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, November 2007 - April 2008
Screenplay Contest - Teleplay/Short Series

"The Office: The Morning After"

Written by Andrew Ferguson

(Photo Unavailable)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Andrew Scott Ferguson is a full-time screenwriter with a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing and a Master’s degree in Public Administration. This is his first contest win and only the second script he has ever written.

A relative newcomer to the screenwriting business, Andrew is looking to break into the television writing industry but is willing to entertain all storytelling offers. He hopes to move to the Los Angeles area sometime in the near future.

Additional Writer Information

Name: Andrew Scott Ferguson
DOB: 7/24/78
Birthplace: Duluth, Georgia
Current Residence Athens, Georgia
Contacts: afergy1@uga.edu
706-296-2621

LOGLINE

Confusion swirls around the office as to who’s actually pregnant as a torn Michael tries to balance Jan’s wishes of a morning after pill (which he thinks is illegal) and his own personal desires for fatherhood.

SYNOPSIS

A new addition to the Michael Scott family (literally) is on everyone’s minds as the rumor mill swirls around the office. A broken condom and some unfortunate misunderstandings lead the office to believe that Jim and Pam, not Michael and Jan, are expecting. Hilarity ensues as Michael tries to balance the demands of Jan (who wants a morning after pill – which he thinks is illegal) with his own personal desires for fatherhood. Meanwhile Jim and Pam are confronted with the very real issue of starting a family and the office gang tries to ban together to support one of the couples – which all leads to a very unexpected ending.

SCRIPT FOLLOWS

INT. THE OFFICE – MORNING

SHOT OF JIM AT HIS COMPUTER. HE IS CLICKING ON SOME WEB SITES. THE CAMERA CAN’T QUITE SEE THE SCREEN SO IT MOVES OVER. HE’S LOOKING AT ENGAGEMENT RINGS. HE NOTICES THE CAMERA AND QUICKLY CLOSES OUT OF THE WEB SITE.

CUT TO A SHOT OF THE DOOR. CREED WALKS IN. PAN TO SHOT OF THE CLOCK SHOWS IT’S 9:30. HE’S CARRYING A COUPLE BOXES OF DONUTS. HE STOPS AT RECEPTION AND OFFERS PAM A DONUT (FROM THE TOP BOX ONLY)-SHE DECLINES. SO DOES JIM.

           TALKING HEAD JIM
JIM For the past few weeks Creed has been bringing in donuts. I took one the first day, and it tasted fine, but since then I’ve stayed away. I don’t know what his angle is.....but he’s up to something.

           TALKING HEAD PAM
PAM I think he thinks that no one will say anything about his coming in late if he keeps bringing them.

CREED CONTINUES AROUND THE OFFICE AND EVERYONE ELSE TAKES A DONUT FROM HIM (BUT ONLY THE TOP BOX). HE THEN SITS DOWN AT HIS DESK AND LOOKS AT HIS WATCH. HE IS VERY PLEASED.

           TALKING HEAD CREED
CREED Is that what they think? (laughs) I moved next door to a donut shop about a month ago. Found this ferret in the dumpster while I was going through it one night.

HE PULLS A FERRET OUT OF THE INSIDE OF HIS JACKET POCKET AND SHOWS IT TO THE CAMERA.

CUT TO:

SHOT OF CREED LOOKING THROUGH A DUMPSTER, TWO BOXES LIKE THE ONES HE BRINGS IN WITH HIM SITTING ON ANOTHER DUMPSTER BESIDE THE ONE HE IS GOING THROUGH.

           CREED (V.O.) (CONT’D)

So I left the little bastard in my apartment a couple of times and he tore through everything. So now I bring him to work.

SHOT OF CREED AT HIS DESK OPENING THE SECOND BOX (THE ONE THAT CONTAINS THE FERRET) AND TAKING IT OUT AND PUTTING IT IN ONE OF HIS DESK DRAWERS.

           CREED (V.O.) (CONT’D)
The donuts?

HE SORTS THROUGH THEM INSPECTING EACH DONUT HE COMES ACROSS, TOSSING SOME BACK INTO THE DUMPSTER, OTHERS INTO THE BOXES.

           TALKING HEAD CREED CREED (CONT’D)
Yeah, they’re dumpster donuts. (he takes a bite of one of the donuts)

SHOT OF CREED RECLINING IN HIS CHAIR WHILE HE SMILES AND LOOKS AROUND THE OFFICE WATCHING EVERYONE EAT THEIR DONUTS.

CUT TO INTRO WITH CREDITS.

ACT I

EXT. THE OFFICE - PARKING LOT

THE CAMERAS MEET MICHAEL AS HE PULLS UP, LATE. HE HAS A SMALL (BUT NOTICEABLE) SCRATCH ON HIS FACE.

           MICHAEL Okay, you caught me. Boss man coming in late. But I have some exciting news - that I’m not supposed to talk about. But I can show you this.

MICHAEL OPENS UP THE TRUNK TO REVEAL LOTS OF BABY STUFF. CLOTHES, STROLLERS, EVEN A CRIB. HE’S VERY PROUD.

           MICHAEL (CONT’D)
Baby gap. 40% off. The price. Not the clothes. (beat) They’re supposed to be small.

MICHAEL HOLDS UP AN ADORABLE BLUE ONE PIECE BODY SUIT. HE LOOKS AT IT - MAYBE IT’S NOT SUPPOSED TO BE THIS SMALL. INT. THE OFFICE PAM IS AT RECEPTION WORKING. MICHAEL ENTERS, CARRYING HIS BRIEFCASE AND A MAGAZINE.

           MICHAEL
Donuts! Can’t say I haven’t been craving stuff like this lately.

MICHAEL GRABS FOUR OR FIVE DONUTS, STACKING THEM ON HIS BRIEFCASE. HE BITES INTO ONE OF THEM, STRAINING TO CHEW.

           PAM
You’re late.

           MICHAEL (muffled - chewing)
That’s what she said, this morning.

MICHAEL, REALIZING JUST HOW STALE THE DONUT IS, SPITS IT BACK INTO THE BOX. PAM IS ANSWERING THE PHONE AND DOESN’T NOTICE.

           PAM (on phone)
Dunder Miflin this is Pam - one second.

SHE TRANSFERS THE CALL AND LOOKS UP AT MICHAEL, WHO IS PICKING DONUT OUT OF HIS TEETH.

           PAM (CONT’D)
What happened to your face?

           MICHAEL
Cat scratch.

           PAM
You don’t have a cat.

           MICHAEL
Pregasour scratch.

           PAM
What?

           MICHAEL
Nothing.

CUT TO:

TALKING HEAD MICHAEL MICHAEL A pregasour is an endearing term used to describe a pregnant female of our species. Kind of like bridezilla is an endearing term used to describe a prospective bride. You just can’t call them that to their face. (beat) Apparently. (rubs cut)

CUT BACK TO:

INT. THE OFFICE

           PAM
Ryan’s waiting.

           MICHAEL
That was today?

MICHAEL STARTS TO WALK OFF.

           MICHAEL (CONT’D)
Oh, almost forgot. For your consideration, madam.

HE TOSSES THE MAGAZINE ON THE COUNTER. CLOSE IN ON TITLE “OH BABY”. PAM GIVES A CONFUSED LOOK. MICHAEL HANGS AROUND FOR A BEAT, BUT PAM DOESN’T BITE. HE’S CLEARLY DISAPPOINTED.

CUT TO:

TALKING HEAD MICHAEL MICHAEL For the first two months of a pregnancy you’re not supposed to tell anyone. (beat) I think it’s because everyone’s afraid of having one of those werewolf babies, like in the Enquirer. (reflecting) I don’t think a werewolf baby and I would get along very well. (beat) Although I did like Teen Wolf.

INT. MICHAEL’S OFFICE

MICHAEL ENTERS. RYAN HAS AN EASEL WITH GRAPHS SET UP.

           MICHAEL
You’ll always be my first son.

MICHAEL GIVES A SURPRISINGLY CALM RYAN A HUG.

CUT TO:

           TALKING HEAD RYAN
Ryan is holding a prescription bottle of pills. RYAN (says proudly, then reads bottle) Vicodin. Commonly prescribed for relief of mild to moderate pain of acute, chronic, or post-operative types. Coming here is acute and chronic....two out of three..(he pops a couple)

CUT BACK TO:

INT. MICHAEL’S OFFICE MICHAEL AND RYAN ARE SEATED - ON THE SAME SIDE OF THE DESK.

           RYAN
So did you take care of what we talked about yesterday?

           MICHAEL
I was not able to find that photo of Jessica Alba that you were looking for, but I know I’ve seen it someplace...

MICHAEL TURNS AROUND AND STARTS TYPING ON HIS COMPUTER. RYAN DARTS HIS EYES AT THE CAMERA.

           RYAN
That’s not what-

           MICHAEL (continues typing)
Just a second-

           RYAN
The web site went down - we lost dozens of orders, remember? MICHAEL Oh I thought that was a hypothetical, like “What if the web site went down?”

           RYAN
No...it went down for real.

           MICHAEL (really contemplating)
Maybe that’s where that photo was.

CUT TO:

           TALKING HEAD MICHAEL MICHAEL
So the web site died. It had a good run. (beat) Well it had a run. Not sure how good it was.

RYAN OPENS THE DOOR, INTERRUPTING.

           RYAN
Can you do these later? My day is packed and besides, the web site’s back up. It was only down for a few hours yesterday.

RYAN CLOSES THE DOOR.

           MICHAEL
Rumors of the web sites demise have been greatly exaggerated. (beat) Mark Twain. That’s why you should never listen to rumors. There was this one in high school-

RYAN OPENS THE DOOR AGAIN.

           RYAN
Michael!

INT. THE OFFICE - RECEPTION PAM IS WORKING. PHYLLIS IS BEHIND THE COUNTER AND SEES THE “OH BABY” MAGAZINE. SHE LOOKS AT THE CAMERA AND THEN BACK AT PAM, WHOSE BACK IS TO HER. FINALLY PAM TURNS AROUND. PHYLLIS SMILES POLITELY AND LEAVES. PAM LOOKS AT THE CAMERA AND KNOWS SOMETHING BAD JUST HAPPENED, BUT DOESN’T KNOW WHAT.

CUT TO:

INT. THE OFFICE – COPIER

ANGELA IS MAKING COPIES. ANDY APPROACHES.

           ANDY
So pretty lady, did you enjoy our date the other night?

           ANGELA
I did not not enjoy it.

ANDY TRIES TO DECIPHER.

           ANDY
So...that means we could, perhaps, go out again sometime?

           ANGELA
Perhaps.

ANGELA WALKS OFF AS ANDY GAZES AFTER HER.

CUT TO:

           TALKING HEAD ANDY
ANDY You know you’re up for a wild night when you’re handed multi-colored note cards at dinner. She had prepared three topics for us to discuss; cats, why China’s one child law should be brought over here, and silence.

CUT TO:

           TALKING HEAD ANGELA
ANGELA I feel it’s best to take control from the beginning. Show him the boundaries, see how he reacts. He was very obedient. (beat) A little jokey.

INT. THE OFFICE REACTION SHOT OF A VERY INTERESTED DWIGHT.

CUT TO:

           TALKING HEAD DWIGHT
DWIGHT Yes, Angela and I broke up. It’s been 3 weeks, 4 days, 2 hours, and (looks at watch) 46 seconds. I haven’t given it much thought.

INT. THE OFFICE SHOT OF PHYLLIS WHISPERING TO STANLEY, WHO GETS UP AND WHISPERS TO OSCAR, WHO LEANS ACROSS AND WHISPERS TO KEVIN. KEVIN STARTS TO APPROACH ANGELA, BUT ANGELA STARES HIM DOWN.

CUT TO:

           TALKING HEAD KEVIN
KEVIN I’ll email her.

INT. MICHAEL’S OFFICE

RYAN IS SHOWING MICHAEL SOME FIGURES ON THE EASEL.

           RYAN
And if you look at this you can see that the web site has increased sales 300% in the past month.

           MICHAEL (scoffs)
300 percent? That’s impossible. The highest is 110.

           RYAN
The highest is not 110.

           MICHAEL
Then what’s the highest?

           RYAN
There is no highest. It can be anything. It’s numbers.

           MICHAEL
Then why do all the athletes say 110 percent? Are you calling Brett Favre a liar?

RYAN STARES BLANKLY AHEAD. HE REALLY MIGHT BE ON SOMETHING.

           PAM (speaker phone)
Michael? Jan line one.

           MICHAEL (arm around Ryan)
Can’t. Talking with my boy. (to Ryan) Won’t have much time for this soon.

CUT TO:

INT. THE OFFICE – RECEPTION

PAM IS FLIPPING THROUGH THE “OH BABY” MAGAZINE - SHE CAN’T HELP IT. KEVIN APPROACHES AND WALKS AROUND THE COUNTER TO CHECK OUT HER BELLY. SHE CATCHES HIM AND QUICKLY HIDES THE MAGAZINE. HE LOOKS AT THE BOX OF DONUTS, TRYING TO COVER.

           PAM (awkward)
Hey.

           KEVIN (also awkward)
Hey. You done with these?

KEVIN REACHES FOR THE DONUTS BUT IS STILL CHECKING HER OUT.

           PAM
Sure.

           KEVIN
Cause if you need them, I understand. PAM (confused) No really, take them.

KEVIN OPENS THE BOX SEES THE REGURGITATED DONUT. HE MAKES A FACE AND THEN PUTS THE BOX BACK AND LEAVES. JIM WALKS IN.

           PAM (CONT’D)
Hey! I thought you’d be back sooner.

JIM GIVES THE CAMERA A LOOK.

           JIM
It took.....longer.

           PAM
Bring me anything?

JIM GIVES THE CAMERA A SECOND, SERIOUS LOOK.

CUT TO:

SPY SHOT OF JIM AT A JEWELRY STORE. HE’S LOOKING AT RINGS AND STARTS TO PULL OUT HIS WALLET WHEN HE SEES THE CAMERA. HE PUTS HIS WALLET BACK IN HIS POCKET.

           JIM (V.O.)
I was in the city this morning making deliveries. Ryan has started cc-ing me whenever he emails Michael, so I just figured, you know, I’d take care of those lost orders from the web site. (beat) Plus it was good to get out of the office.

CUT BACK TO:

INT. THE OFFICE - RECEPTION

           JIM
Uh, as a matter of fact...

JIM LOOKS AT THE CAMERA, HESITATES, THEN SLOWLY REACHES IN HIS POCKET AND PULLS OUT....A SNICKERS BAR.

           PAM
Score!

           JIM (moving on)
Creed? (re: donut box)

           PAM
Yeah.

JIM OPENS THE BOX, SEES THE REGURGITATED DONUT, MAKES A FACE AND QUICKLY CLOSES IT. HE GETS GLAZE ON HIS HAND AND REACHES FOR A NAPKIN (NEXT TO THE MAGAZINE). NOW PAM’S UNCOMFORTABLE - SHE FEARS JIM WILL SEE THE MAGAZINE. HE DOESN’T.

           JIM
Where is this donut shop? These are terrible.

           PAM (moving on)
Creed’s disgusting.

JIM WALKS OFF. PAM LOOKS IN THE BOX AND IS REPULSED. SHE THROWS IT IN THE TRASH. BACKGROUND - PHYLLIS AND SOME OF THE OTHERS WHISPERING AS JIM GOES TO HIS DESK.

INT. MICHAEL’S OFFICE

MICHAEL IS ON THE PHONE WITH JAN. SHE’S ON SPEAKERPHONE.

           MICHAEL
Look, it’s an act of God, ok? What do you want me to do?

           JAN
Michael it was not an act of God-

           MICHAEL
When you’re having sex with a woman and the condom breaks, it’s a sign, right?

           JAN
Michael-

           MICHAEL
That - wasn’t to you.

           JAN
Who else is there?

           MICHAEL
Ryan’s sitting in. This effects him too.

PAN OVER TO RYAN, SITTING NEXT TO MICHAEL. RYAN SEEMS UNFAZED, OBLIVIOUS EVEN - THE PILLS ARE CLEARLY WORKING.

CUT TO:

           TALKING HEAD MICHAEL MICHAEL
I was the result of a condom breaking. I was also the first sperm. When you think about it, I’ve overcome long odds to be here. (beat) I guess you could say I’m kind of like Kelly Clarkson.

INT. BREAKROOM

OSCAR AND KEVIN ARE EATING AND WHISPERING.

           OSCAR
I told you I’m not asking him. That is personal and private and none of our business.

           KEVIN
But somebody’s got to ask.

JIM ENTERS TO USE THE MICROWAVE - HE’S HEATING UP A VERY LARGE BOWL OF SPAGHETTI. OSCAR AND KEVIN CLAM UP.

           JIM
What’s up guys?

           OSCAR
Nothing. Just eating lunch.

           KEVIN (whispers)
Ask him.

           OSCAR (whispers loudly)
No.

           KEVIN (whispers even louder)
Just ask him.

           JIM
Ask me what?

           OSCAR
Uh....Kevin wanted to know.....what your workout routine is.

           JIM
Oh. Some light weights, the occasional run. I bike. (to Kevin) You thinking of getting into shape?

           KEVIN (rather defiantly)
No.

THE MICROWAVE BEEPS. JIM CHECKS HIS SPAGHETTI - NOT DONE - HE PUTS IT BACK IN. KEVIN GETS UP AND WALKS OVER.

           KEVIN (CONT’D)
That’s a lot of spaghetti.

           JIM
Yep.

AWKWARD BEAT AS THE MICROWAVE COUNTS DOWN AGAIN. KEVIN SQUINTS THROUGH THE MICROWAVE DOOR.

           KEVIN
That’s enough for two.

           JIM
It’s not mine. It’s Pam’s.

           KEVIN
Oh. So it is for two?

           JIM
Ahh, yeah. Me and Pam.

           KEVIN
So it’s for three?

INT. MICHAEL’S OFFICE

MICHAEL STILL ON PHONE WITH JAN.

           MICHAEL
Why don’t you want a child? Is it because you won’t be a good mother? JAN Michael - you’re not-

           MICHAEL
Because I’ll be twice as good a father to make up for it. You can suck all you want.

CUT TO:

           TALKING HEAD MICHAEL MICHAEL
People are telling me all the time I should have kids. Just the other day, I was in the park pushing this little girl on the swing and her mom came up and said “Get some kids of your own.” (beat) She obviously thinks I’m ready.

CUT BACK TO:

INT. MICHAEL’S OFFICE

           JAN
I just can’t have a baby right now.

           MICHAEL
You’re not having one right now. It takes months. (whispers to Ryan) Doesn’t it take months?

RYAN STARES AHEAD. HIS EYES ARE STARTING TO GLAZE OVER.

           JAN
Michael? Listen - you need to get me one of those pills.

           MICHAEL
What pills?

           JAN
A morning after pill.

           MICHAEL
I don’t know where to get those.

           JAN
You get them from the same place you get other pills from.

           MICHAEL (to himself/camera)
Drugs dealers? (beat, to Jan) If I get you one of these pills can we at least talk about this?

THERE IS A LONG, LONG SILENCE. FINALLY...

           JAN
Uhh.....yes. Get me the pill and we’ll discuss it.

END