Simulacrum

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By Zachary Orender

LOGLINE

A troubled young social media star has come to see his doctor about a recent and appalling tragedy; his own murder. Molly Emerson must in turn traverse the winding foothills of her patient’s traumatic past, witty banter, and the core of her own beliefs to find how, why, and if Ralph Foster Wallace managed to meet his death before his 24thbirthday. The catch? Ralph is psychotic; he cannot distinguish between his digital identity and the real world he has chosen to leave behind.  

CHARACTERS 

Leads

Ralph (Male, any ethnicity, 18-27) – Ralph is a 23-year-old social media star who grew up in the Uptown bubble of New Orleans, LA. As a child, Ralph struggled with the world seeing as he is mildly psychotic, experiencing issues with mild schizophrenia and psychosis. Because of his condition, his perceived treatment by his peers and his father’s abandonment of his mother and himself, Ralph has swapped his wit and intellect for a pessimistic life of solidarity. His distorted view of the world and personality because of his father and himself has made him a shamelessly combative and hilarious on screen character, however a character none the less who cannot distinguish between the online identity he has created for himself and the real one that has existed all along. 
 
Molly (Female, any ethnicity, 28-40) –  Dr. Molly Emerson grew up a small-town girl from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, starting her own successful psychiatric practice in Uptown New Orleans shortly after calling off her marriage for personal reasons. She had always had a passion for those who were helplessly different since her middle school best friend with autism, Ethan, killed himself when his family moved him to a new school in California. While Molly is attractive, likeable, accomplished and witty, she too has been longing for something unreachable her whole life. Perhaps it is a chance at redemption after feeling responsible for Ethan’s death, or the desire to find her true purpose after a lifetime of being deemed “Ms. Perfect” – either way, her whole life certainly comes rushing back to her in a whole new way when Ralph walks through her doors one fine, misty October morning. 
 
Ralph’s Mother (Female, any ethnicity, 40-65) –  Virginia Conte grew up in the posh aristocratic bubble of New Orleans’s elite. She moved to Amsterdam for her husband’s successful banking job where, after Ralph’s birth, her husband left her for his assistant. She immediately moved back Uptown where her family was from and set Ralph as the centerpiece of her existence. Frail, sweet, and doting; Virginia has always given Ralph everything he has wanted except for the truth: his father is alive. To sever all ties with Ralph’s father, she told her son his daddy had died in an auto accident. A lie that she maintains until Ralph  discovers all his father’s birthday and holiday cards which inspires his life-long disdain for the only person that truly loves him. 

Supporting

 
Young Molly/ Donna (Female, any ethnicity, 18-25) –  An actress to play Molly’s younger self will be cast for an essential flashback. She will also be cast in the role of Donna, a modern reincarnation of young Molly whose words at the end of the film ultimately inspire his climatic epiphany that solves his death.
 
Young Ralph (Male, any ethnicity, 8-10) –  A young actor will be needed to portray Ralph’s younger self when he discovers his father’s birthday and holiday cards – proving that he is alive and his mother has lied to him.
 
Michael (Male, any ethnicity, 18-25) –  Michael is a boy Molly went on a single date with in college. He is good looking, athletic (plays on the baseball team), and kind. His line of questioning on he and Molly’s date reveals the underlying story that reveals why Molly chooses her work over socializing and working on her relationships. 

Compensation

On set catering and craft services, a DVD copy of your performance, clips for a reel, and credit in the film at screenings and film festival submissions

Contact

Zachary Orender

Email: zorender@tulane.edu

Sides offered per request

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