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Screenplay: A character has to tell another she has contracted herpes from her husband....

 
 
Muarck
 
Reply Sun 10 Jan, 2010 08:20 pm
Okay, here's a fun one. I need help with a screenplay I am writing. I have a character who needs to tell another that she contracted herpes from her ex-boyfriend who also got her pregnant same time. Huge disaster, it's sort of a dark psychological film with dark comedic twist. Now, it seems like talking about getting herpes should be be interesting, but I can't seem to make it work. I want to keep the person who got it (Rose) as likable and strong as reasonable/believable. And the person she's speaking to is mostly just a prop used for this scene. They are speaking somewhere by them selves so you don't get the fun of someone else interrupting the conversation, but do you have any ideas on how to make it more interesting?
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Type: Question • Score: 4 • Views: 2,474 • Replies: 20
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littlek
 
  1  
Reply Sun 10 Jan, 2010 09:17 pm
Is the person she's telling a love-interest? Opposite or same sex?
Muarck
 
  1  
Reply Sun 10 Jan, 2010 09:34 pm
@littlek,
A non-love interest, same-sex.
0 Replies
 
littlek
 
  1  
Reply Sun 10 Jan, 2010 09:45 pm
How old is she? First you say she got herpes from her husband then from her ex-boyfriend. Is she with the guy or not?

Herpes and a kid - her life is ruined - she's never going to find a guy to love her?
Muarck
 
  1  
Reply Sun 10 Jan, 2010 11:47 pm
@littlek,
Whoops! I said husband? Sorry, I was writing that in a hurry. It was a boyfriend. Oh, and you ask a good question, will she ever be in love again. Probably not.
0 Replies
 
dadpad
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 Jan, 2010 12:39 am
Just wondeing if you could show us some of what you have down already, even if you arnt happy with it. It might give us something to work off ot throw ideas up to to you.
What is the goal of the scene, what impression do you want the audience to gain?

Direct research might be called for, actually talking to someone who has been in this situation or perhaps doctors (not about specific patients) at a communicable disease clinic. Possibly, the doctors could ask past patients if they would speak with you.
CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 Jan, 2010 10:08 am
She could tell her friend that her ex-boyfriend was leaving a lasting impression in more ways than one: his sperm created life and his contaminant created blisters (herpes) and that the latter will probably stay around a lot longer than
the kid.
0 Replies
 
Gargamel
 
  2  
Reply Mon 11 Jan, 2010 10:27 am
One approach is to have your "prop" character's desire in the scene be to convince the main character that herpes isn't that bad. To look on the bright side. That's just fundamentally humorous. For example this character could list famous and successful people who've contracted herpes (e.g. Robin Williams).
mm25075
 
  2  
Reply Mon 11 Jan, 2010 10:34 am
Maybe she is discussing the potential of having to tell any new partners about it? It's a very hard discussion to have. Too early in a relationship and the potential partner bolts. Too late and it doesn't set a good tone...no win.

"So...do you know of anyone who has had herpes? How did she approach a guy she was falling in love with? ...I mean..what does one say in a situation like that?"
sullyfish6
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 Jan, 2010 12:00 pm
When I sold advertising, I would go into small businesses/shops and bored owners or staff would tell me the darnest things - remind me to tell you about the jewlish girl whose psychologist husband had a foot fettish and their sex life consisted of him ejaculating on her feet. Or the two furniture salesmen talking about why they liked to watch two women making love together.

You just can't make this stuff up.

(I might have some suggestions, but need age of your character. )
Muarck
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Jan, 2010 10:28 pm
@dadpad,
Sorry for the delay in my response. I've been out on a job, and didn't have time to get back to the message board. Some interesting stuff has kick up here though. Thanks.

Code:INT. DORM - AFTERNOON
Erin is standing in front of a bed on one side of the room; Sandy is sitting on a bed on the other.
ERIN
One day, Greg told me the girl next door in his dorm had herpes.
I asked him how he knew...
He 'kind-of' said he’d seen it.
I never thought he’d be dumb enough to be boning her.
Two weeks later, he had it.
I hadn't slept with him since he'd said anything,
But a week later I had it.
Sandy steps up off the bed.


Here's some of it.
I think I know where I'm going after this I'm going to talk about how it effects her relationships. She'll say telling new friends isn't that bad because it's just setting a new expectations; but telling an old friend is difficult.
Also her relationship with Greg is up for grabs whatever makes this dialogue more interesting. Maybe she was going to break up with him before she even heard about the herpes. She was waiting until after Valentines day (because that'd be weird and then she got herpes.) Or maybe they were madly in love and then she got herpes. Honestly I hate the description of how she got herpes. So everything I pasted in I want changed to whatever/anything that makes it better.
0 Replies
 
Muarck
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Jan, 2010 10:30 pm
@Gargamel,
I really think your idea of the friend trying to make light of the situation and discussing famous people with herpes sounds fun, though I haven't thought of a way to do it successfully. (I've been trying).
Did you have anything in particular in mind?
0 Replies
 
Muarck
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Jan, 2010 10:31 pm
@sullyfish6,
I agree, real life sometimes has those things that are like: no, nobody would have thought of that unless it actually happened. You happen to have any great STD stories made up or real?
0 Replies
 
Muarck
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Jan, 2010 10:32 pm
@mm25075,
Yeah, discussing the future of her sex life might help the end of the discussion, but I'm still stuck on even how to say "I got herpes." In an interesting way. It seems like it should be capable of grabbing the audiences attention, but I'm having a lot of trouble making it work!
Rockhead
 
  0  
Reply Thu 14 Jan, 2010 10:41 pm
@Muarck,
he gave me a gift, a somewhat perversely personal gift.

The kind of gift that keeps on giving long after the giver has gone.

One that never goes away, and cannot be undone.

a blistering flower of love.
0 Replies
 
mm25075
 
  0  
Reply Thu 14 Jan, 2010 11:32 pm
@Muarck,
Just the statement itself is enough to draw attention. Often times people don't usually mention it unless it becomes absolutely necessary. It's normally followed by a long dramatic pause by both members of a conversation. One processing the implications...the other watching nervously to determine how the other is going to react to it.

Rockhead as an interesting way of approaching it....
0 Replies
 
dadpad
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Jan, 2010 11:59 pm
(Maybe this will give you something to work with)

chick: I need the phone number of a sex disease clinic.

Friend: OMG! (pause) Why.... .... why er um why um why would i have the phone number of a sex clinic?

(chick gives the friend that look that says you know why you very naughty girl.)

Friend: dont be daft i'm not stupid enough to sleep with someone who has sex a sex disease... so.... why do you need the number of a sex clinic.

chick: for greg. (long pause) what? did you think for me?

friend: oh no no of course not. (obviouse white lie)

but then..... you are banging greg so....

chick OMG I never thought about that. How many times do you need to sleep with.... wait... he told me on wednesday (counts on fingers)
Oh ****...... **** **** **** bastard (etc)
wait maybe theres an incubation time, maybe you dont get it if you wash proberly (Insert other desperate reasons she might not have it)

Throws herself at friend for consoling hug
friend hugs, tentavily at first.
friends facial emotions range from ewww to compasion to pragmatic.

Well robin williams had it.
0 Replies
 
sullyfish6
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 Jan, 2010 06:56 pm
Why would the girl angst about telling someone she has herpes? It just doesn't go that way.

Better for her to ask her friend what's going on, considering all the "symptoms" she has. Let the friend break the news to her.
Muarck
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 Jan, 2010 10:03 pm
@sullyfish6,
I don't understand your question actually. "angst" is not a verb. Do you mean "Why would the girl be anxious about telling her friend?" or "Why would the girl have angst about telling her friend?" The reason I don't understand is neither seem to fit with the rest of your statement.

She tells her friend because in an earlier scene she said something that implied her ex-boyfriend had herpes so now she's filling out the details. She wasn't walking around naked and everyone noticed.
0 Replies
 
sullyfish6
 
  0  
Reply Tue 19 Jan, 2010 02:37 pm
Well then, now about:

Friend: Dang . . bummer your man has the surf herps. What's up with that?
Girl: Messin' around in the past, I suppose. But that's not the worst of it.
Friend: Oh no, don't tell me!
Girl: Yup. Just found out yesterday. I'm in a bad way.



0 Replies
 
 

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