy then runs down the lane and makes her way to school, on the way feedingCrackerjack.She meets Fred who tells her to be scared of his father and that if Bo sees her feedingCrackerjack he’ll “Kill her”. Nancy scared by this changes the conversation and asks why he’snot getting ready for school. We learn that Fred’s a gypsy and doesn’t go to school. It is thenwe hear Fred’s mother.Lu: “Fred, leave that horse alone and get some work done.”Nancy continues her journey and tells her best friend Edie at school. They both go to seeCrackerjack after school and get to know Fred better. Their conversation is interrupted as
  5. 5. Scary Bo goes mad and Fred quickly hurries back to his father and the girls run back toNancy’s house.They tell Vera and George (Nancy’s parents) that both Crackerjack and Fred need to behelped but her parents are dismissive and tell them to leave the horse and the gypsy aloneas they’re “nothing but trouble”.The next day Nancy doesn’t take advice off of her parents and continues to bring food forboth Crackerjack and Fred. She does this on a daily basis. Occasionally getting scared off byBo.ACT 2Summer is here. The days are long and sunny. The three children spend days together asFred secretly escapes from his camp on a daily basis. They sit and eat picnics in summeryfields and go on long walks together, climbing trees and building camps from fallen treebranches and leaves.The children amongst themselves plan to take Crackerjack and Fred and run away. The longdays they spend together go past until the day arrives. Thick, grey storm clouds gatheroverhead as thunder rumbles across the landscape, through the fields and lightening forksthrough the sky. The children wait quietly until Scary Bo and Lu are busy out hunting whenthe three catch the horse with a rope and climb onto his back and race him back to thecamp they’ve built. It is on their way to their makeshift camp and stable that Bo catchessight of the children galloping his horse across a large, empty field. He shoots his gun threetimes into the air and chases after the three. The rain hammers down and the three childrenand horse, drenched by the rain canter through the fields, crackerjack’s hooves spraying upwater.
  6. 6. The terrified children quickly come to a halt as Bo threatens them.“Stop Crackerjack” Edie yells.Bo: If you don’t stop there, I’ll kill the lot of you, including that horse.Bo drags Fred by his scruff and leads the horse with a rope halter as they wade throughthick mud and puddles home.The girls run home, upset and disappointed they stay away for a few days.A few miserable days pass as we get shots of the upset children; Nancy, Edie and Fred sit athome alone looking out at the equally miserable weather from their windows.A few days later after the rain has cleared up, Fred is outdoors sitting with Crackerjack andthinks they’ll never return.Meanwhile Nancy has gone to fetch Edie and they rush to see Fred. Fred amazed by theirreturn quickly escapes as they run to their camp and make a plan. With Fred’s expertise onall of the shortcuts and hideouts in the countryside they create a detailed plan by drawing inthe dirt with a stick drawing routes and marking particular locations with x’s.The next day the rain starts again, the violent, stormy weather blows branches down quicklycutting off paths, as too the rain by creating marsh-like ground and lake-sized puddles. Thisis the day the children had planned to save Crackerjack. The children wait until about 6pmwhen everyone is in the house. Nearing the end of summer the sun is starting to fade, yet itis still light. Dressed in summer clothes with raincoats the girls meet with Fred and all climbonto Crackerjack’s back and race him back to their camp.
  7. 7. We get almost comical shots of Bo and Lu asleep on armchairs in their gypsy wagon.Wearing night hats and sleeping like babies, Bo occasionally stirring to create suspense.Crackerjack steps on Edie’s foot, accidentally.“OWWWWWCH” She yells.Suddenly Bo and Lu wake up as they race from the wagon and chase the three cantering atfull speed down a muddy lane and out into an open field.We hear they aggressive shouts of Scary Bo telling the children to “get back” and the whinyand pointless moans of Lu calling to her son.Close-up shots show the audience their terrified expressions.The children keep on cantering along, CrackerJack’s hooves flying mud up into the air andletting splat onto both Lu and Scary Bo’s faces.The children then lose sight of the couple and decide they can have a quick break. Jumpingoff of Crackerjack and allowing him to drink from a huge puddle as the rain continues tohammer down.
  8. 8. In the distance they then hear the faint screaming of Bo and Lu which is getting closer.The children decide to quickly cover a large water-filled hole in the ground with sticks andleaves.Quickly jumping onto Crackerjack the three trot a circle and give Crackerjack a run up tocanter over the large lake-sized puddle.In slow motion we see Crackerjack fly over this huge stretch of a jump, much to the delightof the young children.We then get a shot of Scary Bo and Lu screaming as they fall down and into the trap.The children make their way to the camp where they spend the night.Act 3The birds sing as we get a black out screen and then a shot of Fred’s eyes waking slowly. Thesun’s out as all of the children are woken by Nancy and Edie’s parents along with the policewho had been out looking for them overnight.The cold children get wrapped in blankets and taken back to Nancy’s home where she putsCrackerjack in the stable next-door.The next day when the children have recovered there’s a scene where all three children arefeeding and grooming the horse.Fred, now looking a lot healthier and a lot less scruffy hugs the horse.The children are all indoors eating at the table when there’s a knock at the door. The family,along with Edie and Fred go to sit in to the sitting room as a police officer gives them thenews that Bo and Lu were found drowned in the trap.The police also give the news that Fred and Crackerjack are now property of Nancy’sparents. Throughout this scene we hear not the characters in the scene but that of thevoice of Old Nancy who tells us of what the police had to say.We then get a shot of old Nancy as she places the photo back on to the mantelpiece and anold Fred walking into the room with two cups of tea. THE END