Being and Nothingness: The Series

This morning I updated to Final Draft 9, i.e., the most recent iteration of the most popular script-writing software out there, and because it’s been a while since I’ve used it, I wrote up a short script to reintroduce myself to its functionality. Here it is.

EXT. A large vast expanse of nothingness
Two dudes sit about looking at the nothingness.
Dude, that’s a whole lot of nothingness there.
Right? I’m, like, looking at all that nothingness and
I’m, just, JESUS, that’s a lot of nothing.
I mean, I knew there was a lot of nothingness out there.
Like, an infinity of nothingness.
Yeah, yeah.
But when you look at how MUCH nothingness there is,
it’s kind of, like, whoa.
I feel ya, dude.
I feel like I’ve merged with the nothingness, you know?
I totally get it. So much merging.
I didn’t wake up this morning thinking I’d be doing
a lot of merging with nothingness.
No one ever does.
I figured I’d just get a latte.
Right. Right.
But here we are.
Here we are.
Just… merging.
Yeah. Yeah.
So, want to get a latte?
Yeah, sure.
The two leave to go get lattes.
The nothingness continues.

Yep, I’m definitely getting a series out of this one.

49 Comments on “Being and Nothingness: The Series”

  1. kind of bill and ted meets harold and kumar. Who do you think we should get for the lead roles? I think Christopher Walken would be perfect for nothingness.

    “Only you, you satisfy
    Only you are the love of my life
    If I got everything I want, no, it still wouldn’t do
    I gotta whole lotta nothing if I don’t got you”
    — Writer(s): Joy Yetton, Shaun Shankel, Ben Glover
    Copyright: Spudnut Music, Screaming Norman Music, Shankel Songs, WB Music Corp.

    “Now I am for peace of mind so I left these empty things behind
    Because what I had was a whole lot of nothing
    I believe we rip what we sow and the truth I got to know
    Was the sum of a whole lot of nothing”
    — The Methadones [Whole Lot Of Nothing by The Methadones]

    Bob Dylan’s song “A Whole lot of nothin” and There’s a whole lot of hearts breaking tonight from the disease of conceit. [ Disease of Conceit by Bob Dylan]

    4. The Declaration Of Indifference by Skyclad
    5. Nothing at All by A Rocket to the Moon
    6. Nothing Wrong With That (beat Up Ford Part 2) by Jack Ingram
    7. I Got trouble by Christina Aguilera

  3. [Deleted because JvP, you’re doing that thing where you’re posting your personal projects into a comment thread. That’s not what the comment threads are for, unless it’s attached to a post that says “post your personal projects here.” — JS]

  4. . . . you can’t get lattes from nothingness . . . you just can’t.

  5. Truly a classic for the ages. I foresee millions of students cursing your name as they struggle to write essays on what “lattes” really symbolizes.

  6. I want the words, “An infinity of nothingness” on a T-shirt. I started to write, “I want an infinity of nothingness on a T-shirt” but that has a very different meaning!

  7. Tip for early drafts: if FD etc are in your way when you write, it takes maybe a few minutes to learn the Fountain markup language (developed by John August and a bunch of other screenwriter/devs; website is, so you can do the creative stuff in your text editor of choice and then import into FD or MM or whatever your production’s using officially to polish up the production notes and all that. Once I got the hang of it, it was such a relief to not have to do all the tab dancing on early passes.

  8. Shawn – Ohio, USA – Early to bed, early or whirlybird or something. Bored now, bye. Don't step on any Lego's 'cause it _Hurts_!

    I mean, dude, like, with all that nothingness what could go wrong with getting a latte?

  9. .
    Okay. My calculation is an accurate update of what I told Greg Bear when he asked, and he used in The Forge of God and sequels. The numbers were my point — HOW much is our whole lot of nothing?

  10. andreart2013 – Elmont, Virginia – After thirty plus years of military service, I now reside in rural Hanover County, VA. I write historical and speculative fiction and paint and teach watercolor painting.

    “Much To Do About Nothingness”

  11. Software that does that? I thought you did not use any specific writing software? Other than word processor of course.

  12. Scene two: exterior coffee shop. A bald young woman is standing outside. As Bob and Ted approach, she peers closely at them, then studies the nothingness carefully, then resumes inspecting Bob and Ted.

    Bob (to bald woman): Dude.

    Ted: like, you know, whassup?

    Woman: Nothing compares to you.

  13. Dear John,

    A series? Oh, totally! And I’m confident you’ll get more than that paltry $300,000 a book for this one.

    pax / Ctein

  14. Peter Cook and Dudley Moore, both sadly lost to us, are perfect casting for those lines, were they still with us and not out there in the nothingness…

  15. I’d like to see this read by William Shatner and David Bowie under a spotlight against a black backdrop. Yes. This must happen.

  16. Stevie: Yes, they would have been perfect, although they never would have said “Dude.” So I’m afraid this is a strictly American script.

    I’m seeing Neil Patrick Harris as Ted, not sure who’d be Bob. Maybe Channing Tatum? Too buff?

  17. S3riously? Lattes? Not even one quad shot Espresso to be had amongst the two? John… we really need to talk. By which I explain the ways to beat roasted coffee beans into their ultimate destiny, and you nod and agree.

  18. I get the feeling I’m back in Austin, TX and I’m listening to a conversation between two hipsters!

  19. Beckett never wrote about lattes but

    …later on while Bob and Ted are sipping their drinks, Whistler enters the scene, sets up his easel, and improvises a masterpiece. When the painting is finished Bob and Ted murmur words of commendation (because vacuity is echoey and you learn to pipe down) and gaze in bemusement at the title: “Nothingness, Interrupted by Lattes.” (The End.)

  20. D. Paul Angel – I am in my 40’s (the new "20" they say!), am originally from California, and now live in Portland, OR, but would eventually like to "retire" to Hawaii. I am, most definitely, a “Nerd’s Nerd.” I can recite huge tracts of Monty Python, can force Star Wars quotes into nearly any conversation, find serenity amongst fireflies, enjoy hitchhiking to the beach with my towel in hand (remember the Hawaii bit), have found precious little to dislike about Tolkien, and find any argument favoring Picard over Kirk to be both fascinating and most illogical. My foundation in Science Fiction began with Asimov, but Heinlein’s wit brought it to the front of my conscious. Although I am still recovering from the amount of time spent wheeling through Jordan and Sanderson’s epic, I have found long series, such as Scalzi’s, no longer make me feel like an old man (The new 20, right!?). I've always had a love of comics, particularly the far side of Bloom County where Calvin lived, often casting pearls before swine whilst doing the foxtrot over the hedge. Even though I already have 2 puppy-dogs I love, Zack and Satia, I can’t help but think how awesome having a magical creature would be; even if I do worry that caring for it would leave me feeling hagrid. I am more comfortable tweeting than facebooking, and I'm not athletic enough to be a tumblr. I'm also an airplane nerd and a licensed, albeit non-current, pilot. I've travelled enough to know I want to travel more, I've read, cover to cover, The Bible, Koran, Book of Mormon, Science and Health, and a smattering of Eastern philosophies, and I was one of the early board members of Cerimon House. I can bake bread from scratch, grill, and cook; and I've failed, miserably, in learning at least 4 different programming languages. I write, commit photography, and am learning the ins and out of drawing and illustration. I have long straddled that shady realm between the wholly physical and utterly imaginative, and I'm working towards taking up residence in the latter. I'm an expert in all forms of philosophocating, but find it is best done with open eyes, compassion, and humor; preferably with pleasant company, snacks, and an ample supply of delicious beverages. I have also been known to make the occasional pun.
    D. Paul Angel

    And Ted and Bob returned with their lattes. They looked again at the expanse of nothingness, and then looked upon their latttes. they looked alike! Except the latte’s were a slightly paler value of nothingness. But otherwise spot on. Such that they had plenty to talk about for all of time. Or at least until the barista finished nuking their ham and eggwhite croissant.

  21. My apologies, Lurkertype, for the delay in responding to you; it’s all the fault of the idiots who put together the slates which, as far as I can tell, were intended to reduce the brain of anyone who actually ever reads things to a sort of porridgy slush.

    And, while we’re on the subject of slush, I do feel that I should apologise to slush piles everywhere, since any self respecting slush pile with standards would have forcefully ejected the stuff currently masquerading as Hugo contenders.

    However, all is not lost. I have been enthralled by Sheila Gilbert’s Voters packet which includes a sample chapter from all the books she edited last year, together with one she co edited with Betsy Wollheim, 17 books in all. As I have already noted, 45 years in the business means she really knows what reaches out to the reader and grabs them, and boy, have I been grabbed.

    Fortunately, thanks to my legendary self control, I have only bought one of those.

    So far.

    Of course it was volume 3 in one of Tanya Huff’s series, so I had to buy the first two, but they were very reasonably priced, and how could I resist a story starting with a grandmother lounging on a beach in the Caribbean, admiring the view of guys playing beach volley ball whilst sipping cocktails?

    Ok, I’m going to Gozo, which is not the Carribbean, and I’m not a grandmother, and, furthermore I’m not going to save the world, but it still rings bells for me! I shall be admiring the scenery and sipping cocktails, secure in the knowledge that I’ve got a few things in common with the lady who will save the world.

    I would urge anyone who cares about SF/F to vote for Sheila, notwithstanding the fact that she was slated. She knows little to nothing about the slime balls who infest the Web, since her time on it comes close to non-existent. Her love and respect for the genre and Hugos shines through; the other nominated long form editors have mostly treated the voters with contempt by not even bothering to provide information about their achievements.

    Sheila has, instead, not only maintained her qualifications to win this award, but used it as a means of spring boarding her authors into public prominence for their advantage. That’s what really, really good editors do; constantly think of others and try to help them.

    I know I’m preaching to the choir when I talk to you, just as you know that you’re preaching to the choir when you talk to me. Nevertheless, unpacking it a bit is, I think, helpful for others…

  22. I started putting together a soundtrack for all that nothingness, but I got a C&D from the John Cage estate.

  23. SilentHill22 – Just someone who wants to break the silence through social media. Not trying to be dramatic, or famous. I just want people to relate to my blog.All kinds off people. Can't reveal my identity for a reason. All I can still tell you is that I'm a teenager who just needs to break the silence. I would love to reveal my identity ASAP with all your support. :) You can always contact me on my e-mail :

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  24. 1. ‘Merging with Nothingness’: Didn’t that band open for Free Beer?

    2. ‘Much to Do about Nothingness’: Ah, I know that one! That’s the little known but promising musical comedy about 2nd C. BCE Hindu mathematician Pingala’s invention of the zero. Its first half closing… er… number… is still, sadly, nothing to write home about.

    Rick Moen

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