Synopsis for short film
John is a happy, hard working man in his early to mid twenties, a full-time pre-med college student with a bright future. John works at the hospital and in his free time loves hanging out with the woman he loves. One night while he is out at a club with Jane, the love of his life, they stumble across three hooligans who try to sexually attack Jane. John steps in and is violently injured, left with mental trauma and a huge disfiguring scar across his face J. It takes months for the nightmares that keep him up at nite to go away, but the scars are permanent. John takes time away from school and eventually loses Jane and drops out of classes. He searches for plastics surgeons to rebuild his face, but with no luck, he spirals into depression.
John begins a new life: a dark, empty life alone. John, who was once full of life, is now without self respect. He’s also without friends, some of whom he’s pushed aside and some who just don’t want to hang out because of John’s attitude. John has hard times dealing with thoughts of revenge to the men who changed him; acquaintances can see he has changed. John moves into a studio apartment and gets an overnight job at a warehouse, all the while keeping to himself.
Meanwhile, the three men who attacked John are given minor criminal charges because of conflicting information. John has hired a lawyer to charge the Club with Dram shop, a legal term for over serving a patron who then damages property or injures a person. It’s an angle that John seriously hopes to win: he believes he can change his life around with a huge financial gain, potentially well over 2 million dollars, and perhaps repair what he once had.
As years pass viewers watch John’s personal life unravel even as his lawsuit moves forward. Viewers see witnesses giving statements and interrogatories about what they witnessed of the assault that night. We also witness John’s first dramatic encounter at the courthouse with “Doe,” the man who stabbed John.
As John watches people’s lives move forward through electronic social networks, he begins to fantasize about his own imaginary perfect life. From what he has gathered it takes a good job, a girlfriend or wife, and a kid to be a successful adult man. John creates the perfect life with his social network: he builds fake people and even a fake girlfriend, Amy, with a fake child, Carter, all with image grabs and information he has collected online. All the characters have backgrounds to make their appearances as lifelike as one could. John gives his girlfriend the last name “Feople,” which is John’s little psychotic inside joke meaning “Fake Facebook people.” John starts a Facebook dialogue with Amy, and soon people are requesting Amy as their own friend because they are interested in knowing who this special girl is. John uses Amy’s account to reply. The only people who know of Johns facebook facade are his closest friends and also his brother and sister, they all see that it is almost therapeutic for John and also entertaining to help facilitate the “Sociology experiment” as John puts it. With his closest friends adding posts on his and Amy’s wall, it makes the facebook fakery very easy to pull off. Johns closest friends get amusement out of hearing people talk about Johns new relationship, they feel it almost like an inside joke that their all apart of.
As soon as John starts his fake happy life he starts to receive greetings from people he hasn’t talked to in years; they are all so happy that John has gotten his life back on track. Amy also gets private messages ranging from “so glad you have come into John’s life,” to “maybe you’d like to come to our church pot roast; you seem like the kind of woman we’d love to have.” John posts events and adventures that he and “Amy Feople” go on. Amy posts about church meetings and how much fun she and John and “Carter,” her son, had on an outing. The fake social life works because John very rarely goes out into the real world. On the occasion that he does so, he sometimes will bump into an old friend who congratulates him on his life.
On one rare occasion when John has ventured out to a bar, he gets very drunk (which is the only way he can get enough courage) and rudely hits on one of the women there. Two of his female Facebook friends witness his antics; they pull him aside and discourage him from such actions because they’ll “have to inform Amy because it’s rude to treat a person as good as Amy with such disrespect.” John gets a kick out of this.
Sometimes John gets invitations to events or dinners, to which he replies “yes,” then shows up alone and makes up excuses as to why “Amy couldn’t make it.” John actually enjoys his fake life; he gets excitement out of how far he can live the lie. He lives his lie for months, using Photoshop to make fake documents to events Amy and he will attend, as well as pictures of birthday presents and outings that he and Amy and Carter go on. His perfect life is a lie, but John is ok; it seems to make life easier and even somewhat entertaining.
John receives bad news from his lawyer. “Doe’s” testimony is a make it or break it statement that will seal the deal in the Dram shop settlement. If “Doe” would testify that he was “black out drunk” and didn’t remember a thing from that night, then the Dram shop would be a home run win. The problem is that “Doe” is hard to track down and once found he won’t cooperate; he believes that if he says anything it will admit his guilt and he fears that he could be punished criminally. John’s lawyer directly tells John not to get directly involved; the lawyer has investigators trying to convince “Doe” to testify. John knows that the investigators have the charisma of pitbulls and are more than happy to make contact after disappointing contact: he knows their aim is to just run up the bill.
After numerous depositions have been taken and “Doe” has not shown up to testify, John comes up with a plan. John finds “Doe” on the social network. Now it’s John’s decision: cut ties with Amy so Amy can make contact with Doe, or keep living his fake life. The lawyers set up a final deposition for six weeks away; it is the final deposition before the defense lawyers will make a call to proceed to mediation. At that the attorneys will settle on a price for the settlement. John knows that without “Doe’s” statement that the settlement may not even sit, let alone be a financial success.
In the coming weeks John makes plans to make his and Amy’s relationship a social network disaster, with angry posts back and forth on each others’ profile pages. People watch the relationship disintegrate as if it were a reality series. With huge fight after fight online, their relationship is on the rocks, and then with a swift blow he “finds out” that Amy has cheated on him with a member of her church. John makes a dramatic ending of his fake relationship; it’s this climatic ending that he enjoys the most. The relationship is over. John receives his friends’ best wishes for recovery all the while John is plotting a way to contact “Doe” through Amy to make a peace offering to testify for the sake of John’s defense.
“Amy” sends “Doe” a private message on Facebook explaining who she is and why she is contacting him; she uses manipulation and seduction to make “Doe” reconsider giving his statement. Now that John has lost his fake family, he needs something to replace it. The time is quickly ticking. Which will it be? Will Amy convince Doe to testify, or will John go insane? Or has he already?
Are you interested to hear the twisted ending?
A Dark Comedy
Idea by: Brock D / 952 451-7117
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