severance (TV)

Executive Summary

Pass/Consider/Recommend/Highly Recommend
Engine: Gemini


Explanation: Severance is a highly original and thought-provoking screenplay with strong potential. The concept is unique and engaging, the dialogue is sharp and witty, and the world-building is excellent. However, the pacing could be tightened, and some characters could be further developed. Overall, Severance is a compelling story that is sure to generate interest from audiences and networks.

Engine: GPT4


Explanation: Severance is a compelling and intellectually engaging screenplay that explores deep themes of identity and memory through a unique narrative structure. The protagonist's journey is well-developed, and the dialogue is sharp and meaningful. While the pacing could be improved and some scenes simplified for clarity, the overall narrative is strong and offers significant potential for a thought-provoking film.

See Full Analysis

USP: "Severance" is a captivating and thought-provoking television drama that explores the themes of identity, reality, and the boundaries between work and personal life. With its unique blend of mystery, humor, and existentialism, the series offers a fresh and original perspective on human nature and the modern workplace. Unlike other dramas in the psychological thriller genre, "Severance" stands out with its distinctive characters, innovative storytelling techniques, and its compelling exploration of the psychological and emotional consequences of corporate control and manipulation. Unraveling the secrets of the Lumon Corporation and the enigmatic characters within, "Severance" keeps viewers on the edge of their seats, eager to discover the truth behind the cryptic messages and the sinister motivations that drive the mysterious organization.

Genres: Drama, Mystery, Thriller, Sci-Fi, Psychological Thriller, Psychological, Dark Comedy, Crime, Science Fiction

Setting: Present day or near future, Unclear, but features an office building, a suburban neighborhood, and a forest

Overview: The screenplay boasts a strong overall score of 8.1, reflecting its compelling premise, engaging characters, and thought-provoking themes. Its originality and unpredictable nature create a captivating experience, while the exploration of identity and corporate control resonates deeply with contemporary audiences. However, opportunities exist to refine pacing, character development, and emotional depth to elevate the screenplay to its full potential.

Themes: Identity and Existence, Control and Power, Isolation and Alienation, Choice and Morality, Existential Dread, Grief and Loss, Duality and Paradox

Conflict and Stakes: Mark's struggle to uncover the truth about his past and present, as well as the ethical implications of the severance procedure. The stakes include Mark's identity, his relationship with his colleagues, and the well-being of the overall organization.

Overall Mood: Tense, mysterious, and unsettling, with a sense of paranoia and uncertainty

Mood/Tone at Key Scenes:

  • Scene 1: The opening scene, where Mark wakes up on the table in the sterile room, immediately creates a sense of disorientation and unease.
  • Scene 5: The scene where Mark is pursued by security guards through the maze of cubicles, is a tense and chaotic sequence that highlights Mark's vulnerability and desperation.
  • Scene 12: The scene where Mark watches the tape of his interview with Harmony Cobel, is a pivotal moment that reveals the true nature of the severance procedure and the company's sinister intentions.

Standout Features:

  • Unique Hook: The concept of severance, which allows employees to have their work memories surgically separated from their personal memories.
  • Plot Twist : The revelation that Mark's decision to undergo severance was not as simple as it seemed and that he had a deeper connection to the company than he initially realized.
  • Distinctive Setting : The mysterious and isolated office building where the severance procedure takes place, creating a sense of unease and uncertainty.
  • Innovative Idea : The exploration of the ethical implications of the severance procedure and the question of what it means to be truly human.
  • Unique Characters : The eccentric and enigmatic characters who work at Lumon, each with their own motivations and secrets.
  • Genre Blend : The screenplay blends elements of psychological thriller, science fiction, and dark comedy, creating a unique and captivating cinematic experience.

Comparable Scripts:

  • The Matrix
  • Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
  • The Truman Show
  • The Parallax View
  • The Prisoner
  • The Adjustment Bureau
  • Mr. Robot
  • Black Mirror: White Christmas
  • 1984
  • The Game
Market Analysis

Budget Estimate:Likely between $10-20 million

Target Audience Demographics: Adults aged 25-54, fans of psychological thrillers, science fiction, and philosophical dramas

Marketability: The screenplay has a unique and intriguing concept, a talented cast, and explores timely and relevant themes. It has the potential to attract a wide audience and generate buzz.

While the screenplay has a strong concept and well-written characters, its unconventional narrative structure and dark themes may limit its appeal to mainstream audiences.

The screenplay's high production value, talented cast, and timely themes could appeal to streaming services and limited theatrical release, ensuring a solid return on investment.

Profit Potential: Likely moderate to high, depending on production costs and marketing effectiveness. The screenplay has the potential to generate revenue through theatrical release, streaming services, and international distribution.

Scene Level Percentiles
Script Level Percentiles
Writer's Voice

Summary:The writer's voice is characterized by sharp and witty dialogue, existential themes, and a blend of humor and mystery, creating a distinct and engaging tone.

Best representation: Scene Scene 12. This scene is the best representation of the writer's voice because it showcases the blend of dark humor, surreal dialogue, and existential themes that define the script. The dialogue is sharp and witty, revealing the characters' inner thoughts and motivations, while the discussion of the job offer and the consequences of accepting it raises questions about morality, identity, and the nature of work.

Memorable Lines:

  • Mark: I'm never going to leave here. (Scene 16)
  • MARK: What kind of monster am I? Who hits a cat and then drives off to interview for a job no sane person would even want? (Scene 10)
  • Mark: I'm being held here. I'm being held against my will. (Scene 2)
  • Woman: I want to see my baby! (Scene 7)
  • Helly: Because you’re more likely to accept it once they’ve broken you some. (Scene 6)

Writing Style:

The screenplay displays a unique and eclectic blend of writing styles, incorporating elements of suspense, mystery, surrealism, dark humor, and philosophical depth. The scenes often explore complex psychological dynamics, existential themes, and unconventional storytelling techniques.

Style Similarities:

  • Charlie Kaufman
  • David Lynch
  • Christopher Nolan
Other Similarities: The screenplay also demonstrates influences from other notable screenwriters and filmmakers, such as Yorgos Lanthimos, Quentin Tarantino, and Richard Linklater. This blend of styles creates a cohesive yet distinctive voice for the screenplay.
Story Shape