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Descent into Madness

- a short film -

A controversial short film which focuses on the very real threat of school shootings. This film was created as a reminder to everyone, "Terror always starts somewhere, it has no bias, not race, color, religion, or continent. It happens at home, school, work, in the streets, it's victims are our friends, families, neighbors,  adversaries. Descent into madness was written with a simple question in mind: Where does it start?" Which brings up a very real question, Where does it end? Read the script







Descent Into Madness

Written & Directed By

Danno Nell

Micah James Whorton


 - MARK -

Pierce Layne


 - LEWIS -

Malcolm Sonsire

as the


Patrick Rosiser


 - Jock #1 -

Nate Castor


 - Jock #2 -

Alexander Anderson



Steven G. Brown



Executive Producer: J. Daniel Nell Contact: Danno Nell
Produced By: Jennifer Blaylock
Casting By: Michelle Wright
1st A.D. Jennifer Blaylock
Gaffer Michael Worthen
Special Thanks to: John Moyer
Justin Wright
Golden Spike Firearms
Shepherd Lighting & Grip Phil Shepherd
David Stosich
The Funk Family

Descent into Madness

- a short film -

Written By Danno Nell

Copyright 2002

           1   INT. MONTAGE OF MARKS ROOM -- DAY                              1  

               Black & White (with slight cold blue tint)

               Montage of Marks room (ESTABLISH ROOM), at first shows us
               what we want to see inside a bedroom of a 17 year old. "FILL
               IN THE BLANK".

               Then the Montage begins to show things that at first cause
               us to question what we just saw, like a duffel bag with the
               barrel of a shotgun sticking out, papers on a desk that look
               like schematics of a bomb and words like "anarchist",
               "detonator", "pipe".

               Each image reinforcing the last, ending on the computer screen
               with a web design program running and the title of the web
               "Why we did it".


                                                               END MONTAGE:

           2   INT. MARKS ROOM -- CONTINUOUS                                  2  

               ANGLE ON

               door to marks as the last lock is unlocked the thumb turn
               rotates and the door opens.

               BACK TO SCENE

               The door opens to reveal Mark, a 17 year old "Goth" style
               teenager. Although he wears a long black trenchcoat, baseball
               cap on backwards, black shirt and Pants, along with military
               style boots, he doesn't sport any piercings or make-up.

               Mark holds a yearbook, scissors, and stick glue in one hand,
               closing and multi-locking the door behind him. He then heads
               over to a desk and sits down, placing the items down in front
               of himself.

               Coldly Mark looks into the large mirror that rises from the
               back of the desk. He only stares at himself for a moment
               before he proceeds to open a desk drawer and remove an
               unmarked BOX. A box which is held together by several wraps
               of tape.

               Placing the box down on the desk he focuses his attention to
               the yearbook, opening it to a per-marked page which clearly
               shows the High School Football Team in uniform. This picture
               is clearly circled in red ink.


                                           Written By  Danno Nell        2.
                                              Copyright 2002            

                                     JOCK 1 (V.O.)
                         Hey tough guy!

                                     JOCK 2 (V.O.)
                         Where you going?

                                     JOCK 1 (V.O.)
                         Com'on we just wanna talk.

               The sounds of Mark being thrown up against a locker and a
               struggle accompanies the dialog.

                                     JOCK 2 (V.O.)
                         Where do you think your going.

               The sound of Mark being punched in the stomach and falling
               to the ground. While both Jocks laugh.

                                     JOCK 1 (V.O.)
                         Get up where just playing around,
                              (almost sincerely)
                         Come on shake it off.

               The sound of Mark being punched again.

                                     JOCK 2 (V.O.)
                         You Trenchies never learn do ya

                                     LEWIS (V.O.)
                         Hey! Leave him alone.

               The sound of a struggle can be heard as Lewis jumps on one
               of the Jocks, and is then immediately pummeled.

               Using the scissors, Mark proceeds to cut out the picture and
               glues it to the top of the mirror, then promptly turns to
               another per-marked page and cuts out a picture of the
               cheerleading squad, also circled in red, and glues it next
               to the other picture.

               Turning to another per-marked page, this time full of student
               portraits, he begins to cut out a picture of a young lady
               that has been circled in red ink.


               As Mark cuts out the picture he notices a picture of Lewis
               on a preceding page.

                                           Written By  Danno Nell        3.
                                              Copyright 2002            

               ANGLE ON

               picture of Lewis, a handsome young man, which is the only
               picture that is really crisp and clean.

               (ALTERNATE: Show every page we see being scribbles out with
               a black sharpie, everywhere except the pictures that get cut
               out and Lewis').

               Mark looks at his watch.


               WATCH #1: which reads 11:04am.

           3   EXT. CITY SIDEWALK, BAD PART OF TOWN -- MOMENTS LATER          3  

               ANGLE ON

               WATCH #1: which reads 11:04am.

               Watch drops out of scene.

               MASTER SHOT

               City sidewalk is in ruff part of town, gutters are littered
               with garbage, buildings are covered in graffiti.

               Lewis, who like Mark is dressed in "Goth", leans against the
               adjacent building smoking a cigarette. His hand drops down,
               he to was checking the time.


               Lewis attention turn to the vehicle and his attention doesn't
               waiver as the Low rider '72 Monte Carlo pulls up to the curb
               in front of him.

               ANGLE ON

               the passenger in the low rider who is a late 20's LATINO MAN
               dressed in standard gang paraphernalia. He turns the music

               BACK TO SCENE

               Lewis checks out the surroundings before flipping his cig
               and walking over to the car. Standing at the side of the car
               the Latino man gestures for money. Lewis reaches inside a
               pocket and pulls out a wad of cash and hands it over.

               The Latino man looks at the roll of cash then up at Lewis,
               noticing a SHOTGUN dangling inside the coat. Lewis immediately
               pull the trench over to cover the weapon as they make eye

                                           Written By  Danno Nell        4.
                                              Copyright 2002            

               Snapping his fingers a PAPER BAG is placed into Latino mans
               hand from someone in the back seat, which he promptly hands
               over to Lewis.

               Lewis opens the bag and peers inside, reaching in he pulls
               out a standard 9MM BULLET, looks at it for a moment the shakes
               his head and hands it back to the Latino man who also looks
               it over then again snaps his fingers and a hand full of EAGLE
               CLAW (COP KILLERS) is placed in his hands. The Latino man
               takes one of the bullets and holds it up. Lewis takes a look
               and nods in the affirmative.

               The Latino man take the hand full of bullets and holds them
               out, Lewis raises the bag and Latino drops them in.

               Gesturing to Lewis, Lewis nods in the affirmative. Ending
               their business, the Latino mans turns the radio back up and
               motions to his driver. The Vehicle pulls away.

               Lewis takes the bag and disappears around a nearby corner,
               reappearing moments later on a BMX bike. Lewis rides off.

           4   EXT. MONTAGE CITY STREETS -- MOMENTS LATER                     4  

               ANGLE ON

               Lewis as he rides cold faced down the road staring straight
               ahead. The scenery changes as he rides, until he's in an
               upscale neighborhood.

               Suddenly something grabs his attention and he looks off to
               the side.

               ANGLE ON

               BILLINGS HIGH SCHOOL, which Lewis stares at for several
               seconds before his attention returns to the road in front of

           5   INT. MARKS ROOM -- MOMENTS LATER                               5  

               Mark is gluing another picture to the montage which now fills
               the entire top of the mirror.

               Placing the glue stick down, Mark reaches inside a pocket
               and pulls out a LIPSTICK CONTAINER. Opening the container
               reveals a BRIGHT RED LIPSTICK.


               Mark proceeds to write on the mirror: "THE BLOOD THAT FALLS
               TODAY IS ON YOUR HANDS".

               When finished Mark places the lipstick down and picks up the
               box off the desk. He then heads over to the second story
               window and pears out

                                           Written By  Danno Nell        5.
                                              Copyright 2002            

           6   P.O.V. MARK FROM HIS BEDROOM -- CONTINUOUS                     6  

               Looking down reveals two very YOUNG BOYS playing BASKETBALL
               on the driveway.

               Noticing Mark one of the young boys begins to wave.

               ANGLE BACK ON

               Mark who leans out the window, and for the first time his
               cold face lightens, a hint of a smile forms and he waves

               RETURN TO P.O.V.

               Lewis comes riding into the yard with the brown paper bag in
               hand. Making eye contact he dumps the bike and heads towards
               the house.

           7   INT. MARKS ROOM -- CONTINUOUS                                  7  

               Mark leans back inside and heads across the room towards the
               bedroom door.

           8   INT. HALLWAY IN MARKS HOUSE -- MOMENTS LATER                   8  

               A quite well dressed hall, with pictures and the like lining
               the walls. We hear the many locks unlock, the door opens
               where Mark appears into the hall. Without closing the door
               he heads to another bedroom.

           9   INT. LITTLE BROS. ROOM -- CONTINUOUS                           9  

               A very clean elementary boys room, everything in its place.
               But still screaming childs' room.

               Mark enters and walks over to the side of the BRIGHTLY
               DECORATED bed. Slowly Mark opens the box to reveal BASEBALL
               CARDS. Entirely filled, he places the opened box on the bed.

               Suddenly something catches his attention and he quickly looks
               towards the door, where Lewis stands watching.

               Giving Mark a slight nod, Mark looks back at the cards for a
               moment then  back at Lewis cold faced he nods and heads back
               to his bedroom.

          10   INT. MARKS ROOM -- MOMENTS LATER                              10  

               As Mark and Lewis enter the room,  Mark closes the door and
               locks every lock. While Lewis grabs one of the TWO CHAIRS
               and places it in the middle of the room and sits down. Lewis
               stares at the mirror while Mark grabs the other chair and
               sets it directly in front of Lewis. As he sits down there
               knees touch.

                                           Written By  Danno Nell        6.
                                              Copyright 2002            

               Placing the bag on his lap, Lewis pulls a 9MM SEMI-AUTOMATIC
               PISTOL from it and hands it to Mark. Then he pulls another
               one out.

               Mark examines the gun by ejecting the clip and pulling back
               the slide locking it open.

               FX: Sounds of gun.

               Lewis then reaches into the bag and pulls out a hand full of
               eagle claws, holding them out, Mark takes one bullet, looks
               it over and loads it into the clip. While Lewis also loads
               one bullet and places the rest in the bag. Then places the
               bag on the ground.

               Both boys slide the magazine into their gun. Mark releases
               the slide and Lewis activates the slide. Guns are loaded.

               Mark nods at Lewis as if to say, "are you ready?" Lewis
               returns the nod.

               Both boys stand, placing their gun on the others left temple.

               FX: BOOM echos

               SMASH TO RED.

          11   EXT. DRIVEWAY AT MARKS HOUSE -- CONTINUOUS                    11  

               Boys still play basketball

               ANGLE ON

               Marks younger brother who with shock abruptly turns and looks
               up at Marks window.

                                                              SMASH CUT TO:

          12   INT. MARKS ROOM -- NIGHT                                      12  

               Mark, with sweat dripping down his sits up into frame. Eyes
               wide open staring directly into camera.

               His face bares the marks of a savage beating.

               SMASH TO BLACK & CREDITS