Immediately after looking at the pictures for this assignment, I wanted a screenplay. One, because I had never written one before and two, because it allows for a lot more emotion since you’re able to imagine what the characters would look like, what mannerisms they would make, and how they would talk to each other. I used the picture of the man eating soup from the soup kitchen in addition to the propaganda poster of the three men in overalls and crafted my story around that. I decided to focus on two different points of view. The point of view of Cecil and the point of view of Patty. Considering women were primarily seen as the homemaker, stay-at-home mom, or wife, I switched the roles and made Patty the one who was in line waiting to be served the food. When Theo asks his mother why his father isn’t in line with them, he forgets his father works for the CCC up in Virginia. I had to research where the CCC started hence why the location is Virginia. When the server comes to the mid-point of the line after Patty yells in annoyance, whispering to the cook “We do have enough, right?” emphasizing how long people had to wait in soup kitchen lines to receive food; how lines would wrap around the block. I added minor details such as Theo sucking his thumb and eyeing the soup to make to imply that he was antsy. The next act includes a location change to Virginia, where Cecil is helping construct a dam. The CCC only accepted unmarried men between the ages of 18 and 25, which is why Cecil isn’t married despite having a son. The line where Cecil goes “A blessing that man up there got us this job, huh?” references FDR since he initiated the New Deal. The name “Lucy’s Mall” I just thought of describing the plaza where everyone goes to that includes all the necessary places to go (bank, soup kitchen, etc). I only wrote the first two acts because if I hadn’t, the screenplay would have been 20 pages, so I only did 6 for the sake of this project.
FADE IN (from black): Alabama, October 1936
EXT. LUCY’S MALL – OUTSIDE SOUP KITCHEN – DAWN
There was an itch. It was glowering over everyone in Mississippi, Virginia, Alabama… To some, the world stopped spinning. One minute, they were ironing their husbands’ coveralls or suits for their afternoon meeting, the next, their employers would look at them with glossy eyes, almost tearful, and shake their head. Finding a dime in this dirt on their morning stroll brought endless joy. The dust had not been settled. People were malnourished, life was thinning, finances were slimming, and the country was in ruins. (V.O.)
ESTABLISHING SHOT of Lucy’s Mall with people walking towards the soup kitchen line.
HORIZONTAL PAN of PATTY and THEODORE in soup kitchen line.
PATTY rapidly taps her foot, sighs, and looks at her watch on her left wrist as her son; THEODORE is holding her hand.
(restless, tugging on his mother’s coat sleeve)
VERTICAL CUT to Patty.
Where is Papa? Why isn’t he here with us? He’s probably hungry.
Cecil’s working. Y’know he got that job up there. He’s helping to provide for us. (to the person at the front of the line) NOW IF ONLY THESE DAMN KITCHENS COULD MOVE FASTER!
Theodore was a timid boy. Only five years old. He wasn’t aware that he was born on the brink of what would be the worst financial toil of his time. His mother, Patricia, who was also a wife to her then-husband, Cecil Patrick, was very high-strung due to the predicament her family was placed in. (V.O.)
(trudging past the others in line with the cook following close behind her, says sweetly)
Ma’am, I assure you everything is going to be alright. (to the cook whispering) We do have enough, right? (to Patty, whose cracked lips and ruffled hair stared into the server’s face in disarray), I assure you everything will be fine. (she turns to walk back to the front)
(shifting his weight from one foot to the other, begins gazing at the ladle with a tan-colored broth as it was scooped into bowls with pieces of stale bread on the side being handed to each person in line.)
(despondent for a few moments, she turns, sighing, and bends down to her son who is now sucking his thumb to the point of being raw.)
I assure you, everything is going to be alright.
FADE OUT (to black)
END OF ACT I
FADE IN (to black): Virginia, 1936
EXT. SIDE OF THE ROAD – AFTERNOON
ESTABLISHING SHOT of Cecil, Robert, Eugene, and Arthur.
(chews on gum, eyeing Cecil as he continued to whack at the logs as if they were slabs of steak.)
Alright, y’all, finish up this dam, and then it’s lunch. (O.S.)
(leans back on the pile of logs, checking his hands for splinters, he huffs)
A blessing that old man up there got us this job, huh?
(certain, he chuckles and turns to look at Cecil whose baggy eyes sagged and hung as if they were grocery bags)
It must be a curse. It’s all in your face. (he cackles)
Cecil was only 24 years old when he found out this job was available. The posters surrounding Virginia gazed at him. The bright blue letters screaming, “Do YOU need a JOB????” with tall, lanky, men in coveralls with shovels and gears next to their faces.
(begins to scratch his head, feeling a sting at the nape of his neck as he rubbed his shoulders)
Alright y’all, LUNCH!
FADE OUT: (to black)
END OF ACT II
TO BE CONTINUED…