Bookcase Projects


(c) Arike van de Water 2007-2009


ScriptFrenzy launched in June 2007, as a counterparto to NaNoWriMo. As its counterpart was to the (would-be) novelist, so this one would be to the (would-be) scriptwriter. Screenplay and stage play, and later also manga scripts, scripts for TV series and for any media you could think of, they challenged you to write it during this event. It started with 20.000 words in June, but the next year moved to 100 pages, since scripts were usually counted in pages, and April. I've participated twice, in 2007 and 2009. 2008 I skipped because I was in the middle of an exchange in Santa Cruz. 2010 I will probably take part again, I've become addicted.

From a Dream

After taking a break for a year, I found myself with a busy month ahead in April, although slightly less busy than March, and I thought the best way to unwind might actually be writing. Writing a screenplay, this time, of 100 pages. Writing a script is harder for me than a book, since it's harder to ramble on. It would be quite a challenge. I picked up an idea I'd jotted down a few months before, took a deep breath and dove into it. Lights, camera, weirdness.

It started in a city, where a group of professional volunteers find themselves accused of commercial espoinage because their boss is the only one who could potentially stand up to the mob boss about to commit a coup. A face-off results in apparent defeat, and they must go into hiding in one of the suburbs. One of their number, however, has managed to infiltrate the ranks of lieutenants surrounding the new mayor, and he must commit a risky raid on the enemy stronghold together with his secret lover.

Garf Dealings, with chorus

A shiny new website, a challenge I'd never done before. How could I resist that first year of ScriptFrenzy? With a whole load of people from the NaNoWriMo website, as well as many newcomers, we went over and entered ourselves to write 20.000 words in some sort of script. I chose a stage play, because at least I had seen one before. In fact, the ones I had seen were mostly Shakespeare's, and the one we were studying right then was Henry V. So I decided to base myself on that, and go from there, aiming at silliness, since as a firsttimer I could see that quality wasn't the way to go. Instead of an army conquering a French village, mine would be about a bunch of aliens kidnapping a girl and accidentally hijacking a planet, in an effort to save the world. My preparation was greatly helped by endlessly clicking on the plot generator on the front page of the website, that gave such suggestions as radioactive parrots (who became the ancestors of my aliens) and abandoned space stations. A late addition was the chorus, who insisted on introducing and commentating on my play, in iambic pentameter. In the kind of iambic pentameter produced during ScriptFrenzy, namely, the erratic kind. To ensure it wasn't easy, I wrote it by hand.

So an alien race, Garfgarfgarfians, descended from radioactive parrots, came to Earth when their place of origin, an abandoned space station, was about to be demolished. They save a girl from her boring life by insisting she be their ambassador to the humans. They accidentally hijack a plane, which lands on an airport inundated with representatives of earthly authorities. Luckily, they are as fallible as the aliens, and they chase each other around the airport for the duration of the play. Based on Henry V, with apologies to the people who love that play.