Filming Parasocial: Life In Silicon Valley

parasocialfinal

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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.


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