Philo by Eren Suzer | Script Revolution

Philo

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Status:

Page Count: 
88pp

Genre:

Budget:

Age Rating:

Logline: 
Ambitious Philo chases his dream to become a filmmaker since childhood, but his strict mother tries everything to push him away from the dream to become a doctor instead.
Synopsis/Details: 

This drama is a coming of age story that shows how art is undervalued in the world today, even though some artists are the richest and the most famous people, it is really hard to get into the industry and pursue this career. In this story, we follow Philo who wishes with all of his heart to become a filmmaker, that is his number one goal and it's what he wants to study in college. However, Philo's controlling mother (Megan) does not value Philo's choices, and had already planned and choose a career path for Philo.

The story begins with Philo being emotionally abused by his girlfriend Lola at their New York City apartment. Both of them are college students, Philo being a pre-med student and Lola in acting. Their once sweet relationship has turned upside down. With every night passing by fighting, Philo finally had enough and left the apartment to go to a bar. On the way to the bar, Philo was attacked and got knocked out with a hit on his head. Due to the knock Philo took on his head, the doctors found out that there were cysts in Philo's brain that needs to be taken care of immediately. All of Philo's loved ones arrive to the hospital, which includes Philo's mother (Megan), uncle, aunt, Lola and his best friend Yuvi. The rest of the story takes place in the waiting room, through the conversations of Philo's loved ones, and also through flashbacks. We witness everyone's opinion on Philo's dream, including his mother's.

We are taken to Philo's childhood with flashbacks. Philo is raised extremely strict compared to his other friends, due to his Megan. Philo has a great supportive father (Gavin) that he loves. Gavin and Megan occasionally get into arguments in front of Philo because both of the parents are at a disagreement on how to raise their only child, Philo. Gavin is a fan of being more supportive and less strict, opposing to Megan's vision which is to be strict and controlling. Philo's love for films come out at a conversation between Philo and Gavin. That was the moment when the career of filmmaking had entered into Philo's head, and made it to the top of the 'dreams' list. Gavin was of course supportive about this, and Megan was now.

Philo went through very tough times during high-school. His father who was diagnosed with lung cancer had passed away, with the loss of his father, Philo had gone into a crisis. He had no one at home to support him anymore. Megan took control over Philo even more now that her husband was gone. Philo obviously did not take this happily, and therefore Philo and Megan's relationship was fractured to a point where Philo couldn't even tell if he loved his mother. Philo was threatened to study pre-med, or Megan would not pay for tuition. Philo had no choice, he was forced to choose his path, Philo became passionless and monotoned.

At college, Philo met his best friend Yuvi, who was studying filmmaking, no wonder they became best friends very quickly. Yuvi let Philo work with him so that Philo could get experience in filmmaking, this was also how Philo met Lola and embarked on their great relationship. Second year of college, Philo was still in pre-med, he had completely stopped talking to his mother by now. Philo's relationship with Lola was getting worse, Lola was emotionally abusing Philo and trying to control him. Both of them had moved into an apartment together. Philo knew that the relationship was on a decline, but he didn't have the courage to end things and make Lola 'sad'. He kept on working with Yuvi.

Between all of the flashbacks, we heard through the character's about Philo and what they thought of his situation and dream.

The following two years, Philo and Lola's relationship became literally horrible. Lola was the person telling Philo to not pursue a film career now, because if they marry (Lola's plan) they might not have a good income. Lola was being very selfish, reminds you of someone? Around this time, Philo was put into surgery, so we came back to how the story started.

At the end, all of Philo's loved ones talk to Megan while at the waiting room. They show Megan all the amazing work that Philo had created, to see if Megan would change her mind and let Philo study film.

The ending: Yes, Philo gets out of the surgery with good health. Megan, who realized how important her only son's life was due to the surgery, had accepted to allow Philo to pursue filmmaking. It is a happy ending, everyone was happy. The final scene is of Philo and Yuvi moving in together as roommates, which shows that Philo is also done with his toxic relationship and is on his way to pursue his dream.

All Accolades & Coverage: 

‘Philo’ is a western mixing elements of romance and political drama, exploring themes of political and geographical conflict, war of ideologies, intolerance, patriotism, fanaticism and more.
The plot is quite gripping albeit slow; Philo ́s life is explored through many points of view and the reader truly gets a sense of getting to know the characters. The conflict of the story is very realistic and familiar to many, on top of that the narrative style conveys a true sense of danger and unpredictability that keeps the reader engage.

The characters are incredibly well developed which is to be expected given how the whole story is basically 100 pages of character development and exploration. The main one, the titular Philo is a boy with a life marked by tragedy and gentle oppression, he faces the common conflict of every middle class student; “shall I study what makes me happy? Or should I study something that actually allows me to live?” In his case the conflict is a bit harder to deal with since his mind is made about exploring his dream but he depends on his mother who forces him to pursue a career on medicine. With supporters on both extremes he never managed to find that one element that tilted the balance in one direction or the other, right until the end. When it comes to supporting characters, they are not explored with the same depth but their personalities, motivations and goals are also well established, and in the case of his mother and girlfriend, the two main “antagonists” of the story their point of view is also quite valid and based upon a realism that makes it impossible to just ignore them.

The dialogue flows naturally and even discussions evolve in an organic and believable way, escalating progressively instead of being the spontaneous all out brawls that most screenwriters conceive. However, for a story about making very important life decisions and all about character building, it lacks phrases that can be truly impactful or motivational.
The script is very good with some minor flaws, particularly when it comes to the ending, however this is not one of the most desired or profitable genres out there. Coming of age stories such as this one are usually praised but not too commercial.
The script is devoted to answering a single question: is it worth risking all to follow one ́s dreams? And the answer seems to be a big resounding „yes!‟ because of trying to please other people, depending on others and lacking assertiveness Philo ends up relinquishing any opportunity of realizing his dream. The last scene could be interpreted as a veiled call to action directed at the reader or watcher, urging them to stand up and take a leap of faith.
As previously mentioned, unfortunately this is far from being the most popular or attractive genre out there as it has to contend with action, comedy and even drama before the mainstream public is drawn to it. But we know some audiences will definitely like it!

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The Arts have always been an integral part of human society and civilization. One could even argue that the Arts were first to arrive at the heart of society, as even before men toiled with the simplest of tools they were already decorating themselves, and using the available means to express themselves.
As humanity evolved and changed so did art, as a necessary way to continuously express and try to capture the essence of life. And yet, in spite of its obvious importance, art has never been a stable field of study and even less of a stable career choice.
The focus is often in the few cases of success and fortune and on the works of great masters and their sublime works. But one cannot afford to ignore the thousands if not millions of failures, the artists who in spite of talent and creativity ended up dying in ignominy, and even those whose names were never even spoken to begin with.
In a world where artists and celebrities enjoy more fame and success than any other highly trained professional, the lure of the arts is higher than ever, and thousands of people try their lucks every year aspiring to become writers, actors, producers, painters or any other professional offering creativity as their main product.
It is in such a world that a script such as Philo stands out as relevant for dealing with a topic and portrays a conflict that affects thousands people every day.
The script is a coming of age story narrated with an anachronistic style, combining flashbacks and even dream sequences to tell the story of a young man who ́s had to renounce his dreams in order to satisfy an overbearing mother and to secure a stable economic future for himself.
Philo starts the story dealing with relationship issues. Living with a girlfriend he no longer loves and trapped in a passionless relationship, getting into fights every night and exploding into arguments because of every little problem.
After one of those arguments Philo decides to leave the house and go for a walk, perhaps even hanging out with a friend, but before he can do anything Philo gets assaulted by random thugs on the street, getting hit in the head with a baseball bat, a development that could be thought of as bad luck, but one that also ended up revealing the existence of several, possibly malignant, growths in his brain.
What follows is a long but capturing story told through many different points of view, as Philo undergoes surgery and his life is explored through dream sequences he has and through third party narrations told by his mother, girlfriend and friends.
The point of the story is exploring Philo ́s lifelong dream of becoming involved in the creation of films, later refined into becoming a producer, and how the different people in his life had been influencing into one direction or the other. Motivated and encouraged by his father, discouraged and controlled by his mother, aided into creating indie projects by his friend, anchored to a grey reality by his girlfriend.
Philo ́s mother basically blackmails him into becoming a doctor, arguing that his “hobby” is not a good career choice and he needs some stability before pursuing other dreams, his fear is that by then his creativity will be dead and he ́ll become just another faceless professional. His girlfriend constantly shames him for embarking on his little production projects showing, while his best friend chastises him for not being more active in the pursuit of his dream.
All of them pretend to be taking their positions with Philo ́s well-being first in their minds but all the conflict, oppression and pressure end up taking a high toll on Philo.
When it comes to characterization, the script does an excellent job at presenting the main character and truly dissecting him for the readers. Showing all of his hopes, dreams, fears, frustration and every single feeling in a way that makes it easy to connect and care for him. This is a given, considering how the whole story is devoted specifically to getting to know Philo from infancy to adulthood. But it also does a good job at fleshing out secondary characters, and even though most of the time their personalities and attitudes are filtered through someone else ́s point of view it is also easy to see them as full human beings, with their hopes and dreams and, more importantly, with valid motivations for their actions. Such as Philo ́s mother who’s realizing how fleeting life can be and how difficult it can be to succeed without stability, tries to push her son into what she truly believes is the best path. Or Philo ́s best friend who, being a younger person, is more ready to promote pursuing dreams and happiness. This is not a story with random and generic antagonists, but instead it presents real believable people who all make good points and truly give depth to the conflict in the story.
The dialogue is not as good as the story itself, but it is not bad by any means either. It has its fair share of motivational phrases and important life lessons to give and, as it was previously mentioned, it does an excellent job at letting everyone present valid and understandable arguments that makes almost every character justified in their actions and beliefs, elevating the tone of every discussion.

Submitted: April 29, 2017
Last Updated: June 24, 2017

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The Writer: Eren Suzer

Hi, I'm Eren Suzer, a Turkish film student at Arizona State University. I did begin my university career with mechanical engineering, but it wasn't so long once I decided to change my major to my childhood dream. I have been dreaming to create films and write stories since I could watch things on TV. I have lived in Turkey, Egypt, UAE (Dubai), Qatar and Arizona so far in my life, the reason why I moved so much was mainly due to my dad's work, and I came to Arizona for education. I have also visited a couple of more countries, therefore I feel like I have a big cultural knowledge which I show on my work usually. I love screenwriting, creating stories from scratch is amazing due to the... Go to bio