Writing Screenplays, Part III: Dangerous Shorts


To continue the discussion of my rogue screenplays (link in previous posting), I want to go over a few of the “short films” on the directory that were published before the fall of 2005.

Do Ask, Do Tell: Pilot”   presents a situation where I am a substitute teacher and one of the students has read about me on the Internet.  So I tell the story of my William and Mary 1961 expulsion in graphic detail.  An earlier version of the screenplay also included one charismatic student giving “Bill” a back hug.

Conflict of Interest” presents Bill as being sent to a client by a placement company.  The client discovers Bill’s controversial activity on the web through search engines.

Conflict of Interest 2” presents Bill as being hired onto a team to develop a system to screen job applicants for objectionable Internet activity.

Baptism” presents a situation where he is in a “reeducation” academy and has a fix on one of the instructors.  He finds that the initiation ceremony has erotic overtones.  This screenplay was submitted by my attorney to the COPA trial in 2006, but I hardly see that it really has any HTM materials.

Prodigal Brother” presents a situation where a gay man is cut out of a will, where everything goes to the brother.  But then the brother gets kidney failure and the gay man is a match.  Even so, he has to toe the line afterward.


Beware of EMP” presents how a neighborhood comes to the realization that the power is out for good. They hope the attack is local and not nuclear.


In “Nightcall” an older computer programmer is set up to solve a dump without help.  But then aliens come out of the computer terminal.  In one version of this screen play the programmer goes into work in his pajamas at night unawares.

In “Exposition for Dogs” some of the problematic situations in Bill’s life, including eldercare, are strung together for all to see.

Golf Course Hole 13” was an exercise for the screenwriting class.  A homeless man wanders onto the golf course during a storm.

Surprise Planet” presents Bill and his boyfriend at a hotel and a gay disco on Titan, the lively moon of Saturn.  It’s cold outside, unless you’re hot.  They exchange bodies, literally, at least according to mirrors.

Handymen” was an earlier version of “Baptism”.


The Sub” was the most controversial item in the set.  I wrote it in October 2004 but didn’t post it until February 4, 2005 according to my records, after the first major substitute teaching setback (post here http://www.doaskdotellnotes.com/?p=214 ).  When Bill goes to a substitute teaching assignment, he is told to be prepared for special education assignments.   He get a music theory class and meets a charismatic high schooler Clyde,  The next day he gets a physical education class at the last minute.  heart attack and Clyde saves his life with a defibrillator.  In the hospital, Bill refuses coronary bypass surgery but recovers anyway.  Clyde comes to visit and invites Bill to his house one evening to record some music.  With parents gone, Clyde dupes Bill into helping him make a fake id card.  Soon Clyde shows up at a local disco and gets involved with Bill in a bizarre ritual on the dance floor involving a barber chair.  A security guard gets suspicious and asks them to leave.  Later, Bill has PE again, a swimming class, when the police show up and arrest Bill.  The district attorney will let Bill off with probation but would make him register as a sex offender.  Bill goes to jail, has another heart attack, and has surgery and dies on the operating table.  Clyde, however, plays Bill’s compositions in public concert and Bill becomes famous as a composer posthumously.


The screenplay stayed up until late April 2006, but I’ll explain more why in subsequent postings.  I use it now as a sub-layer of a feature screenplay that I will also discuss in the future.  There are no sexually explicit scenes in the usual meaning of the concept in the script.


The following school year, in 2006, Fairfax County Public Schools started to install defibrillators and a training film demonstrating application on a real male student.



First published: Wednesday March 5, 2014, 11 PM EST

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