Under the Lawrence Tree Production Notes

Georgia O’Keeffe, The Lawrence Tree, 1929

Georgia O’Keeffe, The Lawrence Tree, 1929


Girl [protagonist], Boy [love interest/past], Tree

Plot: A girl sits under a special tree while she reminisces about the past. This is the tree that shares all of her memories with her lover. Her lover was sent to war and she has finally got a letter from the army stating his death. Now the tree is the only thing left of her lover.

Mood: nostalgic, tragedy, love

Under the Lawrence Tree

[wide shot] Girl is sitting against a tree, knees pulled up to her chest, smoking a cigarette. It’s a dark, brisk night and she’s alone with just the tree as company.

[zoom, medium close up] *Girl holds cigarette to lips and takes a long, deep drag. She closes her eyes and breathes out slowly. *It’s a profile shot so that audience can see the wispy smoke rise in the darkness. Then it moves to a front angle as we see the girl press her free hand to her forehead and bend forward, sobs attempting to escape. Girl is alone and sad.

[close up] The girl’s eyes are downcast and slowly she closes them. Tear stains are apparent, makeup is smudged, hair disheveled.

[Montage] Flashback: It’s a different time and the girl is leaning against that same tree with a boy, her lover.

  • The first memory is of them sitting underneath the tree in afternoon light. She’s resting between his legs, pressed against his chest as he has his arms wrapped around her. They’re laughing and smiling and their hands are intertwined on the girl’s stomach. [can be a bit blur/soft focus; light should be warm, attempt to capture particles in air]
  • [extreme close up of lips in near proximity] The second memory is of their first kiss, early evening, underneath the tree. The girl is standing up and pressed against the tree trunk while the boy is in front of her. The kiss isn’t shown but his hands are cupping her face and her eyes are closed, lips slightly parted. He rests his forehead against hers and they’re both smiling soft, gentle smiles. [close up on smiles]
  • In the third memory, the boy is wearing a military uniform and he’s hugging the girl tightly underneath that tree. Her face is buried in his chest as he strokes her hair and kisses the top of her head. [close up on boy’s face as he clenches eyes close]

[full shot of girl sitting underneath the tree to emphasize solitude, loss] Present time: The girl looks down at a letter crumpled in her hand. [Pull focus from the girl’s slumping posture to the crumpled letter in hand.] Tears are silently streaking down her face as she completely crumples the letter and takes one last drag of her cigarette. She leans forward, arms on knees and forehead resting on arms as her body shakes with sobs. Then she looks up at the sky through the tree, tears slowly falling down her face.

* = replaced with girl reading a letter


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