• How to Talk About Your Screenplay in Any Social Situation

    By Bizzy Coy

    Published August 20, 2018 in McSweeney's
    Link to original


    YOU: I’ll have an iced mocha latte and a good twist for the third act of my screenplay.


    BARISTA: Name?


    YOU: No Cigar.


    BARISTA: Your name. For the cup.


    YOU: Oh, not the name of my screenplay?


    BARISTA: No.


    YOU: Just put “screenwriter.” I know it’s a lot of letters. I’m used to writing a lot of letters, you know, when I’m working on my screenplay.


    BARISTA: [Sigh]


    YOU: You know, Close, But No Cigar? It’s a period drama about a conflicted Cuban cigar roller who—


    BARISTA: Next.





    DOCTOR: What brings you in today?


    YOU: I’m feeling an itchy sensation and a burning desire to finish my screenplay.


    DOCTOR: I’m afraid I cannot help you.


    YOU: With the itching, or my underdeveloped female characters?


    DOCTOR: I’m a medical doctor.


    YOU: That’s the title of my screenplay! Medical Doctor is a horror film about a conflicted Ph.D. in English who goes on a rampage because he’s not considered a “real” doc—


    DOCTOR: Put your clothes on.





    YOU: I need all this peanut butter to give me the energy to finish my screenplay.


    CASHIER: Credit or debit?


    YOU: Yes, that’s the title! Credit or Debit.


    CASHIER: Press the button.


    YOU: Do you give cash back?


    CASHIER: Yes.


    YOU: I need all the cash I can get if I’m going to finish my screenplay. Credit or Debit is a thriller about a conflicted bank robber who—


    CASHIER: Cash Back is a better title.


    YOU: [Stunned silence]





    YOU: Did you drop this screenplay?




    YOU: Oh wait, it’s mine.


    STRANGER: Please don’t wave that in my face.


    YOU: In My Face is a rom-com about the recipient of the world’s first full-face transplant who meets a conflicted—


    STRANGER: Stop following me.





    LOVER: A little to the left.


    YOU: A Little to the Left is a pornographic feature about a conflicted left-handed pizza delivery driver who—


    LOVER: I’ll never orgasm again.





    OFFICIANT: Dearly beloved—


    YOU: Is an action comedy about a polygamous bride who has to save her fiancé who has been kidnapped by his other wives in order to stop their impending nuptials.


    YOUR FIANCÉ: Why are you interrupting your own wedding to talk about your screenplay?


    YOU: Why are you marrying me if you’ll never orgasm again? You knew what you were getting into.


    YOUR FIANCÉ: And I explore those conflicted feelings in my screenplay, With This Ring.


    YOU: I don’t know why you have to bring up your screenplay all the time.


    YOU and YOUR FIANCÉ: We both wrote screenplays.


    OFFICIANT: I now pronounce you legally wed.





    YOU: I’m here to pick up my baby.




    YOU: My baby. My screenplay. I dropped it off this morning?


    CHILDCARE WORKER: Oh, right. You.


    YOU: You is a riveting documentary about a conflicted screenwriter trying desperately to talk about his screenplay.


    CHILDCARE WORKER: Spare me, Jesus.


    YOU: Did you hear that, children? I wrote a screenplay.





    YOU: Dead to me.


    MOURNER: What did you say?


    YOU: Dead to Me is a sci-fi adventure about a conflicted scientist who travels to the afterlife—


    MOURNER: Do I know you?


    YOU: Probably. I’m a screenwriter.





    BOSS: Hey, do you have a minute?


    YOU: Barely. I’m so deep in my screenplay…


    BOSS: That’s what I wanted to talk to you about.


    YOU: Awesome! Finally! Someone wants to talk about my screenplay! Did you find the exposition heavy-handed? Does the resolution of my hero’s journey feel earned? Is the B-story grounded in truth? Does it sag in the second act? Is it conflicted enough?


    BOSS: You’re fired.


    YOU: You’re Fired is a comedy screenplay about an aspiring screenplay who is laid off and sets fire to a rival screenplay and the fire is put out by a screenplay about a brave volunteer firefighter who is also writing a screenplay—


    BOSS: Get your things.


    YOU: Do you know anyone in the industry?