WRITING

Aftermath- Pilot (2010)

I’m posting this mostly because a new J.J. Abrams-produced show came out called Revolution. I’m not a very big fan of that show, and moreover it coincidentally stole an idea I had for this pilot, which I never finished. Both shows involve a mysterious worldwide loss of power and the teasers are uncannily similar. Both have a character speaking to another character on the phone while driving down a highway. The power goes out, and the teaser ends on shots of planes falling out of the sky and exploding. Then there’s the act break and the start of the next act takes place after the blackout (in the case of my pilot only three years have passed, not fifteen).

It really blows my mind how similar those two teasers are, and it’s also bizarre as this isn’t the first time a Bad Robot show has been similar to something I was writing. One of my other pilots, Portal turned out to have a pretty similar mythos to Fringe. However, in this case I think my pilot is far better than Revolution. It’s dark, it’s gritty and the cause of the blackout is a more centralized plot point. Aftermath is bright and pretty and icky- it’s designed to be a family-friendly adventure series and it utterly fails as a post-apocalypse story.

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The Dead of Night (2011)

My most recent feature script, this horror film has been seeing the rounds in some script festivals as of late, and actually placed at #6 in the International Horror & Sci-Fi Film Festival. Originally titled In Darkness, I was forced to change it when the NYU Screenplay Bank informed me that another production had already taken it. I’ve also recently discovered that an upcoming horror film now shares my current title, so let me know if you have any ideas for a new, compelling title.

The script follows an American wildlife photographer commissioned by National Geographic to shoot a rare toucan in the Central American nation of Belize. He’s joined by a local guide and an ex-SAS helicopter pilot, and needless to say, things quickly go awry when they head into the rainforest. I don’t want to reveal too much, because it’s more effective if you read it without knowing what’s going to happen, but there’s monsters.

Fed up with the clichés of the horror genre, I decided to write a creature feature/man vs. wild film that didn’t create contrived backstories for its protagonists or throw in numerous supporting characters for the sole purpose of creating a high body count. I felt it would be more effective if there was no build up to the action- in fact it’s only a mere eight pages before shit hits the fan- and if many horrible things happened to a small group of people rather than having countless jack-offs follow mysterious noises to their dooms.

This script has generated some interest among producers who read the logline from the Screenplay Bank, and I’m currently looking for agents or managers to help me sell it.

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Demon Seed (2009)

This is a short story I wrote for Intro to Creative Writing during my Senior year. The name comes from a Nine Inch Nails song, whose lyrics were also an inspiration for the theme and style. The original version had virtually no backstory for the three characters’ prior relationship; I added it based on comments from my professor and peers. I regretted the change later (partly because my story wasn’t accepted to West 4th Street magazine) when I realized neither my professor, nor anyone else in the class was very good at writing. Almost made me glad I hadn’t minored in Creative Writing while at NYU. That being said, this is still one of my favorite works.

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JP4 (2009)

When the producers of Jurassic Park 4 announced that the project was delayed indefinitely, I realized now was my chance- my chance to write the most awesome Jurassic Park script ever. And who better to write it than my friend and fellow JP-obsessive Rob Malone? We watched all three movies in succession and banged out some ideas, but didn’t get too far on the actual script. We wrote 19 pages, only 4 of which were Rob’s. The collaboration fell apart because we were both too busy with other stuff, and because truth be told we really had no idea where we were going with the story. All we had were random images and scenes we, as fans, would like to see in a fourth installment. You can see some of those ideas here.

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The Last Scientist (2009)

This is the second story I wrote for Intro to Creative Writing. It changed little after peer review, probably because everyone in the class thought it was so cool. I felt I had seen and read lots of sci-fi stories where religion is outlawed in the future, but never science. So I imagined a post-apocalypse where human society was so terrified by science’s capacity for destruction that they had eliminated it from the culture altogether.

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Portal- Pilot (2010)

This is, I think, the best thing I’ve ever written, which is unfortunate, because shortly after finishing the first draft, I discovered that J.J. Abrams’ Fringe shared a very similar mythos. I had hoped this script, about an amnesiac from another dimension, would be my ticket into the television writing industry. Unfortunately I was beaten to the punch. I am still incredibly proud of the pilot. It reads well, but more importantly, reads like it’s actually a TV pilot. I’ve recently considered rewriting this to make it less like Fringe, removing the FBI element and focusing on its H.P. Lovecraft roots.

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Portal- Short (2009)

This is the revised shooting script for the short film that inspired the above pilot, produced in my final semester of college for Tisch’s Advanced Television Production course. Don’t let that title deceive you- the class had absolutely nothing to with television and was kind of a travesty. Instead of learning how to write TV pilots or specs, all we learned was how to write short films that were then handed over to whippersnapper directors who didn’t realize writers are the bosses in TV. Regardless, and despite various technical issues, it’s probably the best and most professional film I’ve ever made and in my opinion, was in the top three of the six films made for the class. Since NYU dropped the ball it has yet to be completed- I’m still fiddling with the color correction and looking for some original music, but I plan to have it in the can before I move to Los Angeles. Until then, feel free to read the screenplay in its entirety. Eventually I’ll get around to uploading the finished film to my Video section.

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A Presence (2010)

I’m a big fan of H.P. Lovecraft and much of his work has influenced my own. Both the pilot I wrote, Portal and the short film I produced which inspired it, had shades of Lovecraft in their narratives, so a full-blown adaptation was the logical next step. I had wanted to flex my muscles and see how I handled adapting someone else’s work, but decided to start things small, by tackling Lovecraft’s short story, “A Colour Out of Space.” I had dreams of creating a trilogy of Lovecraftian shorts, starting with Portal and ending with a film that connected it to “The Colour Out of Space.” So I tapped my friends Andrés and Sarith over at Kloud TV to help me produce it. The script went through various drafts and titles, and in one incarnation combined Lovecraft’s tale with the conspiracy surrounding the Roswell UFO incident. It’s current incarnation actually sticks more closely to the original story than prior drafts, though I kept the 1947 setting. Even after cutting the script down Andrés still deemed it was too expensive to undertake on his own, and thus it has been stuck in limbo as I don’t really know how to secure financing for shorts. I am quite proud of it though, and still hope to one day see it made, though I am now planning on adapting it into a feature film instead. If you’ve got cash and like horror movies, drop me a line and maybe we can make it together.

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