2013 I got into Second Round (aka "top 10%") at Austin Film Festival with two screenplays! I've entered 2-3 scripts to the contest for many years, but this time was my first two-fer. CUNNING MAN and LILITH CODE, for the win! (Actually, they didn't go further than semifinals.)
2012 was the year I finally broke down and did a screenplay rewrite for a producer (I love giving feedback and getting story development credit; much easier!). For Mark Kotowski with Bright Shining City Productions I rewrote a contemporary melodrama he calls MORAL OBLIGATION and I call PRIMA, after he asked me a 3rd time. He's shopping around the previous (no conflict) version, dang it, but we had a table read of my version at Austin Screenwriters Group and it a) made people cry (!!) and b) got praise from people who'd actually worked on previous versions. One person called it the best script ASG had read aloud... They liked my midpoint reveal and classical story underpining.
2011 I completed a fun, horror short, TERROR EYES, and already have a friend interested in producing it. DEEPER & DEEPER had its regional premier at the Violet Crowne Cinema, and several of my friends came. Also, THE CUNNING MAN made it to 2nd round in Austin Film Festival, and I coordinated a workshop with Karl Iglesias, author of Writing for Emotional Impact.
I taught a two-hour class on screenwriting for the (new) Texas Chapter of A Room of Her Own on November 6, 2010. Later, I read some of my work aloud at the AROHO event at Bookwoman. This was also the year I coordinated a workshop with Tim Albaugh, UCLA script instructor and guru and Pixar consultant.
CAN'T SAY NO, the comedy screenplay I wrote using Blake Snyder's 15 Beats (from his final workshop in Austin), was quarterfinalist in the Open Door (Bender Spinks) screenplay contest 2009.
DARK BLOOD (now called THE LILITH CODE) got to semifinals in FINAL DRAFT. Also to quarterfinals in the Final Draft Contest. That means it was in the top 500 of 2500 submissions for 2007/08. And I got to send it to producer Andy Cohen with Grade A Entertainment, and to Seth Lockhart, agent/ manager with Creative Instinct.
I took a development job (meaning: getting the script story into shape and assisting with casting) with Bright Shining City Productions. The psycholological suspense screenplay, DEEPER & DEEPER, was written by local playwright and indie-award -winning actress, Cyndi Williams, from a story by Mariusz Kotowski. I helped turn the story into a twisty tale of erotic suspense (yeah, baby!) and it came out great despite the micro budget. Plus now I have an Associate Producer credit! And that photo above is me being interviewed for their "Behind the Scenes" documentary. UPDATE: The movie is winning "best screenplay," "best director," and "best actor" awards in some of the film festivals, yay!
October 2005, we filmed my 6-page short HELLO, OFFICER right here in Austin. It's just got three characters and one setting. Angela Lee is the producer, and she used her many local contacts with FilmAustin to get the talent in front of and behind the camera. I got to be script supervisor, which was a trip! The plan is to get it placed in some film festivals! Watch the low-res version on YouTube.
Turning my fiction into movies was always a goal of mine. I'm a proud member of the Austin Screenwriters Group for the past six or seven years and have started doing development with local movie production companies. Plus I've gotten to study with the amazing Robert McKee in his Story workshop, with Blake Snyder before his untimely death), with Chris Vogler on The Writer's Journey, with Michael Hague, Ken Trottier, and Ken Rotcop. I've also been a reader and 2nd round judge for the Austin Heart of Film competition for many years.
I really enjoy screenwriting, but it's very, very hard work. I've got several feature length screenplays done now, have outlined a few more, have a half-dozen short scripts, and am working on a high-concept romantic comedy. I'm in the market for an agent, or a producer, or both. If you see a logline below you like, please email me for a copy of the script!
CAN'T SAY NO is a family comedy about a geeky, ignored engineer who invents creativity glasses to help his overworked team of product developers become more productive. Their job at a combo Ronco-type product company and Home Shopping Network is driving them all crazy since the new Assoc Producer cut their project schedules by half. But turns out the glasses have a side effect: they make the wearer so charismatic people are drawn to them, hang on their every word, and find it impossible to deny them anything they ask for.
HEAVEN & NELL is modern fantasy with a lot of soul. What happens when a con woman trying to go straight winds up in the one town in American where dishonesty can end the world as we know it? A recovering grifter thinks she's been left a bake shop in the same small town where she experienced first love. But she and her precocious daughter show up to find an eerily wholesome community with a secret of Biblical proportions. Confusion, complications, and all Hell breaks loose in the sleepy streets of Enoch. Read the synopsis of Heaven & Nell.
THE CUNNING MAN is period fantasy. In an alternate Colonial America where magic is a way of life, the plucky bride of Boston's best alchemist (a "cunning man" in the language of the times) disguises herself as a boy to go to sea to win a treasure and save her family. But the merchantmen who hired her? They're really pirates in disguise. And their treasure? It's guarded by a fierce and hungry monster. Read the synopsis of The Cunning Man.
THE LILITH CODE is a scifi thriller that draws on Jewish legends of Lilith, Adam's first wife, combined with the new science of evolution biology, which can trace DNA back to man's first female ancestor. Randi, a reclusive artist, can pick up on the violent and sexual thoughts of others. Her successful stockbroker brother has a breakdown and commits a horrible act. The family's power and wealth keeps him out of prison, instead allowing him go with his family to an eerie, remote facility in the Blueridge Mountains. Imagine the Stepford Village by day, but the Island of Dr. Moureau by night... Randi cons her way in, where she learns that monsters really do exist--and that she'd rather be a daughter of Lilith than of Eve. Read the synopsis of Lilith Code .
AMISH MEN is Southern Gothic. Cissy is a high-spirited, ex-cheerleader whose father has condemned her to live in a trailer with her bastard son on a turkey farm in Concrete, Texas. She becomes convinced that the local Amish are plotting to steal Petey, but nobody takes her seriously. So she steals her father's rifle...Read the synopsis of Amish Men.
TERROR EYES is a short film that takes the high school boo! scare genre and turns it upside down to make creepy existential horror. Written to be made on a micro-budget, it's the story of when the cool kids take the odd, new girl in school to a midnight adventure at the haunted Redvine Clinic. But turns out she knows the place better than they do, and their plans go awry. If you'd like to read the script please email me.
MOTHER DEVINE is a short film, set mostly on a city bus, and with only a few speaking parts. When the world as we know it almost ends one morning, uber-Yuppie Clarissa meets a powerful matron and learns a lesson about the interconnectedness of all things. Read a short synopsis of Mother Devine.
PERFECT BEAUTY is a short (24 page) horror script based on a story that appeared in Gorezone, sister pub to Fangoria. The scent of evil is in the air as a mysterious woman confronts a ruthless Houston socialite about her past. No synopsis is posted; if you'd like to read the teleplay please email me.
DESIREE'S SHADOW is a 10-page script based on my award-winning story in Dead of Night, a magazine for vampire erotica. Only three characters, a total of four voices, and two sets. It will require some minimal amount of special f/x, but I already have an Effects Assessment from Gary Walker of Tex F/X.
THE GOOD LAW Zen-like and enigmatic describes this short (6 pages) script about how enlightenment comes when you're not looking for it. The story: A Junior Leaguer socialite meets the Bodhidarma in the streets of downtown Austin--but she thinks he's just a homeless man with one shoe. No synopsis is posted; if you'd like to read the script please email me
HELLO, OFFICER is the story of a traffic cop who encounters a couple of crazy sisters. This was optioned by Big Plume Productions and was filmed October 2005. Here's information about the crew and filming.
If you're a producer or agent, please email me if interested in reading any of my scripts.