Writing in the Dark,, an apt metaphor for anyone who has ever tried to tap out words on a  backlit screen.  This book, a collection of essays gathered by Max van Manen, shows how "different kinds of human experience may be explored, the methods for investigating phenomena contributing to human experience…the process of inquiry, reflection and writing…a valuable and rich resource".   That is to say, writing is an attempt to reflect what goes on inside us.  Inside us is where "story" occurs.Scott Popjes maintains a busy schedule, writing, producing and editing major theatrical trailers, promos and EPK's and developing and producing TV series and films, such as "The Remarkably 20th Century" and "The Long Ride Home".  Born and raised in suburban New Jersey, this everyman director/editor loves making movies.Ernest Hemingway - The man who ran with the bulls.  His literary sparseness and compression, well-worn and well-earned, captured the attention of critics and public in a volatile age.  In 1952, he received the Pulitzer for The Old Man and the Sea.   In 1954, he received the Nobel Prize for his "powerful style-making mastery of the modern art of narration."  He wrote from life.  Until his life subdued and rescued him.Will Shakespeare - Aka "The bard".  Arguably the best English writer to ever glide pen to page, populist hero as well as aristocratic raconteur, though we wish he had used all women instead of all men to populate his plays.  (Not a prejudice, just a fact.)   His sonnets remain divine.  Rare is the writer who can scribble successfully in one genre, let alone two.  Some postulate this poet and playwright was, in fact, more than one man…or woman.  What would he have done with film, we wonder?Though he produced fewer than 40 paintings, Dutch painter Jan Vermeer is one of the most respected artists of the European tradition. He is known for his serene, luminous interiors populated by one or two figures. Vermeer grew up in Delft, Holland, joined the painters' guild in 1653, and worked as an art dealer to support his wife and 11 children.  In 1672, war with France ruined Holland’s economy and Vermeer's business failed.  Soon after, he died of a stroke at age 42, leaving his family bankrupt.  Vermeer's paintings were largely forgotten for nearly 200 years, until 1858 when a French critic began to write admiringly about his work.  Interest in Vermeer surged again recently with his work exhibited at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.  Contemporary writers have also been inspired by him, including Tracy Chevalier whose novel Girl with a Pearl Earring imagines the life of the girl in Vermeer's painting of the same name. L.Ron Hubbard - Whatever you may think of his other worldly beliefs, the full body of L. Ron Hubbard's work includes more than 5,000 writings and 3,000 tape-recorded lectures, spanning five, highly productive decades.  A humanitarian and adventurer, he  believes, "There are only two tests of a life well lived: Did one do as one intended? And were people glad one lived?"  We add, "And can one write about it, anyhow?"Johannes Vermeer's "Lady Writing a Letter with Her Maid" records a prior chivalrous age where class decorum reigned.  (Oh, well, you can't have everything.)   One of the most talented painters in the Dutch Golden Age, that's the 1600's, Vermeer's work was forgotten for centuries.  The most brilliant artists of any century are probably never discovered, their paintings hidden till ruin, their pages dropping to dust in unfound attics.  We find this oddly comforting.  No martyr of time, this particular masterpiece hangs in the National Gallery of Ireland.  Definitely worth a gaze.Jules Verne - Ode to childhood and the player within us.  Verne was born, aptly, in Nates, France in 1828.  He promptly ran off to become cabin boy on a merchant ship but was caught and sent back to his parents.  Thus constrained, his imagination wandered.  He wrote story after story, became very rich, bought a yacht and resumed his initial intent - to sail around the world.  Or Europe anyhow.   Our favorite remains Twenty Thousand Leagues.
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     First-Place Winner, May – October 2005 Screenplay Contest – Full-Length Series

“In Your Dreams”

Written by Jeff Seeman

LOGLINE

Two people meet and fall in love through a series of shared dreams, until an impending disaster gives them both 48 hours to find out whether there are real-life counterparts to their dream mates.

SYNOPSIS

Synopsis available by author on request.

SCRIPT FOLLOWS

FADE IN:

EXT. PACIFIC ISLAND - DAY

An idyllic scene of breathtaking beauty. The surf gently crashes on a beach to the cries of seagulls, as palm trees wave against a crystal blue sky.

INT. BUNGALOW - CONTINUOUS

The beautiful vista can be seen through the window as soft music plays.

MARCIA SIEGEL, covered by a white sheet, lies face-down on a massage table. She’s an attractive woman, fast approaching thirty. She’s clearly enjoying the massage being given to her by JULIO, a stunningly handsome Latino man, stripped to the waist, his chiseled muscles glistening with oil.

                             MARCIA
Oh, Julio, you’re the best. Mmm...            

                             JULIO
Time to turn over, señorita.   

Marcia turns over, coyly pulling the sheet up to her chin.

Julio offers her a box of Belgian chocolates.                                                                

                             JULIO
Would señorita care for a chocolate?       

                             MARCIA
Oh, no, I can’t. I’m watching my            
weight.                                                 

                             JULIO
How silly you are. These are magic         
chocolates. The more you eat, the        
more weight you lose.                           

                             MARCIA
Oh, of course, that’s right. How could    
I forget?                                                

Julio picks a chocolate from the box. Marcia opens her mouth and he slowly, seductively, places it on her tongue.                                                                  

                             MARCIA
Mmm...                     

                             JULIO
Señorita...Marcia. There’s something    
I must tell you.                                      

                             MARCIA
What is it, Julio?     

                             JULIO
I’m not really a cabana boy. I’ve jus     
been pretending all this time so I        
could get close to you.                          

                             MARCIA
I don’t understand.                               

                             JULIO
In my real life, I’m actually an             
extremely successful businessman.         

                             MARCIA
How successful?                                   

                             JULIO
I hold the patent on water.                     

                             MARCIA
The patent on water? My God. That      
must make you--                                  

                             JULIO
That’s right. I’m the richest man in the 
world. And I’d give it all up just to be   
with you.                                              

                             MARCIA
Oh, Julio.       

                             JULIO
Marcia, my dear, my beloved, there’s    
 something I’ve been waiting...aching to
tell you.                                               

                             MARCIA
Yes, Julio? What is it?                           

Julio leans forward and gazes deeply, longingly into her eyes. There is a long moment of silence as they appear to be looking into each other’s very souls.

                             JULIO
Marcia?       

                             MARCIA
Yes, Julio?                                        

                             JULIO
Marcia, my dearest? 

                             MARCIA
Yes, Julio?                                           

He speaks softly yet passionately, his voice oozing with romance.

                             JULIO
Traffic on the 101 is backed up all       
the way to the Cahuenga Pass.                

Marcia looks at him uncomprehendingly.

                             MARCIA
What?                                                  

                             JULIO
Southbound the 405 is slow from         
Ventura to the 105.                            

Marcia is now completely baffled.

                             MARCIA
What are you--? 

                             JULIO
                (now in the voice of a
                 female radio announcer)
On the 10 eastbound, an injury/accident
off to the right shoulder is slowing traffic--

INT. MARCIA’S BEDROOM – MORNING

Marcia wakes up in bed, the sheet clutched up to her chin. Her radio alarm clock plays a traffic report.

       FEMALE RADIO ANNOUNCER (V.O.)
--from Cloverfield. On the 110              
northbound near Manchester Avenue,  
debris in the road is blocking the         
number four lane--                                

Marcia rolls over and turns off the radio. She lies in bed for a few moments, laughs at herself, then throws off the covers and gets up.

INT. MARCIA’S BATHROOM - LATER

Marcia, sharply dressed for work, professional yet decidedly fashionable. She painstakingly applies her lipstick and studies her face in the mirror for any trace of wrinkles.

She carefully surveys her outfit, making sure there are no creases.

She turns to leave the bathroom, then stops. Returns to the mirror and once again studies her mouth, making sure her lipstick is perfectly applied. Finally satisfied, she turns and leaves the room.

EXT. DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES - DAY

Marcia steps off a bus onto a crowded city sidewalk and walks towards her office. She’s joined by her friend ANN, who is every so slightly older and less attractive than she.

                               ANN
‘Morning.                                             

                             MARCIA
‘Morning.                                             

                               ANN
Go anywhere fun this weekend?             

                             MARCIA
And miss the What Not to Wear             
marathon on cable?                              

                               ANN
God, we’re both pathetic.                        

                             MARCIA
You saw it too?                                    

                               ANN
All twelve hours. I ate so much Ben     
and Jerry’s I was practically               
hyperglycemic. Why didn’t you go out 
with Martin?                                        

                             MARCIA
Oh, it’s over with Martin.                        

                               ANN
Why?                                                  

                             MARCIA
You know. He did that spitting thing.      

                               ANN
For God’s sake, Marcia. Martin isn’t      
good enough for you. Jim wasn’t good   
enough for you. Tom wasn’t good enough
for you.                                               

                             MARCIA
Oh, come on. Tom? He had those ears.    

                               ANN
So his ears were a little big.                   

                             MARCIA
A little? He used to have to notify LAX on
windy days. Hey, at least I had a great   
 dream last night. The richest man in the
world asked me to marry him.                

                               ANN
The richest man in the world, huh?     
                     (beat)
You know, money can’t buy everything.  

                             MARCIA
Sister, whatever it can’t buy me, I don’t
need.                                                  

Ann laughs as they walk down the sidewalk.

Across the street, on the opposite sidewalk and headed in the opposite direction, walk BILL CALDWELL and his friend DOUG. They are both in their early thirties and are both dressed in slightly scruffy, corporate casual attire.

                             DOUG
--and then, from behind the curtain,    
comes the entire Swedish Bikini Team.
Only--and this is the crucial part—      
without the bikinis. Top that.                  

                               BILL
Nope, you win. I can’t even                 
remember my dreams from last            
night. I probably dreamt about             
filing my taxes or something.                  

                             DOUG
Oh, dude, that’s sad. If you’re not        
getting any in real life, you should at  
least be having some cool dreams.          

                               BILL
What can I tell you? I’ll take it up        
with my unconscious.                           

INT. LOBBY OF OFFICE BUILDING - MOMENTS LATER

Marcia and Ann arrive at the lobby of their office building, which is bustling with activity.

Marcia steps up to a bank of elevators.     

                               ANN
Hey, you going to the thing tonight?       

                             MARCIA
What thing?                                         

                               ANN
You know. The big reception.                 

                             MARCIA
Oh, God. I hate those things.                  

                               ANN
Come on, Marcia. Maybe we’ll meet     
a couple of really great guys.                 

                             MARCIA
Yeah, in your dreams.                           

                               ANN
Of course, if you’d prefer to stay          
home, I hear there’s a Murder She        
Wrote marathon on the Lifetime          
channel. I’m sure you and your cats    
will enjoy that.                                     

                             MARCIA
Okay, okay. I’ll stop by and check it     
out. God, you’re a worse nag than       
my mother.                                          

The elevator doors open and Marcia steps on, along with a wave of others.

                              ANN
                    (calling behind her in a
                     matronly voice)
And don’t forget to clean up that         
room, young lady!                                 

Marcia smirks and gives her the finger as the elevator doors close.

EXT. COFFEE HOUSE - MOMENTS LATER

Bill and Doug stop outside a coffee house.

                             DOUG
There she is                                         

Doug gestures through the window of the establishment.

                               BILL
Who?                                                  

                             DOUG
That chick I was telling you about          

Bill looks through the window. Inside, an incredibly hot young woman is ordering a coffee at the counter.

                             DOUG
She’s there every morning. Always      
alone, even on Saturdays and             
Sundays. Which means...                       

                               BILL
Which means?                                     

                             DOUG
Which means she doesn’t have             
company on Friday and Saturday         
                              nights.  

                              BILL
So?                                                     

What do I have to do, draw you a          
map? Go talk to her. You haven’t         
even had a date in months.                    

                               BILL
Oh...I don’t know. I mean, I appreciate 
it and all, but...                                     

                             DOUG
What’s the problem?                             

                               BILL
I’m just not very good at that kind       
of thing. You know, walking up to a     
strange woman, striking up a             
conversation. Besides, I don’t think      
I’m over Lisa yet.

                             DOUG
Lisa walked out six months ago.          
Come on, Bill. At this rate, you’re        
going to need Viagra by the time you   
have sex again. Just go talk to her.         

                               BILL
And say what?                                     

                             DOUG
Say anything. Talk about the weather.     

                               BILL
The weather?                                       

                             DOUG
Whatever.                                             

                               BILL
No, seriously, the weather? That’s       
going to impress her? Women are       
really captivated by witty meteorological
observations these days, are they?          

                             DOUG
You know what your problem is? You   
think too much. Come on, take a        
risk for once in your life.                       

Doug opens the door of the coffee house for Bill. Bill heaves a heavy sigh and walks in.

Through the glass, Doug watches as Bill orders a coffee at the counter. He takes the coffee and joins the woman at the condiment stand.

INT. COFFEE HOUSE - CONTINUOUS

Bill stands directly across from the woman, who’s pouring nonfat milk into her chai tea. He picks up the sugar, begins pouring it into his coffee. Glances toward the window.

Doug gives him a “thumbs up” sign.

Bill pours more sugar into his coffee. Clears his throat. The woman doesn’t notice. He continues pouring. She glances up for just a moment. He tries to make eye contact with her, smiles. Again, she doesn’t notice.

He continues pouring sugar into his coffee. Begins whistling. Again, the woman doesn’t acknowledge him.

Finally, she picks up her tea and leaves. Bill watches as she walks out the door, right past Doug. A moment later, he follows her.

EXT. COFFEE HOUSE - CONTINUOUS

                             DOUG
Well?                                                  

                               BILL
I don’t think we really hit it off.          
Want some coffee?                                

                             DOUG
You don’t want it?                                

                               BILL
I don’t take sugar.                                 

He hands Doug the coffee and walks away. Doug tastes it and makes a face of disgust.

EXT. ROOFTOP OF MARCIA’S OFFICE BUILDING - NIGHT

The rooftop is decorated for a party, with streamers, tables, and various bar stations scattered about, and a lectern stationed at one edge of the roof. The roof is packed with professionally dressed people, drinking and mingling.

At the podium, an older, PRIM WOMAN is delivering a speech with the lights of the Los Angeles skyline as a backdrop.

                       PRIM WOMAN
And this quarter, under the leadership
of Mr. Farnsworth, we have once again
been named the top realty company in
Los Angeles. Thank you all for your     
hard work. And now...enjoy!                   

A smattering of applause.

EXT. - AT THE BAR

Marcia stands alone at the bar nursing a drink and looking extremely bored.

                       FARNSWORTH (O.S.)
Don’t you hate these things?                  

                             MARCIA
God, yes. And if I have to listen to one  
more speech about how bloody            
wonderful Clifford Farnsworth is, I       
think I’ll pu--                                      

She turns to find she’s speaking to CLIFFORD FARNSWORTH, president and CEO of the company. He’s a tall, dashingly handsome man with a thousand dollar suit and a million dollar smile.

                             MARCIA
Oh, my God. Mr. Farnsworth. I’m        
so sorry, I didn’t mean--                        

                         FARNSWORTH
                             (laughing)
Don’t worry. I get awfully tired            
hearing about myself, too. Forgive       
me if this is an impertinent question  
but...do you work for me?                       

                             MARCIA
                            (nervously)
Uh, yes. Actually. About three             
years now. In Finance.                         

                         FARNSWORTH
Really? Well, I must make a note
to give someone in H.R. a raise for
hiring somebody so...fetching.               

(CONTINUED)