Pressure: A Screenplay

Matthew Sloan


My work will consist of a fiction piece, a feature-length film script, which attempts to illuminate climate change issues. Specifically, I would like to focus on the way people from different socioeconomic classes affect and are affected by climate change. This project serves to present climate change issues in a way that is not typically done. 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.

I will complete this project by establishing the themes I would like to tackle and the details of the story (characters, setting, plot, etc.). From there, I will move on to writing the screenplay, frequently checking in with my advisor to get feedback and make adjustments. The goal for page count for this project is 100 pages. 

Many screenplays are written and very few end up being produced. While it is a longshot to get this film on camera, 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 this screenplay; to develop a story that entertains and poses 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 these films led to informal discussions and critical reviews of the film in which viewers discussed what the film was supposed to mean, effectively influencing the public. These films are basically what I am trying to emulate. A movie that impacts its audience in a disturbing way, to such an extent that the viewers feel compelled to discuss the movie with each other and try to figure out what it meant.