Before I go any further in this blog post, let me clearly state my position: As a long-time feminist I am quite aware of many of the sexual harassment and assault issues women face on a daily basis — yet I am also aware that, as in any case of “he said, she said” with no reliable witnesses, not everything is crystal clear.
I have also read Arthur Miller’s play THE CRUCIBLE, a fictionalized account of the real-life Salem witch trials of the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1692/93. Miller’s play was first performed in 1953 and Salem was a stand-in for the House Committee on Un-American Activities.
Although powerful men in many walks of life have been getting away with despicable sexual language and acts against women, there is always the risk of going overboard and “tarring the innocent with the same brush.”
While pondering how to determine the truth in cases without reliable witnesses, I saw a screenplay listing asking for single location film scripts.
My first thought was that I couldn’t think of a topic for a single location film story. Then I realized that, using the near future sci fi universe I had already been developing as well as recent news out of China about citizen monitoring, I could write a sci fi script set in 2030 about discovering the truth in “he said, she said” sexual assault cases.
THE TRUTHFINDER is the result, and I wrote and revised it in one week, fueled by the news each day of another man or men whose sexual behavior was egregious and yet known for years.
As I followed the logic of my screenplay to its conclusion, I shocked myself at what I had written. And yet, the more I thought about “he said, she said” in the future, I realized that my shocking ending may not be so far off.
In 2030 a truthfinder procedure is employed to determine the truth about an alleged sexual assault.
African-American MARIAN has sued her employer PAUL, a white male and head of an entertainment production company, for rape. A court case is inconclusive so a new technique, partly modeled after monitoring/surveillance in China, is conducted to determine who is telling the truth.
Marian and Paul are placed in an observation test room where they are watched, recorded and questioned by SANDRA along with CHARLIE, an observer from China, as her colleague. With the use of audio recordings, done universally in 2030 via Starbucks wifi and other voyeur opportunities, Sandra keeps the pressure on Marian and Paul to get to the truth.
Click here to read the entire screenplay THE TRUTHFINDER (set in 2030) on Amazon Studios — and if you find it thought-provoking, please leave a positive review on its Amazon Studios’ listing.
You can also click here to read the film screenplay THE MOTHER SIEGE, which is the first installment of my near future universe — this time in 2049.
And click here to read my second near future universe installment — the TV drama pilot series script of THE UPHEAVAL, which begins at the moment in 2029 that leads 20 years later to THE MOTHER SIEGE.
A special thank you to Joanne Mardesich, fellow book club member and first reader of THE TRUTHFINDER, who gave me very encouraging feedback.
And if you want to read the very beginning of THE TRUTHFINDER to learn the premise of the single location, here it is:
INT. TRUTHFINDER TEST ROOM — DAY — EAST OF THE MISSISSIPPI
A rectangle room with three doors — one on the back wall that we will learn leads to a small toilet facility. One door each on the two sides of the test room.
The fourth wall is actually a one-way glass wall although we don’t yet know this.
The only furniture in the room is a double bed and two chairs at a small table placed next to each other so that the two chairs face towards the glass wall.
At this moment an African-American woman — MARIAN — in her early 30s enters the room from the left. She is neither beautiful nor ugly — an average-looking young woman. She is clearly confused as to why she has entered this room. She wear a knee-length skirt and medium-high heels with a scoop-neck collar blouse that doesn’t reveal her cleavage.
The next moment from the right-hand door an average-looking white man — PAUL — in his 50s enters. He wears tailored pants and an open-neck polo shirt.
It is clear from the amazement on both their faces that this is not a meeting either planned or desired.
INT. EVALUATOR BOOTH — DAY
Now the camera pulls back and we see that we are in an evaluator booth that enables us to look through a full-wall glass window to watch the actions in the truthfinder test room.
Standing looking through the glass are: SANDRA, in her 40s, and CHARLIE, a Chinese man in his 30s who speaks with an understandable Chinese accent.
Sandra has a personal comm unit on her left wrist. Neither Marian nor Paul has this unit. (Presumably Charlie’s Chinese personal comm unit is implanted.)
Click here to read the rest of the screenplay THE TRUTHFINDER (set in 2030) on Amazon Studios.
© 2017 Miller Mosaic LLC
Phyllis Zimbler Miller (@ZimblerMiller) has an M.B.A. from The Wharton School and is the author of fiction and nonfiction books/ebooks. Phyllis is available by skype for book group discussions and may be reached at email@example.com
Her Kindle fiction ebooks may be read for free with a Kindle Unlimited monthly subscription — see www.amazon.com/author/phylliszimblermiller — and her Kindle nonfiction ebooks may also be read for free with a Kindle Unlimited monthly subscription — see www.amazon.com/author/phylliszmiller