How to Get Away with Murder

murder-470x280A screenplay, not an instruction manual.

I have completed the first draft of a screenplay that I’ve titled, “How To Get Away With Murder”, a story about a patient and his psychologist engaged in a battle of wits — the former arguing that it is possible and easy to get away with murder, while the latter argues it is not. Their argument escalates over the course of the film, eventually resulting in the murder of an innocent man, and the cover-up of the crime.

It’s a comedy.

Recently, I announced that production on The Ocean will be delayed until next year, permitting me to focus on this story as my first feature film. How To Get Away With Murder, like The Ocean, is set in one location. In this case, it’s the leisurely office of a psychologist, whom we only refer to as The Doctor. Reese, the patient, meets The Doctor for the first time at the beginning of the film where he is to begin a series of sessions to help him with his behavioral problems. The entire film will take place over the course of one of these sessions.

Their conversations ebb and flow and eventually lead them to the topic of homicides and getting away with them. Reese argues that with enough preparation, anyone can get away with murder. The Doctor counter argues that no matter what, given enough time, every homicide can be solved by investigators.

The plot will be escalated over the course of the film — a bad idea getting worse — which is the reason that both of the characters get caught up in the moment and fail to see the consequences of their actions.

The script is dialogue-heavy, and actually features more than just the two aforementioned characters. In the story we also see Reese’s ex-wife, Robyn, an escort named Raine, a Pizza Delivery Guy and a Police Officer. So unlike The Ocean, there’s a few more people.

I started to write How To Get Away With Murder three years ago when I first started working for the radio station CFRB 1010. I wanted to make a movie inside the radio station, after hours when no management types were around. I figured late a night I could get away with a lot more, plus, the station and control room were very cool looking locations. I came up with the idea that a quirky late-night radio DJ would petition listeners to call in with the best way to kill someone and get away with it. He would be arguing with a guest of his — an author that is notorious for solving cold cases — and the argument would escalate into a real crime.

I put the idea on hold for two reasons: The Ocean was a lot more interesting to me and my radio station was bought by Bell Media, so there was no guarantee that the location would not change or my position at the station would be there still (the station has since relocated to a new space).

This past winter, after thinking that I may not be able to shoot The Ocean in 2014 due to funding problems, I reconsidered How To Get Away With Murder — I changed the location to an office (the amenities room in my condo) and I made the characters a lot more interesting — especially the complex nature of their relationship. The major plot points and revelations however, did not change from my original story.

I began to write the new screenplay in mid March after completing extensive notes and even a flowchart of the perfect crime.

And for any law enforcement types creeping my blog, please remember, this is a screenplay, not a manifesto or a how-to guide.

I will post a copy of the screenplay soon.

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