Research – Online Suicide

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Comments / 

A bulk of the script was inspired by Abraham’s suicide in order to achieve realism.

Abraham’s reason for committing suicide – “The suicide note stated that he had hurt other people and hated himself for being a failure.”

In this instance, it is a broadcast website, where many people had the opportunity to encouraged him and egged him on to killing himself.

Unlike the premise of “Disconnected”, the suicide that takes place, also an overdosed, is not broadcast to the public but only to the person who is connected.

This creates an opportunity in creating drama and dilemmas as now only one person can make a difference and in that sense, shoulder the responsibility of whether the stranger lives or dies.

In my script, Amelia, the stranger who overdosed does not scream “I am killing myself”, but rather, she just ODs. I chose the script to play out this way because then Joe does not have the opportunity to convince Amelia not to kill herself, but rather, it now becomes a race against time for Joe, who is the unfortunate witness of this episode.

He is forced to think on his feet. Recall things that they spoke about / little details that may help find Amelia’s whereabouts. This creates frustrations perhaps.

In the script maybe it was too easy that Joe finds her details and saves her. Perhaps an alternative could be that he doesn’t find out anything and now he is watching her die.

Disconnected – Revised / Plot Breakdown


Plot breakdown –

  • 4am. Joe feels lonely. He goes online to view pornography, nudes of girls as well as use an online webcam streaming site (Virtual Pals) to connect with strangers locally.

  • He leaves the streaming site on as he continues browsing pornography.

  • Almost all the people on Virtual Pals does not take interest in Joe. They disconnect really quickly after seeing him – but to Joe, it is a norm.

  • After a few “misconnections”, he  finally connects with a girl whom is good looking. Intrigued that she did not disconnect, he starts the conversation with a tacky pick up line. Through his response, the audience can tell that Joe is quick to establish an interest in her. The girl on the other hand seems a bit off – in expression and in her replies.

  • Not too long into the conversation, Joe finds out why such a beautiful girl is on this website – she needed someone to talk to because she was going to kill herself soon.

  • Joe panics. He tries to convince her not to. His attempts were futile. Joe gets frustrated and borderline angry.

  • No longer wanting to deal with Joe, she disconnects. This leaves Joe helpless and frustrated even further. He wants to get to know his beautiful girl and thinks that it is a waste if she dies.

  • He scrambles to remember bits and pieces of what he saw through her webcam. He recalls a tiny detail (maybe a university flag on the wall)

  • He searches online for her – finds her online. Read articles of her – “University Student: The Haunting Moment My Boyfriend Leaked My Nude Photos Online” (example)

  • The last scene ends with a back shot of Joe as the camera dollies out, revealing the same few nudes / porn website he was on at the start of the film, side by side with the article of the leaked nudes.

Comments / 

After much discussion with Sebastian, as well my other classmates, I managed to figure out the message of the story I want to tell.

  1. Through disconnected, we see two individuals who turned to the internet for different reasons. Joe goes online for sexual gratification wheras the webcam girl goes on to speak to / confide in someone.

Two different motivations of being online clashes when both gets connected with each other through a live streaming website (Virtual Pals).

2. The spread of nudes online is a real thing. I’ve a friend whose nudes got posted online and everyday she has to deal with the consequences of it. I think through this film, Joe realises that his way of life was selfish. The nudes and pornography he views, they are actual human beings. Of course, we do not find out that the girl wants to die because her nudes got leaked online until the very end.



Inspiration /

After watching “unfriended” and “Noah”, in which both films are depicted entirely on a computer screen, I’ve been fascinated with this new form of storytelling.

My film would be done in similar fashion. It takes place in both the character’s reality and whatever that is taking place on the computer screen.
Logline /

An encounter on an online web streaming site leaves Joe helpless and frustrated as he tries to save a life from his room through the internet.

Treatment /

At 4am, restless and lonely, Joe turns to an online webcam platform to chat with strangers. Slightly preoccupied as he casually does his own stuff, he connects and disconnects with a couple of random strangers.

His attention gets shifted to the computer screen as the screen stopped flashing and he is now connected with a black screen.

Stranger (S – Typing): Hey

Joe (J- Using a microphone) : Hey, what happened to your face? (Jokingly)

S: It’s a mess.

J: Haha I’m sure it isn’t thatttt bad. Come on, turn on your camera.

-No reply-

J: Are you a girl or a guy?

S: Does it matter?…

J: Honestly, I don’t wanna be wasting my time talking to a dude.

S: F.

J: Well, that’s a start.

(Joe continues to keep the conversation going as he makes it a challenge to himself to get this stranger to show her face)

J: I’m Joe, you? What brings you here?

S: I don’t know.

J: Hmm. There must be a reason. Like for me, I can’t sleep because I’m afraid of the monsters under the bed. I don’t judge, I mean you can tell me anything. We’re technically strangers.

S: I’m going to die.

J: What do you mean die? You have cancer? Or like some disease?

S: No. I’m going to take my life.

J: Dude, is this like some sort of prank / joke to see if I fall for it? And then I’ll appear on youtube like a loser?

S: No. You told me I can tell you anything because we are strangers and I’m telling you this. Why are you judging me?

The conversation continues as Joe tries to persuade her with his perspective of life but to no avail. He threatens to hang up and be done with this but he ultimately doesn’t. He contemplates calling the police / googling IP address to track her down but it’s like searching for a needle in a haystack.

This black screen stranger is firm on her decision and tells Joe to stop. Joe doesn’t. With no information on this girl he becomes frustrated and helpless.

In bids to calm him down, the stranger finally speaks into her microphone “Joe.”

The black screen stranger turns on her camera – A face badly burnt appears on screen.

S: “It’s okay.”

Joe slightly appalled and speechless. He slumps into his chair.

J: “I…”

S: “ I know I’m selfish. But I just don’t want to have to deal with this anymore. Please understand. I only came here to feel less alone and you’ve done that for me. Thank you for caring and I’m glad to have met you. I’m going to go now. Have a good life”


Stranger disconnects. A bunch of kids doing lip syncing gets connected.

Comments /

Well, nothing is concrete yet. The idea is that Joe is trying to save someone from where he is, over the internet. The girl could be anywhere in the world and that idea itself is actually really chilling for me. Because like Joe, we know nothing of this girl. We may or may not be compelled to want to save her too – I think this depends largely on how the conversation is crafted in order to direct and bring out that conviction of this girl and why she believes that dying is the best solution. It might be fake, it might be real, we wouldn’t know as well.

I contemplated having a webcam girl asking for help (like she’s being forced into adult cam or something). Or some life threatening situation, but I think this situation works best for me. Although the least exciting, I think it gives us space to observe the conversation and get to know both Joe and the girl.

Lastly, like I mentioned above, I would like to film Joe’s reality as well, apart from it just being on the computer. Mostly how he deals with things that we don’t see outside the frame of the computer’s camera.

Anyway, would love to hear from you guys.