The Sword of Calais

Paul Maher paulmaher53@yahoo.co.uk 5049576816794

ACTION ADVENTURE DRAMA EPIC HISTORICAL FICTION ROMANCE

17th Century or Earlier

Paul M Maher

Logline

1536. Jean Rombaud is given the gruesome assignment to execute Anne Boleyn, Henry V111 wife. When his nephew duels with a nobleman's son, old wounds are opened and Jean is given a choice, execute his nephew or commit treason.

Genre

Action,Adventure,Drama,Epic,Historical Fiction,Romance

Short Summary

We experience the point-of-view of a criminal about to be executed in Calais, seeing what he can see, hearing what he can hear, as the crowd in the square abuse him. He arrives at the scaffold where Jean Rombaud, the State Executioner is waiting for him, Jean's assistant Raoul swings the sword.


Sailing back toward Calais, Jean gives the 100 crowns from Anne Boleyn's execution to Raoul so he and Roselyn can have a start in life, this goes toward freeing him from feelings of guilt and remorse. Jean then goes to the ship's rail, looks at the sword one last time and lets it slip.

Setting

Calais, London.

Based on a True Story

Yes

Plot - Premise

Other,Voyage and Return

Plot - Other Elements

Other

Mature Audience Themes

Information not completed

Main Character Details

Name: Jean Rombaud

Age: Late forties.

Gender: Male

Role: Protagonist

Key Traits: Adventurous,Badass,Aggressive,Decisive,Heroic,Honorable,Leader,Masculine,Selfless,Skillful

Additional Character Details

Name: Raoul

Age: 18-19

Gender: Male

Role: Sidekick

Key Traits: Adventurous,Charming,Confident,Faithful,Gracious,Heartthrob,Honorable,Masculine,Selfless,Skillful,Funny,Romantic

Additional Character Details

Name: Roselyn

Age: 18-19

Gender: Female

Role: emotional

Key Traits: Adventurous,Aspiring,Charming,Empathetic,Faithful,Engaging,Gracious,Educated,Honorable,Sexy,Selfless,Skillful,Funny,Romantic,Sophisticated

Additional Character Details

Name: Louis

Age: 50's

Gender: Male

Role: logical

Key Traits: Adventurous,Charming,Confident,Decisive,Engaging,Flexible,Honorable,Masculine,Selfless,Skillful

Development Pitch

Henry V111 schemed to be rid of his wife so he can marry another. Anne Boleyn is found guilty of her sins and the King sends to Calais for Europe's best executioner. Jean Rombaud will be paid one hundred crown, a huge amount which will help him establish his sword school. With Raoul his nephew, they are also requested to escort Lady Roselyn to her London home from Calais. A bond develops between Raoul and Roselyn, but she is shocked on arrival to find out an marriage has been arranged with Nigel, who she hates. After Anne's execution there are celebrations for the King's betrothal. Roselyn persuades Raoul to join her in the merry-making. She gets drunk and taking her home, Nigel accuses him of kidnapping her. They duel and Nigel is badly wounded. Raoul is sentenced to death. Nigel's father is an old foe of Jean's. They fought a duel over Nigel's mother Bronwen years before, the old wounds are opened, resulting in another challenge. Jean is given an ultimatum by Thomas Cromwell, if he wins the duel, he must execute Raoul. Jean does win. Jean's magician brother Louis has a way of faking the execution, which they do and manage to fool Thomas Cromwell. They are able to escape with a promise from Bronwen to Jean that they will meet again. In mid-channel, Jean hands Raoul the money from Anne Boleyn's execution and finally deciding to do some good in his life, disposes of his sword by dropping it over the side.

About The Author

I began taking an interest in media related subjects in the 1980s especially photography, being self-taught, doing mostly Black & White. Fortunately I was at sea then so had the opportunity for travel to help my photography. During this time I completed the Bureau of Freelance Photographers Photo-Journalism course which taught me how to write correctly and I had a number of publishing successes.  In 1988 I lived in Gibraltar for a year as manager/trainer of a gym, then in Greece for eighteen months. I had an extra role in the Niko Mastorakis film Hired to Kill. I returned to England in 1992 and attended Southport College full time to study for a BTEC National Diploma in Photography which put the polish on what I had taught myself and received the Licentiate Distinction from The Royal Photographic Society. This was followed by a further year at Wirral Metropolitan doing Media Studies to specialize in Video Production and helped out with a Video Production Company for further experience. During my time back in England I also continued with editorial photography, had a couple of exhibitions and some commercial and social photography assignments. In 1994 I returned to sea to do more travelling and worked in Australia for a year. This time gave me the opportunity for further writing and I self-published a couple of books on Sports Psychology after eight long years study online for a PhD.  Having to retire from the sea, I grew more interest in script writing, attending a course at Liverpool University. Since then I have published three novellas and written their film scripts and I am continuing with my photography, video and continuing with further script development.    

Target Audiences

Age: 13-17,18-34,35-54,55+

Target Gender: Universal

Group Specific

Information not completed

Publishing Details

Hard Copy Available

No

WGA Number

2055791

Genre

ROMANCE, DRAMA

Brief

The story of Anne Boleyn's executioner, Jean Rombaud. His past, beliefs, antagonists, the origin of his talent for forging swords, and the human side of a man seen as a cruel murderer.

Overall Rating

GOOD

Point of View

SCRIPT

Narrative Elements

Authors Writing Style: GOOD

Characterization: GOOD

Commerciality: GOOD

Franchise Potential: FAIR

Pace: GOOD

Premise: GOOD

Structure: GOOD

Theme: GOOD

Accuracy of Book Profile

It does accurately reflect the script, however, the main character is presented under different names (Rambaud and Rombaud). It would be nice if the author could fix it.

Draw of Story

The hook is clear from the start since we have been accompanying Jean and his family from the first pages. And the script already puts the protagonist into action right away, with the execution of a civilian sworn to death.

Possible Drawbacks

Some scenes, like the robbers who follow Jean to steal him, sound quite artificial and superficial. So, some sequences seem to mismatch with the intriguing central story. Those moments could be cut or improved.

Use of Special Effects

THE STORY RELIES HEAVILY ON SPECIAL EFFECTS

Primary Hook of Story

Anne Boleyn's story is widely known, but this script put her executioner as the story's main character. The hook is this different point of view about a publicly famous story.

Fanbase Potential

I see a fanbase formed by people who like historical facts and epic films. Jean Rombaud's story is a good complement to Anne Boleyn's one, so the script has the potential for an audience interested in the plot.

Awards Potential

If the author intensifies Jean's internal conflicts related to his job when he discovers that the law is not righteous, and he has also been assigned to kill innocents, the story has possibilities for awards. Giving voice to someone who is seen as a cold executioner and showing that person's human side is also an exciting drama formula.

Envisioned Budget

LARGE BUDGET

Similar Films/TV Series

THE TUDORS: SERIES ABOUT THE LIFE OF HENRY VIII, HIS RELATIONSHIP WITH ANNE BOLEYN, AND HER EXECUTION. PIERREPOINT: A BIOGRAPHY OF BRITAIN'S MOST PROLIFIC HANGMAN. THE FILM TELLS THE STORY OF THIS EXECUTIONER.

What’s New About the Story

The point of view is unique. The person who is presented as the protagonist of the story is unique: Anne Boleyn's executioner. In most films and series, Anne or Henry VIII are the protagonists of this popular story. In this case, the executioner, a character who usually has no voice and no backstory, is the center of conflicts. It is an interesting and different way of telling this epic story.

Lead Characters

Jean surprises us as a character and subverts our expectations. The initial execution scene leads us to see Jean as a cold and cruel man (as we were used to seeing period films' executioners). However, throughout the story, we understand why he transformed into a talented executioner, and learn more about his ideas and relationships. Jean's relatives are secondary, but they also have relevance in the story, in addition to being good characters. The antagonist is presented as a Machiavellian villain, which is understandable in this case since the men who represent the State must look crueler than the man who handles the sword.

Uniqueness of Story

Not a rare gem. The sequence of conflicts and scenes is satisfying and takes us at an ever-increasing pace in tension to the climax. However, scenes like those of the thieves, and some very sugary dialogues (even for a period/poetic film), and sometimes very explanatory ones end up taking our attention away.

Possible Formats

Film

Analyst Recommendation

CONSIDER

Justification

The characters are good, well-defined, with backstories that reveal themselves naturally throughout the plot. The protagonist is the executioner of Anne Boleyn, which already makes him, on his own, more attractive because of the story he carries. The surprise when we perceive a character that starts apparently cold, cruel but shows himself, scene after scene, as a kind human being is pleasant. The young Raoul, a supporting character to Jean, is also appealing. Despite his young age, Raoul already finds himself inserted in the executions' business, playing a very "challenging" role. He is the one who holds the heads of the decapitated people. However, in intimacy, he has a passion for music and writes romantic lyrics. They are two surprising and likable characters. The rich and beautiful Roselyn is an interesting female figure. Despite looking like a standard woman of period films, she has a vibrant desire for freedom and love, despite her young age. The script has some plots that walk in parallel. One is Jean's story, which is gradually revealed, and the other is that of Raoul and Roselyn. Two young people in love taking risks for the adventures of passion. Roselyn and Raoul's passion is also revealed little by little in a sequence of scenes and events that show the moment when they begin to fall in love. It doesn't seem forced or meaningless. It is quite believable and charming. Anne Boleyn's death takes place at the midpoint of the script, and that event changes Jean forever. From this point, he realizes that he may be serving the wrong people and wants to change. That's when his anguish increases, and we meet an important character from his past. The structure is well assembled, making an agile turn between these different subplots and opening up room to new emerging plots. It is a good script, with a promising story. However, dialogues would need to be improved. The scene in which Bronwen reveals to Jean that her husband sedated him before an important battle sounds awkward. It doesn't seem like a natural revelation for the moment, and it takes on an almost soap opera feel. If the revelation happened more naturally, it would sound more surprising. So, improvements have to be made, but the overall look of the script is positive.

Logline

1536. Jean Rombaud is given the gruesome assignment to execute Anne Boleyn, Henry V111 wife. When his nephew duels with a nobleman's son, old wounds are opened and Jean is given a choice, execute his nephew or commit treason.

Short Summary

We experience the point-of-view of a criminal about to be executed in Calais, seeing what he can see, hearing what he can hear, as the crowd in the square abuse him. He arrives at the scaffold where Jean Rombaud, the State Executioner is waiting for him, Jean's assistant Raoul swings the sword.


Sailing back toward Calais, Jean gives the 100 crowns from Anne Boleyn's execution to Raoul so he and Roselyn can have a start in life, this goes toward freeing him from feelings of guilt and remorse. Jean then goes to the ship's rail, looks at the sword one last time and lets it slip.

FEEDBACK

Henry V111 schemed to be rid of his wife so he can marry another. Anne Boleyn is found guilty of her sins and the King sends to Calais for Europe's best executioner. Jean Rombaud will be paid one hundred crown, a huge amount which will help him establish his sword school. With Raoul his nephew, they are also requested to escort Lady Roselyn to her London home from Calais. A bond develops between Raoul and Roselyn, but she is shocked on arrival to find out an marriage has been arranged with Nigel, who she hates. After Anne's execution there are celebrations for the King's betrothal. Roselyn persuades Raoul to join her in the merry-making. She gets drunk and taking her home, Nigel accuses him of kidnapping her. They duel and Nigel is badly wounded. Raoul is sentenced to death. Nigel's father is an old foe of Jean's. They fought a duel over Nigel's mother Bronwen years before, the old wounds are opened, resulting in another challenge. Jean is given an ultimatum by Thomas Cromwell, if he wins the duel, he must execute Raoul. Jean does win. Jean's magician brother Louis has a way of faking the execution, which they do and manage to fool Thomas Cromwell. They are able to escape with a promise from Bronwen to Jean that they will meet again. In mid-channel, Jean hands Raoul the money from Anne Boleyn's execution and finally deciding to do some good in his life, disposes of his sword by dropping it over the side.

About The Author

I began taking an interest in media related subjects in the 1980s especially photography, being self-taught, doing mostly Black & White. Fortunately I was at sea then so had the opportunity for travel to help my photography. During this time I completed the Bureau of Freelance Photographers Photo-Journalism course which taught me how to write correctly and I had a number of publishing successes.  In 1988 I lived in Gibraltar for a year as manager/trainer of a gym, then in Greece for eighteen months. I had an extra role in the Niko Mastorakis film Hired to Kill. I returned to England in 1992 and attended Southport College full time to study for a BTEC National Diploma in Photography which put the polish on what I had taught myself and received the Licentiate Distinction from The Royal Photographic Society. This was followed by a further year at Wirral Metropolitan doing Media Studies to specialize in Video Production and helped out with a Video Production Company for further experience. During my time back in England I also continued with editorial photography, had a couple of exhibitions and some commercial and social photography assignments. In 1994 I returned to sea to do more travelling and worked in Australia for a year. This time gave me the opportunity for further writing and I self-published a couple of books on Sports Psychology after eight long years study online for a PhD.  Having to retire from the sea, I grew more interest in script writing, attending a course at Liverpool University. Since then I have published three novellas and written their film scripts and I am continuing with my photography, video and continuing with further script development.    

Mature Audience Themes

Information not completed

Characters

Main Character

Name: Jean Rombaud

Age: Late forties.

Gender: Male

Role: Protagonist

Key Traits: Adventurous,Badass,Aggressive,Decisive,Heroic,Honorable,Leader,Masculine,Selfless,Skillful

Character 1

Name: Raoul

Age: 18-19

Gender: Male

Role: Sidekick

Key Traits: Adventurous,Charming,Confident,Faithful,Gracious,Heartthrob,Honorable,Masculine,Selfless,Skillful,Funny,Romantic

Character 2

Name: Roselyn

Age: 18-19

Gender: Female

Role: emotional

Key Traits: Adventurous,Aspiring,Charming,Empathetic,Faithful,Engaging,Gracious,Educated,Honorable,Sexy,Selfless,Skillful,Funny,Romantic,Sophisticated

Character 3

Name: Louis

Age: 50's

Gender: Male

Role: logical

Key Traits: Adventurous,Charming,Confident,Decisive,Engaging,Flexible,Honorable,Masculine,Selfless,Skillful