Matter Short Film Script

Posted by | June 14, 2014 | Film/Video, Television | No Comments

Matter
Below is a short film I wrote but never actually filmed.

Character Bios

Angel

Angel has had a tough life. His father was an alcoholic. He used to beat his mother. He left her and ended up raising another kids parents. His father was not in his life growing up. He has a lot of unresolved anger within him. He got into trouble from a young age. He would get into fights constantly.  Women loved him, he hated them and treated them like shit. He never respected them. He has a wife and 3 kids, he constantly abuses her, physically and emotionally. She loves him. He had just returned from 12 months in jail for aggravated assault. He got into an argument earlier with his wife about the guns he carries in the house..he grabbed a knife from the kitchen and he killed her.  He is in constant denial that he killed her, maybe he doesn’t even believe he killed her. His mother brought him up as a devout catholic, no matter the evil he does, he always goes to church on Sunday. He believes in God.

Detective Jackson

Detective Jackson, has been a homicide cop for a while. He has as evidence a knife that was used to kill Angel’s wife. There is no DNA evidence though. The three children saw Angel kill their mother. They are 2, 4 and 8. The 8 year old told detective Jackson what happened. He originally said it was a family friend who killed his mom, but then he said it was his father. Angel’s aunt has since convinced the family that the son will not testify. The only way detective Jackson will get a conviction is if he gets a confession from Angel. It is now 3 weeks since the murder.

Jackson married his childhood sweetheart. They were together since high school, they married when they were 24. He absolutely loved her. He did everything for her. She left him, he has never gotten over it. He is jaded with life. Every time he puts away scum he puts away the guy that his wife left him for. See Jackson was too safe for her, too kind, too nice, she left him for a smooth talking drug dealer, a petty crim, who excited her. They have since moved interstate. He has never seen her since they left. He has no children, although he’s always wanted to.

As the interrogation goes on detective Jackson realises he will not get a confession from Angel.. he starts to question the value of his own life..and whether losing his life to end Angel’s would matter… secretly he wants Angel’s life .. he wants what he never had.. a wife that loved him as much as she did..3 children..
Opening shot of white board..

Black pen writes a list…love..happiness..memories..friends..caring..hope…humanity..children..innocence
We only see the back of the man..

Cut

Interrogation scene

Detective Jackson

What matters to you?

Angel

A lot of things…

Angel is wearing the same jacket as the man writing on the board..

Jackson

Like what?

Angel

My wife..my family..my parents..

Jackson

Your kids?

Angel

Yeah my kids

Jackson

What about when you were younger?

Angel

Nothing mattered to me back then…

Jackson

And that’s why you have such a long history of violence… Look at this record.. assault..battery..theft..antisocial behaviour

 

Angel

And you didn’t make those mistakes when you were a younger B?

Jackson

No..

Angel

you lived a charmed life right..had good role models.. good parents that were around.. good education

Jackson

No.. I never had parents.. They were always at work…I was left to my own…devices

Angel

But you did spend your life helping people…I can see it in your eyes.. you are jaded detective, because assholes like me get everything that you want.

Jackson

What have you got Angel, a dead wife, distraught children, an impending death penalty.. Naah thats not what I want.

Angel

You were one of those nice guys in school that got no play, and now your bitter and twisted, that.. shit I was probably banging your girl while you were stuck home alone..and now you got to take it out on me when I got nothing to do with what you are talking about.

Jackson

Choices, Angel, life all comes down to choices. And those choices lead to the position we are both in.

Angel

That is true… that was a choice I made.. a choice that you wish you did.. that you wish you could.. but you didn’t…

Jackson

When you murdered your wife, in front of your kids.

Angel

I don’t know what you are talking about.

 

Jackson

Let it off your chest Angel, I can see its getting to you, you want to tell someone, you want to repent for your sins. I know your daddy was never around <sarcasm> I know you’ve had a tough life<sarcasm> You had every right to kill her, she was pissing you off, she wouldn’t listen to you. You are a man, you are a strong man, so just confess your sins, and you’ll be cleansed.

Angel

You’re not my priest. You are just a pathetic man. I see that ring on your finger, but I don’t see a happily married man, I see a lonely, desperate man.

Jackson looks away, trying not to engage.

This isn’t about me.

Angel

She left you didn’t she.

Jackson

You don’t value life, do you Angel.

Angel

I love my family, I love my wife, I love my kids.

Jackson

You don’t love yourself though do you Angel… and… Well… you have to value yourself… before you can value something else

Angel

You’re a lonely man detective, trying to place your own insecurities on someone else.

Jackson

If you strip everything away from your life…everything that doesn’t matter…what are you left with…

Angel looks back blankly

Jackson stares him down

Angel

You love helping people don’t you detective, but how do you help people when you are in such desperate need of help yourself, I can see it all over yourself…You’re the one that needs help…You’re wife left you, you sit in the corner of your bedroom, alone at night, with your revolver in your mouth, hoping one day to pull the trigger… you lost your wife and now you want to seek revenge on me..and put me away for you losing your wife.. I had nothing to do with it… While I was in prison that whore was banging guys all over the neighbourhood, one of them did it, it wasn’t me.

Jackson

You hated your wife didn’t you. Like you hated life.

Angel

I don’t hate life…or death… unlike you… you are so afraid of death you could never make a decision involving life and death. Could you? You are too weak. You are a weak man, and guys like me end your life.

Jackson

Is that a threat?

Angel

You are so afraid of death, so afraid of what might come, you can’t even live in the moment. That’s why your wife left you didn’t she?

Jackson

Tell me Angel, tell me why you killed your wife, your own son told me he saw you stab her in the kitchen. He asked you why you stabbed mommy. Your…own…son…8 years old and he sees his dad kill his mother… what hope does he have in his life now.

Angel

I love my wife

Jackson

I understand Angel, I understand that a man can be pushed to do certain things, things he never ever considered, but a man has a breaking point. A tipping point, and if you get pushed far enough, then maybe you will do what you once thought you wouldn’t.

Angel

Trying to nail me for something I never did isn’t going to improve your life detective. You’ll never get back your wife, I’ll never get back mine, but I control my life, I control what happens, you don’t. That’s the difference between me and you detective. I don’t have to watch my back, while your constantly watching yours, afraid of what might happen. Well you’ve come after the wrong guy.

 

 

Jackson

Just confess Angel. You’ll feel better.

Angel

I got nothing left to say. I want my lawyer.

Angel puts his head on the desk, his arms around it, as if he is sleeping.

Jackson walks out of the interrogation room in disgust.

Shit

Jackson walks away in disgust knowing he didn’t get the confession he needed to get nail Angel as the killer. He is going to walk free.

Final scene

man continues writing on board.. Violence..sex..hate..small things..arguments…fame…celebrity…work..other peoples lives..

Man puts down black pen, picks up a red pen and pauses for a minute… the camera pans out…there are two lists…on the left violence etc on the right love etc… We can’t see what it says at the top of the lists… He can’t decide which column to write in… Then finally at the bottom of hope he writes “death” camera pulls back…<we only see angels black jacket in shot>

At the top of the white board… the two columns say.. What matters in life…what doesn’t matter in life… he wrote “death” in what matters in life..

As he walks away camera pulls further out…and a man lays on the floor dead it is Angel sans jacket…the man puts on his gloves he walks out of the shot… We see his face… it’s detective Jackson…dressed in Angels jacket..in the end he became Angel..to kill him.

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