Leonard's Neighbours It's My Shout: Short Films from Wales


Leonard's Neighbours

Leonard's Neighbours: Series of short films. An elderly reclusive man dwells on traumatic childhood events which occurred in a downstairs room now occupied by noisy tenants.


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Transcript


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FOOTSTEPS

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TYPEWRITER CLICKS

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They're saying it's rude,

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playing that damn piano, night after night.

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Isn't it? Well?

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I know, Leonard.

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And every day I write notes.

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Yes. Every day.

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And they haven't taken a blind bit of notice, have they?

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No, Leonard.

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HE GRUMBLES I haven't slept properly for weeks.

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I know. You keep saying.

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As I said,

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time and time again,

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you are being very inconsiderate

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playing the piano

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in the middle of the night.

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Yours sincerely,

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Leonard from upstairs.

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FOOTSTEPS

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Good.

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That's right.

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Watch your dynamics.

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HE GROANS

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Dad?

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HE CONTINUES TO GROAN

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Dad?

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Daddy?

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KETTLE WHISTLES

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KETTLE RATTLES AND WHISTLES

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-I don't think they're home.

-No, doesn't seem so.

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Be nice to know what they look like, living in my house, as they do.

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It's not just your house any more.

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Don't you think I know that?

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They're being selfish, that's what it is.

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Selfish.

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Perhaps it's time to try a new approach.

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An invitation, perhaps.

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Anything for a decent night's sleep.

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TYPEWRITER CLICKS

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METRONOME TICKS, CANE RAPS ON FLOOR

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Half four, I said.

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-They're probably just out somewhere.

-Out? All they seem to do is go out.

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Go out and play that bloody piano!

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Your idea, this was, making me look like a bloody fool.

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It was just an idea.

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I'm sick of your new ideas, they bring me nothing but trouble.

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I don't want you here any more.

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-You don't mean that.

-I do.

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But you need me.

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I thought so too, but it's not right.

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Not any more.

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But I'm all you've got.

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All the more reason.

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Go!

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GASPING BREATHS

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METRONOME TICKS

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PIANO PLAYS

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Tempo.

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Yes, keep the tempo, son.

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James, are you ready?

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-James.

-I'm not coming.

-What?

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I just said, I'm not coming.

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Will you stop that racket, boy?!

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Don't listen, son, keep playing.

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James, I swear if you do this to me one more time...

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CANE RAPS ON FLOOR

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And what will you do? Oh, wait, don't tell me.

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Keep playing, son.

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It's not fair.

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I carried your picture in my pocket,

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-and to think all that time you were with HIM!

-Stop.

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Most wives would at least have the decency to let the ink dry

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on the goddamn telegram!

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-I thought you were dead.

-So did I!

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Maybe it was better that way.

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James.

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-SOBBING:

-James!

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METRONOME TICKS

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Hello?

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You in there?

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I just wanted to know if you got my note.

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Don't bother, then. What do you care?

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I'm not angry.

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I just want to talk to you.

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# Peace. #

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PIANO PLAYS

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What have I told you?!

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You are not to play in here, ever.

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Get out.

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Get out, out, out, out, out...

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DOOR SLAMS SHUT

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KEY IN LOCK

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METRONOME TICKS

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PIANO PLAYS SLOWLY

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To you upstairs,

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I don't know what you're doing up there,

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but I can hardly think for all that banging around.

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You there, boy?

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Yes, Leonard. I'm here.

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METRONOME TICKS

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PIANO, TICKING STOPS

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Leonard's Neighbours came from

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when I lived on Cathedral Road,

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in a flat,

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and I'd go into care homes and I'd choose a scene for each week,

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and we'd sort of take in prompts and we'd do a poem or a short story,

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or we'd be writing postcards and things like that.

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'I'm interested in people.

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'I like hearing about them.

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'I just take things on, I absorb things, and then,'

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when it comes to sit down to write things,

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it all comes flooding out and I think, "That's really interesting,

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"that person said this happened to them," and it's like, "Yeah,

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"I'm going to steal that and write about it," but change the names.

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So when I wrote the script,

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which I set in Pontcanna, with a Leonard...

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We now have an actual Leonard.

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As I said...

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And also I wrote my Leonard character as Jewish,

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-and you are also Jewish, aren't you?

-Yes.

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So there's actually quite a few parallels

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that are quite interesting.

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But you would have been the Leonard, I think,

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if my Leonard had had a nicer life

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and done a bit more for himself, like you've done,

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and travelled the world.

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I'd like to think he would have been a bit more like you,

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rather than how he is now, because my Leonard's not very happy.

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Yours sincerely,

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Leonard from upstairs.

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You know, someone asked me how I heard about It's My Shout today,

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and I think I just saw it on Facebook,

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and it was the first script I've ever written,

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so I didn't expect to get anywhere.

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So this year we had 250 scripts, over 250 script submissions,

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which is the most we've ever had.

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Once we have the final 50,

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we have people from the BBC, BBC Wales,

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who will read the final 50, as well as Kurt Thomas,

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who is the script development mentor.

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They all read the top 50 and come to the top ten, each,

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which is then around the table,

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people from It's My Shout as well as the BBC will come

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up with the final nine films.

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So, yeah. And I think what the panel really liked

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about Leonard's Neighbours

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was the fact that it was quite accomplished,

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especially now knowing that it's the first script that Jodie has ever

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written, it's quite an accomplishment for her too.

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Your idea, this was, making me look like a bloody fool.

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It was just an idea.

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I'm sick of you and your ideas. You bring me nothing but trouble.

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Where is the key?

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Leonard, where is the key?

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I don't know, I put it somewhere.

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-I forget now.

-Sit down!

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-Why are you in this room?

-Casting is interesting.

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I mean, it's my first-ever casting,

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so to have it as my first film is a little bit surreal.

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And action!

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It's a real strong character piece, kind of heavy on theme,

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that's something I really wanted to do.

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So, yeah, I really jumped at that chance

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and ideas started popping

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and I think you know that when you get into a script,

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you know this is the one I wanted to go for.

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Are you saying it's unlevel?

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Is it the monitor?

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-Oh, the monitor is unlevel. So look on this one.

-Oh, OK, yeah.

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It's enjoyable watching all the crew and the cast and everyone together.

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It's enjoyable standing at the back and seeing how everyone does it.

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But the weird thing is hearing someone say your words

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that you've been poring over for months and months and months.

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James, are you ready?

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-SHE SIGHS

-James.

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And also what they do with those words,

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so in my mind it sounded different,

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so then they say it and I'm like,

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"Wow, that's actually... That's really sad."

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-James.

-I'm not coming.

-What?

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I just said, I'm not coming.

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Would you stop with that damn racket?!

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Yeah, but it's nice to have it kind of brought to life.

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But, yeah, a really odd experience. Cool, though.

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A haunting drama about an elderly man. Reclusive Leonard dwells on traumatic childhood events which occurred in a downstairs room now occupied by noisy tenants.

Followed by a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the film.


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