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By the way, most of my life has been marred by a serious case of OCD. OCD is not usually the result of experiences in life, such as a tyrannical father who lashes his child's feet for touching a line. I sort of broke the cardinal rule of exploiting mental illness for the sake of plot development. However, I try not to exploit his OCD for laughs; rather, I exploit Sam's cruelty in dealing with Scab's OCD, hence the scenes of Sam poking and prodding Scab with the racket while on court in an attempt to cause Scab to step on a line. I just add this because, as the straight character, I'm not sure how much laughter should come at the expense of his having OCD. I'm looking for the OCD to be Scab's sympathetic trait.
I'm not saying make fun of it -- but some funny scenarios can come from it. I'm sorry to hear you've had to deal with that, but is it too offensive to joke about? Maybe, I'm not sure. I do know some funny scenarios can come from it without making fun of it. Kingpin had some funny jokes about Woody Harrelson missing a hand and I don't think the amputee community got too offended by it. I know losing a hand doesn't fall under mental illness, but you get what I'm saying. It can be a sympathetic trait while getting some funny scenarios out of it. And what if it isn't really OCD? It could just stem from a traumatic experience -- for instance, in The Suicide Theory (sorry if it sounds like self promotion on your thread), the main character has trouble crossing the street because of a traumatic incident. It doesn't have to be OCD -- it could be something Scab needs to get over, symbolizing in a way, becoming his own man and breaking free of the trauma inflicted on him by his father. I think more people could identify with that, thus draw sympathy -- and then have us cheer for him when he does finally step on the line.
Oh, wait, sorry if it sounds like I'm squeamish about making jokes about OCD. I'm fine with that. I meant that in Scab being the straight man to Sam's comic foil, I just want to make sure that Sam is exploiting Scab's OCD; in other words, I do want to use the OCD to comic effect. I just want to highlight Sam's juvenile insecurity through his meanness about the OCD. But I"m also okay with mining OCD for comic effect if I can think of a joke good enough. As acted, he's gonna be hopping over lines the whole movie in the action scenes, which I imagine will be funny. But, perhaps unfortunately, I don't take too much offense to most jokes, so long as I see a purpose that isn't arbitrary, like so many Will Ferrell movies where I feel there is a laziness to the jokes. But exploiting the humor of OCD in furtherance of the story and the characters - that's what I'm aiming to do in some respects. And pimp your movie all you want. You had a fuckin' movie made from your script. That's awesome.
Even though Scab is the straight guy, it doesn't mean he can't be funny, too -- I think it may depend on the actor. Woody Harrelson plays the straight guy in Kingpin and he's hilarious in it. DeNiro was a funny straight guy in "Midnight Run", Steve Martin in "Planes, Trains and Automobiles", etc. One of the things that made them funny was their reactions to the goofball. Yes, Scab jumping over lines can be funny -- especially if he has to use a bathroom with tiled floors.
Especially with Sam and Scab being college roommates, there's a lot of potential there w/ the whole OCD thing. What if Sam draws lines on the floor or something to fuck with him -- probably not a great example, but you get what I'm getting at.
I totally get what you're getting at. And as someone who struggled with tiled floors, I have a million idea for mining that. It's just that my script is already too long so I'm trying to trim the fat. But if I think of an OCD joke that works, it's going in. OCD hardened me, rather than make me sensitive. Again, not sure if that's good or bad, or what effect that will ultimately have on my writing, but don't feel at all like you have to worry I'll take offense to any suggestions. I'm actually watching Kingpin now for the first time in years, just to see if the template gives me any more ideas for Doubles.
God, you got me thinking about my own OCD and tile floors again. I have been in remission for about four years. I like your idea of a quick bathroom tile joke. I just want it to be for the sake of plot furtherance. I'll def let you know if I figure out where to put that in.
A scene I added based on some suggestions. May be too minimal but I was trying to fit in two important details - a second call to Anna (post breakup) and a scene involving Scab's OCD off the court, in a small amount of time. Some context provided by adding the end of the prior scene and the beginning of the scene to come after:
SCAB Perfect, because the tournament starts in two weeks.
SAMUEL That gives us no time to practice.
SCAB Practice?! When have we ever practiced?
INT. 5-STAR HOTEL - EVENING
Scab, who leans back on a luxury loveseat, picks his cellphone up from an ottoman where his feet rest. He searches for Anna in his contact list and calls her. The phone rings a few times.
INT. ANNAï¿½S HOME - BEDROOM - NIGHT She receives a call from Scab. She reaches for the phone before deciding not to answer.
INT. 5-STAR HOTEL - CONTINUED
The call goes to voicemail. He hangs up. He walks toward the bathroom, tiptoeing over the lines of the manifestly tiled floor until he arrives.
EXT. ARTHUR ASHE STADIUM - GROUNDS - DAY
Sam and Scab walk through the grounds of the Billie Jean King Tennis Center. Tennis is played around them, both singles and doubles. Scab is still bearded. He wears a conventional tennis outfit. Sam wears his high school Nike tennis hoodie and sweats with the BEATS headphones, despite oppressive heat.
Good, I'm gonna erase em now and see how many pages go away.
What about here:
NARRATOR (V.O.) Of course, it was too late that year for proselytization by way of the pussy to occur for Samuel and the game of tennis. The season was almost over, and with the exception of Scab, the team was abysmal.
CUT TO: A row of courts...the camera pans across each one...on one side, balls skid into the net one after the next after the next...until we reach Scabâ€™s court, where winner after winner is hit.
NARRATOR Scab continued to win all of his singles matches, though he struggled navigating the the whole court with all those lines.
CUT TO: Scab leaps acrobatically over a line after hitting a winner.
NARRATOR (V.O.) Samuel never did finish his thesis, though he did form a definite opinion on whom the hottest wife of a tennis player was.
CUT TO: Samuel ogles various photos of Bridgette Wilson, the wife of Pete Sampras
NARRATOR The school decided to graduate him to high school anyways, mostly out of pity for the injury he suffered, but also because there wasnâ€™t a teacher who could afford to...
CUT TO: FEMALE TEACHER ONE, who fucked him, scores Samuel an A - for the year in her grading book
NARRATOR (V.O.) or who wanted to endure another year of him.
CUT TO: FEMALE TEACHER 2, who believed she saw Samuel working on his thesis, appraises the thesis he turns in. Itâ€™s just his name and a series of pictures of Brigette Wilson wit Samâ€™s head cropped in for Peteâ€™s. She score shim a C-.
NARRATOR (V.O.) For this, Iâ€™m thankful, because I happen to cover the high school tennis circuit and itâ€™s in the spring of the following year when our story resumes.
I have a lot of cut tos that are essentially montage style scene shifts that are necessary for character reactions. I'm not saying the CUT TO: is necessary. But I don't know how to write a lot of the scenes in this script without CUT TO, even if this is not the correct way to be writing.
I also use cut to for newspaper clippings. Not sure if this is correct.