THE JOURNEY OF NATTY GANN
INT/EXT CAVE DAWN
It’s a spectacular dawn. The mountain colors are crisp and clear. The birds SING loudly. The sunlight glints off droplets of water left behind by the storm.
Natty rolls over in her sleep, a smile on her face. Her hands feel a warm, fluffy pillow under her head. Her eyes blink open. It’s The Wolf curled beside her.
She stares at him then reaches out timidly and strokes his head. He MOANS softly like a contented dog. She takes her still damp bandana and dabs gently at his already healing shoulder wound.
EXT WOODS DAY
Natty follows The Wolf through the woods. She scrambles to keep up with his fast, steady trot.
His powerful, rippling muscles lift him in one easy, graceful leap across a boulder. He waits at the top for Natty who struggles to inch her way step by step across the rock.
Before she gets to the top, he disappears into the trees.
Hey. . .Wait for me.
She grumbles a complaint as she scurries after him.
He leads them to a stream of clear, running water and they both drink.
Suddenly he stops dead still, the hair on the back of his neck standing on end. He sniffs the air. His muscles tense and coil with raw energy. His ever alert eyes track the distance.
Natty looks anxiously at The Wolf. He stares back at her then turns again to the distance. Natty crouches and moves forward, next to him. She peers through the underbrush.
She turns to The Wolf as she runs.
But there’s no wolf at her side. She stops and turns back, tracking the woods with her eyes. She can’t find him. He’s gone, without a trace, almost as if he never existed.
EXT FARM DAY
The farm is a rough hewn place with an old, log house, a few broken down outbuildings and irregular, pole fences. There’s a chicken coop and a sagging milk cow in a pasture out front. And a mule around back near the garden. An old Ford pickup truck is parked off to the side.
Natty slicks back her hair as she approaches the front door.
She licks her hand and wipes at the dirt on her face before she KNOCKS.
The door opens and a large farmer, AL, with huge hands and a hard, chiseled face peers out at her. Natty swallows the lump in her throat.
Morning. . .
She tries to smile but his stern expression makes it hard.
The farmer stares at her and then into the woods behind her.
What you want? You alone?
Natty looks behind her. But there’s still no sign of The Wolf. Disappointed, she turns back to the farmer whose stare seems to bore through her,
Yeah. I guess so…I’m lost.
The farmer’s wife, ROSIE, joins him in the doorway. She’s much softer and more open looking than her husband Al. As she moves from the doorway, Natty can see that she’s pregnant.
Come on in.
Rosie ushers Natty inside. Al looks around suspiciously one last time before closing the door behind them.
INT FARMHOUSE DAY
Natty sits at the rough, wooden table in the sparse but somehow cheery kitchen. She gulps the food in front of her. Rosie watches compassionately.
You must have been scared. All
alone out there.
I had a friend.
Al turns suspiciously and demands a response.
Rosie and Al exchange raised eyebrow looks of disbelief. Al shakes his head and crosses through the kitchen with a thick, bitter 1augh. He pushes through the screen door and lets it SLAM behind him.
END PART 11
Part 12 Monday, 2/17/13 (Hopefully, maybe Tuesday 2/18/13!)
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.