Example Studio Consulting: MOONLIGHT Script

An example script consultancy on a reading of MOONLIGHT script, winner of Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay at the 2017 Oscars.

“This screenplay is beautifully written, the central theme elegantly expressed in an almost poetic style…” Extracts from a script report by our trainee Edward Smith, based on a reading of the MOONLIGHT script: CLICK HERE to read the script online from Simply Scripts.

This example report was completed by Edward Smith as part of his internship with us, which has recently been successfully completed.

 To see the full industry-standard format we use for Studio Coverage, either commission your own (CLICK HERE) based on the script you submit, or purchase The Confidential Studio Manual to get the inside track on how the industry will really assess and process your script (CLICK HERE)!

WRITEMOVIES STORY DEPARTMENT COVERAGE

 

TITLE: MOONLIGHT                                    LOCALE: Miami, Atlanta

AUTHOR: Barry Jenkins                             SETTING: Urban U.S.

PERIOD: Present                                            FORM: SP

PRODUCER: N/A                                          BUDGET: Low

SYNOPSIS

This screenplay is divided into three chapters, each focusing on a different stage of the protagonist’s life and titled after the name he is currently using; in the first part, aged twelve, he goes by the name LITTLE. Chased by a gang of bullies, he takes refuge in an abandoned crackhouse, where he is found by the drug dealer, JUAN. Little spends the night with Juan and his girlfriend, TERESA, and starts to become close to them because his own mother, PAULA, is neglectful of him.

When Juan discovers Paula doing drugs, they argue about raising Little, with Paula implying that he is gay. That night, having been confronted by Paula, Little goes to speak to Juan, asking him what the word “faggot” means and whether he is himself gay. Juan reassures him, but is then forced to admit, to his shame, that he is a drug dealer and that he has sold Paula drugs.

In the second chapter, the protagonist, now sixteen-years-old, goes by his real name, CHIRON. In the intervening years, Juan has died and Paula has become even more abusive, but Chiron still regularly visits Teresa. He is now struggling with his attraction to his friend, KEVIN, while also still coping with bullies – particularly his classmate, TERRELL…

COMMENTS:

This screenplay is beautifully written, the central theme elegantly expressed in an almost poetic style. It deals with an oft-overlooked issue, studying what it is like to be a gay black man, charting the struggles the protagonist faces in establishing his own identity in a culture that is hostile to his sexuality; this is dealt with both delicately and realistically thanks to the high quality of the writing…

By portraying three distinct stages of Chiron’s life, we are able to see the intricacies of his situation and better understand how he develops as a character. He is forced to change because of the physical and emotional abuse he suffers, with very few nurturing figures to help him. From being a gentle, vulnerable child, he violently lashes out against his bullies and eventually reinvents himself as a drug dealer to hide who he truly is. In the end, he is only able to come to terms with his sexuality because of Kevin’s influence, bringing him full circle back to his true self after all the challenges he has faced.

Each chapter also has its own, miniature three act structure. For example, the first chapter has an inciting incident when Little meets Juan; the first act sees them become attached to one another, the second develops their relationship, and the third deals with the conversation between them when Little asks about being gay. Similarly, the other two chapters also have a three act structure, allowing each one to stand on its own as an independent story – albeit strengthened and given context by the others.

 To see the full industry-standard format we use for Studio Coverage, either commission your own (CLICK HERE) based on the script you submit, or purchase The Confidential Studio Manual to get the inside track on how the industry will really assess and process your script (CLICK HERE)!