Reflecting on an average American school shooting through screenplay.
Working Log Line; In the immediate wake of a school shooting, the community of Foothills Christian High and first responders struggle to contain the situation and understand what has happened.
(I’m not above admitting this log line is awful… it’s a work in progress)
A school shooting is an impossible subject to wrap one’s head around if you’ve never experienced it. I’m one of the lucky 99.999% who got to go through my school years safely. That being said, I’m also part of the generation that was raised on lockdowns and active shooter drills. Columbine was almost twenty-one years ago; I was nine when it happened. Millions of people in my demographic had lock-down drills and lived with that weird, intangible tickle in the back of our minds that, while probably nothing will happen, something could.
Starting my research, I came to realize more and more how affected I was by the events of Columbine, and all the subsequent shootings afterwards, mainly because I grew to be so unaffected by it. School shootings were both mundane and terrible. It seemed like the norm, even though I think we all knew deep down it couldn’t be. I imagine it’s even worse for students who were born post-Columbine (and even more heartbreakingly, post-Sandy Hook), as shootings have become nearly normalized. I, and so many other children, absorbed the stories about shootings the way a child absorbs everything else.
But there was that thread of fear, mostly unconscious, that I absorbed as well. Sometimes it was comparable to my fear of quick sand or the Bermuda Triangle, sometimes evolving into the more real fear every Californian has of a massive earthquake, sometimes as present as a car accident, a mugging or a heart attack.
It could happen.