For my senior project I am proving that two different film genres can convey the same exact idea due to the creative approach. Me being me, I wanted both films (a short and a documentary) to touch upon the idea that education plays a crucial part in the ingraining of obedience in society, something that ultimately results in arbitrary conventions and the ostracizing of different individuals. The two quotes below basically sum up my idea.
“Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.”
-Henry David Thoreau
“Education… becomes all the more disgusting, the more, by the action of Modern Industry… and their children [are] transformed into simple articles of commerce and instruments of labour.”
-The Communist Manifesto
Since the screenplay isn’t finalized, nor good enough to put on the internet, and this is mainly a story-based writing blog, I decided to post the concept, which can be read more like a story than a script.
An outcaster looks at the conformity of school subjectively, hyperbolizing the actions of others which display an obedience to the arbitrary conventions of society she omits; this disregard results in the ostracizing of her and her ideas.
An alarm beeps to alert someone to wake up, and the hand of a girl turns it off. The Girl is then seen driving to school, particularly downcast, though offset with freedom as she travels down the road. It isn’t necessarily a positive tone, however the scene is at ease, she does not have major stresses to deal with. Perhaps some noise from the radio or such leaks through, the ambient hum of the car providing a warm feel to the situation.
She enters the school with everyone else, arrives at a classroom full of peers. She sits by herself in the classroom, alone, and is clearly not friends with anyone in the class. Over the loudspeaker cracks, “There will be an assembly today in the Auditorium during free period discussing the upcoming school wide events. Students please report to the auditorium instead of your period teacher.”
Everyone gathers in the Auditorium. The Girl sits slightly away from others. A voice over a microphone says, boringly, “We will start the assembly with the pledge of allegiance.” Everyone stands up unenthusiastically and says the pledge, facing the flag. Everyone is in a uniform position, except for the Girl, who is standing with her arms at her sides. As her face is the focus of the camera, the pledge continues on. A wide shot shows the students now raising their arms in salute to the flag, bringing to memory the images of Nazi Soldiers saluting Hitler and his regime. The pledge continues on, growing louder, ambient noises increase, and as it continues it forms into a sort of cult-like chant as follows “…Without liberty, without justice, for all. In the sense that we are all the same, we are all each other, in words and in actions, we unite. Omitting free will, following society, we are but simple articles of commerce. We are instruments of labor. We are the people who blindly follow the great nation, encouraging difference, allowing only obedience and conformity.”
The hum of the pledge and the ringing in the Girl’s ears all break with the slamming of books down on a table in the lunchroom. Again, the Girl sits alone, and the sounds of mindless chatter and laughter overcome her. Bits of conversation are heard, as well as other ambient sounds which blend everything in together. She is watching two other people talk about nothing, perhaps even arguing about nothing. It is clear she is becoming agitated with everything, feeling as if she cannot change the way things are. The scene then flashes back and forth from the lunchroom to turning off an alarm clock, to driving, to saying the pledge, to people in hallways, etc. As it flashes, the hum and talk continue. The two continue to chat, and the Girl grows perplexed as how they can talk about nothing in particular.
The Girl leaves the school building, and everything gets quiet. She walks to her car, gets in, and takes a deep breath. As she drives home, calmness sweeps over her face, showing the relief of leaving the school, putting the conformity and ostracizing behind her.
Again, an alarm clock beeps and is turned off, the cycle starting all over again.