A young man wanders through a post apocalyptic world – in search of his own humanity
Post apocalyptic stories are often called “a dime a dozen”. It’s a genre that pulls on the collective imaginations of society, and begs us to think about a future completely askew and chaotic compared to our cushy present. It’s easy to hear post-apocalypse and think of MAD MAX, The Walking Dead, or TheBook of Eli. Worlds of never-ending ammunition and fuel, where the characters never seem to lose a single pound and always come out on top.
Then you have stories like Pieces of Me, by Jean-Pierre Chapoteau. A hard, truthful look into the bleak future through the cold, hungry eyes of a fourteen year old boy named Kaleb.
Not since Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road” have I read a story so gray and saddening that I came to the final page with my own sense of despair. Pieces of Me is one of those tales that doesn’t leave you thinking, “How cool would it be if that really happened,” but instead makes you ponder, “Have I made the most of my life in case this happens”.
The bitter aftertaste, one of possible premonition, where you’ll mourn the world we live in even though it still exists. You’ll find yourself looking at your children and wondering if they could survive on their own if they had to. You’ll look back on every moment that you’ve put off spending time with loved ones, or engaging in a hobby, and ask yourself what was so important that life got in the way of life. A lot of readers call scripts like Pieces of Me “depressing,” but the only depressing note is whatever the reader brings to the table once they allow this story to take them in. While never once does the main character make reference to the old world, living in his world for only a few pages, we somehow feel like we’re being forced to suffer as he suffers, fight as he fights, and mourn as he mourns. Emotional storytelling at its best.
This script is one of those that needs the right director’s touch. Not for the timid, and hardly for the novice. Kaleb, the world he lives in, and the world that no longer exists deserves this film to be a Festival winner. This story was meant for more than the labyrinth of videos on Vimeo and YouTube.
In closing, let me just say – when you’re done reading and that moment of solemn remorse overcomes you, in your reflection of all of the things you’d regret in Kaleb’s world, would not making this film be one of them?
About the writer: Jean-Pierre Chapoteau started writing feature length scripts in 2005 then focused on shorts in 2009. Since then he’s had three scripts produced and two more optioned. He has won several awards for his shorts and has been a moderator at the site MoviePoet. Jean-Pierre was a finalist in the RAW TALENT Competition for his faith based feature length script: ‘Far From Perfect.’ And was also a semi-finalist in the SLAMDANCE teleplay competition and a finalist in the OBSWRITER teleplay contest for his adapted teleplay, Curb Your Enthusiasm: The Guardian. You can contact Jean-Pierre Chapoteau at: jeanpierre425 (a) gmail.com
Budget: Not for the novice… but not unreasonable, either. All the settings are outdoors, and very little is needed in the way of props. But a script like this should be done with a budget – and with style.
Read Pieces of Me (8 pages in pdf format)
This screenplay may not be used or reproduced for any purpose including educational purposes without the expressed written permission of the author.
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About the reviewer: Rod Thompson is an award winning screenwriter of both features and shorts. His feature, The Squire won Best Drama for the 2014 Table Read My Screenplay contest, and he has placed numerous times for his shorts at MoviePoet.com. His short scripts Gimme Shelter and A Memory in Winter have both been optioned. He is also “the most humble man alive.” Contact Rod at RodThompson1980 (a) gmail.com.