Script File


Dr. Lauren Atwood has dedicated her life to human genetics. Often, to the detriment of time with her husband and daughter. But when her daughter suddenly dies it’s within human genetics that Lauren finds her salvation and, maybe, a second chance by attempting to clone her daughter and carry the clone to term. Based in the present day and reflecting only real and current science and technologies, Carbon explores what happens when grief, innovation, and love collide and what happens when someone who can...does.

  • Claire McClanahan
  • Project Type:
  • Number of Pages:
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
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  • First-time Screenwriter:
  • Student Project:
  • 2016 Nashville Film Festival Screenwriting Competition
    Nashville, TN
  • 2017 Tribeca Film Institute All-Access and Sloan Foundation Grants

Writer Biography - Claire McClanahan

Claire is an Emmy Award-winning writer and producer whose work has been honored at the Telly, Gracie Allen and New England Emmy Awards, and screened at the LA Shorts and Arizona Film Festivals.

Her feature film, Carbon, was an official selection for the Cannes Film Festival / Breaking Through the Lens finance initiative, an official selection for the Orlando Film Festival Screenwriting Competition, a PAGE Screenwriting Awards Quarter-Finalist, a Stowe Story Labs/PAGE Awards Fellowship Finalist, and an official selection for the NYC Mayor's Office / Winston Baker Finance Lab. Carbon was also a finalist for the Tribeca Film Institute Sloan and All-Access Grants, finalist for the Athena Film Festival, and semi-finalist for the Nashville Film Festival.

She wrote, produced and starred in Simpatico the Web series, an interactive show in which the audience determined plot outcomes through online voting and has produced branded content for Refinery 29, The Atlantic, Huffington Post, Travel+Leisure, Southern Living, Real Simple, and Facebook Live videos for Guinness World Records including a live interview with NASA’s International Space Station.

As an actor, she has appeared Off-Broadway, in numerous NYC, regional, and touring productions, Blue Bloods on CBS, the new Amazon series, Modern Love, and upcoming independent feature film, Angelfish.

Claire has worked extensively in PR, marketing, and branding for many major brands and initiatives and studied strategic communications at Columbia University in New York.

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Writer Statement

Carbon began when I first heard about Dolly the Sheep. I instantly thought cloning would, at some point, move into human science but I wondered how. What would make someone do something like that? Fame? Discovery? Grief?

Carbon was born. A mother and scientist grappling with grief and a hotshot biologist looking for the fast track to fame started taking form.

As the script came together, story after story came out in newspapers, magazines, and on the radio, about advances in biotechnology, stem cell research, genetics, human reproduction, and the scientific community’s grappling with ethical boundaries. Then, in November 2018, Chinese scientist He Jiankui announced that he had created the first gene-edited babies. Suddenly my script has transformed from a grounded glimpse into a potential future to an all-to-real cautionary tale.

When I became a mother I was shaken to my core by the love I felt for my daughter and now understood, on a molecular level, what might motivate this fictional grieving mother.

With Carbon I seek to tell an intimate, character driven story about human cloning from a mother’s perspective, where provocative science is not so much the focus as it is a lens through which we explore humanity, motherhood, parenting, life, loss and love.

We will portray science and scientists in a realistic fashion. We will never use SFX to portray the science and technology; we will show what we film and nothing more.

It will feel tangible, like it could be happening right next door, to someone you know, to you…because it is.