SARS backwards is SRAS

So I’ve been talking about either writing a screenplay of some sort, or filming something for years. I haven’t really done anything to accomplish either. I read Robert Rodriguez’s book and am almost with with a book on writing screenplays. I’m far from writing any stories with any real plot or character development. But I’ve also had short movie clip ideas as well.

I guess I’ll flush out the concepts here, starting with the basic idea. Then expand it into a screenplay type script (this will be good practise for the final screenplay I’ll write someday =) ). Then get a few monkeys together and act it out. Of course it will suck because it’s the first time. But I’d rather do something that sucks than do nothing that sucks. Plus a lot of folk have experience doing stuff like this, and we’ll get their help. Most of what I post on this blog is unedited and unrevised. So this will follow that tradition.

“SARS backwards is SRAS” is an idea I’ve had since SARS hit Toronto. Half the people I’ve told this to have said it’s too risky or it’s bad taste. The other half have liked it. I like it. So I’ll describe it here. I’ve actually typed up half of this in screenplay format, so hopefully soon I’ll complete it.

Here we go. I’ve used the character’s name as descriptions, I’ll change that once we have a better idea.

Scene 1

WhiteMan is in this apartment/room. Lights are off, and the only light source is the television. The daily news is on. The reporter is talking about SARS and how people are trying to keep safe. “Some have taken to masks to protect themselves from SARS. Please remember to keep your hands clean.”

Scene 2
WhiteMan is in hardware store checking out masks. He purchases one (or a set).

Scene 3
Outside the hardware store. WhiteMan opens the mask packing and tries it on. He gets in his car and drives off.

Scene 4
WhiteMan is at work (or school). He’s got the mask around his neck. He’s approaches a group of 5 (or 6) people who are already discussing something. There are two Chinese people in this group and one white person (who is WhiteMan’s friend, WhiteFriend).

WhiteMan joins the discussion. When he’s talking to the non-Chinese people, his mask stays hanging off his neck. But when he talks to the chinese people, he puts on his mask. Anytime he faces the non-Chinese people, his pulls his mask off and around his neck again.

The awkwardness is felt in the air. WhiteFriend pulls WhiteMan from the group and says, “What’s wrong with you? If you’re afraid of SARS, then just keep the mask on all the time!”

WhiteMan with a confused look says, “What?? No. That’d just be rude!”


We don’t really need a screenplay like script to do this. We need people and a camera. One white male (WhiteMan), another white male or female (WhiteFriend), two visibly Chinese people and the other 3 people are of other races. Three locations, home, hardware store and school/work.

If you’re interested, we should talk. It’s summer and something should be done.

I’ll post the other short movie ideas soon.

6 thoughts on “SARS backwards is SRAS”

  1. okay reading over what i’ve written in the script, it is clear that my script writing skill leave much to be desired. i need help, especially with dialogue.

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