Inside Look: The Creation of ‘A Piece of Bread’

A Priest works to uncover the truth behind a young boy shocking confession.

A Priest works to uncover the truth behind a young boy shocking confession.

This story emerged originally as a short film and is officially my first screenplay. The scene starts out as a young boy, Charlie wakes starving…literally. Scrambling around his deadbeat grandpa’s apartment for a scrap of food among the litter of beer and booze bottles, he heads out in the early dawn hours desperate for some, any food. He comes to the corner store on his run down block and follows some older boys inside. While he sneaks a piece of bread from a loaf on the shelf he sees a struggle ensue and bolts across the street. He hears a shot and, by the time the police wrap up the scene investigation, Charlie finds himself in a confession booth for the first time in his life. Father Ernesto works to uncover all the details and the truth behind the real killers of Mr.Oriniega and the extent of Charlie’s involvement, helping Charlie to sort it all out and go to the police.

Beginning in early screenwriting courses in college, I began to formulate atwelve minute script that was a product of the simple biblical phrase, “A man will transgress for a piece of bread.” Little did I realize just how deeply complex twelve minutes could become and how many details could arise. As I pieced it together, I would ask myself, “How could this have happened?” and, “What would that be the result of?” more or less working backward through the story most of the way, but also hitting all the main points. Like any screenplay, each scene must be worked in it’s own context beat by beat. In short film, it’s even more important that every beat and scene serve an important purpose. Most of the film is flashing back and forth from the scene to the confession booth. As narrated from a first person voice, Charlie tells the story of what happened earlier in the day. The film actually begins in the sanctuary of St Anthony’s Catholic Church in a typical urban working class neighborhood. As father Ernesto uncovers the details, his resolve becomes greater to get to the facts and convince Charlie he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time and it may be his account that brings the real killers to justice.

After writing ‘A Piece of Bread’ I realized there’s a great opportunity for expansion here. Some peers and friends have also confirmed my own thoughts on the matter of creating a series out of it. As Father Ernesto and Charlie take the matter to the police, Charlie immediately is considered a person of interest and Father Ernesto as helping him to conceal his involvement. The clock is ticking as the pair work to uncover who the two boys are and how to prove Charlie’s innocence. It’s a great story and a real labor of love, I hope you enjoy it and be looking for futher development into a longer series. It is on the shortlist, definitely!

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