More notes on the drafts of my screenplays

Recently there has been some interest in seeing a draft of one of my screenplay drafts, that is, “Do Ask, Do Tell: Ephiphany”.

I posted a brief summary of the plot here on February 3, 2016.

Right now, I no longer post my screenplay scripts online for free viewing.  There are some legacy scripts at this location on my legacy site.

The draft (PDF from Final Draft, as well as treatment summary) of the 2004 short film script “The Sub” was removed in April 2006 before I took another job with Fairfax County Public Schools, inasmuch as there had been an incident regarding that script being found online (documentation).

However, the existence of the screenplay and its aftermath are worked into the script of “Epiphany” as a backstory.

Likewise, the sequence of my expulsion from William and Mary in November 1961, followed by my “hospitalization” at NIH in the fall of 1962 (overlaying the Cuban Missile Crisis) and eventual Army service as a draftee from 1968-1970 is also embedded as a backstory closer to the end of the script.

One aspect of this part of the narrative that could use more attention would be how my parents felt over that Thanksgiving weekend 1961 as they had to anticipate the idea that, as an only child, I might give them no lineage.

I may later place this script (as well as two others: “Titanium” and “69 Minutes to Titan” in its original form) available for FTP download with password if there is interest.  It is also possible to place the Final Draft documents online for similar download.  But the user would not be able to open these without a licensed copy of Final Draft 10 on her own computer.  It doesn’t appear that you can open Final Draft directly through http;  you have to FTP and download first.  Other products, like Celtx, which I do not personally have, might work.

With a layered screenplay like “Epiphany”, which incorporates narrative across all three “Do Ask Do Tell: books as backstories, t is difficult to understand the flow well from a PDF of the screenplay (as it would be typed in the past) alone.  The analytics in Final Draft. Besides offering script notes, character lists, scene numbers and titles and summaries, offer a Color Code which can be correlated to the “reality layer” of a particular scene.  It may, for example, be a truthful backstory known to one character, or a presumed backstory believed by a character (see posting here Jan. 23, 2016).

I am not aware that screenwriting is taught in high schools in AP English classes.  It would be a good topic.  A screenplay draft by itself does not fully convey a story the way a novel might, but with the analytics from Final Draft or similar products it comes closer to suggesting what the filmgoer will see,  Television writing is quite a bit more structured than film, since episode components have to be of such exact lengths.

(Posted: Friday, July 21, 2017 at 3:15 PM EDT)

Fairfax County Public Schools (VA) Pride picnic, speakers urge conventional partisan activism

Here is some footage from the speakers at the Fairfax County Public Schools Pride picnic today at Nottoway Park in Vienna, just north of I66.

There was a Virginia state senator (himself gay), a member of the House of Delegates (Martin D. Sickles), and a transgender candidate, as well as discussion of local school board races  There were no apologies about partisanship or asking for door-to-door-activism as well as money — something that many people find objectionable in these days about increased fears about home security and even home invasions.  it isn’t like it used to be.  “Solidarity” has gotten much harder, as the health care debate shows.








(Cell phone clips)





P5   Roxanne

I used to work as a substitute teacher at FCPS and APS 2004-2007 and there were issues, as I have described before, such as here.

(Posted: Sunday, July 16, 2017 at 8:45 PM EDT)


Demonstration against rolling back network neutrality on “day of action” near Capitol in Washington DC

Today I attended a “Battle for the Net” demonstration and rally between the US Capitol and Senate Office buildings in Washington DC.

The event was chaired by Senator E Markey (D-MA). Senator A, Franken (D-MN) spoked, as well as a congresswoman from California, and a representative of the Latino community. I didn’t get the names down.

Generally, the speakers said that fast lanes for big companies would mean most people wouldn’t bother to look at sites of smaller competitors.

I was not allowed to ask a question because I am not a member of the established press. I’ll cover that aspect on a legacy blog (comment). That would seem to undercut one of Markey’s own arguments.








(Posted: Wednesday, July 12, 2017 at 4:30 PM EDT)

Gatlinburg visit, recovery from wildfire

Sunday night and Monday morning (July 9-10) I visited Gatlinburg, TN.  A huge wildfire took place on the mountains slopes surrounding the town in late November, 2016 (as detailed in an earlier post here May 24).

The town is encased on the western side of Great Smokey Mountains National Park, and you drive 5 miles of parkway from Pigeon Forge to get there.

The town seemed quite lively at night, with its theme park atmosphere.  10 miles to the S, Pigeon Forge has the appearance of a small Las Vegas, with a Titanic exhibit, upside down office building, and Hollywood replica.  That town was somewhat affected.

During the day Monday I took the chairlift ride and could see much more of the damage on the mountain slopes, including mountain homes that burned.  But it is true that the community is unusual in its direct exposure to possible wildfire, so building there entails some risk.

I do think that climate change has made the ferocity of the fire more likely.





I didn’t get to the “Road to Nowhere” W of Asheville (on the east side of the mountains) but I encountered two short curved tunnels, each about 1/3 mile long (without elevation drainage like PA Turnpike has) on I-40 going Eastbound to Asheville.  This is a road to “somewhere” indeed.  The curve is to the left driving East.  There is a campground “Harmon’s Den”   Indeed, Richard Harmon is the greatest of all time.


(Posted: Tuesday, July 11, 2017 at 10 EDT)

A visit to Crisfield, MD, on the Chesapeake Bay, max elevation 3 feet

Today I visited Crisfield. MD. on the SW tip of southern MD in the Chesapeake Bay’s “East Coast”.

The entire city lies at 3 feet or less elevation.  It appears to have had serious flooding during Hurricane Sandy in 2012.  Tidal flooding is not much of a problem because the Bay extends much further north.

The people seem comfortable with the risk and unconcerned about climate change.  One veteran said the city was built back better after Sandy.

There is one big windmill.

There is a ferry to Tangier Island, VA, one round trip a day, no cars.

Smith Island appears visible.






(Posted: Monday, July 3, 2017 at 10:45 PM)


Smithsonian Folk-Life 2017: Circus Arts

I paid a visit to the Smithsonian Folk-Life 2017 exhibit on the national mall, this year dedicated to “Circus Arts”.

I’m reminded of how I got a “D” in 11th grade P.E. in the tumbling unit.  I simply cannot control my body flying through the atmosphere.

The idea of a Circus Arts exhibit is interesting since Ringling Brothers shut down in May of this year.

I think I was at the circus only once as a kid.  I remember the show “The Big Top” in the 1950s. I remember people used to go back in the 1990s.

I did go to Cirque du Soleil   (a French Canadian circus event company) in Minneapolis in 2000, on the East Bank of the Mississippi River.  I remember the body teasing among the clowns.

1   Tumbling


3   Discussion of Circus Arts training, which includes everything (esp. juggling, tumbling).  “Juggling” was one recommended as therapeutic for me. Actor Lucas Hedges (“Manchester by the Sea”) did juggling on Jimmy Kimmel once/

4  More training:  “Fitness is not what you look like but what you can do.”  Note the “court reporter” transcribing onto a screen for the deaf.

5   Trapeze



8   The next circus show would not happen for two hours and there was a line already, so I cheated and use a pre-recorded one here.


(Posted: Sunday, July 2, 2017 1t 8:30 PM EDT)