“Safe Houses” A zombie movie script I submitted to Amazon Studios

I submitted a movie script to Amazon Studios titled, “Safe Houses.” If it gets enough good reviews, it could get made into a movie. You can read and vote on it, on its Amazon Studios project page.
“Safe Houses” is a psychological horror about eight survivors of the zombie apocalypse, who are trapped in safe houses around the world. On Christmas day, they hold an online video conference to share their hopes, fears, theories, secrets, and stories. They all lie, and some die.

I wrote this story as an experiment to see how low budget of a script I could create. I wanted the story to have a lot of characters, but be filmed in one location, like “Tape, ” by Stephen Belber, starring Ethan Hawke.

Instead of having eight characters in one place, I decided to have them in separate locations, but never leave. Originally, my goal was to make this movie myself with eight friends, but I have too many writing projects to have time to make movies. When I heard about Amazon Studios, I figured, why not float a balloon and see what happens?

To plot the story, I started with eight blank characters and gave them opposing personalities. Then I gave them goals and conflicts based on their personalities. The story follows the Hollywood formula plot progression: Introduce characters, state goals, conditions and plans. Then insert complications, show reactions, state new goal, conditions and stakes. Make a new plan, and then enact it. But instead of having all the characters directly involved in one central conflict, they each have their own, but they have an emotional connection to the other stories, and they can influence events by talking.

Since the whole movie is one, long recorded conversation taking place simultaneously, in eight locations, the logical way to film it, is to set up eight cameras on eight sets. Then record the whole conversation in one take, like a play, while also recording the eight video feeds from the webcams the characters are speaking to. The cameras in the rooms should be able to see the monitors, so whoever is speaking can be seen there.

If someone did this, then you could splice the scenes together thousands of different ways. You could even release a special feature disk with all the footage, so people could watch eight different versions of the same movie.

The story format is artistic, and the big risk in a movie like this is, audiences might get bored from the lack of action. But I believe the risk analysis of developing this movie adds up, given how cheap it would be to produce, and how many different versions you could offer.

 Below is a full synopsis of the script:

In the near future, the zombie apocalypse has decimated the human population. On Christmas day, eight survivors trapped in safe houses around the world, log on to a video chat site they found on the internet that only turns on for a few hours at a time.

The first act introduces all the characters, and shows where they are in life. Sal is a recluse veteran living in a spider hole in Oklahoma. Benton is a suburbanite in a boarded up house. Carly stays at a hippie a commune in California. Detroit is a gang leader who scavenges high rises. Hallux is a red neck from Texas with a drinking problem and a loose mind. Gracy is a an elderly lady who has taken refuge in her church. Esmeralda is a spoiled, rich woman living on a corporate floating island. Alim is alone in a sports stadium somewhere in the Middle East.

After the introductions, Benton tells the story of how he scavenged his Christmas dinner from a retirement home, but mistakes he made a long the way result in him being eaten alive by zombies in front of his webcam.

The survivors react to Benton’s death and give him a eulogy before discussing the scope of the zombie apocalypse and speculating how and why they’re able to communicate on the internet.

Unable to find definite answers, they turn their attention to discussing plans to improve their own safe houses, the risks, and the stakes of failure. They offer their expertise to Gracy, who is in the direst situation. She refuses help, just as Esmeralda’s flaws bring dangerous guests to her room.

Halux then tells the story of how mistakes in his quest to catch zombies in a hog trap, led to his farm being overrun by a horde, forcing him and his family to split up and hide in their basement and barn. Detroit gives Hallux a lesson in clearing zombies from buildings and boasts of his success building an empire in the sky.

Carly opens up about her love life, and reveals her commune has devolved into a fascist cult that tells its members who to procreate with. The group tries to talk her out of leaving the safety of her walls, despite the dangers inside.

Alim tells the group about the haunting loneliness he experiences every day, living in an empty sports stadium with a view of a city with no signs of the living or the dead.

After discussing the cause of Alim’s silent city and the zombie apocalypse at large. Esmeralda reveals she knows more than everyone else. She claims the military is clearing islands and resettling survivors, but she also reveals herself to be an unreliable source of information. Alim argues they shouldn’t hope for rescue anyway, lest their saviors become their masters.

The team discusses how to find meaning in a hopeless life, and Sal inspires them by revealing he’s writing a manifesto on the meaning of life. They discuss their hopes for the future, but the conversation is cut short, when the lights go out in Esmeralda’s room long enough for someone to cut her throat.

When the lights come back on, the room is full of first responders, and Alim has to use his signature skill, logic, to deduce the identity of the murderer. Unfortunately, when the island’s security team arrives, they reveal motives for a cover up and then cut Esmeralda’s camera off.

After giving Esmeralda a eulogy, Detroit confesses he’s not as successful or respectable as he claimed. Gracy’s priest interrupts the confession when he gives Gracy a glass of poison to drink, making her the second to last member of the church to die in a mass suicide.

Carly excuses herself and hangs up in tears. Moments later, a mysterious figure appears behind Alim, and his video feed shuts off. Knowing their time to talk is practically over anyway, the rest of the survivors say their good byes.

When the video feed ends, Sal opens a door and reveals he’s not alone. He’s a military leader who is using video chat feeds to locate survivors and study them. Detroit makes plans with his lover to travel North to Canada. Hallux hears a helicopter approaching his farm house, and the movie ends with a moderately injured Alim, running towards the silent city.
– The End

Click here to download a PDF of the full movie script from Amazon Studios.

If you find my story intriguing, you may like these:

Formula Plot Templates

Plot break downs

Tips on being a writer


This Was Your Life: The Global Warming Denier

This is the 34th episode in an ongoing series in which Loki and his supernatural friends taunt the recently deceased at the gate to the afterlife.

See who else Loki and his friends have taunted:


This Was Your Life: The Trump Supporter

This is the 33rd episode in an ongoing series in which Loki and his supernatural friends taunt the recently deceased at the gate to the afterlife.

 

See who else Loki and his friends have taunted: 


Tweets by The Wise Sloth #5

 

Faith takes courage until it requires ignoring evidence. Then it takes cowardice, dishonesty and delusion.

Most of Guns N’ Roses’ songs are love songs. They’re basically a louder version of Tailor Swift.

Science answers “what” using evidence. Philosophy answers “why” using logic. Religion answers “what” and “why” with faith in ancient mythology

I predict in five years, every movie scene will be filmed in orange and teal lights.

Focus on what you’re doing, not what you want. You climb a mountain by taking steps, not by obsessively staring at the peak.

Your life won’t improve until you improve your thoughts.

If you’re ever feeling bad, try thinking of something good.

You won’t find peace outside of you until you find peace inside of you.

I challenge any Christian to read Exodus and Leviticus ten times, and then say, “I see no evidence of mythology or primitive culture here.”

 

Someone should print a Bible with all the fucked up parts in red. Then you can give it to Christians and say, “Sell me on anything in red.”

Charging the shit out of anyone who misses a payment on a debt, wouldn’t happen in any place faintly resembling Utopia.

Your value is set by how much love you give, not by how much you recieve.

If you’re a Christian, and haven’t given everything to the poor, I assume you either don’t know what the Bible says or you lack conviction.

 

My only problem with fast food chains is they use slave labor to sell poison to the public and markup the cost as high as the market allows.

America would be better off if every news anchor was a licensed psychologist, instead of a surreal-acting sensationalist.

You’d think the pickier you are, the sweeter life will be, but the less picky you are, the less difficult life will be.

Floating islands could solve extreme poverty, refugee crises and pollution 

I’m not saying this is deep. I just couldn’t not share it:

I knew an inmate who refused to work in the prison sweat shop. When asked why. He said, “If I wanted to be a slave, I wouldn’t have sold drugs”

Any president who doesn’t talk about the fact that state-sanctioned slavery going on in U.S. prisons, is a complete failure at their job.

This is how I feel when people thank me for my military service: 


How solve extreme poverty and every refugee crises

The low, low prices at your favorite store were brought to you by the slaves who made the products, not the generosity of the store owners.

I hate it when you watch a video on Youtube, and afterwards you think, “Fuck. That’s what you just did with that time in your life.”

I want to leave snarky replies to Trump’s tweets, but I assume my name will automatically be put on Trump’s terrorist watch list #trumptweet

Responsibility is doing what you need before doing what you want.

There are 2 kinds of people: ones who treat others well because they care and ones who treat others bad because they only care about theirself.

When the politician you’ve been dogmatically defending has the lowest approval rating in history, it’s time to consider you might be wrong.

Trump’s campaign slogan should have been, “The disaster America needs.”

Failing is practicing, and practicing is succeeding.

No politician is “for women’s rights” as long as it’s illegal for women to take their shirt off.

The more afraid a population is, the more conservative it’ll behave. The more hopeful a population feels, the more progressive it’ll behave.

Should transsexuals be allowed in the military? A politically agnostic veteran’s perspective

 

“Every man is a creature of the age in which he lives, and few are able to raise themselves above the ideas of the time.”

Doctors and football coaches disagree with the following statement: It is never a good idea to bang your head against anything.

If you don’t read the comments on Trump’s Twitter feed, you should. Hope he does. I couldn’t imagine how it feels to get called out so bad.

The larger the group of people you blame the world’s problems on, the more likely you’re just an intellectually lazy bigot.

Walking in big American cities is dangerous. If the cops don’t get you, the criminals will.

Outline of the plot to Star Wars: A New Hope

If anything should be illegal, charging interest on interest should be right after murder and rape.

Do you think about how many lives you could save with $1million, right before you spend $1million on a car, toy or experience for yourself?

If you can afford a $200 million home, all of your employees better have pensions, or you’re definitely going to Hell after you die.

 

Every time you try to sound smart, you just sound like you’re trying to sound smart, which smart people know smart people don’t do.

If welfare isn’t working in your country, it doesn’t mean welfare is evil. It means your government’s bureaucracy is broken and needs fixing.

If we can’t redistribute the rich’s wealth to the poor, let’s at least redistribute the taxes poor people pay to services that help them.

If people keep stereotyping you as the worst member of your group, don’t try to fix your accusers. Raise up the broken members of your group.

 

There’s a time and a place to bitch about the dangers of illegal immigration. In summer, when Jose is landscaping your lawn, is not the time.

If someone says workers should be paid/treated better, it doesn’t mean they’re Communist. Communism and workers rights aren’t mutually exclusive.

Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor: A cautionary tale 

 

By expressing yourself, you create yourself.

If you cash a lottery ticket and use the winnings to buy cigarettes in lieu of payment, that’s a metaphor for your level of hope in life.

The people I know who have been depressed the longest, tend to have spent the least amount of time actively engaging themselves in treatment.

 

If you haven’t worked towards your goal today, then having fun and playing games isn’t rewarding yourself. It’s how you’re failing.

Twitter would work better if you could tag your Tweets with hashtags the same way blogs do, separate from the text. #twitter #tweet #hashtag

Like how businesses do random drug screenings on employees, governments should do random corruption and war crimes screening on politicians.

Since America is jailing people for doing things that hurt them, it should criminalize fanatical patriotism and making excuses for politicians.

 

Since America is jailing people for doing things that hurt them, they should make it illegal not to learn something new every day.

Social issues can’t be solved if the only people talking about them and offering solutions, are the most radical members of each side.

If you’re enrolled in a liberal arts college and can afford to protest, you’re in the top 10% of most privileged people in the world.

The more worried you are what labels other people use, the more likely you’re too privileged to know the war the rich are waging on the poor.

America needs to mourn the deaths of all those who can’t afford overpriced healthcare as much as they mourn the latest celebrity to die.

You deserve the money you earn, but ask yourself, “How many lives can I save?” You’re evil if you decide to spend it on just pampering yourself.

If Christians got their morals from the Bible, they wouldn’t make excuses to disregard the archaic rules in the Bible they don’t believe.

Radical feminists most likely to angrily demand more empowered female leads in movies, are most likely to play the victim card in real life.

 

Plot outline of Back to the Future

Plot outline of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi

Plot outline of Jurassic Park

Plot outline of Bladerunner

How bosses are literally like dictators

Billionaires won’t save you and Socialism won’t kill you

 

“Man is not affected by events, but by the view he takes of them.” Epictetus

The poor need a new economic system more than Bill Gates or Warren Buffet need $70 billion.

Science and religion fill different needs. Science fills the need for hard facts. Religion fills the need for intellectually lazy mythology.

If you liked these tweets, subscribe to my Twitter feed or read them on this site by following the links below:

  • Tweets by The Wise Sloth: #1#2#3, #4

This Was Your Life: The Doctor

This is the 32nd episode in an ongoing series in which Loki and his supernatural friends taunt the recently deceased at the gate to the afterlife.

See who else Loki and his friends have taunted:


Modular floating islands could solve extreme poverty, refugee crises and pollution

There are currently about 100 million people who are living homeless because they had to flee a war zone, and there are just as many homeless people living in “peaceful” countries. A billion people live on less than $2.50 per day, and two more billion people live below the poverty line because they don’t have access to resources or opportunities.

Despite the world spending over $100 billion dollars on humanitarian aid and trillions more on public infrastructure, poverty is only getting worse, because traditional cities separate people from sources of jobs, food, water, utilities, entertainment and education. The current housing system is designed to make real-estate more expensive, the more conveniently located it is, which means the poorer you are, the more expensive, dangerous, discouraging, unhealthy and opportunity-less your life will be.

If every country pooled $50 trillion, they could solve extreme poverty and refugee crises by building a self-sustainable apartment complex/office building in the shape of a ring, 100 miles in diameter, where every resident will have immediate access to food, water, shelter, jobs and transportation. As long as predatory capitalists don’t take over the city and raise prices and lower wages to extortion levels, every resident would be able to live fear-free for life.

400 dollar house

A project of this size would face many hurdles. One of the biggest would be, where to build it? One solution to that problem, is to build it on water. This approach would be more expensive, but the benefits might outweigh the cost.

It wouldn’t take much engineering to build a floating city. Instead of building a huge, floating base and then putting a city on top of it, build hollow modules that connect together. Then, a big wave wouldn’t knock any houses or businesses over, because everyone would be living and working “underground.” The surface area could be used to grow food and raise animals.

All you need to make a floating house is a boat hull. You could cast them out of concrete. Engineers have been building hollow concrete boats and caissons for years.

The technology could be easily adapted to mass producing floating houses. Or you could make the hulls out of fiberglass or steel. It might be more expensive, but it would cost less to build a modular fiberglass bobber house than to build a shack in Honolulu or New York City.

Even the sturdiest buoy city would be capsized by a mega wave on the open ocean eventually, but instead of building a monolithic island in international waters, you could connect a line of modular floating homes along the coast of a relatively protected body of water, like the Caspian Sea or the Great Lakes.

If this mega structure were built in the Mediterranean Ocean, you could create a walkable path from Africa to Europe. Refugees wouldn’t use it to invade Europe, because they would already have ocean-front property and everything they need to raise a family. You could use that path as a new trade route, and the new most popular tourist destination in the world.

We wouldn’t need to fight over one location for the project. The governments of the world could build one hundred module factories around the world and gradually build a chain around every protected body of water. Life might be so idyllic, the majority of humans will flee the mainland and leave it to Mother Nature.

I believe the environmental benefit of a floating civilization would outweigh the risks. Since all the food, water and utilities would be created in-house, less packaging and transportation would be needed to get the necessities of life from their point of creation to consumption. The modules could be equipped with traps that filter pollution out of the water, and the hulls of the boats would provide new artificial reefs for fish to eat from.

This idea is crazy for being outside the norm, but not because it’s unfeasible. The richest 1,200 people in the world have over $50 trillion sitting in their bank accounts not doing anything. That’s more than enough money to house every refugee and homeless person in the world off-land. Even if governments footed the entire bill themselves, the money they’d save in humanitarian aid and social services would pay for itself quickly. Plus, it would create jobs, lower unemployment, food scarcity and realestate costs.

Sadly, that’s why the governments of the world would never conspire to build this. If governments cared about their people, they wouldn’t have invested their tax dollars on building unsustainable habitats to begin with. The rich need the poor to live in constant fear and danger, because that gives them the leverage to exploit the helpless. Our cities are designed to create scarcity, because it lowers workers’ and consumers’ bargaining power, which allows businesses to raise prices and lower wages. Extreme poverty and refugee crises exist because the global economy is designed to oppress and exploit the poor.

It’s almost impossible to get rich without gouging your customers and/or employees. So most rich people would be acting contrary to their past behavior if they donated their fortune to building a self-sustainable floating refugee camp, but there are a lot of philanthropists out there with more money than they know what to do with. Hopefully some of them find the motive to give back to the world they’ve taken so much from.

If compassion and foresight won’t compel the rich to mass-produce floating city modules, greed should. The first person to streamline the process will become the Donald Trump of the seas. After Trump runs America into the ground, building a new nation at sea might be his only hope of redemption. Granted, being the greedy sociopathic narcissist that he is, his city would probably be full of slaves serving masters. However, if he can establish and improve floating island technology, it would be worth it as proof of concept. Then better people can copy his architecture and build the humanitarian communities we’ve been waiting for.

As a compromise, an island-loving billionaire like Mark Zuckerberg, could build a modular island factory, produce a string of islands, and after all the agriculture jobs are filled, train new residents as computer programmers, give them jobs that generate a profit, and keep a portion until the cost of construction is repaid, then give the employee ownership of their module.

If you liked this post, you’ll also like these:


How to solve extreme poverty and every refugee crises forever

The most popular Youtube vlogger is Pewdiepie, a Swedish man-child who posts videos about playing video games and acting silly in his computer room. Pewdiepie currently posts about one blog each weak, which means, in the time between each of his posts, at least 1,900 civilians died horrible war-related deaths somewhere in the world, and that’s a very conservative estimate.

The civilians who survive these conflicts are only technically lucky. Over 22 million people are living in foreign countries right now because they’ve had to flee the apocalyptic death, destruction and destitution in their birth-land. That’s not counting the 65 million people who have fled their homes but haven’t left their country. This means there are about 100 million people who are homeless because they would die if they went home.

That number doesn’t count the 100 million people in the world who are just old-fashioned homeless, or the 1.3 billion people who have homes and jobs but are working themselves to death while starving in a shit-covered tin hut with no water, electricity or sanitation.

In conflict zones, it’s hard to get real numbers how many people are suffering, but we know that over 3 billion people live on under $2.50 per day. These statistics don’t highlight a few isolated travesties. Almost half the population of the world lives in extreme poverty, and there are still several billion more who make more than $2.50 per day and live below the poverty level.

Basically, if you have running water, air conditioning, heat, a bed, pornography and an education, you’re one of the most privileged people in the entire world. Drop to your knees and thank God if  the worst problem in your life is that nobody loves you.

If you factor in all the money countries and nongovernment agencies spend on humanitarian aid each year, the cost easily eclipses $100 billion dollars each year. The world could afford to spend more money to fight poverty, but it spends over $2 trillion on the militaries which are displacing people. So tax payers are spending more money on creating humanitarian crises than solving them.

We already spends trillions of dollars every year on infrastructure that is supposed to help people live functionally, but it hasn’t solved the problem because it addresses the problem in a round about way that creates more problems than it solves. All the roads, plumbing and power lines haven’t saved the poor in Detroit or any other major city in the world.

This makes the problem seem unsolvable, but the solution is really very simple. All people need to be happy and healthy are food, clothing, shelter, water, electricity, jobs, transportation and access to markets. If you built a ring-shaped apartment complex with 100 million condos and offices, then dug a man-made river encircling the entire building and used that to water gardens and orchards, you could give the people living there agriculture jobs and a never-ending supply of food and water.

With those problems solved, some workers could specialize in other jobs, which they could reach by walking across the hallway in their apartment complex. Every business would be connected by one road that would never get congested. The bigger you make the diameter of the circular building, the more external markets it would have access to.

Basically, the complex would operate like a secular monastery the size of a major city. You could also think of it as a permanent, self-sustaining refugee camp. As long as the residents don’t have to pay rent, receive an equitable percentage of the profits their work produces, and aren’t overcharged for the goods and services the monastery sells, then everyone will always have everything they need, and nobody would live in destitution or fear thereof.

How would you pay for such a mega project, and who would build it?  It costs about $120 per square foot to build a traditional house, but if you built the refugee camp/monastery using earthbags, you could bring the construction cost down as low as $10 per square foot. Since all that dirt will need to be dug up anyway, you can use the dirt from digging the reservoir/water channel/moat around the complex.

It would take thousands, if not millions of people to build a structure the length of a small country, but earthbag construction is relatively simple. You could simply have the 100 million refugees do the work and then move into the home they built when they’re done. Then they would have a sense of ownership, pride and shared identity with their fellow coworkers/neighbors.

The richest 1,400 people in the world have $5.4 trillion dollars just sitting in their bank accounts, not doing anything. If each apartment unit in the earthbag megastructure is 500 square feet and costs $10 per square foot, you could build 1 billion, eighty-five million units with $5.4 trillion. This figure doesn’t take all the building costs into account, but to put this in perspective, it costs $1 billion per mile to dig an underground tunnel to reduce traffic congestion. You could build a mile of earthbag apartments with a road, gardens, utilities and an aquaduct for far less than $1 billion per mile, especially if you built it in the middle of Africa, Russia or China where property values are low.

We have the money to end extreme poverty in less than five years. We just need to stop spending it on constructing and repairing inefficient cities full of economic dead zones, and build a mega-home that fills all its residents’ basic needs.

The picture below has the aquifer in the center of the building instead of a moat around it, but it still illustrates my proposal.

If you liked this post, you’ll also like these:

 


%d bloggers like this: