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Check my Progress

I have been working hard to build out my story by creating a world in which a worldwide pandemic has changed how people live their daily lives.  I have had a lot of fun conceptualizing and imagining what a world would look like with drones to ensure that social distancing guidelines are upheld, and a new government agency which strictly enforces them, the National Surveillance Bureau (NSB).  The purpose, for me, has been trying to tap into the hysteria created by a pandemic, similar to the one we are facing now, and how we can lose part of what makes each of us human.  

Setting: 

This story takes place in the suburbs of Phoenix, Arizona in 2023.  Most storefronts are boarded up, and the shops that are open have large signs out front informing patrons of the new rules of having to stay six feet apart, wearing masks, the limits on purchasing for particular items in these stores.  Underneath each sign is the NSB seal with a disclaimer as to what will happen to offenders.  I also want it to take place in a place like Phoenix, where there is practically nothing but desert for multiple reasons.  First, moving to Phoenix has always been my goal, as I personally love the calmness and isolation in the gorgeous clay backgrounds.  My bigger inspiration has come from other TV shows that I love.  Look to “Sons of Anarchy” and “Breaking Bad.”  I think the “outlaw” type feel that is conveyed in this show would work well in my episode because I want  to illustrate how some have had more problems conforming to these new norms than others.  I also think the brightness of the sun in contrast to the dreariness of the times provides great symbolism and cinematography.  While my main character is certainly a law abiding citizen, he is surrounded by those who are resisting, as well as using these frantic times to make gains for themselves.  

Characters:

The main character is Kirk Ramsay, a 33 year old who recently moved from Baton Rouge, Louisiana to begin working for a company specializing in raising livestock in this new world, as the production of meat has been a major challenge, making getting meat to consumers increasingly more difficult.  He lives in a two bedroom apartment with his cat  Mallory.  The significance of him living in a two bedroom is because he left everyone behind in Baton Rouge, and wants to be able to host his friends and family when they can visit.  He mostly keeps to himself, burying himself in his work.  He has been a resident of Phoenix for only two months and is constantly questioning his loneliness and if he made the right decision, leaving his loved ones behind.  With a kind heart, he cannot sit by and watch others suffer if there is anything at all he can do to help them. 

The antagonist in my story is going to be Agent Juan Estevez.  Juan is a Stanford Law graduate who lives with a “letter of the law” mentality, not leaving much room for him to feel sympathy or empathy for others within the context of his work.  He is known within the department for being closed off and not very conversational.  In fact, although he has been working with the Bureau for years, who he is outside of work remains a mystery to most of his colleagues.  What most do not know, he lost his wife to an opioid overdose while he was working as a prosecutor in Tucson.  He launched a vendetta campaign against the people who had been giving her these drugs, as she did not have a prescription, or a diagnosed ailment that would allow these medications as treatment.  This is where his “tight-ass” philosophy was born.  

I am still working on putting together the concept map (as I have never done one before,) and I am combing through the internet to compile the media that I will use for the final product of this.  All of us are working hard to get to the end of the semester, and this creative project has been nice to break up some of the stress that comes in crunch time.  I am excited to see how everyone is progressing with their stories!

One reply on “Check my Progress”

Lots to like here in terms of your setting up of setting, location, characters, and a hint of the plotting mechanisms/entities behind the surveillance. The heavy hand of the NSB as a prominent entity makes for perhaps an opportunity to consider if there was a more shadowy interest in the surveillance activity, perhaps a commercial or society control one?

Also, if you need help on the Phoenix setting I lived there for ~20 years. You always have to consider the importance of water, control, finances of, or the lack of, for a city that size in that environment. There’s a great novel by Paolo Bacigalupi called “The Water Knife” that is placed there almost in the near future time of your story.

Excited to see where this goes.

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