Books by Miller H Caldwell
A FILM SCRIPT to teach decorum in Primary Schools.
For OPTION contact the author.
THE FRIENDLY CROCODILE
AN EDUCATIONAL ANIMATED SHORT FILM SCRIPT
FOR PRIMARY SCHOOL CHILDREN
1 EXT DUMFRIES DEVORGILLA BRIDGE DAY.
A car crashes over Deverogilla Bridge in the centre of Dumfries town landing upside down in the River Nith. Crowds run to the banks to see the tragic scene but are more horrified to see a Crocodile appear from the churling waters. Shouts of horror are heard. Chaz gives a splash with his tail and goes under water to bring a 5 year old child, Colin, his mother and his father up one by one onto the upturned car. People applaud his actions.
Chaz was born in Nigeria where he was sad and lonely each day. Born with no teeth to kill or hunt with others and play. A migrating swallow then spoke to him. It came from the old River Nith. It spoke of friendly Doon Hamers, their kin and their kith.
Chaz stands up with the family on top of the upturned car and addresses the silent crowd.
So I swam and I swam for six days. The water grew colder and colder and at night I rested in bays. But now I have found a big river where people have thrown in their food. For you I hear this is litter but for me, what I eat, is so good!
Murray approaches the Crocodile carefully.
Hello, my name is Murray. I hope you really won’t bite. If you don’t, then I’ll be your friend and I’ll meet you here each night.
Dear Murray see, I can not bite. I have no teeth to chew so have no fear of me and I will play with you each night.
2 EXT RIVER BANK AFTERNOON NEXT DAY
Murray runs down to the riverbank and calls for Chaz. A log is floating nearby which turns out to be Chaz. He is dragging his tail but then shakes free from a trolley as he speaks.
Your river had many odd things in the water. I caught my tail in a trolley. I then found small sticks each claiming to be an ice lolly!
You really are very useful. I think even you could do a few jobs. Like clean the river of rubbish, of prams and mobiles and knobs.
Chaz nods his agreement. He is anxious to please his new friend.
3 EXT RIVER NITH CENTRE OF DUMFRIES TOWN DAY
Chaz swims into the town centre clearing the riverbed of prams, mobile phones, bicycles, shopping trolleys, a car number plate SN02 FAR, a skipping rope, a Queen of the South Scarf, a Gretna Football jersey and a football. He Scoops each article on to the riverbank.
The Police gather each item and are delighted to return them to their happy owners. A Policemen approaches Chaz and points to the river, to the caul by the bridge.
Our winter flooding is a problem. As yet it is unsolved. Why not dredge the problem river? I’m sure you could be involved.
4 EXT BELOW THE CAUL ON THE NITH AT DUMFRIES DAY
Chaz swims over the Caul and starts to dredge the riverbed on the other side. Great bursts of brown mud come up and are swept down the river out to sea.
5 EXT TOWN CENTRE RIVER BANK DAY
On the banks, the town's Councillors cheer as they see their flooding problem solved.
6 EXT TOWN CENTRE AT NIGHT
The streets are well lit but litter srewn. Bottles and cans are everywhere. Patches of dried chewing gum splatter the pavements.
Early every morning between the hours of two and three, Chaz leaves the dark river and the town he goes to see, His sharp claws scrape the streets, the chewing gum will vanish and with his tail, he wipes away graffiti words to banish.
Chaz is seen walking down the High Street in the very early hours of day, scrapping chewing gum from the street, wiping graffiti from the walls and scooping up rubbish with his tail into bins.
7 EXT DEVORGILLA BRIDGE DAY
The town is looking much better and I know there’s much more you can do Farmers up the river have worries and I know you can solve them too.
It’s great to feel I’m useful. A feeling I never have had. Before I was always shouted at. They always thought me bad.
8 EXT UPPER RIVER NITH FARMING LAND DAY
Chaz swims along the river leaving the town behind and going up country. He comes across fields by the river. Some have damaged fences.
At lambing time each year, Farmers count their dwindling flocks. Exposure to rain and frost claim some, for others, the hungry hawks.
Chaz comes across three lambs drowning in the river. He safely delivers them to the grassy bank then he repairs the wire fence with his snout, by raising the barbed wire.
Some fell into the Nith going through a fragile fence but Chaz scooped up many thus saving farmers pence. Framers smiled their appreciation from their farms along the banks. They raised their caps and cheered his name they wished to say their thanks.
9 EXT UNDER DEVORGILLA BRIDGE DAY
Chaz lies on the river bank watching boys and girls rowing in COXLESS pairs up and down the river. He looks very sad. Tears start falling from his eyes. Murray arrives to see him upset.
At last I fear I see my teeth indeed, are now growing.
This puts at risk the boys and girls, who use the Nith for rowing.
With bright new teeth, Chaz announced, Home is where he’s spend his days But with thanks to him, our crocodile, we’ve learned to mend our ways.
Murray places his arms around Chaz. He starts to cry too.
Have you heard of crocodile tears?
I think perhaps not. There’s one thing strange about them. In fact tears are what they’re not! They’re tears of happiness which you have given me. For you have been my friend as all in town can see. But now my teeth will cause much fear for those I do not know and so alas, dear Murray, it’s time for me to go.
Murray slowly nods his head in reluctant agreement.
Then home is where you now should go to spend your future years. I know we all will miss you and shed so many tears.
Murray pats Chaz on his head once more. Chaz dries his tears and smiles. He turns and sets off down the river towards the open sea, stopping to wave to Murray twice with his tail. Murray waves back.
10 EXT TOWN CENTRE DAY
Dumfries High street is clean and sparking. Children and adults walk deliberately to the bins to place their rubbish inside the bins.
11 EXT NIGERIAN SWAMP DAY
There is much happiness at the swamp. A family of crocodiles see Chaz return from his travels. He is the centre of their attention back in his native pond.
Chaz has returned to the Niger and he’s happy to greet all he meets. He tells of his days in cold Scotland, of Murray and cleaning the streets.
The warm African swamp fades as we then see Dumfries town centre with people of all ages starting to gather.
12 EXT DUMFRIES TOWN CENTRE DAY
Murray is standing before a large number of pupils from the local primary school, parents, teachers, the general public and some policemen too.
This tale is more than a story. It’s a lesson to learn this day. Keep your town and riverbeds tidy. It’s good that they look this way.
The crowd cheer.
For if you don’t remember, then guess what you will find?
Chaz now has bright sharp teeth. And your name is on his mind!
13 EXT NIGERIAN SWAMP DAY
CHAZ (CLOSE UP) A full front shot of Chaz in the Nigerian swamp. Chaz then opens his mouth revealing rows of sharp white teeth and a BRIGHT RED TONGUE. He opens his mouth wide. He closes his mouth with a loud BANG.
14 EXT DUMFRIES TOWN CENTRE DAY
Murray is with his parents the Chief Constable and the town Mayor wearing is chain of office.
Well Chaz is no longer with us but what a change he has made. The town is clean and tidy that really does not need to be said. But for all Primary School children, I have another surprise. Chaz has left you a package with useful things and some work to make you wise. But first I must show you his Promise. He makes it with me and with you. He makes it with your class teacher and the one who cares at home for you too. And I have signed it, as I hope you will too and then at the very bottom a scratch will come into view. Yes Chaz has left his mark on more ways than one! So let’s get cracking and make your mark on your own town.
INT CHAZ’ PROMISE DOCUMENT
We see a certificate with a child’s name and address on the lines provided. The name of the town also appears. Slowly reveal each line and see the signatures of the child, a parent, class teacher and the signature of Chaz himself. It’s a five-way agreement.
YOUR PROMISE TO CHAZ
THE FRIENDLY CROCODILE
WHO LIVE AT .................................
PROMISE TO KEEP MY PLAYGROUND, THE BUSES, THE STREETS OF
OUR TOWN …………………………………….
AND THE TOWNS I VISIT, CLEAN. I WILL NOT DROP LITTER. INSTEAD I WILL PLACE LITTER IN A BIN AND IF THERE IS NO BIN HANDY, I WILL TAKE THE LITTER HOME.
I ALSO PROMISE NOT TO WRITE ON WALLS, SEATS, BUS SHELTERS OR ANY PUBLIC PLACE.
I REALISE THAT IT IS WRONG TO SWEAR, NO MATTER HOW MUCH SWEARING I HEAR.
I WILL NOT SWEAR AT ANYONE.
I PROMISE NOT TO BE A BULLY AND I WILL REPORT ANY BULLYING THAT I SEE TO MY TEACHER, A POLICEMAN, A PARENT OR ANY OTHER RESPONSIBLE ADULT.
I UNDERSTAND THAT SCHOOL CHILDREN THROUGHOUT THE UNITED KINGDOM WILL JOIN ME IN MAKING THIS PROMISE AND AS A RESULT, WE WILL HAVE CLEANER TOWNS AND HAPPIER PEOPLE IN OUR LAND.
SIGNED BY PUPIL.....................
SIGNED BY PARENT .......................
SIGNED BY CLASS TEACHER .................
SIGNED BY MURRAY ......................
Scratched by CHAZ.....................
Site: Chaz visits Dumfries