Those of you who actually read my personal blog, have probably noticed a certain absence of posts of late (image by C.B. Whittmore). That’s because in addition to my day job as CEO of Livingston Communications, I have been working on a film project called “Parasocial: Life in Silicon Valley.”
I am being taught by the AFI Workshop sereies (only certified courses on the east coast). It’s an exhausting, intense experience. Our teacher is Perry Schwartz, who is doing a fantastic job. Last week we wrote the screenplays. I’ve published mine below.
The screenplay is meant to be biting commentary on the micro pop culture we’ve created online. This is the lighter side. Let us not forget the darker elements that occur in microfame like the Kathy Sierra threats, the stalker known as Brian Connolly/Amanda Chapel, and the horrific Valleywag culture that has arisen. Hopefully, this film will strike a chord and make people think.
We shoot it today, so wish me luck. I am sure I’ll learn a ton!
PARASOCIAL: LIFE IN SILICON VALLEY SCENE 1: INT. HOTEL HALLWAY - DAY FADE IN: LORI Paul, Paul Murphy! PAUL walking away from event turns around. He looks disheveled, a tad wild, horned rim glasses, obviously geeky. PAUL Yes, do I know you? Beautiful twenty something woman rapidly catches up to him. LORI is demure, yet sultry. He is attracted to her. LORI No, I don't think so. I'm Lori Silkun. I work at Wired. I read your blog every day. Like that post you wrote on Opera 9.5's buggy Fraud Protection? Wow! PAUL Oh, glad you liked it. LORI (smiling brilliantly at him) Well, yeah! As PAUL moves to speak, he looks at his feet. LORI shifts shawl or blouse to reveal more cleavage. PAUL Well, I was just leaving. I don't really enjoy these speaking gigs. People want a piece of the fame. (he notices her chest and is mesmerized) They really don't want to talk to me. It can be disappointing. LORI Well, c'mon. What you said about Linux developers not understanding business rules was stellar! PAUL (still staring at chest, grinning) You're just saying that. LORI waves her hand in front of PAUL's eyes to get his attention. His eyes avert from her chest, and he laughs, realizing he was caught ogling her. She knows she has him, and puts her hands to her hips to continue flaunting her cleavage. LORI Come on. Let's go somewhere and talk. FADE OUT. SCENE 2: INT. WOMAN'S BEDROOM - EVENING FADE IN: LORI with a T-shirt on, post sex, brushing her hair, smiling. PAUL is also half dressed, and looks a bit giddy. Infatuated, he is drunk with romance. He moves a bit closer to her to engage. PAUL That was great! LORI You're awesome. PAUL Say, maybe we can do something more social together? We just seem to hook up randomly. Whaddya say? LORI turns, nods and smiles broadly, giving him her approval. She then goes back to her hair. PAUL Cool Would you like to come with me to the Stop Global Warming event on Thursday night? There are some great people there! She visibly pauses, a little distracted, and slows down her brush strokes. The smile fades a notch or two. LORI I'd love to, but that's the same day Robert Scoble is unveiling his latest FastCompany.tv offering. I have to go to the party! PAUL Aww, c'mon. Scoble? He's as common as common gets in the Bay Area. You had to have met him by now! LORI He's the number 30 blogger in the world, Paul! PAUL So what? It doesn't matter how many people read you. It's who and why. I'd rather have my 600 than his 60,000. She turns her back to him and rolls her eyes... LORI I know it's hard to become the world's 18th ranked Linux blogger. PAUL It is! Wait, that's not it. LORI Look, I'll come another time. But this is Scoble. PAUL OK. He's pissed. She sees it, gets up and touch his arm. LORI Why don't you come with me? PAUL (mercurial expression) Alright. FADE OUT. SCENE 3 - INT. LARGE ROOM FOR NETWORKING EVENT FADE IN: LORI & PAUL talking to each other by a wall. You can hear a room with a lot of people talking to each other. It sounds happy and busy. Lori sees someone across the room, and pushes her purse into Paul's unexpecting hands. LORI Hold this. PAUL Where are you going? PAUL watches LORI walk off screen to where Robert Scoble's party is. Paul starts talking to himself, providing biased commentary as she starts fawning all over Scoble. Shot showing her partying it up. He expresses disbelief, shock, then disappointment. He knows Lori is in it for a bigger fish, a better blogger. Lori walks back into the screen shot to return for her purse, smiling and waving at Scoble the whole way. PAUL You know he's married. LORI Nothing's happening. Don't be jealous. Everyone is over there! PAUL I'm going to the Stop Global Warming event. LORI Are you kidding me? C'mon, Paul. A bunch of greenies? If you want to be with me, you'll stay. I'll be back soon. PAUL How long? LORI I don't know. Soon. She leaves him to go back to Scoble and company. PAUL Goodbye, Lori. My blog is not big enough for you. I guess we were just meant to be Facebook Friends. Paul walks away.