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What Happens When AI Inspires a Screenplay

Photo+Courtesy+of+mrmohock
Photo Courtesy of mrmohock

AI is a beautiful, questionable thing. When I was stumped and couldn’t think of what to write for this article, I did what all high schoolers do— go to ChatGPT and let it do the work. But, having a program do my work would hurt my ego, so I had a conversation with an AI bot and turned it into a screenplay. 

 However, after finishing my rough draft and being embarrassed whenever I saw anyone else reading it, I realized AI can’t be left to do all the heavy lifting. The bot’s responses were too unnatural—obviously, Mae. For reference, here is what I typed into the AI to get the first conversation: 

 USER 

Let’s play a new game. I’m a librarian, you’re someone in the library. 

 ChatGPT 

Great! I’m in the library. It’s a quiet and peaceful atmosphere with the scent of old books in the air. You, the librarian, are at the front desk. What can I help you find or what library shenanigans are we up to? 

 

 Roleplaying with an AI bot is something I’d never expect to find myself doing, but alas, I didn’t like how the AI responded. So, after that, I sat on what I should do. Is this the feeling every student gets when they submit an essay ghostwritten by someone named Chat? Or is it just me?  

 So, I used the original messages as a reference for a new, more human screenplay.  

 Anyways, “Sadie” takes the place of my messages, and “Mandi” replaces the AI’s messages. Let’s begin.  

 

 INT. LIBRARY – DAY 

MANDI walks up to the front desk, ending a loud phone call as she walks. The librarian, SADIE, turns around in her rolling chair and places her book face down, so the viewer can’t see the title. 

 

SADIE 

 SADIE is clearly annoyed by how loud MANDI’S phone call was. 

 

You’re being loud. Keep your voice low in the library. 

 

SADIE sighs, 

 

People these days… 

 

 

MANDI 

 

MANDI looks confused. Normally, no one would have the audacity to say “People these days…” after telling someone to be quiet. 

 

Oh, sorry. I just wanted to ask if you had any recommendations for psychological thrillers. I ran out of the classics, so I was hoping to get an educated suggestion. 

 

Mandi is obviously questioning if walking up to the desk was a good idea, but she’s already here, and it’s too late to turn back. 

 

 SADIE 

 

SADIE turns to the small bookshelf behind her desk and grabs one book off the shelf – “Don’t Give a Mouse a Cookie” by Laura Numeroff. She turns back around and puts it on the desk, spinning the book so that the words face MANDI. 

 

My favorite psychological novel is “Don’t Give a Mouse a Cookie.” It’s very intriguing; I mean, what WILL happen if you give a mouse a cookie? 

 

 MANDI 

 

MANDI, again, is questioning whether or not she should be here. She looks around to see if she’s near the kids’ section. Maybe SADIE thinks she’s looking for a book for a kid. She can see a big sign saying “CHILDREN” a couple of shelves over, and questions if SADIE misunderstood her. 

 

Oh, I’m not looking for a book for my child, I’m looking for one for myself. 

 

 

The look on SADIE’S face makes MANDI immediately regret saying that. 

 

 SADIE 

 

SADIE makes a rude, almost disgusted face towards MANDI, looking up at MANDI through her eyebrows. She rolls her eyes, as if this is something she hears often and strongly disagrees with. 

 

“Don’t Give a Mouse a Cookie” is NOT a children’s book! It’s a serious analogy to the endless demands of the fortunate citizens of rich, profiting countries. I mean, how many things can a little mouse require before being happy? 

 

SADIE shifts her posture into a more offensive stance, the same stance a person would take if they were about to prove themselves to a person they’ll never see again. 

 

 Does the mouse know about the unfortunate lives of other mice and rodents like the ones living in the lonely, dangerous subways of New York? Where they risk their lives every day just to find a small morsel of food? Those less fortunate could never get away with such requests without being called ungrateful, so why can the fortunate? Especially considering that they have access to whatever they’d like? 

 

 MANDI 

 

MANDI now has a look of pure terror on her face. How can she get out of this…  

 

That’s my bad…! I guess I assumed that “Don’t Give a Mouse a Cookie” was a shallow book for kids, but I’m proud to say I was gravely mistaken…! Ha-ha. 

 

MANDI backs up as she says this, smiling awkwardly, trying to make her way out of the conversation. SADIE is clearly not going to give this up. 

 

 SADIE 

 

SADIE makes another annoyed face, seemingly feeling that MANDI doesn’t understand what she said. Just as MANDI is almost completely turned away from her, she blurts out— 

 

How could you say that after alluding to it being a book for children? 

 

SADIE puts her hands down on the desk and sighs, as if explaining the meaning of “Don’t Give a Mouse a Cookie” is difficult. 

 

Fine. I’ll explain further. Think of a mother giving her child candy at Disneyland. Next, he’ll ask for ice cream in the shape of Mickey, and then begin to ask for toys in every gift shop they enter. She may grow mad at her child, but it’s arguable that she promoted the behavior. You see, actions have consequences, the same way giving a mouse a cookie encourages greed in mice, and giving a child a mouse-shaped ice cream bar will promote greed in children!  

 

SADIE removes one of her hands from the desk, moving it back to where she left her book on the desk behind them, trying to end the conversation as well. Unfortunately, neither of them notices that the other is ready to finish this discussion. 

 

Just like how you interrupted my private reading time. You think that because I answered one question, I’ll continue to answer any that you ask me! And now you’re expecting me to explain the consequential effects of life? 

 MANDI 

 

MANDI shuffles awkwardly, looking around to see if there’s anyone around to help her get out of this conversation. 

 

Of course, sorry… I’m still, kinda, looking for a book to read, though. 

 

 

MANDI, yet again, regrets saying anything. 

 

 SADIE 

 

SADIE takes a looser stance, addressing MANDI in an unprofessional, non-librarian-like manner. 

 

Look, girl. I’m not here to give you recommendations, especially since you clearly don’t seem to be half the reader I am and refuse to listen to what I have to say. If you want a good psychological thriller, go to that section. There’s a sign.  

 

SADIE looks around MANDI to the bookshelves directly behind her. 

 

 MANDI 

 

MANDI turns to see that she’s standing right in front of the psychological thriller shelves. How had she not seen this before?  

 

Oh, right… thanks. 

 

SADIE 

 

SADIE walks back to her rolling chair where she was sitting before this interaction, moving her hand to grab the book. 

 

Yeah. 

 

She grabs her book and starts reading it, revealing the title to be “Llama Llama Red Pajama” by Anna Dewdney. She puts her hand on her chin, as if she’s contemplating the meaning of this book, too. 

 

 

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About the Contributor
Mae Jostes, Humor Editor

Hello! My name is Mae, and I am the humor editor. I am a sophomore, and this is my first year writing for the newspaper. I hope you enjoy my articles! Thank you!

 

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