In Post-production

Waking Up in IdahoComedy

Two foster siblings who used to live together try the patience of their new separate foster moms on a wilderness trip in Idaho.

Status: Post-production. Doing color correction and sky replacements.
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Completed Scripts

This is the meatanchor.

SERGEANT MEAT— Dark Comedy (Based On A True Story)

This is the “as told to” story of my chiropractor, who was a medic in Iraq. It reads kind of like the original “Catch-22”, except Mike was in the war quite willingly. But the level of absurdity is the same. I see it as an antiwar movie that can’t be called unpatriotic, because it’s simply the truth.

Status: Complete at 105 pages. Click below to visit the site and see the exact level of craziness.
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“2012: The Ascension of Maggie Martinez” — Comedy

A young Latina is so convinced the world is going to end on December 21 of 2012 that she quits her job, gives her car to her brother, and…sleeps with her boyfriend’s best friend. None of this would matter if the world had ended as she predicted. But since the world doesn’t end, it’s a problem!

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Scripts in Progress

This is the jalananchor.

JALAN JALAN — Drama (set in Indonesia)

The story of a young man caught between lingering in a sad but familiar past and embracing a future that has yet to give any real sign of hope.

British author Mike Stoner won the UK Guardian newspaper’s award for best self-published book of the year in 2016, and I am lucky enough to be adapting this beautiful story for the screen.

James Harper’s beloved girlfriend Laura has suddenly died. He has run away to Indonesia to teach English and try to forget her. Though his new surroundings provide plenty of wild and unexpected experiences, Laura haunts him—literally. Entranced by this new land and the new friendships and adventures it affords, he struggles to make the self-transformation necessary to make a new life. Can he banish this lovely ghost from his mind? Does he really want to? Is she an illusion of his damaged heart, or is she real? A story that will resonate for anyone who has ever been caught between their past and their future selves.

Status: I’ve converted 71% of the book to a very rough draft screenplay.

THE HORROR! — Comedy

Odd-couple half sisters Sophie and Elena join forces, with only 10 days to make a horror film. Everything that can go wrong does go wrong, and finally, when their monster costume burns to a crisp, they must resort to supernatural means to finish their film.

Sophie is a free-spirited actress in LA trying to be a filmmaker. Her half sister Elena is a novice but disciplined New York theatre producer coming to LA to work with Sophie on a low-budget horror film. They have only 10 days to shoot the film before Elena has to return to New York to start production on her first Off-Broadway show. After several mishaps and recoveries by their crew (who Sophie proudly found on LinkedIn), their monster suit gets burnt to a crisp. With no earthly hope left, they turn to supernatural means to finish their film. And just how, exactly, does that work?

Status: 80 pages so far.
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Six people who have lost loved ones go to a retreat for grief therapy at Socorro Ranch. Some go willingly, and others are coerced into it by caring relatives or concerned bosses. A respected grief therapist is supposed to be there to guide and help them, but she goes into labor two months prematurely and can’t come to the ranch. So the six people are left to deal with their grief without her.

Status: 65 pages so far.
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This is the silveranchor.

GOING SILVER — Sci-Fi Thriller

People disappearing into alternate universes is a hard problem to solve. Best not to admit it’s even happening.

At first, it’s suspected that perhaps these young adults “have just run away.” Until it’s revealed that one mother actually saw her daughter vanish, the haptic VR suit crumpling to the floor as her body is no longer there to support it. The authorities don’t find this out right away, as the stunned mother is catatonic in a mental hospital for a week before she can even vocalize what happened. A physicist theorizes how the disappearances could have happened, but has no idea how to get them back, or even figure out where they are. After all, as the company’s ads say: “The possibilities are limitless.”

Status: I’ve brainstormed with an executive at a think-tank, and consulted with renowned physicist and author Thomas Campbell (formerly with NASA, the DOD, and The Monroe Institute) about the technical and scientific aspects. I have invented all the key characters, written some key scenes, and finished a treatment—with a rather brilliant ending, if I may say so.
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BIKER BABES — Comedy (Inspired By A Real Person)

What does a biker look like? In this case it looks like a 63-year-old former high school homecoming queen in a small town in Michigan. Lainie rode for 30 years alongside her husband Andy—on her own bike, because she “liked the power to determine my own destiny.” But Andy died of cancer two years ago, and a devastated Lainie has not recovered. When her friend Jo invites Lainie on a bike ride to California to visit her mother, she declines. But Jo, with a little trickery (okay, a bold-faced lie), takes advantage of Lainie’s compassionate nature to rouse her into getting back on her bike. Once they’re on the road, troubles and joys small and large both push the pair apart and bind them together. But will Jo’s lie unravel the whole thing? And are these two biker babes just too old for this shit?

Status: I’ve written 42 pages so far: a pretty darn good opening sequence, along with several other key scenes, The real-life “Lainie” has graciously sat down with me and shared stories of her adventurous life, and those have given me much inspiration. Most of the scenes so far have come from my imagination, though, and Lynne herself likes to stress that this is not her story—it’s just inspired by her story. But I’m trying to keep the story true to the person I know Lynne Farley to be.
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“A resourceful homeless man and an Iraqi immigrant cautiously form a friendship at the library. Two librarians watch them with suspicion, but eventually open up. All four characters will enjoy much fuller lives by the end, due to opening up their notions of who is worthy of respect and who is not.”

Status: 35 pages so far.
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書いて、ください = KAITE, KUDASAI = Write (it), Please — Comedy Feature In Japanese

Hikari says she can speak English and help make an important treaty for trade with the Americans. She actually only knows about ten words, but she figures her American counterpart will know Japanese. Guess again! He knows how to write the symbols, but not speak the words.

It’s 1854 in the small Japanese village of Inuoka, Japan. The local ruler orders a trade treaty be made with the Americans on the ship in the harbor, just as Edo (Tokyo) has just made such a treaty with Commodore Perry. 40-year-old Hikari sees this as her last chance to be somebody, and lies that she can speak English. Meanwhile, ship’s cook Albert Jenkins tells his captain he can speak Japanese. In truth, Albert loves the kanji—the 2000 characters used to write Japanese, but he only speaks about as much Japanese as Hikari speaks English. Together, they must somehow put together a treaty without being exposed as frauds.

Status: 34 pages so far. (And 17 translated into Japanese.) A Japanese producer has pronounced the opening scenes to be “hilarious already!” And he is friends with a guy who owns a model 19th century “ninja village” where the film can be shot.
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Down the Line

These are scripts I have in mind, but won’t write until later on. I do have scenes written for some of them. Algún Dīa will require exploratory travel, as well as collaboration with a Mexican writer.

THE SILENT TREATMENT — Romantic Comedy, Silent Film (Mostly)

How the heck can you win an argument if you have to keep your big mouth shut?!

Andy and Caroline parted two years ago on not very good terms. Now they unexpectedly run into each other at a silent meditation retreat…

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Chodha, 32, the last remaining monk at the Lapung monastery in Tibet, has lived there since the age of 7. Fearing life the real world, he refuses to leave until the jackhammers are pounding at the walls, since the monastery is being converted to a luxury tourist hotel. 

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SLAPSTICK — Techno-Thriller

AI gets a sense of humor…and that is so NOT a good idea!

I’m keeping this one under wraps for now, but I will say that it’s a techno-thriller in the vein of Michael Crichton films. It has the…

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Kundalini is accidentally induced in a young woman by purely mechanical means. (Not revealing how that happens until I have progress on the script.) As in real life, when kundalini comes unbidden by spiritual practices—as it sometimes does—it’s very difficult for the person to handle. In this case, the results will be comical, rather than tragic, but inspiration will be taken from documented real-life experiences. Admittedly, this project is pretty far down in the queue, but I’m really liking it, so it is going to happen.

ALGÚN DÍA (“Someday”) — Comedy, Mother/Daughter Road Trip (In Spanish)

When you realize your own best ideas have kept you stuck for years…maybe it’s time to embark on a real adventure! (Even if the idea did come from your 9-year-old daughter.)

When I lived in Tijuana, Mexico, a friend told me this story: One day her 9-year-old daughter came to her and said, “Mommy, let’s move to Paris…

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