More notes on the drafts of my screenplays

Recently there has been some interest in seeing a copy  of one of my (not yet published) 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.  But it turns out, ironically, that “Bill” does so in the last scene of the screenplay, as a qualification for getting to go on the “angel ship” to a new planet.

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)

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