The Shadow Theatre

THE SHADOW THEATRE
INT. CINEMA –
SLOW PAN FROM BLACK: Revealing the side of a mans head.
We are in a cinema, on the screen in the distance a film is playing, the image deeply out of focus, by the laughter partially obscuring the soundtrack we know it is a comedy.
Rows of silhouetted people sit in front of the camera.
CAMERA PANS slowly across the row.
The CAMERA reaches the auditorium door and the wall obscures the FRAME MOMENTARILY TO BLACK.
OVER BLACK: We hear a sudden burst of sound.
PAN FROM BLACK to a CLOSE UP of a WOMAN’s eye as the projected image of flickering light plays over it. The WOMAN turns and walks out of the auditorium.
The door swings closed and we are IN BLACK once more.
INT. ANTEROOM –
PAN FROM BLACK: The FRAME moves from the vents of an air conditioner, its hum overwhelming for a moment, when the sound subsides we hear the muted sounds of the cinema and its patrons laughing.
A table top, covered in packets of popcorn and leaflets that flutter slightly.
We PAN across the WOMAN as she stands alone and still.
LONG SHOT: Across the table of leaflets, the air conditioning unit rumbling fitfully. The breeze makes a large banner that bisects the room flutter slightly. There are three doors, two that presumably lead into the cinema and the other that leads elsewhere.
In the background the WOMAN, out of focus, stands alone a moment, then turns towards the CAMERA.
A pile of leaflets is blown across the table; we hear them scatter across the floor.
The WOMAN moves closer, into focus and we see her t-shirt has a festival logo on it; we can make out the words “film festival”.
The CAMERA PANS with her as she collects the leaflets from the floor.
Through the banner we can make out the backwards words “film festival” once more, she ducks under it and we see that this side things are less ordered, coats and bags are hidden and a few boxes are piled up. It’s obviously used as storage.
MEDIUM CLOSE UP: As she collects the last of the leaflets. A breeze ruffles her long hair and behind her a double door moves.
There is the sound of a door slamming and she turns to face the double doors.
She rises with the leaflets clutched in one hand and moves to the doors.
WIDE ANGLE pulling to a CLOSE UP as she nears the door. The FRAME centres on her eyes.
CLOSE UP: Her hand is placed flat on the door and she pushes.
INT. PHANTOM CINEMA –
In PITCH BLACK a sliver of light is seen as the door is pushed open until it is wide enough that we see the WOMAN’s silhouette.
INT. ANTEROOM –
The WOMAN looks into the blackness for a moment before turning and walking towards the pile of bags and coats hidden behind the banner.
WIDE ANGLE: We see the layout of the room, the two doors leading into the cinema (one of which leads to blackness), etc.
The WOMAN pulls one particular bag free and looks into it.
She pulls out a small chrome torch and tests it.
She turns and walks back towards the doors.
She walks through the room she does not see the shadows of people behind the banner… watching…
INT. PHANTOM CINEMA –
In PITCH BLACK a sliver of light is seen as the door is pushed open again, the WOMAN’s silhouette is almost immediately obscured by the light of the torch as it glares towards the FRAME.
WOMAN’s P.O.V.: The light plays over the room. Over the stairs, the barriers either side of it and the floor beyond.
The WOMAN picks her way inside carefully in the dim torchlight.
We can still hear the muted sound of the cinema, but now it seems eerie and foreboding.
WIDE ANGLE: The black silhouette of the WOMAN is illuminated by the torch she is carrying as it shines on the walls and floor around her. She picks her way down the stairs and across the floor, finally shining the light on the cinema screen; it reflects the light back in a neat square.
There’s the sound of a cinema seat rising, THUMP.
The WOMAN turns the light toward the FRAME.
WOMAN’s P.O.V.: The light shines over the lowered cinema seats, settling on a single raised one.
CLOSE UP: The WOMAN takes a step forward.
WOMAN’s P.O.V.: The remaining lowered cinema seats all raise almost as one with a multiple THUMP’s, as if every one was occupied and everyone got up at once.
The WOMAN lets out a small startled cry and the flashlight beam shifts abruptly as she takes a step back. In the shifting beam light we momentarily see a figure standing halfway up the rows of seats but when the beam sweeps this way again the figure is gone.
The WOMAN stands for a moment, she moves the flashlight over the seats slowly, seeing nothing unexpected.
She walks to the stairs and walks up them along the edge of the seats until she is at the top. Each step creaks slightly and can just be heard over the sounds of the muted cinema next door.
At the top of the stairs a curtain covers a stage behind the seats. It moves, undulates from right to left and the WOMAN takes a step towards the nearest door.
The light swishes from curtain to door briefly, and then back.
As it illuminates the curtain again we see a figure running from behind it, arms raised, covered in the curtain like a shroud. The curtain rips free and the WOMAN screams.
INT. ANTEROOM –
LONG SHOT: Across the table of leaflets, the air conditioning unit rumbling fitfully. The breeze makes a large banner that bisects the room flutter slightly. There are three doors, two that presumably lead into the cinema and the other that leads elsewhere.
The sounds from the cinema next door is of fitful laughter.
A moment later the doors burst open and the WOMAN tumbles into the room, she lands on the floor in a clump. Scampering backwards away from the door. The flashlight, still on but with a feeble beam under the lights of the room, spins on the floor in a slowing arc.
The WOMAN stops, shuddering in the middle of the room, staring at the doors. The moment draws out…
WIDE ANGLE: Over the top of the banner as the flashlight slows and stop, bathing a brilliant beam of light directly into the CAMERA partially obscured by the WOMAN.
The CAMERA lowers behind the banner, the WOMAN lit in silhouette…
That’s when we see the shadow figures surrounding her.
And the overhead lights go out…
In a single pool of light the shadows converge on the WOMAN.
CUT TO BLACK:
From the cinema we hear the laughter…
ROLL CREDITS.

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