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"The Unborn Mother"
IndustryCentral ScreenWriters Exchange: Science Fiction: "The Unborn Mother"
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By Victor Machado(Vmachado) on Sunday, March 5, 2000 - 05:10 pm:

Alan and Sarah Bartlett are on the verge of divorce three years into their marriage. Their relationship has slowly deteriorated as a result of Sarah's inability to conceive, and thus, cope with the stresses of infertility. After finally learning she has premature ovarian failure (no viable ova left in her ovaries), Sarah leaves Alan indefinitely. In desperation, Alan ends up having a one-night stand with Patty--a young college student he meets at a bar. Remorseful, he goes home and waits to hear from his wife. She comes back and they end up talking things through, and learn soon after of a new infertility procedure that involves retrieving immature ova from aborted female fetuses, fertilizing them in-vitro, and implanting the resulting zygote(s) in infertile women. After considering other options, they lean toward the new procedure because the infertility clinic offers to cover the cost of the procedure (it's experimental and they need couples for the initial trails).-----Patty, meanwhile, learns that she's pregnant and is suddenly faced with the unexpected decision of whether or not to have a child. Knowing nothing about Alan--the man who impregnated her-! -nor how to reach him, and very afraid of what friends and family would say, she feels she has no choice but to have an abortion. When she goes in for her abortion, she is asked if she would care to make an anonymous donation of her fetus for infertility research and hopefully help an infertile couple have a baby. She agrees but fights with herself over the decision to abort altogether.-----Suspicious of the new procedure and wary of fathering a child who's mother is, in actuality, an unborn fetus, Alan voices his concern. Sarah argues that love is more important than biology, and they decide to go through with the new infertility technique. A year later, their first child, Janey, is born.-----Patty, an Elementary Education major, graduates and lands a second grade teaching job at Janey's future school. It turns out that Janey gets Patty for her second grade teacher, and after not seeing each other in eight years since their one-night stand, Alan and Patty meet again--this time at the school's Parent's Night. When Patty breaks d! own and eventually tells Alan about the pregnancy and abortion, he begins fearing the possibility that Patty donated her fetus to the infertility clinic and that he unknowingly fathered his own aborted fetus' child. Alan attempts to question Patty about when and where she had the abortion, but Patty reveals that in fact she decided against abortion at the very last second, and Alan finds out (in the last scene) he has a seven-year-old son.

Comments:
The screenplay for the accompanying synopsis is done and has been recently registered with the Writer's Guild. It is a sci-fi/biomedical drama that is written non-linearly so that (I am assuming you read the synopsis first) the fact that Alan was Patty's one-night stand isn't revealed until the Parent's Night scene.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By Alan A. Armer (Alana) on Thursday, March 23, 2000 - 03:58 pm:

MODERATOR ANALYSIS

Since you have already finished your screenplay, I know you have given the screenplay's elements real thought. And those elements are certainly intriguing. But I wonder about Patty. Face it: she has nothing to do with your story other than tease your audience. I congratulate you for resisting the temptation to have Patty's baby end up in Sarah's womb (a real writer's convenience).

Victor, you could remove Patty from your script and nothing would be changed. A quick thought. What if Alan does know about Patty's pregnancy and convinces her to donate the fetus to the fertility clinic? Later, when the baby is born, Sarah learns it is actually Alan's child and boots him out of her home. Perhaps they reconcile. Perhaps Patty ingratiates herself with Sarah and becomes the child's "aunt." There are many ways to develop the story once Alan learns about Patty's pregnancy. With him outside the story, you're facing problems.

Good stuff! Worth giving some further thought.

Good luck.

Critique by Alan A. Armer


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