BORDERLAND

Fiction Proposal - 2017

Writer/Storyboarder

'In the world of detached consciousness, a former tech-company-owner tries to uncover the mysterious incident that put him in a permanent coma, by piecing together memories with a magic rock.'

 

 

 

QUESTIONS LEFT UNANSWERED


“RAY (28, Male) is followed and stabbed by a mysterious man in an empty alley in Melbourne after he left the bar. He couldn’t see the man’s face in the dark, but only a glance at his smirk. Ray is left bleeding on the ground, tangled with questions, as his visions blur and fade to black. He falls into a coma.”
 

Ray wakes up on the shore of Borderland - the world of unconsciousness, for souls detached from their comatose bodies. A piece of Memorock breaks apart in his hand. Ray is distressed, as the short trip back into his pasts has not fully answered his confusions. Later that day, while going back into the misty forest on the search for more Memorock, screamers in the woods draw him to witness two persons being surrounded by ghouls and SEMPER - the ruling entity of Borderland. Ray tries to use his intelligence to rescue them from danger, but couldn’t save DOWLE (40 Male) from being possessed by Semper into one of its minions. Ray manages to help ANDRE (34 Male) to run to safety.
 

After a talk, Ray learns that Andre was a police officer. He and Dowle had been roaming together for a few days. In return to Ray’s savioUr, Andre agrees to help him find Memorock so he can find the truth about his assault. They become companions.

 

 

 

 

OVERDUE REMORSE

 

“Morning, Ray and LILY (28 Female) - his wife, get up and leave for work without a word said to each other. The intensity between them is uncomfortable. Later that day, Ray mouths hurtful words at Lily, in an extremely fierce argument. He hits her with an uncontrollable rage. With blood on Lily’s face, she stares at him in storming off disgust. Their relationship is broken beyond healing.”
 

Ray wakes up with the only piece of Memorock they find all week gone to dust. Ray refuses to talk to Andre about what he saw and keep it to himself. Nevertheless, Andre shares the story of how he got shot on an important police mission on the same day of his first child’s birth, thus ends up here in a coma and never get to see his daughter. He regrets not disregarding his obligation to stay with his family.
 

Andre then opens up about his intention to wake up from the coma, by getting through the Bridge alive, behind Semper’s Sanctuary. Ray negates the practicality of it as he doesn’t want to get killed, or worse, turned into a ghoul and stuck here for eternity. Andre puts his intention aside, but clearly not given up hope.
 

“Ray is furious finding out that Ghost - his company, has fallen behind Ethereum - his major rival in the technology market, after their unethical efforts to smear Ghost’s credibility. Despite Lily’s advice to bring it to court, Ray aggressively intends to get back at DANIEL (28 Male) - the owner of Ethereum, by hacking their system.
 

The disagreement leads to an inevitable conflict with Lily, to which she cries saying that he has changed so much. The stress pushes Ray to the verge of a mental breakdown. They gradually drift away from each other.”

 

 

 

 

BLINDED BY MISERIES


After a few days lurking, they discover an uncanny entrance to a Labyrinth in the forests. Inside, they find an immense amount of Memorock. They carve themselves a few large pieces, before rushing away from a strange noise from within and make it outside.
 

However, Ray is hesitated to use the Memorock. He finally opens up about the fear of finding out a disturbing answer, that Lily was the one pulling the strings of the assault, punishing him for their conflict. Eventually, he finds the courage to search his memories again.


“Ray goes back home from work. Lily has prepared dinner and waited for him with a graceful smile. Ray talks about starting the Ghost project - the brilliant concept that he is passionate about. He then proposes to her in a beautiful, romantic moment which moves her to tears.”


Ray then hallucinates about all the wonderful memories together with Lily, and re-experiences all the warm emotions that he hasn’t felt in a long time.
 

“Ghost receives the award for the most successful new tech firm. In the speech, Ray thanks his wife for all the immeasurable and unconditional support. To celebrate, they travel to Gold Coast for the anniversary. They play on the beach with happy waves of laughter, paying no mind to the world except each other.”

 

 

 

 

SKELETON IN THE CLOSET


Waking up with teary eyes, Ray changes his perspective about his beloved wife, and truly believes that Lily was uninvolved. Andre reluctantly reveals his secrets, that Ray’s incident was one of his investigations. With all evidence points against Lily, she was concluded to be the prime suspect. However, she fled and remained missing while Andre got shot. Ray is shocked and furious at the incapability and dishonesty of the police. Ray storms out in anger.
 

While losing composure, Ray gets himself targeted by a ghoul. He tries to fight back, but the ghoul strangles Ray and leaves its mark on him. Andre comes to rescue, by smashing a piece of Memorock onto the ghoul’s head, knocking it out of consciousness. The ghoul reacts with a seizure, struggles to mumble words. Its deformed limbs morph into human’s figures. The contact with Memorock takes effects on it, which they never knew.
 

The ghoul regains its humanity and transforms into Dowle, Andre’s lost companion. Dowle insists to help to get them out of Borderland. However, they need to move quickly as Ray only has 7 days to survive because of the ghoul’s mark.

 

 

 

 

TOO FAR GONE


Dowle guides them back to The Labyrinth. They craft weapons from Memorock while staying clear from the ghouls. They work together like clockwork, with high determination to wake up. The night before the uprising, Ray sits alone in silence, re-evaluates his life decisions and struggles with the unanswered questions. He decides to reminiscent his past one last time.


“Back when they were still strangers, Lily meets Ray in a graduation party. Ray is immediately attracted to her beautiful smile. Later that same night, Ray was introduced to meet Daniel for the first time, as co-best students of the University. They share a brief smile, not knowing that they will one day be each other’s competitor.”


Ray suddenly wakes up in a staggering moment of clarity, breathing heavily. He recognizes Daniel’s smile. It is perfectly clear now that Daniel was the one who timed to eliminate his menacing rival - Ray, in order to frame his wife Lily. Haven’t yet calmed down from the disturbing truth, the first light signals the time for their mission.

 

 

 

 

NOTHING ELSE MATTER


Ray submits himself at the Sanctuary, while Andre and Dowlesneaks through the secret labyrinth. As Semper emerges with hundreds of ghouls and is approaching Ray, a Memorock arrow - shot by Andre, penetrates its eye socket. Semper is wounded and astounded. Seizing the opportunity, Ray draws out a Memorock knife and strikes the surrounding ghouls. Soonly, several ghouls are turned into humans to become a war between the living and the dead.


Leaving the chaos behind, the three make for a run through the Bridge. Suddenly, Ray hears Semper’s voice telepathically whispers to him that Daniel is now in Borderland, tempting Ray to stay and get his revenge. He is stuck in a dilemma, with images of the crime flashing through again, filling his mind with vengeance.


All the humans are possessed into ghouls again by Semper’s power, while Ray is still frozen in quandary. On the Bridge, Dowle loses his consciousness to Semper and attacks Andre. Ray is petrified of Andre’s severe injuries. Knowing he won’t make it, Andre screams to Ray to run and take care of his family on the other side.


Andre’s lastwords snap Ray back to realize that love is the only thing matters. He recalls Lily’s beautiful smile in a split second of tranquility. He replies in a broken voice, that he will. Andre closes his eyes and smiles, knowing that his wishes will be fulfilled. Ray keeps on running towards the other side of the bridge, until disappearing into the hazy mist.

'BORDERLAND' - Storyboard Trailer

© 2018 by Minh Quang Ha

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