Crushed

by Tom Ambrose

Short Film
Email: tambrose@tpg.com.au

5 minute film about an Irishman called 'Leppy' working on a crushing plant at a Gold Mine in outback W.A.

Crushed
5 minute flm script
by Tom Ambrose

SC 1                EXT                GOLDMINE (ESTABLISHING SHOT)                   DAY

From an elevated position we pan across the entire plant situated in outback WA. The open cut with excavators loading huge dump trucks with ore, the cloud of dust rising and the echoed boom of a distant blast, the loaders roaring across the ROM pad feeding the crusher hopper, road-trains carting ore from distant diggings, the leach tanks and the spinning mill being fed by a maze of conveyor belts, and the distant hard-hats of the men swarming around the noisy metal, rock-eating monster. We then follow the series of conveyor belts back to the crushing plant – zooming in slowly.


SC 2                EXT                            CRUSHER (CV1)                                          DAY

LEPPY stands beside a conveyor belt hauling rocks from the crusher to the mill. The noise of the manganese jaws crushing the huge granite slabs is deafening. The dust is thick and the sun beats down relentlessly. LEPPY wipes the sweat from his forehead and the muscles in his arms are pumped, with veins popping. He never takes his eyes of the slow moving belt laden with varying sizes of broken rock. A large sledge-hammer and hard-hat lay at his feet and he is wearing standard issue dark safety glasses, boots, shorts and shirt.


SC 3                INT                 CRUSHER CONTROL ROOM                               DAY

SKUZZ sits operating the vibrating feeder which regulates the amount of ore fed from the hopper into the jaws. He is a short stocky man with long blonde hair tied in a ponytail. He is heavily tattooed and unshaven. He is constantly standing and leaning over the control panel to adjust the speed of the feeder, while simultaneously trying to roll a joint. He has the radio blaring and smiles as he looks down to where LEPPY is standing; some thirty feet below in the sun. SKUZZ finishes rolling the joint and opens the door, yelling to LEPPY
SKUZZ
LEPPY, come here and have a few drags on this.
LEPPY laughs and yells back up to SKUZZ (in a thick Irish accent)
LEPPY
No thanks SKUZZ. If I take me eyes off this fooken’ belt for one minute
I’II miss one and we’ll have a blocked chute … We don’t want any DOWNTIME today SKUZZ!!!
SKUZZ smiles and closes the door. He sits back on his chair and lights up the number. He takes a big drag and looks out the window to see LEPPY suddenly spring into action, quickly replacing his hard-hat and wielding the sledge-hammer like a man possessed. He thunders it down onto a large rock several times until it breaks in three, then walks slowly back to his position while carefully watching the belt. He stands there puffing and sweating with the hammer over one shoulder, then looks up to SKUZZ and give the “thumb-up” gesture. This scenario continues until the sun sinks and a brilliant sun-set appears.


SC 4                EXT                             CRUSHER (CV1)                                           DUSK

We see LEPPY relax for the first time. He removes his glasses and stares in wonder at the red and pink band of colour stretching the length of the horizon as the first stars appear in the sky. He smiles and releases an audible sigh.
LEPPY
Jesus, Mary and Joseph … would you look at that.
It is now shift-change and night-shift arrives in a 4WD with an orange light flashing on its roof. TWO RUGGED LOOKING CHARACTERS in mining garb hop out. One, A LARGE POT BELLIED ABORIGINE with a broad smile revealing florescent teeth, walks towards LEPPY. His name is ALWYN. He leans and rests a hand on LEPPY’S shoulder.
ALWYN
Hard day LEPPY?
LEPPY
Prick of a day AL! You might have to put a shim in the jaws
tonight. We changed the blend to three Jupiter one
underground so there’s heaps of hard shite coming through.
I reckon the jaws have spread an inch since lunch.
ALWYN
No worries brother. Go and have a drink.
I’ll see you in the morning.
ALWYN laughs and gives LEPPY a departing slap on the back.
LEPPY turns and smiles.
LEPPY
No worries AL. I might have a few pints tonight.
I almost forgot … it’s me mudders’ Birthday.

LEPPY turns and walks to the awaiting 4WD. As he drives off down the desert trail towards camp the lights around the crusher flicker to life.
SC 5                INT                              WETMESS                             NIGHT

We pan around room and see it packed with a variety of ROUGH LOOKING MEN all wearing similar oil and dirt stained ‘Yacka’s’. The room is full of smoke and a juke-box is playing The Cranberries’ hit ‘ZOMBIE’ full blast. There is a crowd gathered around a pool table drinking cans of beer and ‘Wild Turkey’ watching TWO GUYS play. There is also a group of blokes playing darts in the corner of the room. There are four tables in the room, which are simply 44 gallon drums with chipboard tops, and they are spilling over with empty cans. TWO GUYS walk over to a table and one of them swipes his arm across the table top sending cans flying through the air. They proceed to have an arm wrestle. LEPPY is standing at the bar drinking a can of Guinness and taking it all in with a smile on his face. He is well liked and guys continually yell “LEPPY” and crash their cans into his and say “cheers”. Suddenly LEPPY’S face goes black and he stares into space.
LEPPY’S FATHER (V.O.)
Get out of my way boy or I’ll crush your
empty skull with my bare hands.
           
(FLASHBACK)


SC 6                INT                  SHOWERS/CHANGEROOMS         (DUBLIN)       NIGHT

LEPPY is in showers with his team mates. They have just finished rugby training and we see their muddy boots and gear as we pan around. This is much laughter and joking.
                                    (FLASHBACK)


SC 7                EXT                             DUBLIN STREET                                          NIGHT

LEPPY is walking along footpath under street lights. He has his bag over his shoulder and is dressed in gym-boots, jeans and a hooded sweater-with the hood over his head. It is a Wintry night and he is breathing steam as he walks along. It is a typical poverty-stricken neighbourhood in south-west Dublin. LEPPY walks past grey and dingy blocks of flats with clothes hanging from every conceivable position. Dogs are barking. He approaches his parents block and he hears his MOTHER screaming and his FATHER yelling. He sprints to the ground floor flat and bursts through the front door.
                                    (FLASHBACK)


SC 8                INT                              KITCHEN                                                       NIGHT

LEPPY’S MOTHER is cowering up against a sink full of dishes. There is an old timber table in the middle of the room and his FATHER is moving around it towards her. He is a large man, an ex-heavyweight with a broken nose and huge weathered hands; unlike LEPPY who is a middleweight and resembles the sharp chiselled features of his MOTHER. LEPPY moves in-between them and holds an open hand up towards his FATHER.
LEPPY
Dah, you’re drunk… now settle down.
FATHER
(YELLING) get out of me fooken’ way
boy of I’ll throw you ‘trew the fooken’ window.
We see a group of SIX CHILDREN gather at the open door of the kitchen. They are varying in ages from about sixteen down to six. There is a terror in all of their eyes. LEPPY is obviously the oldest.
LEPPY
Dah, if you come any closer I’ll belt you
proper like… I won’t take this shite anymore.
FATHER
(YELLING) Just fooken’ try it boy.
He lunges at LEPPY and puts his hands around his throat, trying to strangle him. LEPPY drives a vicious head-butt into his FATHERS face. – smashing his nose and dropping him to his knees.
MOTHER
(SCREAMS) Stop it KEVIN… NOOOO.
LEPPY drives his knee into his FATHERS face, sending him backwards flat on his back. He lays there unconscious with blood oozing out of his mouth and nose. LEPPY’S MOTHER drops to her knees crying and rest the FATHERS head in her lap. She looks up at LEPPY
MOTHER
Oh Jesus KEVIN, I ‘tink you’ve killed your FATHER.


SC 9                INT                  WETMESS                 NIGHT

LEPPY is standing still with tears welling in his eyes. One spills out and rolls down his face. A LARGE BEARDED MAN walks up to LEPPY. His name is McGREGOR and he is both feared and disliked, shown by the looks on the faces of THE OTHER MEN, and the way they spread as he walks in through the crowd.
McGREGOR
What are you crying about you little Irish poofter?

The music stops and EVERYONE focuses on LEPPY. He looks up at McGREGOR and his face contorts with anger. The can of Guinness he is holding is crushed in his right hand. He says nothing.
McGREGOR
What’s the matter you little faggot,
I thought you Irish pricks could fight?
They stand eyeballing each other until LEPPY calmly says
LEPPY
I won’t fight you… I’ll never fight again.
McGREGOR roars with laughter and mocks LEPPY’S accent. LEPPY drops his can of Guinness on the floor and walks out of the room.


SC 10              EXT                 PHONEBOOTH                     NIGHT

LEPPY is inside the booth in the middle of camp. It is surrounded by desert scrub and a backdrop of ‘dongers’ – single man’s quarters which are rows of small metal sheds. It is silent except for the echoes from the wetmess. He looks solemn as he stands there with the hand-piece to his ear. Suddenly his face lights up and he smiles broadly.
LEPPY
Mammy, its Kevin… HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!
(THE END)
(TOM AMBROSE – tambrose@tpg.com.au)

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