Script File

Winter for Weatherby

Logline: A non-linear ensemble character study about three generations of a Scottish writing dynasty struggling to control their art, lives and legacy.

Synopsis:Winter for Weatherby is a meta-memoir, story within a story, multi-strand ensemble drama which intertwines elements of human history with personal memory, so each of the characters through their respective journey finds out what their place in the world is.

At the centre of it all is Johnathon Weatherby, a writer with writers block who has given up on everything after a personal tragedy has left him physically and emotionally bereft. To cope in the wake of his respective failures he lives a life of excess and all but ignores his young daughter Amy. After an encounter with a prostitute we realise his father recently died, and he’s expected to return home to help settle his family’s estate. Dodging the event, Johnathon goes to a bar instead where it’s revealed that Amy is in fact a ghost, and he may have been responsible for her death. We also find out that his father never attended Amy’s funeral, after which Johnathon wrote an expose of his families affairs entitled: “Winter for the Weatherby’s”.

When Johnathon passes out at the bar he’s brought back to his ancestral home where he causes a scene. After upsetting his Mother, Rose, Johnathon takes his daughters ghost to see his ex-wife. After reconnecting with the guilt, shame and loss he’s felt for years Johnathon is forced to abandon her. Before leaving his families estate for good he is summoned by his mother to be told he has been given nothing in his fathers will. She does however give him a key to her safety deposit box that houses a secret from their families past that she believes will unlock the potential of his future. Inside the box he finds the deeds to a log cabin by Loch Quoich, his granddads diaries and a manuscript for a revisionist history of Robert Scott’s trip to the Antarctic.

1945. Anthony Weatherby is a writer in the throes of writer’s block. He realizes that Sir Robert Scott’s trip to the Arctic has been misrepresented by history and wrongfully mythologized but is impotent to do anything about it. After twisting his ankle whilst walking in a forest he meets and becomes infatuated with a local Ghille, William Burns. Their friendship develops over a mutual appreciation of nature until William tries to seduce him. Unimpressed Anthony rebuffs his advances. Bored and out late one night Anthony comes across a black market deal gone wrong. Hearing the authorities approach he helps the one man with a pulse escape, ferrying him back to his log cabin. Once there he starts to tend to the man’s wounds and finds the inspiration needed to write.

1904. Captain Robert Scott Struggles to convince himself and his men that the course he’s plotted to the North Pole is correct. Many have their private misgivings about their ultimate goal but set out irregardless in treacherous conditions. The men write and think but rarely communicate their feelings to one and other. They follow Scott for a multitude of reasons and take every step necessary to achieve the pole.

1945. Anthony struggles to care for the man we now know is called Run Torbjorn. Unable to give him up now confidence in his writing has returned, Anthony’s care towards Run turns sexually abusive. William ultimately discovers Run, and is shot and buried by Anthony. On his return to the cabin Anthony is then shot by a partially recovered Run and left to die.

1904. Robert Scott’s trip to the Pole unravels and leads to the starvation and death of his entire team.

1945. Anthony recovers in a hospital bed as Run is convicted and hung for the death of William Burns. He muses about the nature of History and Scott’s mission before hanging himself to be with the man he loves.

Present day. Johnathon confronts his mother about his families history and finds out that Run Torbjorn was her father, and that both her and Johnathon’s dad actively covered up what happened. Johnathon decides against writing another expose. He instead burns his Grandfathers manuscripts, makes peace with his wife and lays his daughters ghost to rest.

Influences and touchstones: Terrance Malick, Christopher Nolan, Ken Burns, Patrick Melrose (2018) First Reformed (2017) The Great White Silence (1924) The Hours (2002) Cloud Atlas (2012) Talk to her (2002) Toto the hero (1991) Adaptation (2002) The Saragosa Manuscript (1965) The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008) The Eclipse (2009) Taxidermia (2006) Barton Fink (1991) The Neverending Story (1984) Ikiru (1952) Portrait of Jennie (1948)

  • Dean Straffon
  • Project Type:
  • Number of Pages:
  • Country of Origin:
    United Kingdom
  • Language:
    English, Polish
  • First-time Screenwriter:
  • Student Project:
Writer Biography - Dean Straffon

I've got three screenplays and two tv pilots I'm looking to put out there in 2021. I'm hoping that by the end of the year I'll have an agent at the very least

Add Writer Biography
Writer Statement

Keeping all ten fingers and toes crossed that this year will be my year. I put together a playlist for each script to give you a flavour of what I was aiming for. Think of it as a musical mood board: