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Red, red, rose

The Rose: a storyboard and voiceover script

Response to nature writing class task, based on the book Thirteen Ways to Smell a Tree

Animated sequenceCaptionVoiceovers

Camera zooms in from afar on a deep, red rose in a garden.

The playwright

Female actor’s voice (eg Judi Dench): 
That which we call a rose/By any other name would smell as sweet… Juliet. Actually, she’s talking about names, not an actual rose. Let’s start again. 

Camera pulls back so we see many red roses, surrounded by high walls.

The medieval knight

Male voice, dreamy, lute music (eg Timothée Chalamet):
The rose garden is the loveliest and most unattainable of places. Glimpsed through a door in a walled garden, it speaks of a beauty forever out of reach. 

Zoom in at knee height, rushing towards rose bed.

The dog

Panting, eager, male voice (eg Richard Briers): I’m dazzled by the scent, it’s so strong. Wow, so much flower but also insects, and leaves, and spray, and … cat’s been here again….and… Colour, you say? Oh, just grey-ish. 

Roses turns black, camera zooms right in between the petals of one.

The bee

Insistent, high-pitched voice:
I see in UV/That’s what’s attracting me/My trichromatic vision/ Makes your red black to me.  

Rose becomes a symbol on a sports shirt.

The sports fan

Male voice, hoarse (eg Ray Winstone): 
Engerland, Iiiingerlaaaand. See this: that’s MY red rose. My game, my team, BOYS. Go-aarn!!

Rose morphs into 15th century stylised symbol.

The Lancastrian

Male voice, loud, Northern-accented (eg Sean Bean):
By this rose I shall live or die. Death to the white rose. All power to Henry Tudor of the house of Lancaster and future king. 

Rose petal turns into richly red velvet four-poster bed.

The poet

Female actor’s voice (Helena Bonham Carter):
O rose…has an invisible worm/ That flies in the night…found out thy bed/ Of crimson joy? 

Rose morphs into a kaleidoscope-like image.

The greenfly

Small voice (eg Johnny Vegas):
Mmmm. Mmm. My compound eye, with its tiny ommatidia units, sends my brain a composite mosaic-like image. That helps me dodge predators. Can’t avoid the sprays though. 

Rose grows and becomes a tall tree-like rosebush, flowers now white. Playing cards tumble around. 

Three Gardeners in Wonderland

Urgent male voices, in unison:
Two! Five! Seven! Quick quick, paint, paint. Leave no rose white. The Queen must have red! Or it will be off with our heads!

Rose becomes stiff, rather plastic-looking, with a bow tie around its stem.

The modern horticulturist

Monty Don voice:
Many gardeners are in search of a perfect rose. This could be the one.  It can resist blackspot, aphids, rust, mildew, and rain. And it looks rather splendid, here with formal planting in a traditional rose bed. 

Pull out to a bird’s eye view of the rose, as if through a telescope.

The kestrel

Languid female voice (eg Kristin Scott Thomas):
Up here on my rooftop perch I survey the garden. Beetles in the rose bed. That vole scuttling, it thinks, hopes, it’s invisible, but my eye can spot its ultraviolet trail of urine. Oh, what a giveaway… 

Zoom back in, to languid rose petals drop off delicately onto a funnel, out of which drops oil, into a perfume flask.

The politician

Bulgarian accent:
Roses are riches. The oil of the damask rose is precious for perfumes. After the War, we sold all our country’s crop to America, so we could have basic supplies. Essential oil, indeed. 

Now spiralling into the rose, aa though along a twisting corridor, growing darker, until we see a speck of light at the end which as we reach it bursts into dazzle.

The poet

TS Eliot’s portentous voice:
Footfalls echo in the memory/Down the passage which we did not take/Towards the door we never opened/Into the rose-garden

The rose petals are rubbing against the ‘camera’ like a cat. 

The poet

Male voice, full of ardour (eg Johnny Flynn):
I kiss your cheek,/Catch your soul’s warmth,—I pluck the rose/And love it more than tongue can speak —/Then the good minute goes.

Rose becomes tartan, emits hearts.

The singer

Male voice (Kenneth McKellar) sings
Oh my love is like a red, rose/That’s newly-sprung in June…etc

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