Mr. Earle, President Schwartz and Room 22

Matthew Sloan


This project serves to present climate change issues in a way that is not typically displayed. While documentaries, formal education, and informal conversations all contribute to public knowledge of climate change issues, film is a medium of communication that can reach new audiences in new ways and lead to a heightened collective consciousness regarding climate change.

The project consists of a literature review on the history, development, and impact of climate fiction or “cli-fi,” three short screenplays, and finally an explanation of the themes and topics explored in the screenplays. Many screenplays are written and very few end up being produced. While it is a long shot to get these films on camera, unless I produce them myself, I can still reach audiences through screenplay festivals.

My friend once told me that he assesses how much he likes a movie by seeing if he is still thinking about it the morning after watching it. I think that is the best way to assess a movie and when I am still thinking about a movie the next morning, that usually means it was incredibly entertaining and posed new questions or ideas that have followed me. That is what I hope to accomplish with these screenplays; to develop stories that entertain and pose new ideas. Parasite, Get Out, and The Platform are recent thrillers that incorporated messages about wealth inequality, racial tension, and prison reform. The success of those films led to informal discussions and critical reviews of the film in which viewers discussed and dissected the messages of the films, effectively influencing the public.

That is essentially what I am trying to do in the short screenplays for this project; entertain and create discussion. While it would be nice to achieve some sort of recognition for my work in film festivals, my ultimate goal with this project is to further develop my screenwriting skills, specifically as it pertains to incorporating climate change themes.