Sundowners - Episode One - 'Sleight of Hand' by Joshua Boultwood-Neale | Script Revolution

Sundowners - Episode One - 'Sleight of Hand'

Disenfranchised by her difficult domestic and school life, Laura turns to the degenerate World of a bohemian homeless community, in search of somewhere to belong



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Format: Six-part TV Mini-series (1-hour episodes)

Genre: Social Drama

Style: Contemporary-British, urban, social-realist

This social-realist drama set in Scotland follows Laura’s journey as she steps into Melville’s anarchic, yet enchanting, homeless community- where we learn every colourful character has their own story.

The protagonist, Laura- a gifted thief with a heart for animals- reaches breaking point in her relationship with her alcoholic Father, as both navigate the grief of losing Laura’s Mother in their own unique ways.

Fascinated by magic tricks and increasingly disillusioned by the World around her, Laura could easily be the female reincarnation of Holden Caulfield- the iconic, rebellious protagonist from JD Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye- only resituated in contemporary ‘Broken Britain’.

Among the drunkards, drug-addicts, and eccentrics of the homeless community, Laura meets Logo- a disenfranchised, but charismatic rogue- who takes her hand and offers her an education in a side of life she has never-before seen. As Logo and Laura learn more about each other, they discover they have more in common than one may have initially suspected. As an unlikely romance develops, both invest in hope for a brighter future, together.

However, before they achieve their happily-ever-after, they must first overcome the twin-obstacles of an off-the-rails Father who is not yet ready to let go of his ‘little girl’, and the trappings of a homeless community that is unforgiving and hard to escape from. Laura also discovers Logo is not immune from the vices that so-often consume members of the homeless community.

Laura is the archetypal example of a teenager in limbo- perpetually tethered between her home and the outside world… between girlhood and womanhood… between innocence and enlightenment. Neither ‘here’ nor ‘there’, Laura is desperate to find a place to call ‘home’, but must first equip herself with the street-skills and knowledge necessary to navigate the cruel World around her.

Rooted firmly in the context of ‘The Lost Generation’, this series also follows the trials and tribulations of homeless life, examining the behaviours and interactions of ‘The Sundowners’- a group of down-and-outers united only due to circumstance. As Sundowners follows this group of eclectic individuals, it exposes not only the hardships of homeless living, but also pure and tender moments of humanity at its rawest. These moments offer a profound reminder of the values of community, cooperation, and support for fellow man.

In the mould of Orange is the New Black, each episode- alongside following Laura’s journey- delves into the life of a different character at the hub of the homeless community. Through flashbacks to their past, each episode examines the question:

How did they end up here?

EPISODE OUTLINE - PILOT - 'Sleight of Hand'
(edited synopsis)
In the pilot episode, Laura’s disillusionment is explored through reference to her being bullied at school and living with a Father who doesn’t understand her or treat her as an adult.
After an argument with her Paps breaks out over the dinner table, Laura storms out of the house, before stealing fags and booze. She meets a mysterious, handsome teenager called Logo, who takes her to a raucous party in an eclectic homeless community beyond a forest. After hours of revelry and a couple of strange encounters with members of homeless community, Laura and Logo kiss under a sleeping bag. Laura is bemused and embarrassed when Logo bats her hand away when she tries to take things further.
Meanwhile, Paps’ financial woes mount up, reaching a head when he is sacked and subsequently refused a bank loan. Coupled with the impact of his pre-existing alcohol and gambling addiction, Paps hits rock bottom.
After discovering letters detailing the extent of her Father’s financial issues, Laura confronts her Father, building to an argument which erupts over breakfast. When Laura discovers Paps sold his wedding ring, she packs her bags and leaves.
Laura meets up with Logo and agrees to help him steal from a department store. After Logo is caught a foot-chase down the street ensues, culminating with Laura shoving the security guard into the road, where he collides with an oncoming cyclist.
After Laura helps steal for the community- and comes to the aid of Wagner’s dog- Elias leads Laura to believe Logo has no feelings for her, and sees her as nothing more than ‘useful’. Refusing to believe Elias, but seeking clarity, Laura tries to find Logo in the tee-pee.
When she witnesses what she believes in Logo voluntarily kissing Kezia, Laura runs home.
As Laura arrives at her street she sees her house up in flames, before her Paps pulls up in the car behind her.
In Laura’s flashbacks, there are insights into memorable events from Laura’s past. These are not depicted in a chronological order.
The first flashback shows Laura in a swimming relay-race in which she drops the baton and her Paps demonstrates his frustration. The second flashback follows on from this, and reveals that Laura lost the swim-race intentionally. It also shows Paps inappropriately grab the buttocks of a member of Laura’s swim team, while in the car park.
The third flashback reveal a happy memory in which a younger Laura goes on a fairground ride with her Mother and waves to her Paps- who smiles and waves back.
The fourth flashback reveals how Laura could perceive her Paps to be to blame for not seeing her Mother one last time before she died.
The fifth flashback, chronologically before the fourth, is a traumatic memory of Laura visiting her Mother in the cancer ward, and her Mother not recognising her.

Full treatment, character arcs, series/episode outlines available upon request.

Submitted: March 2, 2018
Last Updated: April 13, 2018

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The Writer: Joshua Boultwood-Neale

WRITER. Stories of the social underclass/ contemporary urban bohemianism. Sound up your street? Check my scripts, below! Hugely grateful for any feedback/advice. Humbled and inspired by the creative talent on this platform WHIP THE SCRIPT. I offer bespoke script services for independent script writers, filmmakers, and production companies.Tell me about what you're excited to be working on! ABOUT. - 5+ years' experience in script development and consultancy - MA Scriptwriting (Distinction) at Creative Skillset-accredited Bournemouth University - Freelance scriptwriter - THE BODY SHOP received a 'Consider' verdict at the PAGE International Screenwriting Awards 2016 (full script available in... Go to bio

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