Bell Rock by George Zwier | Script Revolution

Bell Rock

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96pp

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Logline: 
In the isolation of a remote lighthouse, two men suffer the persecutions of their clashing personalities. Their isolation leads to paranoia. Their paranoia leads to eternal torment.
Synopsis/Details: 

The North Sea, off cost of Scotland, 1804. The H.M.S. York struggles in a fierce storm. With no light except the flash of lightning, the ship crashes on a hidden reef. 491 souls are lost.
Bell Rock, 1834 (Present Day). A lighthouse known as the Bell Rock now sits on the reef, a beacon warning of the dangers beneath. ROBERT, a playful soul, and KIERAN a duty bound man, operate and maintain the lighthouse in isolation. They fill their days with maintenance tasks and fishing whilst rarely speaking to one another in the confined environment. No alcohol, no idleness and no womanising.
In their own ways, the men try each other's patience and wills. KIERAN picks carefully away at Robert's paranoia though manipulation of Robert's character and his fear of the netherworld. Stories that include the inhabitation of their lighthouse by the ghosts of the dead sailors from the H.M.S. York. ROBERT is able to pull at KIERAN's nerves with his child-like playfulness and casual skill at fishing.
During a debaucherous evening of rum, there is a thawing in relations as the men tell tall tales. That is until KIERAN reveals his tragic past of his wife dying in child birth to their stillborn son.
As a result of the alcohol, the men almost forget to operate the light. Their failure in their duty results in a visit from the fearsome figure of ROBERT STEVENSON. STEVENSON tears strips from the men in the most humiliating manner. Any thawing in their relationship has been undone by Stevenson's rebuking.
When ROBERT finds himself in mortal peril, ROBERT'S tragic past of an abusive FATHER are revealed. ROBERT then hallucinates the presence of other sailors who are responsible for his rescue but, in fact, are the seals who inhabit the rocky outcrop. Despite Kieran's anger, he does all he can to save Robert's life. Though the men show dutiful care to each other, these moments are short lived.
KIERAN'S violent temper is put on full display when ROBERT pushes him too far in a playful incident. Any shred of commonality, let alone friendship, has now been completely stripped away.
A terrible storm arrives, one so severe that Robert's nerves are completely on edge. Unable to deal with Robert's anxieties, Kieran inexplicably exits the lighthouse, disappearing into the night.
Completely confounded by Kieran's action, Robert must step up and see to the duty of maintaining the light alone. A gruelling task that involves resetting the light mechanism every 26 minutes through the night so that the light may continue to turn.
Robert must not only face this 26 minute task through the remaining nights alone, but he must also survive the demons in his head fuelled by Kieran's words. Words with which Robert has now manifested into the return of the sailors of the H.M.S. York.

All Accolades & Coverage: 

Los Angeles International Screenplay Awards (Spring 2018) - Semifinalist

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The Writer: George Zwier

I am a film industry professional working in Visual Effects for the past 18 years. Despite my sucess in this field, it has proved to be a distraction from my passion for writing. With two feature scripts and numerous shorts under my belt I have decided it is time to move forward with the thing I love rather that the thing I am paid for. Go to bio

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