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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board  /  Short Drama Scripts  /  The Object of My Infection - Sold! Filmed!
Posted by: Don, September 27th, 2015, 8:24am
The Object of My Infection by David Lambertson - Short, Drama - A CDC research Doctor uses the only tools available to her to escape an abusive relationship. 13 pages - pdf, format 8)


Trailer:



Object Of My Infection.mov from APAP MEDIA GROUP on Vimeo.

Posted by: wonkavite (Guest), September 27th, 2015, 9:03am; Reply: 1
Okay - I haven't read this. Yet.  But the title?  Absolutely masterful!  :P
Posted by: Grandma Bear, September 27th, 2015, 9:38am; Reply: 2
I'm afraid this will be short. I have a LOT to do today and I slept til 9:00....   ;D

You have lots of typos in this script. Lots. I'm sure if you read it again, you'll see them all and wonder how the hell you didn't see them earlier.

Story wise, I think the idea here is something new. At least to me. I did have some issues with it though.

Emma is likable, so you succeeded there. Drew is not, which of course you didn't want us to think. He's a bit over the top though, IMHO. Borderline cliche' even. Instead of making him a mean coke addict, why not just make him as a person more sinister. Mean. You've already portrayed him as a trailer park skinhead. Which leads me to wonder how Emma could let him into her life to begin with. She's a doctor. She can't be a dummy. Why not have Drew being more of a sophisticated guy that we could actually believe she might have fallen for at some point.

My other issue is that although the ending is a bit of a surprise with Emma calling the cops, there's still no real surprise here, because we already know what has happened to Drew. We know what Emma did so, it's just a repeat really. If you can, I would suggest keeping that reveal to the end. We know where she works, we wouldn't have to guess too much to figure out what she gives him.

All in all, a good story that needs some tweaking, IMHO.  8)


PS: I agree with Janet. Great title!
Posted by: eldave1, September 27th, 2015, 11:19am; Reply: 3

Quoted from wonkavite
Okay - I haven't read this. Yet.  But the title?  Absolutely masterful!  :P


Thanks - much appreciated
Posted by: eldave1, September 27th, 2015, 11:39am; Reply: 4

Quoted from Grandma Bear
You have lots of typos in this script. Lots. I'm sure if you read it again, you'll see them all and wonder how the hell you didn't see them earlier.


Typos - I blame myself. I accidentally uploaded a draft version rather than the final. I sent the final a few days after, but was too late to stop the posting of this one. Sloppy version management on my part.  


Quoted from Grandma Bear
Story wise, I think the idea here is something new. At least to me. I did have some issues with it though. Emma is likable, so you succeeded there. Drew is not, which of course you didn't want us to think. He's a bit over the top though, IMHO. Borderline cliche' even. Instead of making him a mean coke addict, why not just make him as a person more sinister. Mean. You've already portrayed him as a trailer park skinhead. Which leads me to wonder how Emma could let him into her life to begin with. She's a doctor. She can't be a dummy. Why not have Drew being more of a sophisticated guy that we could actually believe she might have fallen for at some point.


Interesting view - I will mull it over - not sure I concur.  I think I would concur with you right away if this was feature - i.e., there would be time to show the de-evolution of Drew.  But this was meant to be at a specific point of time - i.e., he is who he is now - he is not the person she originally fell for.  Kind of like the drunk at rock bottom.

An interesting point though and one that I will give thought too.

Quoted from Grandma Bear

My other issue is that although the ending is a bit of a surprise with Emma calling the cops, there's still no real surprise here, because we already know what has happened to Drew. We know what Emma did so, it's just a repeat really. If you can, I would suggest keeping that reveal to the end. We know where she works, we wouldn't have to guess too much to figure out what she gives him.


Just so I understand - are you saying don't reveal the contents of the vial or the fact that she stole one in the first place?


Quoted from Grandma Bear
All in all, a good story that needs some tweaking, IMHO.  8)[

PS: I agree with Janet. Great title!


Thanks so  much for the read and the advice - much appreciated.
Posted by: wonkavite (Guest), September 27th, 2015, 1:31pm; Reply: 5
* Spoilers *

Hey Eldave -

Very short response on this one.  I think it's got lots of potential (and frankly didn't personally notice much in the way of typos.)  My only recommendations: it runs a bit long.  I feel you could trim the details without losing atmosphere and tighten this up a bit.

Also, I think it's important to go *a little* into why Emma's willing to be so damned passive about the abuse... and why she decides to inject him, as opposed to just running away.  (And it can't be directly to 'kill him'... because these days, you can last pretty damned long with AIDS...)
Posted by: AnthonyCawood, September 27th, 2015, 1:56pm; Reply: 6
I owe you a few reads Dave... so some thoughts, just my opinion of course...

The typos have been pointed out, if you want to know a way you can avoid version control issues like this PM me and I'll explain (wonkavite told me)...

Agree re Title... love it...

Personally, and may just be me, I'm not a fan of INT/EXT for cars like this, either the scene is happening inside the car or it's not, and given we get the detail of where her hands are on the wheel I'd say this is INT.

Strictly speaking, from a medical perspective, it's HIV that is the virus, AIDS is a stage of the illness at the end when the immune system becomes really vulnerable... so I think the vial would be labelled HIV

Well, maybe if you were so catatonic   should be weren't so catatonic

Okay read to the end, like the idea of the revenge carried out this way BUT HIV is fairly manageable now, not to downplay it but he could live for years... if this is her intent and she wants to torture his masculinity then I think she should say so/taunt him about it in some way.

If she's trying to infect him with something deadly then I'd have thought the CDC would stock something scarier... Bubonic plague or something.

Anyway, lots to like here!

Anthony
Posted by: eldave1, September 27th, 2015, 1:57pm; Reply: 7

Quoted from wonkavite
* Spoilers *

Hey Eldave -

Very short response on this one.  I think it's got lots of potential (and frankly didn't personally notice much in the way of typos.)  My only recommendations: it runs a bit long.  I feel you could trim the details without losing atmosphere and tighten this up a bit.

Also, I think it's important to go *a little* into why Emma's willing to be so damned passive about the abuse... and why she decides to inject him, as opposed to just running away.  (And it can't be directly to 'kill him'... because these days, you can last pretty damned long with AIDS...)


Thanks much for the read and the feedback - appreciated.
Posted by: SAC, September 27th, 2015, 2:16pm; Reply: 8
Dave,

I feel this could've been shorter. A lot of dialogue going on between Drew and Emma, and I think you went a bit overboard trying to show us how bad a guy Drew is. Not that I was offended by anything, but just a little less would've sufficed and cut your page count at the same time.  

Also, speaking of trimming, I feel your action syntax could have been switched up a bit to lessen page count as well. It seems you're taking the long way around things with your wording as opposed to the clear path.

I'm also curious as to why you chose the Aids virus. If you had made up a fictional virus then the side effects wouldve been that much more dastardly and given Drew a demise befitting someone of his tendencies. Also, knowing the kind of man Drew is, wouldn't it occur to Emma that this bastard is probably gonna go out and infect even more women because he just doesn't give a shit? Maybe worth thinking about.

I like how this was a revenge tale, and I love the line Emma used -- "I'm going somewhere where you can't find/hurt me. " This line, to me, was the twist of the story. It sort of shows that Emma did this for herself really.

Overall, good premise, good description. But IMO, this could benefit from another rewrite if you choose to go there.

Steve
Posted by: eldave1, September 27th, 2015, 7:37pm; Reply: 9
Thanks much for the read.


Quoted from AnthonyCawood

Personally, and may just be me, I'm not a fan of INT/EXT for cars like this, either the scene is happening inside the car or it's not, and given we get the detail of where her hands are on the wheel I'd say this is INT.


Yeah - I know some folks don't like the INT/EXT. I am actually okay with it in all cases where a car is travelling and there are things to be seen outside (in this case a security gate). But - I know that others share your view.


Quoted from AnthonyCawood
Strictly speaking, from a medical perspective, it's HIV that is the virus, AIDS is a stage of the illness at the end when the immune system becomes really vulnerable... so I think the vial would be labelled HIV


great catch - thanks


Quoted from AnthonyCawood
Okay read to the end, like the idea of the revenge carried out this way BUT HIV is fairly manageable now, not to downplay it but he could live for years... if this is her intent and she wants to torture his masculinity then I think she should say so/taunt him about it in some way.

If she's trying to infect him with something deadly then I'd have thought the CDC would stock something scarier... Bubonic plague or something.


Others have expressed similar thoughts so I think I need to revisit to make clear. The entire intent was not to give him something to kill him - but to give him something he has to spend the rest of his life dealing with (e.g., herpes, hepatitis - thinks of that ilk). If I wanted him dead - she could have just shot him I suppose - anyway - like I said, maybe the intent isn't clear.

I appreciate you taking the time.

Posted by: eldave1, September 27th, 2015, 7:45pm; Reply: 10
Thanks much for the read, Steve. Always appreciated.


Quoted from SAC
Dave,
I feel this could've been shorter. A lot of dialogue going on between Drew and Emma, and I think you went a bit overboard trying to show us how bad a guy Drew is. Not that I was offended by anything, but just a little less would've sufficed and cut your page count at the same time.  


Not sure I concur with this - but I will certainly take a hard look at it.


Quoted from SAC

Also, speaking of trimming, I feel your action syntax could have been switched up a bit to lessen page count as well. It seems you're taking the long way around things with your wording as opposed to the clear path.


I'm interested in this - is there an example somewhere that stands out? - it could help in a lot of scripts if I could see something that illustrates the point.


Quoted from SAC
I'm also curious as to why you chose the Aids virus. If you had made up a fictional virus then the side effects wouldve been that much more dastardly and given Drew a demise befitting someone of his tendencies. Also, knowing the kind of man Drew is, wouldn't it occur to Emma that this bastard is probably gonna go out and infect even more women because he just doesn't give a shit? Maybe worth thinking about.


I chose Aids because I wanted to have something that didn't kill him but would stay with him for a lifetime.

Your last point on Emma's moral issue (i.e, regarding something Drew could infect others with) is well taken. I struggled with this aspect of the story. It may warrant a change here.


Quoted from SAC
I like how this was a revenge tale, and I love the line Emma used -- "I'm going somewhere where you can't find/hurt me. " This line, to me, was the twist of the story. It sort of shows that Emma did this for herself really.

Overall, good premise, good description. But IMO, this could benefit from another rewrite if you choose to go there.

Steve


Thanks much for the feedback - very helpful.
Posted by: SAC, September 27th, 2015, 8:43pm; Reply: 11
Page 10 -- The lab technician looks in the cylinder. He notices that a vial is missing. He rushes to the lab door and presses a red alarm button.

Why not...

The lab technician looks in the cylinder. A vial is missing. He rushes to the door and hits the alarm.

Not a great example, and yours is certainly not overwritten by any stretch. But there are several instances like this where it seems the action could have been tightened. Now, this is just my opinion, of course, and it doesn't make me right. I don't think I've read anything from you before so maybe I'm just not used to your style. Saving space and eliminating unnecessary words is just something I'm big on, and its usually the first critique I have on anyone's writing.

Steve
Posted by: eldave1, September 27th, 2015, 9:18pm; Reply: 12

Quoted from SAC
Page 10 -- The lab technician looks in the cylinder. He notices that a vial is missing. He rushes to the lab door and presses a red alarm button.

Why not...

The lab technician looks in the cylinder. A vial is missing. He rushes to the door and hits the alarm.

Not a great example, and yours is certainly not overwritten by any stretch. But there are several instances like this where it seems the action could have been tightened. Now, this is just my opinion, of course, and it doesn't make me right. I don't think I've read anything from you before so maybe I'm just not used to your style. Saving space and eliminating unnecessary words is just something I'm big on, and its usually the first critique I have on anyone's writing.

Steve


Thanks dude - this helps
Posted by: RichardR, September 28th, 2015, 1:06pm; Reply: 13
David,

Comments are generally non-infectious.

I'll echo some of the other commenters.  This one runs a little long.  We get the gist damn quick.  She's beaten, he's a sadist.  Don't need much more than that.  

The idea that she will escape him by going to prison doesn't work for me.  The entire justice system would be mobilized to get her, including prison guards.  An attack on a policeman, no matter how justified, is an attack on everyone in the whole criminal justice system.  She's bright enough to figure that out.  Plus, she risks the death penalty (in a death penalty state) because some clever attorney may charge her with murder since the good captain may well die of the virus in the future.  Interesting legal point there.  She certainly will be charged with attempted murder and the penalty for that is a very long sojourn in prison.  I would like to think she is far more clever than that.

Plus, the HIV virus may or may not cause the captain a problem.  Given modern medicine he might not suffer at all.  I understand her desire to make him suffer, but HIV is simply too iffy.  She has a wealth of pathogens at the CDC.  Why choose one that isn't guaranteed to work?  Some research might provide a virus that attacks the central nervous system.  Before the doctors figure it out, he's lost the use of his legs and arms.  He's alive but he's wheelchair bound.  Now she  has him where she wants him?  As smart as she is, she can figure this out, as well as how she an steal it from the CDC.  

Enough.  It's your story, and I like it.  I think with some tweaking it will make a nice little comeupence tale.  If you really want to test your readers, figure out a way the wheelchair bound captain turns the tables on the lovely doctor?  

Best
Richard
Posted by: khamanna, September 28th, 2015, 2:42pm; Reply: 14
Hey David,

Read this. Overall it was a fast read. I didnt like the timeline here - wish it was linear and there wasnt leap into the day before and back.

I noticed you wrote gaurd instead of guard in a number of places. Also there's one instance of her self as opposed to herself.

Dave is weird a bit, without coke he is a darling - not sure why. And I do wish for a twistier ending.

Having said that you build the suspence real well and held my attention throuthout.
Posted by: eldave1, September 28th, 2015, 6:20pm; Reply: 15
Thanks for the read, Richard - much appreciated.


Quoted from RichardR
David,
I'll echo some of the other commenters.  This one runs a little long.  We get the gist damn quick.  She's beaten, he's a sadist.  Don't need much more than that.  


I actual think we need more based on some of the other comments I have read (e.g., what is it about her life that has her stuck with this guy, etc.)

I don't really get this - She's beaten, he's a sadist.. I really think that it needs to be a slow broil so that by the time she does the deed (to him and herself) one knows why the escape is needed. Long winded way of saying I do not think it is too long. That being said - if use as a reader think it is going slow - I got an issue nonetheless (i.e., not so much the 14 pages per se but what those pages contain).  


Quoted from RichardR

The idea that she will escape him by going to prison doesn't work for me.  The entire justice system would be mobilized to get her, including prison guards.  An attack on a policeman, no matter how justified, is an attack on everyone in the whole criminal justice system.  She's bright enough to figure that out.  Plus, she risks the death penalty (in a death penalty state) because some clever attorney may charge her with murder since the good captain may well die of the virus in the future.  Interesting legal point there.  She certainly will be charged with attempted murder and the penalty for that is a very long sojourn in prison.  I would like to think she is far more clever than that.


I will consider this during the rewrite (earlier version had her offing herself to ensure that the escape was permanent). It was really meant to be a desperate times requires desperate measures sort of thing - actions not totally of a rational mind. But I agree that this is a tricky plot point.


Quoted from RichardR
Plus, the HIV virus may or may not cause the captain a problem.  Given modern medicine he might not suffer at all.  I understand her desire to make him suffer, but HIV is simply too iffy.  She has a wealth of pathogens at the CDC.  Why choose one that isn't guaranteed to work?  Some research might provide a virus that attacks the central nervous system.  Before the doctors figure it out, he's lost the use of his legs and arms.  He's alive but he's wheelchair bound.  Now she  has him where she wants him?  As smart as she is, she can figure this out, as well as how she an steal it from the CDC.  


I did want her to kill Drew. I merely wanted her to leave him with something that lasts forever - whether that is one year of fifty. I think you may be the 3rd or 4th person that has an issue wit the virus selected. So, despite my intents - it is becoming clear that the AIDS virus is an issue with the readers - so, I plan on changing in future drafts.


Quoted from RichardR

Enough.  It's your story, and I like it.  I think with some tweaking it will make a nice little comeupence tale.  If you really want to test your readers, figure out a way the wheelchair bound captain turns the tables on the lovely doctor?  

Best
Richard


Oooh - I like that twist.

Thanks much for the read and feedback, Richard - it's appreciated.
Posted by: eldave1, September 28th, 2015, 6:25pm; Reply: 16

Quoted from khamanna
Hey David,

Read this. Overall it was a fast read. I didnt like the timeline here - wish it was linear and there wasnt leap into the day before and back.

I noticed you wrote gaurd instead of guard in a number of places. Also there's one instance of her self as opposed to herself.

Dave is weird a bit, without coke he is a darling - not sure why. And I do wish for a twistier ending.

Having said that you build the suspence real well and held my attention throuthout.


Thanks much for the read. You may be kindred spirits with my wife - she has the exact same problem. The next version will be linear and upfront (rather than the CDC lab scene there will either be (a) nothing, or (b) a conversation with someone (e.g., sister, etc) explaining how she sees no way out.

Yes - I got the guard and other typos - just not in time - my fault

In terms of Drew of being a sweetheart when he's not high - was an attempt to show why she would have ever hooked up with someone like him in the first place (i.e., an implication that he was fine until recent bouts with narcotics).

Again - thanks for read and the feedback. I appreciate it.
Posted by: eldave1, October 4th, 2015, 11:07am; Reply: 17
Revision posted - thanks all for the feedback - it was very helpful.
Posted by: DustinBowcot (Guest), July 13th, 2016, 10:50am; Reply: 18
Shocked that I haven't read this yet, really sorry about that. If I ever miss any of your shorts then please give me a nudge and I'll get to it.


Code

EXT. ATLANTA, THE CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL (CDC) - DAY

A ten story building encased in blue tinted glass shimmers in
the sunlight. A large blue sign with white letters - "CDC." 



Maybe there's a way to film this cheaply, but to my untrained eye it seems that this opening scene could be quite expensive to pull off. Maybe some computer graphics? I don't know, it just screams money.

Code

INT. CDC BIO-HAZARD LAB/CORRIDOR - DAY

DOCTOR EMMA SANDERS (35), dressed in an orange Haz-Mat suit
stands outside a CDC Bio-Hazard lab room.

She enters numbers on a security key pad. A BEEP is heard.
Emma places a protective hood over her head, opens the lab
door and enters. 



This is only the second scene and the costs are mounting. Perhaps there is a ready made studio for rental? Still though, I bet the cost per day would blow most budgets. I'm already thinking that perhaps there's a way you could switch things up, maybe have her working in a disease control centre in the Congo or something?

We've got a security gate, a big building, a bio-hazard lab with full security features... this is an excellent concept and very well written, but I think I can guess why it hasn't been picked up yet.

Try writing an alternate version with less cost attached. It'll take being more creative, but it's a good idea and well worth the effort.

Good luck whatever you choose to do with it.

Posted by: eldave1, July 13th, 2016, 11:08am; Reply: 19
Thanks much for the look.


Quoted Text
We've got a security gate, a big building, a bio-hazard lab with full security features... this is an excellent concept and very well written, but I think I can guess why it hasn't been picked up yet.

Try writing an alternate version with less cost attached. It'll take being more creative, but it's a good idea and well worth the effort.

Good luck whatever you choose to do with it.


I have never really written with production costs in mind - it's a good point. I'll mull over some alternatives that would be less costly - thanks
Posted by: DustinBowcot (Guest), July 14th, 2016, 1:57am; Reply: 20
With shorts it should definitely be a consideration. Nobody makes anything from shorts so making them as cheaply as possible is important, even for those producers with plenty of money.
Posted by: LC, July 14th, 2016, 4:14am; Reply: 21
I can't believe I hadn't read this either.

Noticed it on the STS page - congrats, Dave!

This story is brutal, though you manage not to get too gratuitous so kudos there. Characters all (sadly) very believable, dialogue great, no negs to mention really. Budget is a factor, but I still think it could be done - that part is often about connections and ingenuity,, and an office floor come makeshift lab could be finagled with some clever set dressing.

Mark Lyons had a script filmed within a prison and a character set for impending execution - I thought at the time that was pushing it, but they managed it.

You're cerainly widening your repertoire too with diverse subject matter which is what we all should strive to do to increase our chances of success.

I wish you well with this Dave, but also secretly hope you have another RomCom in the works.  

Posted by: eldave1, July 14th, 2016, 10:12am; Reply: 22

Quoted from LC
I can't believe I hadn't read this either.

Noticed it on the STS page - congrats, Dave!

This story is brutal, though you manage not to get too gratuitous so kudos there. Characters all (sadly) very believable, dialogue great, no negs to mention really. Budget is a factor, but I still think it could be done - that part is often about connections and ingenuity,, and an office floor come makeshift lab could be finagled with some clever set dressing.

Mark Lyons had a script filmed within a prison and a character set for impending execution - I thought at the time that was pushing it, but they managed it.

You're cerainly widening your repertoire too with diverse subject matter which is what we all should strive to do to increase our chances of success.

I wish you well with this Dave, but also secretly hope you have another RomCom in the works.  



Thanks much, Libby. Appreciated. And yes this was an attempt to broaden my genres so really glad you liked it.
Posted by: eldave1, August 6th, 2022, 10:04am; Reply: 23
This one has been filmed - here's the trailer.

https://vimeo.com/737034258
Posted by: Zack, August 6th, 2022, 10:07am; Reply: 24
Congrats, Dave!
Posted by: eldave1, August 6th, 2022, 10:08am; Reply: 25

Quoted from Zack
Congrats, Dave!


thanks
Posted by: khamanna, August 6th, 2022, 12:25pm; Reply: 26
Aa congrats. Nice trailer, seems like very pro job!
Posted by: eldave1, August 6th, 2022, 12:26pm; Reply: 27

Quoted from khamanna
Aa congrats. Nice trailer, seems like very pro job!


Thanks, Kham
Posted by: FrankH, August 6th, 2022, 7:55pm; Reply: 28


Congrats, Dave.

Frank
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