Laura Whitton

Writer, visual artist, entrepreneur, and community builder.

I won my first writing contest at age 11, started my first real business at age 15, traveled outside my home country for the first time at 18, and have not stopped since.

I have made my home, worked, and created in The United States, France, The United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, China, and Canada, and have explored countless other corners of the earth on more casual terms. Along my itinerant path, I squeezed in a BA in Visual Communications, and later, an MBA.

My lens: Art is the most palatable and most powerful lever for shaping culture and changing patterns. Written and visual art carry the power to air out stubborn issues and give breath to building enlightened futures. 

A sample of my history (it’s not just empty philosophies above): Through visual, written, and spoken storytelling, I have worked to save hundreds of factory jobs in small-town USA, empower abused women in the UAE, cracked the code on early literacy in Uzbekistan, and helped bring greater racial equity to early-stage investing in America. 

There is so much more to do. I’m working on it all from my “for-now” home and office in the tree-lined suburbs of Washington, DC.
 

Award Category
Screenplay Award Category
Two ambitious docotors have just launched the world’s first nano-robotic birth control. One doctor is set on liberating women while the other is out for revenge.
Birthweight
My Submission

My first ten pages are attached in PDF format.

SYNOPSIS

Near-future university researchers have just launched biotech startup Cycle, a 100% reliable nano-robotic birth control. With almost instant global uptake, this revolutionary development is set to universally change women’s choices. 

Used as intended, Cycle is a long awaited equalizer. Weaponized by an aggrieved father, mankind is in for a world of hurt, the kind women have been feeling since the beginning of time. 

Family power, corporate power and political power are about to shift seismically, which means you can count on the already powerful to dig in their heels.

TONE

This show is NOT about the act of sex itself, but a nuanced narrative wrapping us up in the intricacies everything else that depends on it. The necessarily near future real-feel dystopia will have us convinced that it could believably unfold in the coming months or years.

It will have the visual styles and intimately complex secret lives of “Big Little Lies,” the culture rocking power of “Handmaid’s Tale” and a healthy dose of government intervention and political intrigue à la “West Wing.”

Dark enough to strike fear and crack open taboo.
Accessible enough for teens to share with their parents. Optimistic enough to make us feel like we could do something about it all.

CHARACTERS

DR. RAYA PATEL

Raya is the genius doctor behind the development of Cycle. The success of Cycle is everything to her-except for her children, her mother, her husband, her students, her heritage, her research…her list never ends.

She’ll juggle her need to be everything-to-everyone while leading a controversial biotech startup and cultural revolution.

When she can’t choose to be “everything” what will she choose? When keeping the truth will hurt so many, but telling it will hurt so many others, how can she decide?

DR. SUN “SUNNY” WEI

Dr. Wei, known to his friends as “Sunny,” is the unintended cofounder of Cycle. While his research and leadership have been crucial to the success of Cycle, he is one-foot-in, one-foot-out on the whole venture.

When a series of family tragedies compound, Sunny cracks and allows revenge to consume him. He successfully exacts that revenge on all mankind, but will it be enough for him? How will he respond to the unforeseen shockwaves he creates?

ANN WEI, JD

Ann Wei is Dr. Sunny Wei’s only child. She has always done her absolute duty to make her parents proud. She is a bright lawyer moving quickly upward professionaly, when horror strikes and threatens to crush her whole life.

Ann’s pain fuels Dr. Wei’s rage.

Independent from and uninformed of Dr. Wei’s vengeful actions, Ann will fight to climb out of the crater she is in and start on a new path, one forged of purpose rather than duty. Her fight will be our fight. 
 

MARK ROTHSCHILD, JD

Mark is partner at the law firm where Ann works. The same firm that has handled the patenting for the Cycle birth control tech.

He is the definition of smooth and desirable. Mark bends the world to his will–and we want nothing more than to bend to him. He is the bad boy we all want to notice us, care for us, and take us home at night.

Mark sees the writing on the wall as Cycle begins to shift power dynamics. He doubles down on his get-my-way tactics, but a lifetime of unpaid consequences is about to come calling. We’ll want to believe he can change, but it looks like it won’t be fast enough.
 

MARIE ROTHSCHILD

Marie is the image of suburban blogger perfection. Although she is an accomplished scholar and a leader in her local religious and political groups, even she’d classify herself first as “Mark’s wife.”

Marie is going to wobble as she rides the waves of all the changes coming. Her wobble and questioning of everything that has been so sure in her life is going to set her on new footings, which will mean painfully leaving people and beliefs behind. Marie will begin to come into her own, rising politically, and bringing others along with her. She’ll be our unexpected Pied Piper.

NICK

Nick was one of Dr. Wei’s devoted research assistants well before Cycle. 

He deserves way more credit for Cycle than he will ever get, and doesn’t deserve the residual wrath that Dr. Wei will inflict. More than just Dr. Wei’s punching bag, Nick will unintentionally become our patient zero for the medical affliction Dr. Wei has fabricated.

With no medical or social support for the new disease, Nick will unravel. We’ll hurt for him, but he’ll be a sacrificial mirror for so many other injustices. Nick may not emerge from the destruction.

OLIVIA

Olivia is a grad student at the university where Cycle was first developed. She is also Nick’s loving partner.

Characteristically nervous but flighty, her rash decision to be among the first to use Cycle leads to Nick’s demise. She’ll deal with caring for him and the shift in their relationship as he becomes less and less able to live the life they had dreamed of. She’ll reluctantly grow into her own power, until she learns that she is the one who “infected” Nick. Her unfounded guilt will threaten to consume her as we watch her lose all the ground she gained.
 

FUTURE SEASONS

SEASON 1 

Darkness and hope commingle as Cycle begins to breakdown longstanding gender power structures. In this nascent paradigm, some will rise and some will fall.

Bent on revenge, Sunny weaponizes the Cycle tech, causing a mysterious illness that affects only men, with no apparent pattern.

SEASON 2

Sunny’s revenge has just started to send out it’s shockwaves. What happens in families, workplaces, religion and politics when men are mysteriously shackled with a weighty health condition en masse?

Raya struggles with the ethics of revealing or withholding her knowledge of the source of this mysterious condition.

SEASON 3

The secret is out about the cause of this mysterious illness. Battle lines are drawn and redrawn between those who support Cycle and those who demand it outlawed.

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