Screenplay for short film:
 

“Incident at Burnsides Bridge”

 

A True Story By Scott Warner

 On medium broadside shot of Burnside's Bridge, overlay title at top of frame and subtitle at bottom. Cut to medium shot over bridge from the south bank foot; bright sunny day, bird call and cricket BG noise. At the center of the bridge, two typical teenage Girls are sitting on the left parapet, eating bag lunches. In the background, a typical overweight dweeb Tourist with map, camera bag and nose in history book enters frame right and saunters along the north bank. Overlay title at top of screen: ANTIETAM MARYLAND and overlay subtitle at the bottom: September 17th.

Dissolve titles. Dolly camera up onto the bridge near the Girls as the Tourist approaches the north foot of the bridge. Overdub the distant booming of thunder.

Girl #1: “What do you think of Lisa’s shoes?”
Girl #2: “They’re pretty neat but I don’t like that color. What about Tony’s new haircut?”
Girl #1: “Cool, he doesn’t look like such a feeb.”

At the north foot of the bridge, the Tourist doesn’t notice the sudden (fade-in) appearance of a dead body in Yankee uniform on the ground next to him. Overdub a rifle shot in heavy reverb, then a fusillade, artillery fire, bugle call, running feet, hoof beats, yells and screams. As the Tourist walks towards center of bridge, he is suddenly swamped from behind by charging Yankees (blue screen a squad of re-enactors to simulate entire column or use CGI; can be solid images or spectral). The Tourist and Girls pay no attention to the soldiers surging past, screaming, shooting and dying.

Cut to close-up of the Girls as the Tourist stops next to them.
Girl #2: “I’m totally grossed out by what Donnie and Sara did in the backseat of the car last night.”
Girl #1: “That was SO disgusting! I mean like, Donnie and Sara?! What was he thinking?”

Cut to close-up of the Tourist, Yankees still charging past. Tourist cocks his head left and up like he hears something strange. He turns his head right and listens, then glances behind him. More Yankees charge past, yelling and shooting. The Tourist turns all the way around searching for the sound he hears, then stops with front to camera but face turned toward the Girls. Yankees still charging past.

Cut to close-up of a Rebel Soldier with floppy hat lying prone. As he stands up, dolly down to ground level so Rebel occludes the sun, creating a shadowy, backlit silhouette. Never see face. Then in slo-mo, he shoulders his rifle and fires (slow heavy reverb).

Cut back to medium shot of the bridge, dead Yankees all around. The Tourist slaps the right side of his neck like he has been bitten by an insect, then checks his hand. Fade-out dead bodies. Zoom in on three-shot. The Tourist turns his head and stares at the Girls. Cut to close-up of Girls who stare back silently, chins down with great big sloe eyes. Hold pose for four seconds. Cut back to three-shot. Girls turn heads back to one another as if nothing happened.

Girl #1: “So, I’ve got detention on Monday. How about you?”
Girl #2: “Me too. Derek will be there, I’m going to ask him if he wants to go to Linda’s party.”
The Tourist shakes his head to clear it, then continues across bridge out of frame.

Overdub car horn. The Girls get up and exit but leave their trash. Zoom in on trash (Twinkies wrapper prominent); cue Civil War-era music with hip-hop beat; overlay graphic at top of screen: In Honor of Rod Serling ; run credits.

NOTE: not filmable due location and National Park Service restrictions

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