In the winter of 2009, in the middle of my master’s program, I took a film class called The Detective Story. It was an opportunity to indulge my love of tight narrative pacing and the baroque visuals of noir while at the same time pushing past purely formal concerns to think about cultural context and theoretical underpinnings. It planted a seed.
Meanwhile, I was fighting a tendency in myself, watching myself squander the creative potential of globally connected, omnipresent screens in favor of convenient consumerism and mindless Skinner-box consumption. And I was reading more and more news about government and corporate surveillance.
Those threads came together in a screenplay, begun in the nervous free time of my unemployment directly after graduate school and polished slowly afterward, just missing the quarterfinals of the world’s most prominent screenplay competition two years in a row before earning me a ticket to the Austin Film Festival last October as a semifinalist in their competition.
With feedback from Austin, as well as family and friends, I have given the screenplay one last polish and given myself permission to call it done. Framed combines my favorite parts of classic noir like The Maltese Falcon and Out of the Past with the grungy near-future feel of Looper and Children of Men. It’s my most ambitious creative project to date.
I’ve put it on The Black List — one of the few, perhaps the only, legitimate online screenplay network, and I have published the first 11 pages here. I hope the script goes somewhere — screenplays are meant to be used, and I wrote a movie that I want to see — but at the moment I’m just enjoying the learning it represents.
Now on to the next one.