THE JOURNEY OF NATTY GANN
INT CAGED BUS/GREELY INDUSTRIAL SCHOOL NIGHT
Natty and The Wolf ride in the back of a converted school bus. There’s a wire mesh cage separating them from 2 UNIFORMED GUARDS in the front.
The Wolf GROWLS like a furious, caged lion, and Natty watches with wide-eyed trepidation as the bus drives into the Greely Industrial School. She jumps with a start as huge metal gates CLANG ominously closed behind them.
Natty stares at the hulking, gloomy 2-story brick building which dominates the courtyard, and at the ¼’ block wall which encircles all of Greely and separates it from the outside.
INT GREELY INDUCTION OFFICE NIGHT
Natty stands anxiously in front of an enormous desk in a cold, dreary office. JAKE, one of the Guards from the bus, stands beside her.
SAM PARKS enters the room in a flurry. He wears a civilian suit but grabs an officer’s hat from the rack on the wall and puts it on his head as he sits behind the desk and shuffles through the paperwork in front of him. He’s obviously annoyed.
Okay, okay. Let’s make this
fast. What’ve we got? The usual?
Jake nods his head and Sam flnds the right form.
Alright. Here we go. Name?
Full name. Speak up.
Natalie Sue Gann.
Where do you live?
Vagrant. Where’s your folks?
I’m not. . .
Put her in 1, Jake.
Sam stamps Natty’s papers with an official seal while Jake leads her away. She yells over her shoulder as she goes.
I’m no orphan!
Yeah, sure kid. Sure.
Jake and Natty disappear through the barred door at the end of the room.
INT DORMITORY NIGHT
A hard looking JAIL MATRON walks with Natty down an aisle made by 2 rows of metal beds in a drab, cement walled dormitory.
Natty can feel the piercing stares of the other GIRLS in here. There are 10 of them and they watch her closely, sizing her up.
The Jail Matron stops at an empty bed near the end. She waits impatiently, towering over Natty.
This is yours. No talking after
8. Up at 5.
Natty climbs on the thin, hard, horsehair mattress.
The Jail Matron walks back down the aisle, her FOOTSTEPS reverberating through the room. She turns at the doorway, makes a headcount, then flicks the light switch.
Her VOICE BOOMS back at them through the darkness as she walks away.
Natty lies in her bed, her eyes darting back and forth as they become accustomed to the dark. She stares at the metal bars on the windows and sets her jaw as she hears the far door SLAM and the deadbolt slide into place, locking them in.
She tracks the other beds. Several of the girls are propped on their elbows, staring back at her with hard, cruel looks.
One of the girls, TWINKIE, a 13 year o1d, climbs out of her own bed and moves to Natty’s. She talks in a loud whisper.
Welcome to the funny farm. What
are you in for?
Natty nods and Twinkie laughs.
Dry up Sheila!
Twinkie smiles at Natty and continues talking.
You’re lucky you got this bed.
It was June’s. She’s stuck in a
Meditation Room. We may never
see her again. She tried to
break out. Dumb.
The Jail Matron’s VOICE booms at them from the darkness.
Twinkie shrugs and streaks back to her own bed, leaving Natty alone to stare at the barred windows.
END PART 16
Part 17 Monday. (Hopefully, maybe Tuesday!)
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.