Category: On Fire

On Fire | Script Conversion 2

INT. OFFICE BUILDING – DAY

Elevator doors open. Young Ryan’s tie is straight. His jacket is a bit too big. He steps into the lobby.

Uncomfortable seating, sleek design, open spaces and glass walled conference rooms. Young Ryan sees HARRISON TRAEGER (50s) through a wall. Traeger’s sleeves are rolled up, and he’s inspecting blueprints.

RECEPTIONIST (O.S.)

Can I help you, Sir?

Young Ryan turns and steels himself with a breath. He steps forward.

YOUNG RYAN

Hi. Yes. I’m here for an interview?

INT. WILMORE WELLNESS CENTER LOBBY – DAY

A wall poster reads HEALING BEGINS WITH JESUS over an image of open hands.

Another poster: WHOLENESS. EMPOWERMENT. FREEDOM WITH THE BODY OF CHRIST under an image of a distraught woman with beseeching arms in the air.

A door stenciled: DR. MORRIS LAHEY M.D., P.C., E.T.C.

Ryan sitting on a bench beside the door. Eyes glazed. Scratching his cast.

The door opens and DR. LAHEY (50s) appears.

DR. LAHEY

Ryan Dolan?

Ryan is slow to acknowledge. Dr. Lahey leaves the door open, disappearing into his office.

INT. TRAEGER’S OFFICE – DAY

A window overlooking the city. A desk with a pile of blueprints. A wall of photographs of old, grand buildings.

Traeger with a folder in his hands.

TRAEGER

This is good work, Ryan.

YOUNG RYAN

Thank you, Sir.

TRAEGER

You still have a lot to learn.

Are you willing to learn?

YOUNG RYAN

Absolutely. Yes, Sir.

TRAEGER

(with a smile)

Good. Welcome aboard.

A handshake.

INT. DR. LAHEY’S OFFICE – DAY

The doctor scribbles. He doesn’t look up as Ryan quietly enters and takes a seat.

A FOLDER on Lahey’s desk has Ryan’s PICTURE clipped to the inside cover. There are red slashes throughout the typed report below.

The doctor turns his attention to the folder and CIRCLES something before giving Ryan a glance.

DR. LAHEY

Mr. Dolan, I will not

beat around the bush.

Ryan is silent.

DR. LAHEY (CONT’D)

Yes, I see. They have you…

medicated.

Ryan is silent.

DR. LAHEY (CONT’D)

Yes. Well. As I said,

no beating around the bush.

Your attempted suicide.

(gestures toward cast)

Depression. Psychosis.

Ryan is silent.

DR. LAHEY (CONT’D)

These are the initial diagnoses.

Our goal here is to work through your…

(checks file. scowls.)

Issue.

Ryan smirks and scratches his cast.

The doctor takes notes.

DR. LAHEY (CONT’D)

We will reevaluate after three days.

Ryan is silent.

DR. LAHEY (CONT’D)

Protocol to include medication, group

therapy and observation.

Ryan is silent. Lahey jots more notes.

DR. LAHEY (CONT’D)

(exasperation)

Very well. Have a seat in the hall.

Someone will be along shortly.

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On Fire – Script Conversion 1

RYAN (V.O.)

I am two people.

INT./EXT. CHURCH VAN – COUNTRY ROAD – OVERCAST DAY

Unbroken stretches of Georgia pine. The van’s a billboard for WILMORE FIRST BAPTIST.

RYAN (34), a lone disheveled man in the middle row, stares out the window in a daze. He mindlessly scratches the CAST on his forearm.

The DRIVER fiddles with the radio. LYNYRD SKYNYRD plays.

RYAN (V.O.)

I am now. And I am then.

INT./EXT. RYAN’S CAR – I75 – SUNNY DAY

That same Skynyrd TUNE, and YOUNG RYAN (24) sings along, tapping the beat on the steering wheel. He’s wearing a pressed shirt and a loose tie.

Atlanta’s on the horizon

INT./EXT. CHURCH VAN – INSTITUTION GATE

The sign reads: WILMORE WELLNESS CENTER

The van comes to a stop as the GATE GUARD approaches, happy to see DRIVER.

GATE GUARD

Hey, Pete! How’s that boy of yours?

PETE (DRIVER)

Tom, I tell ya, I ain’t never

seen him throw this good.

TOM (GATE GUARD)

Amen to that, brother.

We’ll need him this year.

PETE

I hear ya. I’ll let him know

you’re rootin’ for him.

TOM

We’ll put him on the prayer list, too.

PETE

We could use all the help we can get.

TOM

Everybody could, ain’t that true?

(gesturing)

This the guy, I guess?

PETE

(undecipherable)

Ryan isn’t paying attention to the men anymore. He sees

CENTER GROUNDS

BALDY wearing a grey-blue jumpsuit. Baldy is standing at a side door, leaning and smoking, and staring across 30 yards straight into Ryan’s soul.

VAN

Ryan scratches his cast.

CENTER GROUNDS

The propped open door swings wide. ORDERLY 1, looking like an angry mountain, gestures to Baldy, who flicks his cigarette into the grass and heads inside.

VAN

The GATES open.

On Fire – plotting 1

I’m tired of keeping my notes in a notebook.

  1. Ryan talking to the doc
  2. Ryan meeting Traeger, his boss, for the first time
  3. Ryan at the institution, taken to his room after meeting the doc.
  4. Getting a sense for his roommate’s conspiracy theory brain through a secret note stuffed into his bedding – don’t take the triangle pill (illuminati)
  5. Putting on his institution uniform / putting on a suit that fits after his first paycheck
  6. Making his bed / his new apartment
  7. Falling asleep while he waits for someone to tell him where he’s supposed to be
  8. Dream 1 – cuts of late hours and late drinks and a blonde woman smiling, “I love you, dummy” with a laugh, and a flash of her lying dead in the middle of the street

  1. Awake with a start. Snoring roommate in eery halogen lighting from the parking lot. The moon is half full
  2. In the hallway, confusion with so many doors. He doesn’t remember which way, makes a guess
  3. More eery lighting, passing door after door, the buzz of every third overhead leading to an oasis nurse’s station with Shirley reading a Stephen King novel – Firestarter
  4. Their conversation, he takes his pills, and she teases him about not showing up for group last night. He didn’t know. No one said. They do that, she says.
  5. She feeds him his missed dinner. Meatloaf sandwich to go with his drugs. He doesn’t know how he’ll manage to get back to sleep, but the drugs are fast.
  6. On the way back to his room, creepier now that he’s dazed. Misses his door, there are more now. So may doors.
  7. Tina, his wife from he dream, calling to him from the end of the hall
  8. He goes to her. Tries. She’s farther and farther away u til she turns and disappears behind the corner. He picks up pace, calling for her
  9. Runs snack into a giant of a man in an orderly uniform.
  10. Brief exchange, the orderly shows him which door is Ryan’s