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Escape from the Bunker

I’ve enjoyed studying films, teaching cinema, and writing movie reviews for much of my professional life, but trying to finish writing just one screenplay has proven much more challenging. Last spring, near the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, my 29-year-old son Wickham and I decided to start a weekly screenwriting workshop on Facebook Messenger’s video chat. Wickham teaches screenwriting among other subjects at Bilkent University in Ankara, Turkey. He video-chatted from a laptop in his high-rise apartment on the edge of Ankara while I was largely quarantined in my living room at a suburban subdivision in South Carolina. He entitled his film Scarlet and the Red, which concerns a noir 1920s femme fatale who runs a Chicago criminal empire. In contrast, my post-apocalyptic science fiction idea for a movie centers around a character’s need to escape an elaborate underground bunker named Mineshaft City before the electricity goes out. I also wanted to have my main character Grady to hav…

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