Hod Putt, The Hangman --- UPDATED! | Skillshare Projects



Hod Putt, The Hangman --- UPDATED!

STEP ONE: Choosing A Story

The story that has followed me throughout this process was one of the first I read. Hod Putt is an unfortunate soul from The Spoon River Anthology. A man who always followed the rules and obeyed the law witnessed those around him (especially one, Bill Piersol) achieving fortune and the joys of life more flawlessly than Hod could ever imagine. 

Eventually, a weary and worn Mr. Putt takes the law into his own hands, and a robbery goes wrong, resulting in an innocent dead man. One act of desperation turns into murder, and a guilty Hod is tried and hanged. 

Fast forward to his story time and we find him resting in eternity side-by-side with his constant source of envy, Bill Piersol. 

Hod Putt

Here I lie close to the grave

of Old Bill Piersol, 

Who grew rich trading with the Indians, and who

Afterwards took the bankrupt law

And emerged from it richer than ever.

Myself grown tired of toil and poverty

And beholding how Old Bill and others grew in wealth, 

Robbed a traveler one night near Proctor's Grove,

Killing him unwittingly while doing so,

For the which I was tried and hanged. 

That was my way of going into bankruptcy. 

Now we who took the bankrupt law in our respective ways

Sleep peacefully side by side. 

While I'm not 110% sure which angle I want to take with this, I know I've always enjoyed the message this story portrays. In life, some things fall into laps, or we're born with life handed to us on a silver platter. Even if there's work involved, it always appears easy and attainable. Then there are those of us who work day and night, long hours, play by the rules, etc, and we can't catch a break. We can't achieve the level of success of our peers. No matter what path we take, or what we have to show (or don't have to show) for our lives, we all end up next to each other in the ground. Good vs. evil, strong vs. weak, innocent vs. corrupt, we all perish with stories to tell. 

Since this tale has an ominous and macabre feeling to it, I thought about beginning with a hanging Hod Putt swaying in the breeze before shifting to a split-screen setting for storytelling. I might have the lives of Bill Piersol and Hod Putt play out next to each other. I may also take a modern approach and adapt this piece to reflect lives of people I happen to know. Any suggestions (questions, comments, concerns) are most welcome! 

STEP TWO: The Screenplay

I hope I linked this correctly, if not, please let me know! Thanks! 


STEP THREE: The Logline

When a man's life lived on the straight-and-narrow collides with a healthy dose of envy and wonder, all hell is unleashed, and an existence forever changed.


I feel like I did this a bit already, but what the hell? I'm a 29 year old student, finishing up a third degree (in English) this upcoming December. School has been a long and winding road, but knowledge is something we can never lose. We should always be learning, right?

I will probably continue going to school for years to come. I'm hoping to study abroad and travel once I'm done with this next chapter. 

I've NEVER written a screenplay. This was my first time delving into unknown territory when it comes to writing, but I enjoyed (and was frustrated by) the experience. It's been so nice to learn and share ideas with people who have such similar interests. I wanted to step out of my comfort zone and combine my interest for writing, literature, and movies all into one place. It has been quite a journey!

Lastly, I'd like to say hello and a massive thank you to everyone who has helped me along the way! It was lovely meeting and discussing ideas with you all and I wish you all the best of luck in your future endeavors! 


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