Ernest

By ZachSeven

Ernest
by
ZachSeven

A simple short film about a dog, a family, and the oft-overlooked simple beauty of life.

(I tried to copy and paste this with formatting, alas, it didn't transfer over)

INT. HOUSE - DAY
A sleeping Beagle named ERNEST sits on the floor. PUSH-IN
slowly.
ERNEST (V.O.)
My name is Ernest. Pretty fitting
name if you ask me. I don't lie
about anything. I can't. All of my
love is real. And everything I do,
I do with conviction. Now, you ask.
How does this “normal” dog know
what the real definition of Ernest
is? I'll tell you. Felix told me.
He's my master's six-year-old son.
And he's a bloody genius.
INT. FELIX’S ROOM - THE PAST - DAY
Felix reads from a DICTIONARY.
FELIX
It's curious Ernest that you were
given the name you have, as Webster
defines Earnest as - “1 : a
serious and intent mental state.”
You’re pretty serious and intent
with everything you do.
VARIOUS SHOTS of Ernest PLAYING, RUNNING, BARKING with
INTENSITY.
EXT. GARDEN - DAY
Ernest pees up against a tree. Felix leans up against the
tree, still with DICTIONARY in hand.
FELIX
The second definition reads as
follows -- a considerable or
impressive degree or amount.
Ernest pees, and pees, and pees, and pees.
FELIX (CONT’D)
So, whichever way you look at it
boy, it's a very fitting name.
INT. HOUSE - BACK TO SCENE - DAY
Ernest still sleeps on the floor.
ERNEST (V.O.)
That was a few days ago. I haven't
seen Felix today at all. I miss
him.
MARTY enters, talking on the phone.
ERNEST (V.O.) (CONT’D)
That's Marty. You might think he’s
the alpha, but he’s not. He's fun,
but he can be stern at times. I
like that. That makes me feel safe.
I really love the pink-baldies. I
do. But I must confess, I don't
understand them fully. They bark a
lot. Mostly all gibberish. And they
get stern very often. Usually
toward each other.
INT. KITCHEN - THE PAST - DAY
Marty and MELISSA argue in the kitchen. They speak gibberish
to each other as Ernest looks on.
ERNEST (V.O.)
It doesn't make any sense. They
have food.
A shot of PIPING HOT FOOD on the table.
ERNEST (V.O.) (CONT’D)
The perimeter bell hasn't rung.
Ernes looks at the front door.
ERNEST (V.O.) (CONT’D)
I haven't heard any suspicious
noises.
Ernest cocks his head to listen.
ERNEST (V.O.) (CONT’D)
And they're not fighting over mom's
squeaky-toy. I know that because I
hid it in the back yard months ago.
A PINK DILDO sticks out of the dirt in the backyard.
ERNEST (V.O.) (CONT’D)
They're rarely pleased. But they're
always happy to see me, as I them.
2.
(MORE)
Except when I have an accident, but
that's mostly because they leave me
for far too long.
INT. HALLWAY - THE PAST - DAY
Marty scolds Ernest. Ernest cowers.
INT. HOUSE - BACK TO SCENE - DAY
ERNEST (V.O.)
But, now that I have your
attention, it must be for some good
reason. Something wonderful is
going to happen today. I can feel
it.
Ernest’s eyes barely peek out of his lids and aim straight
toward us.
INT. KITCHEN - DAY
Marty, on the phone still.
MARTY
I’m on my way now, hun.
EXT. PARK - DAY
Melissa on her CELL PHONE. Felix flies a kite behind her. It
is a wonderfully sunny day at the park.
MELISSA
Finally. And don't bring Ernest.
INT. KITCHEN - DAY
MARTY
But Ernest is part of the family
too.
Ernest cocks his head at the sound of his name.
MARTY (CONT’D)
And it’s such a lovely day. He’d
love it there.
3.
ERNEST (V.O.) (CONT’D)
EXT. PARK - DAY
MELISSA
I said no. You got it?
INT. KITCHEN - DAY
MARTY
Alright babe. I'm heading out now.
MELISSA (O.S.)
Don’t bother coming if you forget
the wine.
MARTY
No problem. I’ve got it right here
on the counter in front of me.
Marty grabs his keys.
ERNEST'S POV: ZOOM IN to the Keys. The JINGLE is loud and
present as hell.
Marty slips on his shoes.
ERNEST'S POV: ZOOM IN to the shoes, the SLIP sound is loud
and present as hell.
Marty opens the front door and ERNEST BOLTS.
EXT. DRIVEWAY - DAY
Marty sighs and goes out to the car. Ernest waits by the car,
ready to be let in. Marty shakes his head and pulls Ernest
unwillingly back into the house.
INT. FRONT HALLWAY - DAY
He sits him down, pointing in his face.
MARTY
Now you stay!
Ernest sits.
EXT. DRIVEWAY - DAY
Marty heads back outside, this time stopping to get the MAIL
from the MAILBOX next to the front door. He looks through
some bills and when he gets to his car he looks up.
4.
Ernest is sitting in the same place, at the foot of the car,
waiting to get in.
MARTY
(looking around)
What the hell?
INT. FRONT HALLWAY - DAY
Marty pulls Ernest back inside. He notices the back door is
open. He closes it.
MARTY
Smart little guy today. And
stubborn. But you can't go. Not
today, buddy. I'll take you for a
big walk tonight.
C.U. of Ernest's face. The word WALK resonates in his ears
over and over. LOUDER and LOUDER. Until Ernest FREAKS. He
jumps up and down, panting and excited.
MARTY (CONT’D)
Crap. The “dubya” word. I'm sorry
buddy. False alarm. Not right now.
Ernest continues to jump on Marty, excited as hell.
MARTY (CONT’D)
Alright, alright, alright. I think
I know how to diffuse this. How
about… a TREAT?
Ernest gets excited. Marty walks to the cupboard, pulls out a
treat and…
MARTY (CONT’D)
Sit!
Ernest sits. Marty drops the treat at Ernest's feet. Earnest
smells it and doesn't eat it. He just looks at Marty and
cries.
MARTY (CONT’D)
Oh come on boy. I need to go and
you're making this very difficult.
Ernest runs to the front door.
MARTY (CONT’D)
No! You’re not coming.
5.
Marty opens the door and slips through the crack, then slams
the door behind. Ernest sits and cries.
EXT. GARAGE - DAY
Marty runs to the driveway and gets in the car.
MARTY
(laughing)
Victory! Victory! Victory!
He turns the car on and starts to back up.
MARTY (CONT’D)
Door Locked. Back door closed. Dog
inside.
Melissa’s voice resinates in Marty’s head.
MELISSA (O.S.)
Don’t bother coming if you forget
the wine.
He slams his hands on the steering wheel.
MARTY
Shit.
INT. KITCHEN - DAY
A shot of the WINE sitting on the kitchen counter.
EXT. DRIVEWAY - DAY
Marty thinks a second, and pushes the button on the garage
door opener.
He pulls the car into the garage.
INT. GARAGE - DAY
Marty removes his SHOES and slowly opens the garage door
adjoining the kitchen; leaving the garage/kitchen door open.
INT. KITCHEN - DAY
He tip-toes toward the kitchen in his stocking feet.
6.
C.U. of the WINE BOTTLE on the counter. Marty makes his way
to it. He grabs it and looks around for Ernest… still
nothing. He tip-toes back toward the door and raises a fist
in the air - “Victory!”
EXT. GARAGE DOOR/KITCHEN - DAY
Marty closes the door ever so softly and puts the wine bottle
on the ground. Then he looks down to his… SHOE? Singular.
One is missing. Marty sighs and puts the one shoe on, then
tip-toes back into the house.
Lo and behold. Ernest sits at the stairs with Marty's shoe
below him.
MARTY
Errrrnesssst?
Ernest cocks his head.
MARTY (CONT’D)
Ernest, give me that shoe right
now.
Ernest growls.
MARTY (CONT’D)
ERNEST.
Ernest bites down on the shoe and runs up the stairs. Marty
just stands there.
MARTY (CONT’D)
Fine. Here. Take this one too. I’m
not playing this game.
He throws the other shoe and it SMACKS LOUDLY against the
white wall.
INT. HOUSE - DAY
MARTY
(yelling)
Fine Ernest. You deserved it. I'm
getting out “THE EVIL!”
INT. UPSTAIRS - DAY
Ernest stops and drops the shoe. He walks Spanish back down
the stairs.
7.
Ernest goes the foot of the stairwell, sits and waits.
Marty appears with an armful of black wire gates. He places
them on the floor and assembles them.
ERNEST (V.O.)
Oh dear God no. Not The Evil!
Anything but that. I'll be good. I
swear. I'll just sleep. I don't
need to go.
Marty completes The Evil. It is a DOG CRATE. Marty swings the
door open and leads Ernest inside.
MARTY
I didn't want to do this buddy but
you've forced my hand.
Ernest enters the crate and sits. He whimpers. Marty backs up
and walks toward the door. He looks back at the crate and at
pathetic old Ernest. Ernest CRIES. Marty sighs and opens the
door.
Marty walks toward the garage door slowly and Ernest cries as
he watches him leave. It is apparent that this is KILLING
Marty.
EXT. GARAGE - DAY
Marty grabs the wine and enters his car. He takes a breath
and stops everything.
SLOWLY PUSH-IN TO: Ernest in the dark house, in his crate,
suffering his imprisonment.
SLOWLY PUSH-IN TO: Marty in the dark garage, in his car,
suffering his “imprisonment”.
ERNEST (V.O.)
And here is the mighty truth to it
all. I may have been bad. Naughty.
Obstreperous. Felix taught me that
one. But I never lied. Not about
one thing. When I was happy I
jumped and ran. When I was sad, I
cowered and cried. And in the end
with all of the pink-baldie's
clamoring back and forth on the
best way to train me, what they
never understood, was that I was
training them. It wasn't malicious
or manipulative.
8.
(MORE)
It was just that they tried to hard
to think their way out of their
emotions. And I'll be the first one
to tell you -- that will never,
ever work.
INT. HOUSE - DAY
Marty walks back inside the house and takes Ernest out of the
crate.
MARTY
I’m sorry, boy.
He walks him to the garage and to the car.
EXT. CAR - DAY
Marty’s car speeds down the road. The BOTTLE OF WINE flies
out of the drivers-side window and smashes on the road.
C.U. -- of Marty, smirking.
MARTY
You’re not going to believe where
we’re going Ernest.
SLOMO -- Ernest has his head out of the car window, ears
flopping, a smile wide enough to swallow the world.
ERNEST (V.O.)
I don't have any idea where we're
going. But it doesn't matter.
Because no one can deny now, the
very fact that, I-am-a-champion.
FADE OUT.
9.
ERNEST (V.O.) (CONT'D)

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Ernest

Created: Jan 22, 2010

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