The Tie Collector: A Screenplay

I wrote the following screenplay for a screenwriting class in 2012. I thought it was a stroke of genius. My professor hated it. I loved the fact that she hated it, because it meant that my artistic tastes were far superior to hers. Oddly enough, she did not take issue with any of the grammar or punctuation in this piece, which is atrocious. I blame these errors on the fact that procrastination was the building block of my college career. I rarely started a paper more than 15 minutes before it was due, and never proof-read anything. 

I’ll let you come to your own conclusion as to the merits of this piece. 

 

The Tie Collector

FADE IN

EXT. DAY. FIRE.

Flames shoot up from a pile of logs. Next to the flaming pile is PHIL, a man in ragged clothes, who appears to be somewhat exhausted. He is adjusting a very bright, gaudy tie which stand in remarkable contrast to his otherwise ragged attire. Phil is sitting on a log. Next to him sit two rather large suitcases. He pulls from his coat a photo of MARY, Phil’s wife, a strikingly attractive woman, and STEVE, his son, a young child of about four. Tears spring to his eyes as he gazes at the photo. He puts the picture back in his coat, pulls out a package of Twinkies and begins to eat.
INT. LIVING ROOM. DAY. FLASHBACK.
Phil, Mary and Steve sit on a sofa watching Television. An image of a mushroom cloud appears on the screen. Phil hugs Mary and Steve, comforting them. Phil walks out of the living room, down hall and into bedroom. he opens a closet in the bedroom to reveal an enormous collection of ties.

PHIL’S POV

Phil begins to put ties in a suitcase. He fills up the suitcase with ties, closes it and carries it back to the living room. Mary and Steve are huddled together on the sofa, crying.
INT. LIVING ROOM. DAY.
Phil walks to where Mary and Steve are huddled on the couch and kneels down to comfort them. After an embrace he stands up.

PHIL

I need to be going: now that the bombs have started falling I should finally be able to finish my tie collection.

Phil walks out the door.

INT. DEPARTMENT STORE. DAY.
Phil rifles through an enormous rack of ties, picking out a few gaudy and ridiculous ones and putting them in his suitcase. He moves to another rack of ties and again rifles through the rack, picking out the gaudiest and most ridiculous ties and putting them in his suitcase. When he finishes looking through the rack he walks to the front of the store and sits down on a bench. He pulls out the picture of Mary and Steve from his coat and looks at it. Tears filling up his eyes. As he looks at the picture of Mary and Steve he pulls out a Twinkie from his coat pocket and eats it as he brushes away the tears.
INT. ANOTHER DEPARTMENT STORE. DAY.
Phil walks through the store looking for ties. Finding the collection he moves to it with determination and desperately begins to search for the best ties. He opens his suitcase and attempts to place the ties inside, however, when he tries to close the suitcase he is unable to do so. Phil walks through the store in search of a different suitcase, having found the suitcases he picks out a large brown one and brings it back to where his original suitcase sits by the tie rack. Phil divides the ties between the two suitcases, which he then closes. He takes out a bottle of Gatorade from his coat and drinks. He then carries the suitcases down the aisle which leads outdoors, stepping over dead bodies as he does so.

INT. PHIL’S HOUSE. DAY.

Phil enters the living room, walks briskly to the hall, quickly walks down the hall, enters the bedroom, opens the closet doors, opens the suitcases and carefully arranges his tie collection in the closet. When he has finished taking care of his tie collection Phil looks around the room. it is disheveled. The only clothes in the room are hastily scattered on the floor, the only thing which is not disheveled is the bed. Phil walks out of the bedroom and down the hall into the living room, which also exhibits signs of chaos. Phil begins to look for Mary and Steve, as he looks he becomes more and more frantic, tearing through
the house and calling out;

PHIL
Mary! Steve!

Eventually Phil gives up and sits down on the Sofa, his head in his hands.

 

INT. PHIL’S HOUSE. DAY. SOME TIME LATER.
PHIL’S JOURNAL

In 2014 a massive apocalyptic event enabled me to pursue my dream of creating the World’s greatest tie collection by taking tie’s from store’s which had previously been outside of my price range. I created the greatest tie collection the world has ever seen. Now I am starving to death and my family is most likely already dead. I have no regrets.

FADE OUT.

 

Photo by nappy on Pexels.com

8 thoughts on “The Tie Collector: A Screenplay

  1. That was…special. Very…special. Actually, in my circles I am known for wearing gaudy ties covered with cartoon characters or assorted weirdness, my proudest pieces being my Mr. Potato Head Tie and my Fish Tie which is a Norther Pike going down my front. So I find Phil to be an easy-to-understand and sympathetic character. I think your teacher did not know what she was talking about.

  2. I was very moved by Phil’s one line, as well as his ejaculation of “Mary! Steve!”. It wouldn’t pay for the actor playing Phil to get tongue-tied. I would direct the thing as if it was a great big Harold Pinter pause. It also has filmic qualities. In fact, Peter Jackson might want to shove it into one of the scenes in Lord of the Rings. Regarding Phil’s motivation – your teacher was a twit. The playwright’s job is to write the script. The actor’s job is to instill into this great Pinter Pause a depth of meaning that reveals what drew Phil to his ultimate demise..

    • The assignment dictated the number of lines, but I probably wouldn’t have given him more anyway. Pinter is one of my favorites. I think even Pinter would say that writing motivation is good, but the problem is that Phil is an extremely motivated character. I think my Professor’s true problem was that she didn’t sympathize with the things Phil was motivated to do.

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