Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/1445571-Redheads--Watersheds
by JDMac
Rated: E · Script/Play · Comedy · #1445571
This was the original script I wrote for my Team Animation project.
If you would like to view the completed animation of this screenplay, go to the following address:

“Redheads and Watersheds”

         FADE IN:

         We pan across beautiful scenery of a marshland, perhaps somewhere in
                Canada or Northwestern U.S., as the NARRATOR begins.

                           (sounding very knowledgeable)
                       Marshes, a wonder of the natural world.  In these secluded
                              areas, land and water come together in almost perfect
                              harmony to create the ideal environment for many plants and
                              animals to call home.  But, not every animal that comes to
                              the marsh lives here year round.  Migratory birds often find
                              these wetlands particularly desirable as resting grounds
                              during their long exodus across the North American
                              continent.  On their journey south to escape the blistering
                              cold of winter, waterfowl such as this Redhead Duck use
                              these marshlands to-

              We pan past Roy the Redhead Duck as he grills something (maybe a
              small fish or clam) on an outdoor barbecue.  In the background is a
              1960’s style ranch house with a long driveway and a mailbox with Roy’s
              name on it.  We pass Roy, and then pause as the Narrator realizes how
              out of place the adolescent drake is.

                             (obviously shocked)
                             What the…?!

              Roy continues on, casually flipping his food on the grill with a spatula,
              oblivious that he is now at the center of the Narrator’s attention.

                         Hey you!  What are you doing?!

              Roy jumps in surprise and immediately finds a hiding place behind the
              barbecue grill.  He glances around nervously for the source of the voice
              before staring directly at us.  He points to himself questioningly as he
              slowly creeps from his hiding place, almost holding his spatula

                           (sternly, but not angry)
                         Yes, you!  What are you doing there?

              Roy smiles and scrapes the fish off the grill and flips into onto a plate,
              sprinkles with salt, and adds a small garnish of wild celery (also part of
              the Redhead diet) before proudly displaying it for us to see.

                   (trying to regain his composure)
                              Oh.  Well…Redheads, like other pochards, are diving birds
                              who rely on these marshes for their food supply, which
                              usually consists of many aquatic plants or the occasional
                              invertebrate dwelling beneath the water’s surface.

              As the narrator drones on, Roy loses interest and eats his lunch.  He, like
              the other ducks, is preparing for the migration, just not in the same way.

              Images or video of the real life ducks appear on screen as a backdrop to
              the Narrator’s dialogue.

                   (getting back into his narrator flow)
                              During the migration season these ducks can gather in large
                              flocks called “rafts” far from the shore as they graze.  Then,
                              almost as if they are of one mind, they take flight!

              As other ducks in the far distance take flight, Roy grabs the barbecue grill
              and prepares to empty the ashes (or other trash) onto the ground next to
              the water.  It is time to go.

                           Hold it!

              Roy freezes in place, still holding the container of ashes/trash.

                           I wouldn’t do that if I were you.

              Roy shakes his head with a confused look on his face, as if to say “You

                                  No.  You could damage the watershed.  You do know what
                                  a watershed is, don’t you?
              Roy excitedly nods his head.  Dropping the trash, he leads us over to an
              old shack with “Water Shed” written across the door.  He opens it to
              display dozens of plastic bottles of, you guessed it, water.

                           That’s not what a watershed is.

              Roy slumps and, with a frown, shakes his head as if to ask, “It’s not?”

                   (almost amused the duck’s ignorance)
                                No.  A watershed is an area of land that drains or channels
                                water to lakes, streams, underground reservoirs, or even
                                wetlands like marshes and swamps.  Every piece of land on
                                Earth acts as a watershed, filtering the water as it flows, and
                                damaging it can negatively affect our world’s water supply.

            Roy is shocked at this information.  He points quizzically at what he was
            about to dump onto the ground.

                                Yes, even that little bit there can contribute to the damage
                                our watersheds are receiving.  Small contaminates can
                                collectively travel with the water as it travels from streams to
                                rivers and out into the Earth’s oceans, negatively affecting
                                plants, animals, and even humans on the other side of the
                                globe!  Proper disposal of garbage and other waste products
                                helps to reduce the number of pollutants entering our water

         Roy zips over to a large recycling bin and disposes of his trash.

                             (clearly pleased)
                                That’s better.  Now, you’d better hurry.  The others are
                                heading off without you.

                Roy looks up to the sky and sees the ducks in the distance flapping
                away.  Pulling out a pocket watch, he realizes that he’s running late and
                hurries off.

2          EXT- ROY’S HUMMER
                Roy pops into view behind the wheel of an oversized Hummer with an
                Airstream trailer in tow.  Before the Narrator can say anything to him, he
              speeds off.

                   (muttering blandly to himself)
                           Not exactly what I had in mind…

                From above we see Roy’s Hummer and trailer racing down the highway.

                   (back in his standard voice)
                                  The Redheads in flight are a wondrous spectacle.  Like
                                  other migratory birds, these ducks work together to reach
                                  their destination.  Flying in the familiar V-formation is a wise
                                  and energy efficient way to travel long distances.  Each bird
                                  in the formation breaks the air resistance for those flying
                                  behind and slightly above, allowing those at the rear to
                                  expend less energy.  Whenever the lead duck becomes
                                  exhausted, he simply drops back, allowing another to take
                                  his place at the front.

              Roy is at the head of a formation at this point, but drops out to quickly
              refuel his Hummer.  Before the flock moves on, he is back on the road at
              the rear of the formation.  Almost in fast forward, we watch as he moves
              his way back to the front of the formation, only to drop out again to refuel
              and return to the rear.

                                  More than anything, however, the formation helps keep
                                  track of everyone in the flock and ensures that everyone
                                  reaches their destination safely.


              Roy pulls into the parking lot and excitedly leaps out, making a bee line
              for the water.

                                  At last, after a long, tiresome journey, the ducks have
                                  arrived at the midpoint of their trip:  The Horicon National
                                  Wildlife Refuge.  Fatigued by their trek across North
                                  America, these stalwart creatures eagerly anticipate a
                                  soothing dip in the cool waters of the marsh.

              Running toward the water, Roy pulls out a rubber duck-shaped inner tube
              and hops into it.  As he jumps out over the water, time seems to stand
              still.  Puzzled, he hovers unnaturally above the marsh.

                                  But, imagine if you will, what would happen to this beautiful
                                  marshland if the rest of the world neglects to care for the

              In a flash, the beautiful scenery vanishes and what replaces it both
              shocks and repulses Roy.  The once green wetland has mostly dried up. 
              It is now a grey and brown wasteland.  In the area where tall stalks of
              cattails once grew, now only piles of unearthed rock dwell.  What water
              remains is murky and dark with the faint glimpses of a rainbow-like
              sheen that usually announces the presence of oil.  There is a bit of foam
              floating on the surface from soap that had washed in through the
              watershed.  In the background, new condos or other structures are being
              erected in an area once covered in water.  The dust being kicked up by
              the construction crew turns the sky tan.  What is intriguing is the lack of
              garbage, or what we would consider litter.  Roy is obviously displeased
              and squeezes out of his inner tube.  Quickly judging the distance, he
              leaps onto shore.

                           Not very pleasant, is it?

              Roy shakes his head in disappointed agreement.

                                  No one, single person is responsible for caring for this
                                  delicate ecosystem.  It is one of many storage areas for our
                                  world’s water.  It flows here from many places, some
                                  hundreds of miles away, picking up any number of
                                  sediments and debris in its path.  Some of these are
                                  naturally occurring, but human interaction can cause even
                                  the most mundane of particulates to be dangerous to the

                                  Animal waste products, plant litter, and soil can be
                                  expected in any natural environment, but excess amounts
                                  from farming and gardening combined with fertilizers,
                                  pesticides, and other chemicals can be detrimental to the
                                  world’s wetlands.  Unfortunately, these are only a few of the
                                  possible sources for the marshes destruction.  Household
                                  cleaners, paints, and even automobiles that leak chemicals
                                  or use too much fuel are also hazards that threaten these
                                  areas through the watershed.

              Roy is notably disheartened.  He slumps, saddened by his participation in
              his home’s annihilation.

                           Oh, don’t worry, my redheaded friend.

              In a flash, the environment is returned to its natural beauty.  Roy is happy

                                    That was only a glimpse at what may happen if we all
                                    aren’t wise enough to properly care for our watershed.

         Roy nods in agreement.


         Some time has passed since we last saw Roy.

                Roy, made wiser by recent events, sits in a lawn chair beneath the
                awning attached to the back of his Airstream trailer.  Hitched to that
                trailer is no longer a gas-guzzling Hummer, but a hybrid.  With his
                laptop in front of him, he surfs the web for information on how to protect
                the watershed (gaggle.com).

                                    That’s right.  With the right amount of initiative and know-
                                    how, you too can help to protect the world’s wetlands
                                    through watershed conservation.

                                           THE END
© Copyright 2008 JDMac (tallguyarrow at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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