Last time I was in the confessional, I admitted that there was a period of time where I tried my hand at writing screenplays. Like most of my writing projects, I fully intended for this to someday be consumed by the general public. In the case of my movie scripts, that meant that I wanted them to someday be discovered by a producer and actually made into movies. At the time, I had no idea how to get that done. I still don’t, for that matter. In this case, I think my ignorance was something of a blessing.
Anyway. My first foray into screenplays was, like I said, a creative exercise in plagiarism. Apparently for my second screenplay, I decided to up the ante a bit, ripping off not one, but two different stories, and one of them is a classic. Here’s a handy infographic to explain my story:
That’s right. I wrote a mash-up of the movie Enemy Mine and Shakespeare’s classic Romeo and Juliet. I suppose, technically, that means that this wasn’t straight plagiarism. I may have even gotten away with it. But that doesn’t make the end results any better.
So what was “Duet” about? Imagine that it’s a time when human beings have spread out through the galaxy. One intrepid group colonized an alien world, but much to their horror, they discover that there are already sentient beings living on said world. The aliens take offense to the human’s presence and go to war against them. It’s a fight for survival and, after one battle, a lone human male winds up getting stranded out in the jungle with one of the aliens, who just so happens to be a female. It’ll be weeks before either side will reach them. So what will happen in the meantime?
Well, I’m pretty sure you can guess, based on the above equation.
While most of this script is garbage, there is one thing that I was proud of, and that was the aliens in this story. I had a lot of fun putting them together. There were two very distinct features to them:
- Their skin changed colors based on their emotional states. I actually spent the time working out a list of what emotion prompted which color. When I first wrote this script, I had no idea how the special effects folks would accomplish this, but I’m thinking now, with CGI, it might turn out to be a bit easier. Which means that I was ahead of my time as a writer! Or not.
- They didn’t speak so much as sing, and their voices had devastating effects on human technology. Unfiltered alien speech sounded like beautiful music, but due to an electromagnetic undercurrent of their voices, they could destroy human technology.
So what happened? Well, I didn’t hew too closely to my source material. The human and alien eventually get rescued and, after a near disaster caused by the human’s jealous ex, are able to bring peace to their people.
Now here’s the weird thing. When I wrote my last confession, I went looking for my screenplays. As much as it would hurt, I figured that it would be more fun to share the pain with others. I knew I had written these scripts around the same time as the TV episodes I mentioned in a previous post. So that should mean that I have these scripts too.
Only I couldn’t find the script for my cult movie. Oddly, though, I still have the script for Duet. And the third screenplay that I wrote? No idea where that one went either. I have no explanation as to why this might be, save for one possibility. When I first wrote these things, I stored them on floppy disks. Yes, kids, external disks that could only hold a tiny amount of information. At some point, I transferred the contents of all these disks to a hard drive, and then these items just drifted from drive to drive over the years. For whatever reason, I must not have transferred those scripts. I don’t know why.
But the astute reader will have noticed that I said I do have the script for this one. I not only have it, I’m willing to share.
For those inclined to read it, here is the full script of Duet. Like my previous confessional-prompted offerings, this is presented in an “as-is” condition. I have done no editing, no fixing of any problems that are present. You’ve been warned.
Even more astute readers may have noticed that I mentioned a third screenplay that I wrote. While I may not have that script anymore either, I’m willing to talk about it. But that will have to wait until next time.