NON-WORD COUNT PREFACE:
For the purposes of this post, I am referring to Donald Glover as Childish Gambino because that is the pseudonym that he wrote and released Because the Internet and related works under.
In 2013, Childish Gambino released his critically acclaimed studio album Because the Internet. The proaction and writing on the album is superb in its own right, but I think the greatest literary accomplishment in the whole project is the seventy three-page screenplay that Gambino wrote to accompany it. The screenplay follows “The Boy” who lives in his affluent father’s mansion with a handful of friends. With visual clips and queues to begin playing certain songs on the album are interspersed throughout, the screenplay transports the reader right into Gambino’s wonderful world of apathy.
Not only is the music mesmerizing, but the excruciating detail of the world makes you wish you were this bored all the time. As a screenwriting rule of thumb, each page is supposed to account for a minute in the film. The fact that nearly fifty of these seventy three pages delve this deep into the vibe of the environment makes it un-produceable, but you almost think that a full-scale film would pale in comparison, unable to capture the patience that went into writing this masterwork of screen direction.
As a screenwriter/procrastinator, I know that my attention to screen direction needs to improve immensely. I know that when I focus less on dialogue, and commit to showing, it’ll elevate my writing. As someone who would like to get something actually produced, BTI isn’t a blueprint by any means, but it is an exercise in what the screenplay can be as its own medium.