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Part 9

THE JOURNEY OF NATTY GANN
by
Jeanne Rosenberg

EXT ROUNDHOUSE NIGHT

Natty can hear the crowd well before she reaches it. There are SHOUTS and SCREAMS above the overall DIN, like the noise of an angry crowd at a prizefight.

And mixed with the other noises are bone chilling GROWLS and SNARLS, like the sounds of wild dogs attacking each other in a fight to the death.

Natty stands on her tiptoes then bends to the ground, trying to see over the shoulders or through the legs of the NOISY, THICK CROWD 0F MEN in front of her.

But she can only see snatches, pieces…a dog’s lip curled back in a vicious snarl…a fierce, razor sharp fang…a pair of high, black boots and a long, leather whip that lashes out with a CRACK. Through another set of legs, she sees more pieces…claws ripping into fur…dark, thick blood spilling onto the ground.

Suddenly a fight breaks out in the crowd. The violence quickly erupts and spreads. . .fists SMASH into faces. . . bodies CRASH to the ground. Natty tries frantically to stay out of the way as the crowd surges back and forth.

One of the fighting animals, THE WOLF, breaks free. He leaps to a ledge high overhead and springs through the air, sailing over the crowd.

He lands almost on top of Natty. She GASPS in horror. He’s the most powerful, frightening creature she’s ever seen.

For an instant their eyes lock.

He glares at her with his ferocious, yellow eyes…eyes more wild and angry than anything Natty could imagine.


And then quickly he takes off again.

SNAKE, the evil looking man with the leather whip and the high, black boots, pushes through the crowd and chases after The Wolf. A handful of men follow Snake.

Natty scrambles to her feet and races after them.

INT ROUNDHOUSE NIGHT

Natty runs to the door of the roundhouse and pauses to catch her breath.

On the far side of this empty barn-like structure, Snake and his men have The Wolf cornered.

Snake strikes out with his whip, lashing The Wolf harder and harder, again and again and again. CRACK, CRACK, CRACK. The sound cuts into Natty like a knife.

The Wolf stares back at Snake with defiant, unbeaten eyes and a threatening SNARL. Then suddenly he takes off. He pushes through the men and streaks across the roundhouse.

He rushes to the door and disappears through it, brushing past Natty.

Snake and the others follow with angry SHOUTS. Their path takes them straight toward Natty.

Defiantly, she steps in their way and pulls the door closed, blocking their route, helping The Wolf escape.

She stares up at the evil Snake with a look of satisfaction…of right triumphing over wrong.

For an instant, Snake stares back at her, not moving. Then he lifts his arm in the air and swings it down. It lands with a THWACK against her cheek.

Natty falls to the ground. She tries to get up but can’t. Her body goes limp and her eyes close.

INT ROUNDHOUSE LATER THAT NIGHT

Natty blinks her eyes open. She rubs her hands over her temples. Her head throbs. She sits up slowly. It’s quiet in the Roundhouse now, empty. She drags herself to her feet and walks to the door.

EXT ROUNDHOUSE NIGHT

Natty stops at the doorway. There’s no sign now of the crowd in that was here earlier. The quiet seems strange, eerie.

She starts down the yard, toward the train cars waiting on the tracks.

EXT RAIL YARD NIGHT

Natty makes her way down the tracks, past the rows of waiting boxcars. The moonlight makes it almost like day, casting strange nightime shadows on the ground.

She stops outside the only car with a partially opened door and moves up to it quietly, cautiously.

INT BOXCAR NIGHT

Natty pulls herself into the boxcar and moves out of the shaft of moonlight, into the deep shadows of the corner.

She waits for her eyes to grow accustomed to the dark. It seems empty in here – except for her.

Then a quiet sound begins to fill the car. Natty listens fearfully. She feels her heart pounding rapidly.

The quiet sound builds in intensity until Natty finally recognizes it as the LOW, GRUMBLING, GROWL of The Wolf. She swallows hard, frightened.

Suddenly The Wolf LUNGES forward into the light, SNAPPING and SNARLING and baring his vicious fangs.

A startled, unconscious SCREAM escapes from Natty. She throws herself back into the corner and hugs the wall of the boxcar.

The Wolf glares at her. He’s poised like a spring, lips curled back, ready to strike if he has to, and to shred her to pieces with his massive, powerful jaws.

In the moonlight, Natty sees the wound in his shoulder. His matted fur is ripped back and his flesh is exposed. It’s raw, open. Blood oozes and drips down his leg. He must be weak from the loss of so much of it.

Slowly, step by step, her eyes never leaving The Wolf, Natty eases herself toward the door of the boxcar. The Wolf watches her threateningly, but allows her to inch away and slip outside.

The Wolf’s GROWL grows quieter and quieter and he almost disappears as he steps back into the shadows. Only his intense, yellow eyes are illuminated by a strip of moonlight filtering in through a crack in the wall.

Natty’s hand appears at the door of the boxcar, stretched high above her head. It shoves a tin of water and then a chunk of salami across the floor of the car, and then disappears.

EXT GAS STATION NIGHT

Sol stands at an outdoor pay phone at a back country gas station. There’s a large truck with canvass sides waiting at the pumps. It’s raining and Sol pulls up the collar of his jacket but the water still streams down his face. He looks anxiously at the truck and turns back to the phone, impatient but excited.

        SOL
Come on…Come on…Sally?
Is that you? I can hardly hear
you…Where’s Natty? Did she
get the letter?…What?…I
can’t hear. Talk louder.

Sol is practically shouting into the phone.

The horn BEEPS on the truck. The driver leans out and gestures angrily.

        DRIVER
Come on Gann. We’re waiting on you. Move it.

He BEEPS the horn again.

Sol signals the Driver to wait then turns all his attention back to the phone.

        SOL
She wouldn’t just run away
Sally. What the hell happened?!

Sol’s face grows ashen. His jaw bone grows taut. The muscles stand out on his neck. There’s an obvious fury building inside him.

        SOL
You’re lucky I’m not there
Sally. Because if I was I’d
tear you into little pieces and
personally feed you to the
river. …They damn well better
find her Sally. If they
don’t…Just make sure they do!


Sol slams the receiver down and stares furiously at the phone. The rain rolls down his face.

The horn BEEPS again and the truck starts to roll slowly out of the gas station.

Sol returns to the present and pulls himself together. He runs for the truck and a helping hand reaches out from the back and pulls him aboard.

END PART 9
Part 10 Monday, 1/21/12

A script analysis of her favorite childhood novel – written as a USC class assignment – led Jeanne Rosenberg to her first Hollywood writing assignment on The Black Stallion. Switching from documentary filmmaker to narrative screenwriter, Jeanne studied her craft while working as a script supervisor on numerous films before completing her first original screenplay, The Journey of Natty Gann. She has been writing as well as producing and directing ever since. In addition, Jeanne has taught graduate screenwriting at USC and National University.

MOVIES YOU WILL SEE/The Journey of Natty Gann/Part 8

THE JOURNEY OF NATTY GANN
by
Jeanne Rosenberg

EXT MIDWEST FARM COUNTRY DAWN

The freight train out of Chicago RUMBLES down the tracks, past the broad, flat fields of corn and soybeans waving in the breeze.

The yellow beam of the freight’s headlight cuts a streak through the soft glow of the approaching day.

INT BOXCAR MORNING

A WHISTLE BLOWS several times.

Natty’s eyes blink open.

She looks around the boxcar. The three tough looking hobos are gone. There’s only Harry at the far end, playing a TUNE on his harmonica. She stares at him, listening to his song.

Finally Harry notices Natty’s stare and he stops playing, abruptly, as if caught in a wrongdoing.

Natty tries to smile at him but his look to her is hard.

        NATTY
That was nice.

Harry’s look softens. He shrugs modestly then bangs the harmonica on his knee and stuffs it deep in his pocket.

Natty looks around the car again, questions in her eyes.

        NATTY
Where’d they go?

        HARRY
Nowhere. Anywhere.

Natty nods, trying to act like she understands.

        NATTY
Where are you going?

Harry shrugs again, as if the question had such little meaning he hadn’t thought of it before.

        HARRY
West.

        NATTY
Me too. My Dad’s out West.

        HARRY
Yeah?

        HARRY
What part?

        NATTY
Uhhh…The middle.

Harry doesn’t express his doubt verbally but it’s all in his eyes. His next, question is more a statement of fact than anything.

        HARRY
You’re running away, huh? On
the lam?

Natty looks anxious. There’s a defensive edge in her voice.

        NATTY
What makes you say that? I
didn’t say that.

        HARRY
You didn’t have to.

Natty folds her arms over her chest and turns away.

        HARRY
You better wise up if you expect
to make it.

        NATTY
I’ll do alright, Mr. Know It
All.

Harry smiles to himself.

The WHISTLE BLOWS. The train begins to slow.

Harry walks to the edge of the boxcar and stares out through the open door. He talks to Natty without looking at her.

        HARRY
Don’t let the Bulls get you.

        NATTY
What!?

        HARRY
Railroad cops.

        NATTY
You think I don’t know that?

Natty gets to her feet and walks confidently up to Harry at the open door of the boxcar. She looks down at the fast moving ground below and her confidence falters. Harry senses it.

        HARRY
Bend your knees. Roll with it.

        NATTY (defensively)
Natch.

The WHISTLE BLOWS again.

Harry jumps. Natty takes a deep, anxious breath and follows. She hits the ground and rolls down the embankment end over end.

She gets to her feet and brushes the dust from her clothes. She turns to Harry with a broad smile, very proud of herself. But he’s not there.

She looks up and down the tracks. She bends to look under the slow moving train. But there’s no trace of him. Harry’s gone.

Natty’s face reflects her disappointment. She looks up and down the tracks wondering what to do now.

EXT BASE CAMP LATE DAY

Base Camp is an elaborate tent city high in the mountains of Washington State.

It’s crowded with MEN and machinery. Dirt roads crisscross the area and each tent has a sign on it…MESS HALL, MAIL ROOM, etc.

It feels like an army field camp.

INT TENT LATE DAY

Sol sits at a makeshift desk in a small, army-styled tent at Base Camp. There are several cots in here and tables with kerosene lamps.

Sol is deep in thought as he hunkers over a piece of paper, drafting a letter.

He puts down his pen and re-reads the letter, an anxious, troubled look in his eye.

Then he shrugs off his doubts, smiles and stuffs the letter in an envelop addressed to Natty Gann, St. Ritz Hotel, Madison Street, Chicago.

EXT DES MOINES DEPOT DUSK

Natty wanders the backside of the Des Moines train station, alone.

She rummages through the garbage behind the Depot Grill and finds the remains of a slightly moldy, half eaten salami.

She looks at it distastefully then closes her eyes and forces herself to take three quick bites, wrinkling her face and holding her nose as she chews. She swallows and shrugs. It’s not so bad once you get used to it.

She stuffs the rest of the salami in her pocket and turns toward the hobo fires just beginning to flicker in the darkening twilight of the rail yard ahead. She notices a CROWD gathering in the shadows of the Roundhouse.

END PART 8
Part 9 Monday, 1/14/12

A script analysis of her favorite childhood novel – written as a USC class assignment – led Jeanne Rosenberg to her first Hollywood writing assignment on The Black Stallion. Switching from documentary filmmaker to narrative screenwriter, Jeanne studied her craft while working as a script supervisor on numerous films before completing her first original screenplay, The Journey of Natty Gann. She has been writing as well as producing and directing ever since. In addition, Jeanne has taught graduate screenwriting at USC and National University.

MOVIES YOU WILL SEE/The Journey of Natty Gann/Part 7

THE JOURNEY OF NATTY GANN
by
Jeanne Rosenberg

INT ST. RITZ HALL/NATTY’S ROOM NIGHT

Natty BANGS on the door of her room from the inside and YELLS through it as Sally stands on the outside, holding it closed with her fist, pulling against it with her weight.

Sally takes a key from her pocket and jams it into the lock.

NATTY (VO)
You can’t do this Sally. You
can’t. I’11 tell my Dad !

SALLY
When? When you going to tell
him, huh?

NATTY (VO)
Soon.

SALLY
Couldn’t be soon enough for me.

NATTY
Me either!


Sally locks the door, puts the key back in her pocket and moves away from Natty’s room, walking down the stairs, muttering to herself.

SALLY
I’m not the kid’s God damned mother.
I mean why the hell should I get stuck? Who needs
this aggravation?


INT NATTY’S ROOM NIGHT

Natty wiggles the locked door handle then listens through the door, the puppy watching her anxiously.

NATTY
Sally?…Sally!?


She listens again, even harder, then pulls her ear away from the door, takes a knife from her pocket and jams it into the lock, jiggling it up and down until she hears a click.

She quickly pulls the door open and sneaks into the hall, tiptoeing to the top of the stairs.

INT ST. RITZ LOBBY NIGHT

Natty crouches in the shadows, watching below as Sally, still muttering to herself, walks to the reception desk, grabs the telephone and dials a number.

SALLY
Hello? Child Relations Board?
I want to report an abandoned
kid. Yeah, yeah. All alone.
You better send somebody right
away.


Natty scurries quickly back down the hall and disappears inside her room.

EXT ALLEY NIGHT

A makeshift rope of tied together sheets and blankets flies down from the top window of a brick building and dangles above a narrow alley.

A small figure in a leather jacket and cap, Natty, climbs out the window and scales down the side of the building using the rope.

She leaps from end of the rope to the pavement, 6 feet below, and as soon as her feel touch ground, she takes off at dead run.

INT PUSH CART BARN NIGHT

Natty hurries into the dark barn and slides through the
shadows, her eyes drinking in the hovering, forbidding shapes of this very spooky place.

She knocks into a push broom which CLATTERS to the floor.

The NOISE disturbs bats in the rafters overhead and they swoop down with FLAPPING wings. Natty GASPS and ducks, covering the top of her head with her arms as the bats swish past.

Natty takes a deep breath and pushes forward. She finally makes it to Lefty’s cart.

She pulls the puppy from her jacket and scratches his ears as she lifts him to the top of the cart. He licks her face.

NATTY
You stay here.


She turns to go but the puppy leaps from the cart and starts to follow.

Natty picks him up and returns him to the cart. She takes the end of a rope tied to the wheel of the cart and loops it around the puppy’s neck.

She pets his head one last puppy BARKS and pulls on his rope. He wants to follow.

Natty turns back.

NATTY
I can’t take you. Understand?
You gotta stay with Lefty.


The puppy lies on the ground and rests his head on his front paws. His big, sad, brown eyes watch her as she moves across the barn. He WHINES a soft, mournful tone as she disappears.

EXT RAILROAD YARD NIGHT

Natty hovers in her hiding place of discarded boxes and barrels near the railroad tracks. She feels frightened and alone and very unsure.

It’s not cold but she shivers with anxiety, her eyes darting fearfully back and forth, tracking the darkness around her.

In the distance she hears a faint RUMBLING. She peers from her hiding place. There’s a train coming down the tracks. It’s moving slowly toward her, heading West.

From all around her, H0B0S, lean, tough looking men, emerge from nooks and crannies and get ready for the train.

She studies their techniques as they sprint forward, run beside the train and throw themselves into the open boxcars.

She wants to try it but shers scared. Lefty’s stories ring in her paralyzing her.

Finally she takes a deep gulp and makes a break for it.

She streaks from her hiding place, races for a boxcar and stretches with everything she has. She manages to catch a handle with her fingertips and to pull herself part way into the car.

The train moves faster, picking up speed.

Natty’s legs dangle dangerously over the edge.

The metal wheels grind mercilessly, menacingly on the tracks below. The ground rushes by. The sound of the wheels becomes a terrible ROAR in her ears.

She slips backwards.
She Looks desperately at the hobos inside, reaching out to then.

Three TOUGH, HARD LOOKING MEN stare back at her with uncaring eyes. None of them moves forward to help her.

She slips again, her fingernails clawing frantically across the wooden floor, scraping against the wood. She inches over the edge toward certain death.

INT BOXCAR NIGHT

A DARK FIGURE reaches down and grabs the falling Natty. In one move, she’s pulled into the boxcar and flung to the far side.

She lands with a BANG against the wall, gasping for breath. She stares up at her savior, HARRY SLADE; a lean, square jawed young man with deep, penetrating, electric blue eyes and a harder-than-nails exterior.

His face breaks into a wry, warm smile .

HARRY
You can get hurt that way.


She tries to answer, to thank him for saving her life, but she can barely speak. She can’t find her voice.

HARRY
But you didn’t.


Harry winks at her before moving to the far end of the car and hunkering in the shadows.

Natty stares at him. He’s a curious combination of power and vulnerability. He’s only 16 or 17 but like a young James Dean, already carries the edge of someone who’s spent years on the outside, a loner.

Natty turns to the other hobos. They stare back at her and their looks send a shiver down her spine.

HOBO 1
Thought you bought the farm.

HOBO 2
Wouldn’t have been much left.


They LAUGH and Natty’s eyes grow wide as saucers. She tries to swallow the lump in her throat.

Harry’s voice calls out from the shadows.

HARRY
Leave the kid alone.

HOBO 1
Shee-it. We was just funning.


Natty turns to Harry. For a moment their eyes lock. Then the train moves away from the lights of the Chicago yard and the car grows dark.

The NOISE from the train pounds in Natty’s ears . Her teeth slam against each other with each jostle of the boxcar. She pulls her jacket tight around her.
END PART 7

Part 7 Monday, 12/03/12

A script analysis of her favorite childhood novel – written as a USC class assignment – led Jeanne Rosenberg to her first Hollywood writing assignment on The Black Stallion. Switching from documentary filmmaker to narrative screenwriter, Jeanne studied her craft while working as a script supervisor on numerous films before completing her first original screenplay, The Journey of Natty Gann. She has been writing as well as producing and directing ever since. In addition, Jeanne has taught graduate screenwriting at USC and National University.

Holiday Busyness

Hi,

OMG!!! Still so holiday busy. Will return with THE JOURNEY OF NATTY GANN on Monday, January  7th. Happy New Year!!!!

Best,

Heywood & Patricia

Holiday Busyness

Hi,

So holiday busy. Will return with THE JOURNEY OF NATTY GANN on Monday, December 17th. Happy Holidays to all.

Best,

Heywood & Patricia

THE JOURNEY OF NATTY GANN
by
Jeanne Rosenberg

Natty BANGS on the door of her room from the inside and YELLS through it as Sally stands on the outside, holding it closed with her fist, pulling against it with her weight. Sally takes a key from her pocket and jams it into the lock.

        NATTY (VO)
You can’t do this Sally.
You can’t. I’11 tell my Dad!

        SALLY
When? When you going to tell
him, huh?

        NATTY (VO)
Soon.

        SALLY
Couldn’t be soon enough for
me.

        NATTY
Me either!

Sally locks the door, puts the key back in her pocket and moves away from Natty’s room, walking down the stairs, muttering to herself.

        SALLY
I’m not the kid’s God damned
mother. I mean why the hell
should I get stuck? Who needs
this aggravation?

INT NATTY’S ROOM NIGHT

Natty wiggles the locked door handle then listens through the door, the puppy watching her anxiously.

        NATTY
Sally?…Sally!?

She listens again, even harder, then pulls her ear away from the door, takes a knife from her pocket and jams it into the lock, jiggling it up and down until she hears a CLICK.

She quickly pulls the door open and sneaks into the hall, tiptoeing to the top of the stairs.

INT ST. RITZ LOBBY NIGHT

Natty crouches in the shadows, watching below as Sally, still muttering to herself, walks to the reception desk, grabs the telephone and dials a number.

        SALLY
Hello? Child Relations Board?
I want to report an abandoned
kid. Yeah, yeah. All alone.
You better send somebody right
away.

Natty scurries quickly back down the hall and disappears inside her room.

EXT ALLEY NIGHT

A makeshift rope of tied together sheets and blankets flies down from the top window of a brick building and dangles above a narrow alley.

A small figure in a leather jacket and cap, Natty, climbs out the window and scales down the side of the building using the rope.

She leaps from end of the rope to the pavement, 6 feet below, and as soon as her feel touch ground, she takes off at dead run.

INT PUSH CART BARN NIGHT

Natty hurries into the dark barn and slides through the shadows, her eyes drinking in the hovering, forbidding shapes of this very spooky place.

She knocks into a push broom which CLATTERS to the floor.

The NOISE disturbs bats in the rafters overhead and they swoop down with FLAPPING wings. Natty GASPS and ducks, covering the top of her head with her arms as the bats swish past.

Natty takes a deep breath and pushes forward. She finally makes it to Lefty’s cart. She pulls the puppy from her jacket and scratches his ears as she lifts him to the top of the cart. He licks her face.

        NATTY
You stay here.

She turns to go but the puppy leaps from the cart and starts to follow.

Natty picks him up and returns him to the cart. She takes the end of a rope tied to the wheel of the cart and loops it around the puppy’s neck.

She pets his head one last puppy BARKS and pulls on his rope. He wants to follow. Natty turns back.

        NATTY
I can’t take you. Understand?
You gotta stay with Lefty.

The puppy lies on the ground and rests his head on his front paws. His big, sad, brown eyes watch her as she moves across the barn. He WHINES a soft, mournful tone as she disappears.

EXT RAILROAD YARD NIGHT

Natty hovers in her hiding place of discarded boxes and barrels near the railroad tracks. She feels frightened and alone and very unsure.

It’s not cold but she shivers with anxiety, her eyes darting fearfully back and forth, tracking the darkness around her.

In the distance she hears a faint RUMBLING. She peers from her hiding place. There’s a train coming down the tracks. It’s moving slowly toward her, heading West.

From all around her, H0B0S, lean, tough looking men, emerge from nooks and crannies and get ready for the train.

She studies their techniques as they sprint forward, run beside the train and throw themselves into the open boxcars.

She wants to try it but she’s scared. Lefty’s stories ring in her paralyzing her. Finally she takes a deep gulp and makes a break for it.

She streaks from her hiding place, races for a boxcar and stretches with everything she has. She manages to catch a handle with her fingertips and to pull herself part way into the car.

The train moves faster, picking up speed.

Natty’s legs dangle dangerously over the edge. The metal wheels grind mercilessly, menacingly on the tracks below. The ground rushes by. The sound of the wheels becomes a terrible ROAR in her ears.

She slips backwards. She looks desperately at the hobos inside, reaching out to then.

Three TOUGH, HARD LOOKING MEN stare back at her with uncaring eyes. None of them moves forward to help her.

She slips again, her fingernails clawing frantically across the wooden floor, scraping against the wood. She inches over the edge toward certain death.

INT BOXCAR NIGHT

A DARK FIGURE reaches down and grabs the falling Natty. In one move, she’s pulled into the boxcar and flung to the far side. She lands with a BANG against the wall, gasping for breath. She stares up at her savior, HARRY SLADE; a lean, square jawed young man with deep, penetrating, electric blue eyes and a harder-than-nails exterior.

His face breaks into a wry, warm smile .

        HARRY
You can get hurt that way.

She tries to answer, to thank him for saving her life, but she can barely speak. She can’t find her voice.

        HARRY
But you didn’t.

Harry winks at her before moving to the far end of the car and hunkering in the shadows.

Natty stares at him. He’s a curious combination of power and vulnerability. He’s only 16 or 17 but like a young James Dean, already carries the edge of someone who’s spent years on the outside, a loner.

Natty turns to the other hobos. They stare back at her and their looks send a shiver down her spine.

        HOBO 1
Thought you bought the farm.

        HOBO 2
Wouldn’t have been much left.

They LAUGH and Natty’s eyes grow wide as saucers. She tries to swallow the lump in her throat. Harry’s voice calls out from the shadows.

        HARRY
Leave the kid alone.

        HOBO 1
Shee-it. We was just funning.

Natty turns to Harry. For a moment their eyes lock. Then the train moves away from the lights of the Chicago yard and the car grows dark.

The NOISE from the train pounds in Natty’s ears . Her teeth slam against each other with each jostle of the boxcar. She pulls her jacket tight around her.

END PART 7

Part 8 Monday, 12/10/12

A script analysis of her favorite childhood novel – written as a USC class assignment – led Jeanne Rosenberg to her first Hollywood writing assignment on The Black Stallion. Switching from documentary filmmaker to narrative screenwriter, Jeanne studied her craft while working as a script supervisor on numerous films before completing her first original screenplay, The Journey of Natty Gann. She has been writing as well as producing and directing ever since. In addition, Jeanne has taught graduate screenwriting at USC and National University.

Monthly Maintenance


Hi all,
We are updating our website today and will be back tomorrow with Part 7 of The Journey of Natty Gann.
Best,
Heywood and Patricia

MOVIES YOU WILL SEE/The Journey of Natty Gann/Part 6

THE JOURNEY OF NATTY GANN
by
Jeanne Rosenberg

EXT TRAIN TRACKS DAY

Natty wanders alone along the railroad tracks, walking the rail, the puppy bouncing along behind her, The city skyline rising in the distance.

EXT St. RITZ DAY

Natty approaches the MAILMAN outside the st. Ritz, a glimmer of hope sparkling in her eye. He looks through the handful of letters he carries and shakes his head no.

Natty nods and manages a thin smile, trying to hide her disappointment behind a shrug.

EXT ROOFTOP DUSK

Natty perches on the edge of the roof, her feet dangling over the side, her eyes staring vacantly down at the world below.

INT SALLY’S APT. NIGHT

Sally weaves through her room wearing a feather boa around her neck and worn out bedroom slippers on her feet. There are old pictures from her chorus girl days hanging all over the walls.

She SINGS mournfully along with the RADIO…Ten Cents A Dance…I’m In The Mood For Love…doing her own imitation of a sultry, sexy, torch singer.

She catches sight of herself in the mirror, purses her lips in a pout, and blows herself a kiss.

A CREAKING NOISE on the stairs outside pulls her rudely from her fantasies.

She crosses through the room, obviously annoyed.

INT ST. RITZ LOBBY NIGHT

Sally glides across the lobby and takes up a position at the bottom of the stairs, glaring up at Natty, arms folded across her chest.

        SALLY
Where do you think you’re going?

        NATTY
Out.

        SALLY
At this hour?

        NATTY
Just for a walk.

        SALLY
Like hell. Upstairs. That’s
where you’re going Miss Smarty
Pants. Maybe he let you run
wild but not me. Understand?
It’s different with me.

Sally starts up the stairs toward Natty, pointing her thick finger toward the top.

        SALLY
Go on. Get moving.

        NATTY
You’re not the boss of me.

        SALLY
Bullcrackers! Now move it.

Sally starts menacingly upward and Natty quickly retreats, scurrying up the stairs. Sally watches her go then shuffles triumphantly back to her room.

EXT MAXWELL STREET/LEFTY’S CART DAY

A long-faced, despondent Natty sits on an overturned bucket next to Lefty, inside his crate. The puppy laps milk from a saucer on the ground between them.

        NATTY
You ever ride the rails, Lefty?

        LEFTY
What are you thinking about,
girl?

        NATTY
Nothing.

        LEFTY
Good. ’cause it’s hell out
there. I’ve seen fellas get
their legs chopped off under the
wheels. Just like that. And
Lord help you if you’re wearing
a pair of shoes some tough guy
takes a fancy to.

Lefty shoots her a probing glance, hoping hers scared some sense into her.

LEFTY
Now quit feeling so damn sorry
for yourself.

EXT FRANKIE’S STREET LATE DAY

A still despondent Natty turns down a dilapidated, semi-residential street, and walks down the block, lost in self pity. An angry CROWD gathering ahead grabs her attention and pulls her thoughts from herself.

She sees a Police Van parked next to the curb.

The crowd BOOS and HISSES as POLICE lead a WOMAN in a baggy, faded housedress out of a building. The woman is followed by her 5 CHILDREN. The youngest girl, a toddler, is carried by the oldest boy.

Natty sucks in her breath as she sees this boy.

        NATTY
Frankie!…

Frankie looks at Natty but turns away quickly, embarrassed.

Frankie’s mother watches tight-lipped as WORKMEN carry her family’s belongings down to the street and pile them roughly in a heap.

Frankie’s DAD follows the rest of the family out of the building. He can’t lift his eyes. He seems a broken, shriveled man.

The crowd grows angrier.

Someone throws a rock. It strikes a policeman. He retaliates with his nightstick.

More rocks sail through the air. And more nightsticks lash out.

The MOUNTED POLICE move in.

There’s a loud CLATTER as someone spills a load of marbles onto the street.

The police horses WHINNY and SCREAM as their hooves slide on marbles. They lose their balance and CRASH to the pavement.

Natty picks up a rock and takes aim at a policeman, caught up in the frenzied energy of this ugly, violent mob.

INT SALLY’S APT. DUSK

Sally sits at her kitchen table turning the pages of one of her many scrapbooks, gaudy jewels draped around her neck and overdone makeup slapped on her face.

She looks up from her old pictures, a doubtful frown replacing the sentimental smile on her face. She drains the glass of whiskey sitting on the table.

        SALLY
…What if he’s never going to
send for her? What if he’s
going to leave her here?…

She takes another swig of whiskey, straight from the bottle this time. Then she shakes her head and returns to her photos and her memories.

LOUD KNOCKS at the door make her jump with a start. She SHOUTS through the closed door.

        SALLY
I’m coming, I’m coming. Hold
your horses.

She quickly hides the whiskey bottle in the bread box then crosses to the door and pulls it abruptly open.

        SALLY
Yeah!?

Sally stares into the faces of 2 stern POLICEMEN who hold a sullen faced Natty sandwiched roughly between them.

        COP
You responsible for this kid,
lady? Because if you are, the
Judge’ll want to see you in the
morning.

        SALLY
Jesus H. Christ…

Sally rolls her eyes to the ceiling.

END PART 6

Part 7 Monday, 12/03/12

A script analysis of her favorite childhood novel – written as a USC class assignment – led Jeanne Rosenberg to her first Hollywood writing assignment on The Black Stallion. Switching from documentary filmmaker to narrative screenwriter, Jeanne studied her craft while working as a script supervisor on numerous films before completing her first original screenplay, The Journey of Natty Gann. She has been writing as well as producing and directing ever since. In addition, Jeanne has taught graduate screenwriting at USC and National University.

MOVIES YOU WILL SEE/ The Journey of Natty Gann/Part 5

THE JOURNEY OF NATTY GANN
by
Jeanne Rosenberg

INT ST. RITZ LOBBY LATE DAY

Sol seems apprehensive and worried as he talks with Sally at the reception desk. He keeps one eye on the door, hoping for Natty. There’s a battered suitcase at his feet.

        SOL
It won’t be so hard Sally. You
just make sure she’s eating
right. Getting to bed on time.
She’s a good kid. Practically
takes care of herself.

Sally doesn’t seem convinced.

        SOL
I’ll pay for your trouble. Soon
as I get the money. Then I’ll
send a ticket, and you can put
her on the train, and. . .

        SALLY
It’ll be extra for taking her
down to the station. And if
you’re not paying for the room
in advance, it’s 9 bucks. Not 7.

        SOL
Okay Sally. It’s a deal.
Whatever you say.

He checks the clock on the desk. He’ll have to hurry if he’s going to make the bus. He starts for the door then hesitates and turns back.

        SOL
Hey, Sally…Thanks. You’re a
life saver.

        SALLY
Yeah, sure. A real Joan of
Arc.Now go on…Get going
if you’re going.

Sol continues across the lobby to the front door and Sally stares after him, shaking her head, muttering to herself , shrugging her shoulders.

EXT ST. RITZ DUSK

Sol stops just outside the front door and looks up and down the street, still hoping to see Natty.

The regulars on the stoop, the hollow faced men, watch him with a flicker of curiosity, wondering about the suitcase in his hand.

They watch as the hope leaves his eyes. He lowers his head and moves down the stoop, walking away from the St. Ritz with a heavy heart.

EXT STREET NEAR ST. RITZ EVENING

Natty leaps off the back of the streetcar and jogs toward the St. Ritz, the puppy riding comfortably inside her jacket.

INT ST. RITZ EVENING

Natty peers into the St. Ritz lobby from just outside the front door, checks to be sure the coast is clear, then hurries inside and rushes past the reception desk.

She makes it to the stairs before the puppy YIPS.

        NATTY
Shhhhh !

She bolts up the stairs but Sally’s voice catches her in mid-flight. It booms out at her.

        SALLY
Hey Kid! Come here!

Natty turns slowly. She pushes the puppy deep into her jacket and walks to Sally with trepidation.

        SALLY
I got something for you.

Natty breathes a sigh of relief. Sally didn’t hear the puppy after all.

Sally pulls an envelope from Natty’s mail box slot.

        SALLY
Sol give it to me before he
left.

        NATTY
Left?!

        SALLY
That’s right, left. You got wax
in your ears?

Sally hands Natty the letter. Natty clutches it  and turns away. She starts slowly up the stairs.

The puppy YIPS one more time.

        SALLY
What was that?

        NATTY
Nothing.

Sally continues to listen hard as Natty quickly makes her get-away up the stairs.

INT ROOM EVENING

Natty closes the door and crosses to the bunk. She pulls the puppy from her jacket and plops him down beside her.

She tears open the envelope an reads the handwritten letter.

        SOL (VO)
Dear Natty. I got a job. A
good one, but I’ve got to take
it now. They’re shipping me out
today. To Washington Slate.
I’m sorry I didn’t get to say
good-bye, but maybe that
would have been harder. Anyway,
it’s going to be okay. And it
won’t be for long. I promise.
I’ll send for you as soon as I
can. You mind Sally. And keep
that left up, champ. Love, Dad.
P.S. This was Becky’s. I think
you should have it.

Natty shakes the envelope and a small, folding picture frame slides into her hand.

She pulls the catch and it pops open. Inside is a picture of Sol and Becky. They stand together, smiling, Becky holding an infant in her arms.

Natty clutches the picture frame. The puppy WHINES and licks her face and the building quivers as an El train passes by outside.

END PART 5

Part 6 Monday, 11/26/12

A script analysis of her favorite childhood novel – written as a USC class assignment – led Jeanne Rosenberg to her first Hollywood writing assignment on The Black Stallion. Switching from documentary filmmaker to narrative screenwriter, Jeanne studied her craft while working as a script supervisor on numerous films before completing her first original screenplay, The Journey of Natty Gann. She has been writing as well as producing and directing ever since. In addition, Jeanne has taught graduate screenwriting at USC and National University.

MOVIES YOU WILL SEE/ The Journey of Natty Gann/Part 4

THE JOURNEY OF NATTY GANN
by
Jeanne Rosenberg


EXT SLAVE MARKET DAY

The men talk with each other as they wait outside the slave market, hoping for the slim chance of even a day’s work.

An OFFICIAL walks out of the office and stands in the doorway. He surveys the men. There’s a hush in the air, an expectant, nervous quiet.

The official lifts his finger and points to one man in the crowd then another and another.

        OFFIClAL
You, you and you…
Come here.

The 3 lucky men follow the official inside. There’s hope now for these men.

The official turns back before he disappears inside. His eyes lock with Sol’s and his finger points square in Sol’s face.

        OFFICIAL
0h yeah. And you.

Sol follows the others inside.

INT SLAVE MARKET OFFICE DAY

The official hands papers to the first 3 men in the office and they exit through the rear door. The men don’t seem as uplifted as they did when they entered. Sol stares hard at the official without hiding his anger.

        OFFICIAL
Something wrong?

        SOL
You’re paying half what those
guys are worth.

        OFFICIAL
I didn’t hear them complaining.

        SOL
They’re scared.

        OFFICIAL
You’re a trouble maker Gann.

Sol shrugs his shoulders.

        OFFICIAL
But I got something for you.

The official hands Sol a sheet of paper. Sol reads the paper quickly then stares back at the official.

        SOL
This says Washington state
That’s clear across country.

        OFFICIAL
Could be steady work, Gann. A
real break. Bus leaves today.
6 o’clock.

        SOL
But I’ve got a kid. What about
my kid?

        OFFICIAL
That’s not my problem, buddy. I
got one seat on a company bus.
Take it or leave it.

Sol stares at the official, barely seeing him, worry and doubt darting through his eyes as he struggles with this difficult decision.

        OFFICIAL
Well?. . .

Sol strains with the effort of making his choice.

Finally he drops the paper on the official’s desk, shakes his head no and turns for the door.

The official calls after him, a look of surprise on his face.

        OFFICIAL
What are your crazy? If you
walk out of here, You don’t
work. You in a position to do
that, Gann? Huh? Are you?


EXT SLAVE MARKET DAY

Sol exits the office and stands at the top of the stairs, his jaw locked, his teeth clenched. He looks down at the men gathered below in loose knots of 2 or 3.

They wait listlessly, their eyes reflecting their lack of hope, their shoulders stooping from the weight of their troubles.

Sol reaches into his pocket and pulls out his pitiful handful of change. He stares at it, turning it over and over.

He knows the truth. He can’t walk away from this job. There aren’t any options for him. It wouldn’t even do Natty any good if he stayed here, out of work, broke.

He takes a deep breath and drops his eyes to the ground. He pulls his hat from his head, and holding it in his hand, turns back and pushes slowly through the door of the office.

EXT STREETS DAY

Lefty plays softball with some other KIDS behind a big billboard on an empty corner lot. His eyes are glued to the batter.

        SOL
Hey Louis, where’s Natty? You
seen Natty?

Louie answers offhandedly, not even looking at Sol, his eyes still on the game.

        LOUIE
Naw.

Sol grabs Louie by the arm and asks him again, staring hard into his eyes.

        SOL
You sure?

        LOUIE
Yeah I’m sure. I said I was.
Let go. You’re hurting my arm.

Sol lets go of Louie. He hadn’t even realized he’d grabbed the boy, but there’s no time for proper apologies now.

Sol walks on an urgency in his step.

EXT CORNER DRUGSTORE DAY

Sol stops in front of the corner drugstore and questions the KIDS hanging out in front.

They shake their heads in response to his questions. They haven’t seen her. Sol looks up at the ornate clock hanging outside the building. Time’s running out. Anxiously he continues his search.

EXT MAXWELL STREET LATE DAY

Sol paces in front of Lefty’s cart anguish etched painfully across his face as he questions Lefty.

Lefty shrugs helplessly and shakes his head, pointing to the empty place on his wrist where a watch ought to be.

He has no idea what time Natty was there, or where she’s gone.

Sol SLAMS his fist down hard on Lefty’s cart, his jaw muscles
tighten with worry.

EXT STREET LATE DAY

A trolley car RINGS its BELL, picks up speed and RATTLES down the street.

There’s a bulge on its back end, and perched on the bulge, her arms locked around the pole which stretches up to the wires overhead, is Natty.

There’s a smile on her face as she hitches this free ride home, the wind whipping wildly through her hair.

From deep within the folds of her jacket, the puppy pokes his head out, and YAPS excitedly.

END PART 4

Part 5 Monday, 11/19/12

A script analysis of her favorite childhood novel – written as a USC class assignment – led Jeanne Rosenberg to her first Hollywood writing assignment on The Black Stallion. Switching from documentary filmmaker to narrative screenwriter, Jeanne studied her craft while working as a script supervisor on numerous films before completing her first original screenplay, The Journey of Natty Gann. She has been writing as well as producing and directing ever since. In addition, Jeanne has taught graduate screenwriting at USC and National University.

MOVIES YOU WILL SEE/The Journey of Natty Gan/Part 3

THE JOURNEY OF NATTY GANN
by
Jeanne Rosenberg

Part 3

EXT ST. RITZ MORNING

Natty catches Sol just outside the St. Ritz and they walk down the stoop together.

        NATTY
She’s disgusting.

Sol shrugs his shoulders philosophically.

        SOL
No worse than some.

They nod their heads at the MEN sitting on the stoop. The men nod back at them and stare with vacant, hopeless eyes from empty unshaven faces…faces that reflect the times…the Great Depression.

EXT MADISON STREET MORNING

Sol and Natty walk down Madison Street with its dilapidated tenant houses and pawn shops and saloons.

They pass a soup kitchen with a long line of TATTERED PEOPLE waiting too patiently for their only meal of the day. Natty sniffs hungrily. But Sol shakes his head.

They don’t need it…yet.

EXT ANOTHER STREET MORNING

Natty and Sol turn down another street which has also seen better days.

There’s a pile of tattered household goods piled next to the curb ahead. And an evicted FAMILY, a MOTHER and DAUGHTER sitting pathetically next to their belongings.

A dark cloud seems to cross Sol’s face as they approach this forlorn pair.

Natty stares at them wide-eyed then turns straight ahead and kicks a can in the street.

        NATTY
It’s not fair, damn it.

        SOL
I know.

        NATTY
What’ll they do?


Sol shrugs. There’s a hurt look in his eye. A hurt that comes from seeing his daughter having to face these things.

        SOL
Get by.

Sol looks at Natty who stares back at him.

        SOL
At least they’re together.

Natty nods. She understands, sort of…

EXT SLAVE MARKET DAY

Sol ritualistically checks the blackboard at the slave market. There are a few jobs listed in faded letters and a ragged line of MEN waiting hopefully.

        MAN
Same old story.

        SOL
Something’s going to break.
It’s got to.

Sol turns to Natty.

        SOL
Right ?

        NATTY
Right!

Sol turns back to the man.

        SOL
See?

Then again to Natty

        SOL
You want to stay here, try your
luck?

        NATTY
0h sure , Dad.


He winks at her and they smile together.

        SOL
See you tonight. And stay out
of trouble.

        NATTY
Okay.

She waves then takes off running down the street.

Sol watches her proudly as she disappears around a corner, then he joins the other men and pulls a pack of Luckies from his pocket.

The man with the toothpick nods after her.

        MAN
It’s hard with a kid, huh?

        SOL
I’ll tell you mister, it’d be a
lot harder without her.

Sol lights a half smoked butt from the Luckies pack and inhales deeply. The man can barely mask his envy. Sol senses it. He takes one more deep drag then hands the cigarette over.

The man’s face cracks into a surprised, grateful smile and Sol nods.

INT/EXT MOVIE THEATER DAY

A partially obscured CARTOON makes its way across a movie screen while Natty and some FRIENDS hover outside the theater, their heads squeezed through the narrow opening of the rear door sneaking a free look.

Natty sways along with the MUSIC but flinches suddenly, stopping dead still as she hears a NOISE behind her.

        NATTY
Oh shit….

She turns apprehensively, thinking they’ve been caught. But there’s no policeman behind them.

Instead, there’s a skinny, flea bitten PUPPY who lunges at Natty and grabs the cuff of her trousers. He shakes his head back and forth playfully, GROWLING in mock ferociousness.

Natty LAUGHS and shakes her leg free.

        NATTY
Let go, dog. Beat it.

EXT DOWNTOWN DAY

Natty and her friends pass a fancy department store. Natty pauses.

Through the window she sees several SALESLADIES fawning over a WEALTHY WOMAN, trying to sell her clothes. Natty turns away, disgusted, and continues down the street, catching up with her friends.

Behind her trails the puppy, following her every footstep as if tied to her with a leash.

EXT MAXWELL STREET DAY

Natty threads her way through the jumble of pushcarts, SHOPPERS and VEND0RS clogging Maxwell Street. There’s an exciting energy here, a barage of sights and sounds as an ethnic mix of people barter and trade together.

Natty approaches LEFTY KENOSHA, a thin, older man with a tough exterior who sells pots and pans from his cart. He argues with a CUSTOMER, banging on the bottom of the pot in his hand.

        LEFTY
This is quality merchandise.
I can’t get no more…15 cents.
That’s as low as I go.

The customer shakes her head and starts to walk away.

        NATTY
I’1l give 15 for it, mister.

The customer turns back quickly, shoving 15 cents into Lefty’s hand.

        CUSTOMER
Now wait a minute, that’s my
pot, right?

Lefty shrugs at Natty and hands the pot to the woman who struts off feeling very smug.

Then he winks and smiles appreciatively at Natty.

        LEFTY
Nice move, kid.

She crawls under the cart to join him on the inside.

His smile falls quickly as he sees the puppy squirm it’s head out of her jacket.

        LEFTY
Aww no.

Natty pulls the puppy from her jacket and holds him up to a less than enthusiastic Lefty.

        LEFTY
What do I look like? The animal
shelter?

Natty shrugs, feigning innocence.

        NATTY
I’ll keep this one. Dad’ll let
me.

Lefty mumbles to himself, not believing her for a minute.

        LEFTY
Yeah, yeah, yeah.

He shakes his head, trying to resist, but reaches out in spite of himself and scratches the puppy’s ears.

END PART 3

Part 4  Monday, 11/12/12

A script analysis of her favorite childhood novel – written as a USC class assignment – led Jeanne Rosenberg to her first Hollywood writing assignment on The Black Stallion. Switching from documentary filmmaker to narrative screenwriter, Jeanne studied her craft while working as a script supervisor on numerous films before completing her first original screenplay, The Journey of Natty Gann. She has been writing as well as producing and directing ever since. In addition, Jeanne has taught graduate screenwriting at USC and National University.

MOVIES YOU HAVE SEEN/Journey of Natty Gann

Hi All,

Due to outages from Hurricane Sandy, we will not be able to bring you THE JOURNEY OF NATTY GANN/Part 3. We will be back on Monday Nov. 5th.

Best
Patricia & Heywood

MOVIES YOU HAVE SEEN/The Journey of Natty Gan/Part 2

THE JOURNEY OF NATTY GANN
by
Jeanne Rosenberg

Part 2

INT. ROOMING HOUSE LATER THAT NIGHT

Natty sits cross legged on the lower edge of a bunk bed in a sad and tired room. Magazine pictures of flagpole sitters and marathon dancers and President Roosevelt are taped to the torn and faded wall paper. There are cracks in the paint on the ceiling and a yellow stain where the water line has leaked into the wall. There’s a broken chair in the corner and a sorry old dresser with the knobs missing.

Sol dabs a wet towel delicately at the swollen places on Natty’s face. She winces and grimaces but fights back the tears.

        SOL
Want to talk about it?

Natty shrugs and stares down at the floor. He nods and leans back to examine her scrapes.

        SOL
I think you’ll live.

He carries the towel to the sink and rinses it. The water pipes MOAN.

        NATTY
Dad?…What’s a Commie?

        SOL
Is that what you were fighting
about?

        NATTY
Frankie says you’ll go to Russia
because you’re a Commie. Are you?

        SOL
Going to Russia?

        NATTY
You know what I mean. Are you?

Sol smiles.

        SOL
When your Mom was a girl, she
marched the streets to get
the vote. She used to say a
person person wasn’t any good
at all if they wouldn’t stand
up for what they believed.
I’m no Red. I believe in
America. I’m just standing up
for it.

        NATTY
You rea11y miss her, huh?

        SOL
Becky? Yeah. Don’t you?

        NATTY
I guess

        SOL
She was a lot like you. Nothing
could get her down.

        NATTY
Things would be different if she
was still here, huh?

        SOL
Maybe.

        NATTY
Are you sorry you got stuck with
me?

Sol looks at Natty, realizing nothing could be farther from the truth. She’s the only thing that keeps him going. He teases her.

        SOL
Sorriest thing that ever
happened.

        NATTY
Hey…

He tousles the top of her head jokingly and they laugh together, enjoying each other, until Natty remembers the right cross Frankie landed under her eye and she winces from the soreness. Sol continues laughing.

        SOL
Next time don’t drop your left.

Natty nods and tries a smaller, less painful grin.

        SOL
Did you practice?

        NATTY
Come on Dad. I don’t have to…

        SOL
Sure you do. Otherwise you’ll
feel real stupid when we have
picket fence and a cocker
spaniel that can play circles
around you.

Natty rolls her eyes in disbelief.

        SOL
Now go on. And no back talk.

        NATTY
Yes sir.

Natty climbs up to the top bunk and flops open a tattered piano book. Reluctantly she begins to move her fingers across the keyboard printed on the page, imitating a person practicing their scales.

Sol crawls into his own bunk on the bottom, reaches under the bed and pulls out his box of important papers. He searches under the documents and letters for his money stash…all 2 dollars and 15 cents of it.

He anxiously turns the money over in his hand, worry filling his face.

Natty stops her silent practicing and spies down on Sol. Without lifting his eyes, Sol catches her.

        SOL
Keep practicing, young lady.

Natty’s rolls her eyes again and returns to her piano book, a smile on her face. You can just never put one over on Sol.

INT. ROOMING HOUSE LOBBY MORNING

Sol and Natty walk down the stairs of the St. Ritz Rooming House. The St. Ritz is a place of faded glory come on hard times. The walls are dark from years of neglect and the carpeting threadbare. There’s not much left of what it used to be.

SALLY WAND sits behind the reception desk and greets them as approach.

        SALLY
Morning Sol

        SOL
Sally.

Sally runs the place, more or less. Mostly she reads greasy magazines, listens to her radio and remembers the good old days. She’s a lot like the St. Ritz actually, a former beauty come on hard times, suffering from personal abuse and years of neglect.

She ritualistically hands Sol the classified section of the newspaper as he walks by the desk. He reads through it as he and Natty cross the lobby.

Sally calls after him.

        SALLY
Hey Sol. Did ya hear about the
golfer? It come on the radio.
Lightning struck his metal
shoes. Killed him. Shocking,
huh?

Sally’s LAUGH comes up like a roar out of nowhere and seems to shake the walls. She repeats the punchline to herself and laughs even harder.

        SALLY
Shocking…

Natty stares at Sally and grimaces. Sally catches Natty’s look of contempt, and her smile falls.

        SALLY
Hey Sol, shouldn’t that kid be
in school?

        SOL
It’s summertime Sally. No
school in summer.

        SALLY
0h yeah. . .

Sol finishes the classifieds and drops the newspaper on the front table, the same as he does every day, then pushes through the door, Natty right behind him.

Sally watches them go and repeats the punch line of her joke, laughing again, amused at herself.

END PART 2
Monday, 11/29/ Part 3

A script analysis of her favorite childhood novel – written as a USC class assignment – led Jeanne Rosenberg to her first Hollywood writing assignment on The Black Stallion. Switching from documentary filmmaker to narrative screenwriter, Jeanne studied her craft while working as a script supervisor on numerous films before completing her first original screenplay, The Journey of Natty Gann. She has been writing as well as producing and directing ever since. In addition, Jeanne has taught graduate screenwriting at USC and National University.

MOVIES YOU HAVE SEEN/The Journey of Natty Gann/Part 1

THE JOURNEY OF NATTY GANN
by
Jeanne Rosenberg

CHICAGO 1935

INT MEETING HALL NIGHT

The meeting ha11 is over-filled 200 unemployed, blue-collar W0RKERS. Their angry SH0UTS bounce off the bare walls and reverberate through the room.

The MODERATOR BANGS a wooden gavel to restore order.

        MODERATOR
Alright ! Alright ! Shut up for
a second, will ya? Sit down
Tommy!

There’s no response from the unruly crowd.. The moderator tracks the room with his eyes.

A door opens in back and the moderator’s face shows a slimmer of hope as he sees the new arrival. He calls out, pleadingly.

        MODERATOR
Hey Sol! Sol! Get up here.

There’s a MURMUR from the crowd. Heads turn. They follow the Moderator’ gaze to SOL GANN, a rugged, square-built man with a tough exterior and an intense, calm manner.

Sol’s 13 year old daughter, NATTY GANN, gives him a shove from behind and launches him toward the podium. She beams with pride as she watches the crowd make way for him. She thinks he’s about the most handsome man in the world, better even than any of those movie stars. She even dresses like him in worn trousers, leather jacket and an old cap with a bill that she pinches between her fingers from time to time just like he does.

Natty is obviously a tom-boy…a street-urchin with a charming sparkle .

As Sol takes his place at the front, the room begins to quiet. He searches the faces of his fellow workers.

        SOL
I talked to them. But there’s
nothing I can say you don’t
already know. They’ll pay 30
cents for day work. No more.

        WORKER 1
30 cents won’t even pay the
rent!

        WORKER 2
We ought to hang the bastards.

The crowd AGREES ANGRILY.

        SOL
That won’t feed your kids.

Sol tracks the room with his eyes, probing the faces of his fel1ow workers. His stare slowly quiets them.

        SOL
Times are hard, sure. But you
Can’t let it eat up your
insides.You’re honest people,
hard working. Stay proud of it.
Don’t let them beat you down,
make you give up being who you
are, make you feel small.
They’re trying to tell us we’re
not worth much, but that ain’t
true .

Natty begins to fidget. Adult talk gets pretty boring after a while even if it is So1 doing the talking. She signals to a friend.

        NATTY
Pssst…Hey Louie…Pssst.

LOUIE, a boy Natty’s age, turns. Natty motions him to follow her. She signals to another boy, FRANKIE. The boys slip quietly from their places and follow her through the hall to the men’s room.

INT MEN’S ROOM NIGHT

Natty, Frankie and Louie crowd into one of the stalls and throw the latch on the door.

        FRANKIE
Got it?

        NATTY
Sure I got it.

        FRANKIE
Let’s see.

Natty reaches deep in her pocket and proudly retrieves a crumpled cigarette butt.

        LOUIE
Hey she got it.

        NATTY
I said I would. (to Frankie) You
got the matches?

Frankie looks suddenly sheepish. He searches through all his pockets then shrugs.

        FRANKIE
I forgot.

Natty flashes him a look of utter contempt.

        NATTY
Figures.

Natty pushes deep into her own pocket and triumphantly pulls out a box of matches. She lights the cigarette and coughs as she inhales. She passes the butt to Louie who takes a puff and passes it to Frankie.

They turn slightly green around the edges as the cigarette passes between them again.

The outer bathroom door opens and they hear approaching FOOTSTEPS. Louie whispers to Natty who whispers back loudly.

        LOUIE
Hold your ears.

        NATTY
What?

        LOUIE
Don”t listen.

        NATTY
Don’t be dumb. I’ve heard a man
pee before.

Louie’s face goes red with embarrrassment as they HEAR pee hitting the urinal outside. He can’t look Natty in the eye. He seems to relax again as the FOOTSTEPS recede and the outer door opens. Snatches of Sol’s TALK drift in through the open door before it closes again.

        SOL (VO)
If you’re working hard, you
ought to be paid for it. An
honest wage for honest work.
But the only way to get that is
by sticking together. Fighting
back. If we don’t fight back,
together, we fall. One by one.

        LOUIE
Your Dad’s giving them hell.

        NATTY
Yeah.

        FRANKIE
My Dad says he’s a Red.

        NATTY
Huh?

        FRANKIE
Says they ought to ship him to
Russia cause he’s a Commie.

        NATTY
He is not !

        FRANKIE
My Dad says he is.

        NATTY
Well your Dad’s as dumb as you
are.

        FRANKIE
You calling my Dad dumb?

        NATTY
You calling my Dad a Commie?

        FRANKIE
Yeah! You want to make
Something of it?

Natty hauls back and strikes out, shoving her fist into Frankie’s belly with a pounding THUD. He fal1s backwards but gets up in an instant and leaps at Natty.

They roll out of the stall and across the floor scratching and hitting. Louie tries unsuccessfully to break up the fight.

        LOUIE
Hey! Knock it off. Frankie!
Natty!

The NOISE of the struggle brings adults from the meeting room. They step into the middle of the fight and with some difficulty pull Natty and Frankie apart.

END PART 1

Monday, 11/22/ Part 2

A script analysis of her favorite childhood novel – written as a USC class assignment – led Jeanne Rosenberg to her first Hollywood writing assignment on The Black Stallion. Switching from documentary filmmaker to narrative screenwriter, Jeanne studied her craft while working as a script supervisor on numerous films before completing her first original screenplay, The Journey of Natty Gann. She has been writing as well as producing and directing ever since. In addition, Jeanne has taught graduate screenwriting at USC and National University.

Movies You Have Seen/Intro

Welcome back from a great summer!! Our next series will be MOVIES YOU HAVE SEEN starting with THE JOURNEY OF NATTY GANN by JEANNE ROSENBERG.

A script analysis of her favorite childhood novel – written as a USC class assignment – led Jeanne to her first Hollywood writing assignment on The Black Stallion. Switching from documentary filmmaker, LA BACKWATER: THE VENICE CANALS, NOWHERE TO RUN, to narrative screenwriter, Jeanne studied her craft while working as a script supervisor on numerous films, PIRAHNA, THE FOG, VICE SQUAD, before completing her first original screenplay, THE JOURNEY OF NATTY GANN. She has been writing, WHITE FANG, T-REX BACK TO THE CREATACEOUS, THE YOUNG BLACK STALLION, as well as producing and directing ever since. In addition, Jeanne has taught graduate screenwriting at USC and National University.

First installment Thursday, October 11, 2012