What if you could orchestrate the perfect life with the click of a button…
Well, actually you can. Life in the digital age means it’s never been easier to present to the world at least the illusion of perfect.
Log on to Facebook or Instagram and witness the multitude of shiny happy faces, perfect families spouting philosophical platitudes and sunny dispositions; posting funny home-videos, snaps of vacations, announcements of promotions and celebrations of career milestones.
If it’s photogenic enough even your lunch and gourmet coffee can go viral.
Richard Russell’s cleverly titled Insta-Dream presents the idea that even if you don’t like your life you can easily give it an Insta-Facelift.
Enter thirty year old Trevor, not exactly living the life of his dreams. He’s a waiter in a local diner with aspirations of being a writer. So far Trevor has the equivalent of ‘zilch likes’ and he’s about as far away as anyone can get from cracking any best seller lists or making it big with that blockbuster screenplay.
The reality is he’s barely eking out a living serving eggs sunny-side up on minimum wage. There’s one thing however that Trevor can do, and that is to give the illusion that everything in his life is going swimmingly well.
Cue Natalie, also in her thirties, mother to Billy, ten, and Isabella, eight. As they settle into a booth at the diner it’s clear she, Trevor, and the kids share a special rapport. Trevor ruffles Billy’s hair, gives Isabella the warmest of smiles, as they huddle together for what appears to be an idyllic family snap.
But what’s really going on here?
Trevor’s out to impress, that’s for sure, but it’s not Natalie he wants to impress.
See it’s not easy being a hack flipping burgers day to day when your dad is an adventurous traveller off to explore far flung exotic locales. Most recent trip the crystal blue waters and white sands of Bali. Next stop, Prague.
All Trevor wants is to make his dad proud. Nothing wrong with that. Right?
As with all good tales there’s a surprise twist in the final denouement you won’t pick.
Insta-Dream is a poignant heartfelt and bittersweet story where lives intersect but don’t quite connect, where an estranged father and son communicate via the pics and highlights of their lives, where a picture can seem to paint a thousand words, but can be masquerading as something else entirely.
Want your dream to become an Insta-Reality? Best frame up this one quick smart then, before some other lucky filmmaker decides this one is going to be their Insta-Success.
Budget: Low. Locations: A Denny’s type Diner, and two other modest sets. Talent: Three adults, two photogenic kids, and a few extras. No FX needed.
About the writer: Richard Russell A writer should never pen his own bio. What seems important to a writer will no doubt bore most readers. Yet, writers do create their own bios, to the chagrin of everyone. My bio must be short and to the point as I have few literary successes to boast of. It seems I have been writing all my life, and indeed, if pages of print equal success, then I am as successful as anyone. Pages alone, though, doesn’t connote fame or success, just pages. I live in North Carolina, and I write whenever and however I can. The mere act of writing produces a joy that I find in no other endeavor. Whether or not my writing becomes known to many means little to me. Oh, I would love to be a household name, but that is not my goal. My goal is to write stories that compel the reader to finish. My goal is to create tales that will not let me quit them in mid-sentence. I am a dreamer and a procrastinator, and those traits are not ingredients for success. I also suffer from reverse paranoia. I think people are plotting to make me happy.
About the reviewer: L. Chambers has been writing all her life – especially in her head, and on scraps of paper. It’s only in the last few years she began to get serious about screen-writing. Prior to this she worked in the Features Department for ABC TV as a Program Assistant, and trained as a FAD. She currently works as a freelance web-content editor and lives with her husband (also a screenwriter) in Sydney, Australia.
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This screenplay may not be used or reproduced for any purpose including educational purposes without the expressed written permission of the author.