The Birth of Death | Skillshare Projects

RC Victorino

I fiddle with a string of thought ...



The Birth of Death

Step One: 

I chose Amanda Barker, from the Spoon River Anthology, which goes like this:

HENRY got me with child,
Knowing that I could not bring forth life
Without losing my own.
In my youth therefore I entered the portals of dust.
Traveler, it is believed in the village where I lived
That Henry loved me with a husband’s love
But I proclaim from the dust
That he slew me to gratify his hatred.

I chose this one  because immediatley - after reading it - I asked myself, my goodness, let's say Amanda Barker gets pregnant ... How soon after that would her maternal instincts kick in and she'd put her unborn child's needs before hers?

I wanted to write a screenplay that introduced that notion. Yes, there's the husband who wants a child more than he wants his wife (or, doesn't give a damn about the child, just wants his wife dead), but perhaps there's a woman who also wants her child, more than she wants her own life. 

At first I wrote a screenplay where Amanda is dispassionate about her pregnancy as the doctor shows her the ultrasound images (in this carnation, the doctor would be unaware of Amanda's likely fate). But, when thinking of the realties, I realized that if she knows she'd die at birth, so, too, would her doctors, thus I had to find a way for everyone involved to know about the outcome. Thus, I introduced deciet at the hands of the husband. This helped to shape the notion that he "slew" her to gratify his hatred, since he wanted a child more than anything, and the one thing stopping him was, well, his wife. 

I decided that in this current plot, the husband assumes the child will survive but the wife will die, rather than an 'everyone dies' approach, so that there's at least some hint of humanity on his part. By wanting a child, he still "needs" his wife. If he didn't want child nor wife, there'd be no motivation to get her pregnant to begin with. 

Step 2 - LOGLINE

A young woman who's just discovered her husband is out to murder her has to decide between her own life, and the life of her unborn child. 

Step 3 - Screenplay - VERSION ONE

Here's the link to my first draft. I wanted to get this up here now, rather than after I refine it, in case anyone wants to provide feedback. Thanks!

NOTE: I'd love advice on how best to pull off a split-screen sequence. 


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