Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Semester Project

We live in an age where anything from news, music, and film can be accessed in the blink of an eye from the comfort of our home computers, or smart phones. Here in the 21st century that luxury is so commonplace, that we take it for granted.  But a storm named Sandy proved that a little wind and rain is all it takes for that complex infrastructure to come crumbling down.

In the wake of  Sandy, millions of residents across the New York Metropolitan region hunkered down in their cold, dark living rooms by candlelight--totally cut off from all electronic media as we know it.  All the distractions and escapes through television and the World-Wide Web that we so readily cling to in times of boredom vanished with a flicker of the lights. High winds howled and rain hammered down as the silent, dominating shroud of night settled down across the tri-state area. And for once, all we had to count on was each other. 


The night I spent weathering the hurricane with my family, and the week of statewide blackouts that followed in the aftermath of the storm, were the jumping off points for this project. The end result was a 50-page script, entitled: “The Storm,” depicting the interactions of four people--forced to cope during a similar, fictional storm, in which they too, are cut off from media and electricity.

But here’s where it gets interesting:

Like all scripts that eventually get produced into feature films, this one has conflict that goes beyond the obvious dangers of a once-in-a-century hurricane.

The story focuses on two couples both of which are in rocky relationships or totally broken up. And while the four have never met, a series of events places them inside a suburban new Jersey home where they spend the duration of the hurricane. Without access to any distractions, escapes, or any way to call for help, due to the power outage, they’re forced to confront the conflicts within their relationships and within themselves, offering each of them the opportunity for redemption, personal growth, and the chance to rekindle an old flame. In this story, the hurricane, or the physical storm going on outside the house is a metaphor for the conflict inside the house, a different kind of storm, but a storm just the same.  


Link to downloadable version "The Storm": http://www.nj45s.com/scottscreenplay/scott.doc

Lew Hunter’s  Screenwriting 434
By Lew Hunter, 1993

Script to The Breakfast Club
By John Hughes, 1985

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