That's Just Who I Am by Richard Buzzell | Script Revolution

That's Just Who I Am

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Page Count: 
97pp

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Logline: 
Eleven-year-old Thomas has to struggle for acceptance when he finds that the only way he can successfully shoot a basketball, is with his eyes closed.
Synopsis/Details: 

Along with his friend Marcus, Thomas plays on his school’s grade six basketball team where he’s earned the nickname “stink-shot” by virtue of his lack of proficiency at making jump shots.

In a desperate bid to improve his shot, Thomas gets one of his teachers to hypnotize him. During the hypnotization process Thomas closes his eyes to picture his perfect shot, using his inner vision as he’s told.

Later, when practicing his shot, he closes his eyes to picture his shooting form, and then he shoots without opening his eyes. This works for him every time, while shooting with his eyes open works as poorly as it ever did.

When he tells his friend Marcus about his new eyes-closed shot he makes Marcus promise not to tell anyone. Marcus doesn’t see the shame in Thomas’ shot and urges him to be open about it, but Thomas chooses to keep it a secret.

Eventually other players on Thomas’ team notice that he’s shooting with his eyes closed and they tell the coach about it. The coach is aghast. He insists that Thomas stop shooting with his eyes closed.

Thomas’ strange new ability is not welcomed by other students who recoil from the fact that it’s different. Thomas’ ten-year-old sister Amanda is ridiculed by other students for her brother’s weirdness.

The school principal call Thomas in to find out what hidden emotional problems are driving Thomas’ deviant behavior. When this doesn’t produce results, Thomas is sent to talk to a psychologist who diagnoses him with oppositional-defiance disorder. Then there’s a meeting with Thomas’ parents to try to devise a strategy for bringing him back within the bounds of normal behavior.

All the while this is going on Thomas and Marcus are working on a dunking video to enter in the Doctor Dunkenslam video contest. The winner of the contest gets a gym makeover at their school. Thomas gets his Grampa to help him build a platform that he can ride a bike off of to bounce off a trampoline and thus bounce high enough to dunk a basketball.

The boys’ video turns out to be the winning entry and Doctor Dunkenslam visits the school to present the prize of a gym makeover in a showy performance.

As a reward for getting a gym makeover for the school, Thomas is made a starter for the team’s final game of the season, but the coach tells him not to shoot with his eyes closed.

Thomas plays the first half of the game shooting with his eyes open and misses all his shots. The coach takes Thomas out of the game in the second half but puts him back in for the final seconds of the game when the team needs one more basket to win. Thomas tells the coach he’s going to shoot with his eyes closed because “that’s just who I am.” Thomas makes the winning shot with his eyes closed and in the celebration everyone accepts Thomas as he is.

Submitted: September 21, 2018
Last Updated: September 21, 2018
Times Downloaded: 2
Last Downloaded: June 10, 2019

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The Writer: Richard Buzzell

I'm the author of fifteen feature scripts, one of which, "Robot Love," has been sold through Script Revolution. Production is scheduled to begin in December of this year. I'm an audience-oriented writer, which means that I emphasize the interests of the audience over the dictates of the screenwriting formulas. I'm attracted to drama but I have a strict "no fake drama" rule in my writing. I have a number of scripts that are especially well-suited to the streaming platforms. Go to bio

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