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TWENTY-SIX REASONS TO AVOID FOREIGN PRE-SALES For Independent Feature Films

Guest Blog Post Written by Film Finance Attorney, John Cones. With over 23 years experience in Los Angeles, John Cones is a film finance attorney, author and lecturer working in the broad field of film finance with a focus on the legal work associated with investor-financing of independent entertainment projects (primarily independently produced feature and documentary films) and business start-ups. Film finance legal services include investor financing of independent film; film finance contracts, film finance books, film finance articles, lectures and seminars.

In my 30-year practice as a securities/entertainment attorney, working with independent film producers seeking to obtain film finance from private investors, some of these producers have from time to time raised the question (or possibility) of financing some or all of the production costs of their film through foreign pre-sales. This method of film finance has been around for many years and, in fact, is actively (and sometimes aggressively) promoted by certain people in the film industry because it is financially beneficial for them. These people include (1) individuals who work for the banks that make such loans (entertainment lenders), (2) individuals who work for the completion bond companies (since all of the entertainment lenders require completion bonds on films financed in this manner), (3) the foreign pre-sales agents who represent the independent producer’s film package at the film markets (e.g., Cannes in the South of France, the American Film Market in Santa Monica, the European Film Market in Berlin and the Toronto Film Festival and Market, among others) and (4) the territorial distributors themselves. Sometimes, entertainment attorneys and/or producer’s reps may also play a role in helping a film producer put together the pre-sales package designed to attract the interest of these territorial distributors.

All of these folks have a financial incentive to promote foreign pre-sales. They are regularly and actively involved in writing articles and books, along with giving lectures or appearing on film finance panels, promoting how wonderful the foreign pre-sale transaction is for financing some or possibly all of your proposed film’s production budget. They tend to overlook the disadvantages of this form of film finance. It is not in their interest to point that out. And unfortunately, most independent producers are not sophisticated enough or willing to ask the more difficult questions relating to foreign pre-sales. Thus, this article presents the other side of the issue, in an effort to counter-balance this ongoing wave of information, and sometimes misinformation, offered to filmmakers every year by the foreign pre-sale crowd (i.e., you don’t hear much about the downsides of foreign pre-sale financing in film school, or even in Hollywood for that matter, because most people with expertise in foreign pre-sales benefit from such transactions and are interested in persuading filmmakers to pursue this approach to film finance, even though the results do not necessarily benefit the producer, or any others who rely on or participate in the producer’s share of a film’s revenues).

Financial Conflicts of Interest – One of the earliest problems to be encountered by the independent film producer in seeking foreign pre-sales financing for their films is the fact that all of these people want to be paid and, of course, should be paid, but they all get paid before the producer, and anyone else relying on a share of the producer’s profit participation. In other words, all of these people benefit financially from the foreign pre-sale transactions before the film’s producer ever sees a dime in profit participations, so their financial interests are not necessarily aligned with that of the producer. In many instances, they could care less whether the actual release of the film generates any profits, since they’ve already made their money. Thus, all of these people have a financial reason for promoting foreign pre-sales that is quite independent of whether the film deserves to be produced in the first place, or whether the film will result in a profit for the producer.

Development Costs – Secondly, putting together a film package that will attract the interest of territorial distributors typically requires a significant expenditure of money. There may be costs associated with acquiring the underlying rights to a story, or rights to a script. In order to get a professionally-prepared and reliable production budget, a fee may need to be paid to an experienced line producer.

Attachments – The most expensive item of all, however, is the cost associated with attaching elements to the project. It is extremely difficult to attract the interest of territorial distributors in a film project without recognizable names attached, either for the lead roles and/or the film’s director. If these individuals have enough name recognition to add value to the film project, they are also most likely to be at a point in their careers to demand at least a non- refundable deposit in exchange for the commitment of their time. In other words, if they are actually committed to appear in or work on your film, they have to contractually block out a specific time period on their own calendars, and turn down any other work opportunities that conflict with that time commitment. They and their agents want to be compensated for that commitment. And typically, if there is no money at risk (i.e., the producer is subject to losing the non-refundable deposit if the production costs of the film are not ultimately raised) then there is no attachment – no firm commitment), and it is horribly inappropriate to run around Hollywood saying you have some name actor attached, when you really do not.

Most independent film producers do not have the cash on hand to cover these preliminary (i.e., development costs). That’s one of the reasons why we often see wealthy individuals get involved in helping to finance this stage of a film project. They have the money and are willing to assume the risk – at least somebody was able to talk them into assuming this risk. In the alternative, an independent producer could conduct what we refer to as a “development offering” to investors, where the money needed for the development costs, script, budget, attachments and other expenses are raised from passive investors. This allows the producer to avoid having to pay out of pocket for these development costs and tends to spread the risk amongst a larger group of passive investors. Such offerings typically however, involve the sale of a security, and the producer will need to associate with a securities attorney in order to properly conduct such an offering. That’s another article.

Foreign Pre-Sales Agent Expenses – So, let’s say you are able to assemble an attractive film package, with a commercial script (and you have a clean and demonstrable chain of title), a professionally-prepared production budget and a legitimately attached recognizable name director and lead actors (the basics), along with a one-sheet, poster, trailer and/or pitch deck (the additional bells and whistles that may be helpful in marketing your film package to prospective territorial distributors), and you want an experienced and reputable foreign sales agent to represent your film package at one or more of the film markets. That will also cost money. There are fees to be paid to the film market to both attend, and for the right to set up shop at the market and promote your film package, in addition to the expenses to be incurred by the foreign sales agent (travel, hotel, meals, entertainment, etc.) that need to be covered.

Another Conflict of Interest – This is a tricky area. Is it possible that some foreign sales agents who agree to represent the film packages of more than one independent film producer at the same market, will inflate their estimated expenses, or worse, ask each producer to cover 100% of the foreign sales agents expenses, thus creating a situation in which the foreign sales agent is making money by double or triple-dipping into several producers’ pockets for the same expenses? How does a producer prevent either of these problems from happening? And, how does a producer know that the foreign sales agent is making his or her best effort in representing the producer’s film package as opposed to the other film projects the foreign sales agent is also representing, at the same market? Again, we have a conflict of interest – not uncommon in the film industry. I don’t know whether you’ve noticed or not, but the film industry has long been a haven for a lot of sleazy people – scam artists of all sorts and every background (see my book Hollywood Wars – How Insiders Gained and Maintain Illegitimate Control over the Film Industry). So, your best judgment is under great pressure in these circumstances, when you are trying to select a reputable foreign sales agent, and trying to monitor whether he or she is acting in good faith on your behalf. Here’s a tip! Contractual language won’t prevent an unscrupulous foreign sales agent from engaging in such behavior, and your after-the-fact remedies are quite limited.

Ok but let’s assume that you have somehow come up with the money to pay for the development of your film package, you have the script, budget and attachments, and you have avoided the potential problems associated with the foreign sales agent and their representation of your film project at one or more film markets, and your film package is actually getting interest from some of the territorial film distributors in the top ten foreign film markets (i.e., countries). Now, you may be confronted by a whole new set of problems.

Market Fluctuations — First, we have to consider that the market for pre-sales comes and goes as the economies of various foreign territories weaken or strengthen, and as the number of available films in the marketplace in any given year increases or decreases. You cannot rely on what happened last year or the year before in any given territory.

Buyer’s Market — So long as there such a great disparity between the number of films produced and the number and capacity for distributors to distribute, the market will be a so-called buyer’s market for distributors. That tends to give more leverage in pre-sale negotiations to the territorial distributors, and they typically do not hesitate to take advantage of that disparity in negotiating power.

Increased Distribution Costs Make Pre-sales Less Practical — Fractionalized and split- rights agreements have become less practical in recent years because of the increasing relative cost of U.S. theatrical distribution. You might want to check out the list of distribution expenses attached to a distribution deal (see sample film industry agreements at www.filmfinanceattorney.com).

Cost-Value Trends do not Favor Fractionalized Pre-sales – As film production and distribution costs have increased, the percentage of revenue generated through a film’s domestic theatrical release has been reduced in relation to other media or territories. In addition, as the value of ancillary rights has increased, domestic theatrical distributors have been more likely to insist on requiring the domestic ancillary rights as part of any domestic theatrical distribution deal.

Domestic Theatrical Release Creates Value in Other Markets and Media – Also, the domestic theatrical distributors point out that their expenditures on advertising and publicity helps to create value for a film in the other markets; thus, in all fairness, they should be allowed to participate in those markets.

More Offers Means Less Reason to Pre-sell – Theoretically, the more value a film is presumed to have, the higher the offers distributors and ancillary buyers are willing to make to keep their competition from buying the same rights. But the more offers the producer gets for ancillary rights, the more confident the producer can be that the film actually has value and that all rights can subsequently be sold to an important distributor.

Foreign or Fractionalized Pre-sales May Eliminate Domestic Distributors – U.S. theatrical distributors often insist upon all or substantially all rights to help cover recoupment not only of advances to the producer, but also their increased distribution costs. That is, any ancillary right that has significant value will be demanded by the domestic theatrical distributor as a prerequisite of distribution. Thus, the producer who pre-sells any of the rights (e.g., territorial or specific media) to a film runs the risk of pre-selling the film out of a domestic theatrical release. And since these other rights will probably require a domestic theatrical release at a specified level (e.g., number of theatres), if there is no domestic theatrical release, then these pre-sell agreements are likely to be voided.

Pre-sales Bring Lower Prices — We have to recognize that territorial distributors know their market better than the independent producer, or the foreign sales agent. They have a much better idea how much money they could possibly make by distributing your film in their country, but to hedge their bets, they are not going to offer you (the film’s producer) top dollar for those rights. They are going to low-ball you. The reality is that such distributors are considering several films to fill their distribution slots for the year and on the whole, we’re producing way too many films each year. As a result, the price that a buyer is willing to pay before seeing a prospective film will generally be less than that which the same buyer would pay for the same film as a completed motion picture. These territorial distributors want to be assured that they will make a profit off of your film.

Giving Away Your Film’s Upside Potential — Film production companies relying on pre- sale strategies may succeed in reducing but not eliminating their downside risk, while giving away much of a film’s upside potential. Why do we say that? (see Collection Difficulties below)

Collection Difficulties — Pre-sales are based on contingencies, for example, the actual collection of moneys due from the providers of pre-sale contracts have turned out to be difficult in many instances – often more difficult than collecting from domestic distributors. In other words, by agreeing to a minimal distributor advance (payable upon delivery of the completed film to each territorial distributor) that is likely to be all of the money you’ll ever receive from that territorial distributor for that country. So, in effect, by engaging in a foreign pre-sale transaction, you have effectively given away your upside potential for being paid any profit participation for the exploitation of your film in that country – one of the top ten film markets in the world). If you combine that with half a dozen other such territories, you’ve given away a significant part of your potential profit. If you’d like to see many of the reasons why it is difficult to collect profit participations from any film distributor, take a look at the monograph “337 Business Practices of the Major Studio/Distributors”. So, when you are talking to foreign sales agent, ask the question: “Can you refer me to some of your former producer clients who have actually collected profit participations from that particular territorial distributor or in that territory?”

The “A”Picture Dilemma — Many industry observers today suggest that it is difficult to pre-sell rights in major markets around the world without an extremely strong film package, the so-called “A” picture. On the other hand, if a producer has an “A” picture, why should it be necessary to seek pre-sales? Furthermore, the stronger motion picture package will generally require more money to produce; therefore, more pre-sales will have to be made. In addition, the stronger the pre-sale package is, the more money it will take to obtain the firm commitments from talent.

Takes too Much Time — Since it generally takes much more time to contact and negotiate with multiple interested buyers of pre-sold rights in the various media and territories, producers using pre-sales may encounter a lengthier time lag between the start of their pursuit of pre-sales and the start of production than some other forms of film finance. Of course, this further complicates the attachment problem, since you’ve had to commit in advance to a specified start date in order to obtain the firm commitments from talent.

Higher Cost of Capital — Companies relying on pre-sales will inevitably have a relatively high cost of capital compared to some other forms of film finance. For example, in a foreign territory pre-sale, the entertainment lender’s principal, interest and fees are collected out of the distributor advances upon delivery of the completed film. Some completion guarantors charge an up-front fee (based on a variable percentage of all production costs other than the contingency, interest and finance costs) and agree to rebate a portion of it to the producer if no claims are made after the film is delivered. This is sometimes referred to as a “no claims rebate.” Also, as noted earlier, the sales agent’s expenses may have to be advanced prior to his or her attendance at markets and the sales agent’s fee will typically be recouped out of the film’s revenue stream, in addition to the costs and fees of the foreign distributor, before the producer will receive payments, if any, beyond the producer’s advance.

Only Part of the Financing Needed – Generally, foreign pre-sales can only provide a part of the total financing of a film’s budget. Thus, in addition to spending the time and effort developing some expertise in and pursuing this form of film finance, a producer will also have to spend time and effort developing some level of expertise in and pursuing other forms of film finance to cover the entire budget.

Contractual Quagmire — From a contractual point of view, it is difficult to coordinate the various contractual concerns of the bank, the completion bond company, the producer and the various media and territories when negotiating and drafting multiple pre-sale agreements. If you are paying your attorney on an hourly fee basis, this could get expensive.

Default Disaster — If a licensee (i.e., the pre-sales purchasing entity or buyer) sees a rough cut of the film and decides it is so much worse than expected (or otherwise unsatisfactory), the buyer may notify the producer that it will not be paying the balance of the minimum guarantee and will forfeit its deposit, if any. In that event, the bank may demand that the producer repay the loan, and the producer may have to seek payment from the distributor. If the producer fails to repay the loan, the bank might foreclose on the negative if it took a lien as further collateral, or attach the film and its proceeds even if it did not have an original lien.

Simply not Available — As noted earlier, the availability of foreign pre-sales varies from year to year depending on larger economic issues in each of the countries that traditionally offer such pre-sales. As an example, as the marketplace generally is flooded with more and more feature films, it becomes less necessary for distributors in foreign territories to pre-buy the rights. They may opt to simply wait until the films are completed.

Survival of the Weakest — Pre-sales often support projects that perhaps could not and should not otherwise have been made; thus, producers seeking pre-sale commitments may be looked upon with disfavor in some segments of the industry.

Reversion Rights and Library Values — When pre-selling rights to a film in various markets and media, the production company or its attorney must be careful to coordinate provisions relating to the reversion of such rights to the producer following exploitation of the film in such markets and media. If not, the film is likely to have less value as a library asset, and confusion over the status of such rights may make it difficult to include such film in the sale of a production company’s film library.

Macroeconomics — Feature films financed in this manner increase the number of films produced in a given year and thereby increase the demand for, and thus the cost of, various film elements that are theoretically in limited supply (e.g., screenplays, directors, actors, sound stages, etc.). Also, since there are more films produced each year than there are capable and willing distributors available to distribute, the oversupply of films contributes to a significant imbalance in the bargaining strength between producers and distributors.

Losing in the Long Term — Over the long term, the relatively few films that are highly profitable for a producer using pre-sale strategies are likely to be insufficient in number or in degree of success to recoup the losses of the firm’s many non-profitable projects. In other words, the thinner potential profit margins of pre-sold films make it less likely that such a production company will financially succeed in the long run (see the study by David Royal, “Making Millions and Going Broke, How Production Companies Make Fortunes and Bankrupt Themselves”, American Premiere, November/December 1991).

Conclusion – So, what sort of conclusion can we possibly draw from these counter-points to the constant promotion of foreign pre-sales as a film finance method? One friend, in his peer review, suggested that he was relieved to learn that there are only 26 reasons to avoid foreign pre-sales, when there are 43 ways to finance his feature film. In effect, however, this article is written as a response to the suggestions made from time to time by some of the people involved with foreign pre-sales, that there are a lot of problems with investor financing of independent films. As my book points out, there are advantages and disadvantages to every form of film finance and none are easy. But, if you are bound and determined to pursue the foreign pre-sales, at least, this article may serve as a checklist of problem areas that need to be addressed and hopefully resolved. Good luck!

* This article is partly based on a section in my book 43 Ways to Finance Your Feature Film, Third Edition (Southern Illinois University Press).

Feedback – As you might expect, I did get some push-back on the above article. Here are a couple of the points made in defense of foreign pre-sales:

Point 1: First, I’ll quote one of the responses: “For most independent producers it is nearly impossible to fund 100% of the budget with equity”. This is the same sort of film industry myth that the foreign pre-sales promotion group has used for years. It’s the reason I wrote the above article. It is wildly speculative. We have no idea what “most independent producers” are capable of. On the other hand (and as a matter of fact), 62 of my independent producer clients have done exactly what this person claims is “nearly impossible”. They raised 100% of their feature and documentary film funding from investors (equity financing) for film budgets ranging from $100,000 on the low end to $20 million on the high end. Secondly, nobody said that 100% of these budgets have to be raised from investors, after all, the same tax incentives that are available to be combined with foreign pre-sales are also available to be combined with investor financing.

Point 2: Another responder suggested that knowledgeable filmmakers seeking a foreign pre-sale based production loan do not rely on after-the-fact profit participations. That instead, they inflate the budget of the film for purposes of obtaining the loan, then figure out ways to produce the film for less and pocket the balance as producer profit. Of course, he does not consider whether this amounts to bank fraud, or if some passive equity investors are also involved for a portion of that same budget, whether such misleading information rises to the level of securities fraud. Good luck with that.

Mr. Cones’ film finance related consulting concerns the choice of finance method as well as the choices relating to: form of production company, investment vehicles for raising investor funds, the advantages and disadvantages of securities versus non-securities offerings (passive investor versus active investor), federal and state securities law compliance, proper marketing of the offering, use of the Internet and expanding the pool of prospective investors for private placement offerings. In addition, he works with producer clients in developing the associated financial projections for such offerings, in preparing and submitting state and federal notice filings, creating the selected entity, box office comparables and other disclosures required to be included in the securities disclosure document (PPM, offering circular or prospectus).

In addition to the above, Mr. Cones has prepared film finance offering disclosure documents for feature film development, packaging, production, completion fund and distribution activities. His experience extends as well to live stage plays, infomercials, television pilots, music projects and other business start-up and project financing needs. Lastly, his work encompasses the preparation of film finance business plans for active investor solicitations, as well as the conduct of limited liability company, limited partnership and corporate stock offerings.

His producer client film finance offerings have successfully raised the investor financing to produce some 57 feature and documentary films (see Filmography).

He is also the author of seven books relating to film finance and distribution (see Books) and numerous articles on related subjects (see Articles). For 15 years, he has also answered thousands of questions from independent filmmakers all across the country at his question and answer website focused on Film Finance: Investor Financing of Independent Film (see Finance Forum).

Mr. Cones typically works on a modest flat-fee project basis with more than half of the fee deferred to be paid out of the offering proceeds. Filmmakers may request information relating to film offering disclosures, an engagement letter and fee schedule at jwc6774@gmail.com.

John Cones is a member of the California and Texas Bar Associations.

Presented with permission from John Cones. http://www.filmfinanceattorney.com/

Indie Comedy Film About Veterans Features Impressive Line-up Including Hollywood Legends Dick Van Dyke and Louis Gossett Jr.

Summary
May 25th, 2017 – Los Angeles:  The film, “Capture The Flag”, about a Navy veteran (Dick Van Dyke) and an Army veteran (Louis Gossett Jr.) fighting over a flagpole in a retirement community recruit a group of ragtag US military vets to wage war against each other in a game that would give the winner the right to raise the flag every morning.
 
Twin Brothers Donovan and Adam Montierth team up with Producers Barry Van Dyke and Eric J. Adams to adapt the Emmy Award winning short film, “Reveille” into what they call their patriotic “Grumpy Old Men”.  The film boasts an impressive ensemble that includes some of Hollywood’s great character actors, such as Barry Corbin, Paul Dooley, John Amos, and Rance Howard. 

 

 
***
It feels like a natural progression to try and turn the Emmy Award winning short film, Reveille, into a feature film comedy. The twin brothers behind the veteran tribute are Adam and Donovan Montierth, and their company Brothers’ Ink Productions.  The short film has also won awards at over 20 film festivals worldwide, as well as appearing on the Armed Forces Network and the Pentagon Channel.  It’s touched a cord with audiences online as it’s become a viral sensation with over 10 million views.

 

In Capture the Flag, the playful banter, teasing and prank war that escalates into a paintball war game seems to fit the rivalry between different divisions of the US military well, and the bickering veterans degrading to childish behavior seems real and effective within the confines of their environment. Besides, it’s great fun.

 

“We felt that this was a movie that could find an audience and that people would connect with the heartfelt, comedic and patriotic tone of the screenplay.” Adam recently said. The twins soon realized that was true when they had the opportunity to have Barry Van Dyke see the short film and from there read the feature film screenplay, the twins were developing. He immediately felt a connection to Reveille and told the brothers that he wanted to help them get the film made.

 

It was just the spark the Indie film needed.  “We’ve always been impressed with Barry and his work, so to have him come back with such a strong reaction helped validate the importance of the project to us.” Donovan goes on to say, “He immediately connected with the fun and heartfelt story.”  So much so, that he shared the script with his Father, the legendary actor Dick Van Dyke.  And Dick, having served himself in the Army Air Corp for two years from 1944-1945, immediately connected with the story and the characters.  To the point where he surprised Barry by asking to play the lead role.  Dick told Barry, “These are actor’s dream roles, I would love to play this part.”

 

Barry recalls that the response has been incredible.  Everyone he’s introduced the project to has had a similar reaction.  As a result, the team has been able to attach the Brother’s dream cast by adding Academy Award winning actor Louis Gossett Jr., and legendary character actors such as Barry Corbin, John Amos, Paul Dooley and Rance Howard.  

 

They have been courting some excellent directors for the project, but are keeping their choices under wraps for now. Barry has, however, managed to pick up another Hollywood great by introducing the project to his friend stunt coordinator / second unit director, Allan Graf.

 

The team behind the production is very passionate about creating a film that realistically but thoughtfully depicts the lives of a handful of war veterans and that would stand as a tribute to all men and women who have ever served under the American flag.

 

This Memorial Day Weekend, if you would like to know how you can honor our vets and help to bring back the type of family comedy that could be seen on TV during many US patriotic holidays for years to come, please visit www.Film4Vets.com.

 

For press inquiries, please contact:

 

Donovan Montierth
Brothers’ Ink Productions
 602-578-5660

 

Locker 13 the Lost Episodes Part 3

 

And the last lost episode for the Locker 13 movie…it’s appropriately tited, L.O.C.K.E.R. and it was written by Jason Marsden:

BLACK.

FADE IN:

INT. WAREHOUSE – DAY

ECU on a LOCKER.  Locker THIRTEEN, to be exact.  It stands alone, atop of a Roman pedestal, heroically in the center of a large, black room.  Locker 13, appears heavy, thick, weathered and ominous…but enough about that.

Across from Locker 13 is an audience of FARMERS. Several rows of chairs, inhabited by a group of old-ish, denim overall wearing, bearded, land owners of yore.  They sit patiently when:

A DOOR opens from the black background, illuminating BRIGHT

WHITE LIGHT that floods the inside of vast room.  From the door, at a quick pace, walks EDGAR JACKSASSY (30), smartly dressed and slick, followed by his minion, GUNTHAR RETCH (29) a lowly composite.  Edgar walks pointedly towards the farmers, pulls himself up a metal chair right in front of Locker 13 and after a beat says to the group:

EDGAR

Chickens.

Gunther, stands off to the side. Obediently watching Edgar.

The Farmers, listen…intrigued.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

The Earth’s full of ’em.  We all gotta have ’em. You’re familiar with how that goes I don’t have to tell you.  (beat) But where do you PUT ’em?

Angle on the Farmers as they react with the occasional “harfrumps, and hmmmphs”.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

Sure, a coop.  Right?  A coop for all their little chicken toes and chicken fingers to get caught, maybe broken?

Gunthar giggles to himself.

GUNTHAR

Chicken fingers.

Edgar shoots him a look.  It freezes the room.  Gunthar giggles again. Edgar composes himself and continues.

EDGAR

I know farmers. I like farmers. Heck, I’m like a farmer myself. Outstanding-in-my-field!

He impresses himself with his own joke and chuckles.  The farmers weren’t amused. Gunthar is still trying to figure it out.

Edgar breaks the silence by marching up to Locker 13 and slapping it on the side!  A dreadful, hollow, metallic sound reverberates from the slam!  It grabs everyone’s attention. Edgar continues.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

This is what you came here for!  This is what you need.  The EA JACKSASSY, military production unit…L.O.C.K.E.R.!

Big hero shot of Locker 13!  It’s ominous and spooky sitting in the middle of the room.  It’s as if the other lockers just don’t want to hang around him.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

Lithium OCtane Killius Earthanium Receptacle.  (beat) This is model thirteen.

Gunthar wheels in a tray of, we-don’t-know-what, underneath a velvet sheet. Edgar walks around Locker 13 as he explains.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

The war’s over.  But the battle has just begun!  Military doesn’t need these anymore because we’re suddenly “pro” life.  Goodness gracious. And at the same time, people want their chickens roaming the country side and free!  Free range!  Free range!  Give a chicken free range and next thing you know it’s gonna want to vote!

Gunthar thinks about chickens voting.

The Farmers seem in agreement.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

Do you know how many KFC’s there are in this country alone? Koo Koo Roos?  Popeyes? Roscoes? El Pollo Locos? Stir fry, country fry, chow main, baked, broiled, sandwich, salad, I don’t have to tell you!  Everyone needs chicken!  “What about the vegetarians”, you say? Sure, there are plenty of hippies, dippys, yuppies and buppies, in the world.  But our planet isn’t going vegetarian yet!  We’re carnivores by nature! So rest easy my friends, for you have job security.

The farmers are lost and they’re seeming less interested.

Gunthar, is just lost.  Edgar, ramps it up!

EDGAR (CONT’D)

Human kind is jonesing for fowl and you are the dealers! Demands will rise, as well as your stock!  Cages are ‘spensive!  And are you really gonna be the hillbilly bufoon on your block with thousands of chickens roaming the hillside like the Sound of fucking Music?! NO!(beat) That’s why you need this.

Edgar, returns his attention to Locker 13, touching the cool steel.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

Made from the alloy,  Killiusearthanium.  This shit was top secret.  Still is.  Adamantium is pudding next to this.  One, sixteenth of an inch thick.  That’s paper thin!

Just as he says this, from the table of goodies, Gunthar, produces a perfectly timed paper lined hoop for Edgar to punch through in punctuation!

EDGAR (CONT’D)

But with hulk-like density.

Also from the goody cart, Gunthar hands Edgar a .44, which he cocks and points at Locker 13.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

And one hundred and ten percent bullet-proof!

BLAM! BLAM! BLAM! BLAM! BLAM! Sparks dance around Locker 13.

It moves not an inch.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

So your chickens will remain intact! Gunthar!

Gunthar, hops to it, unlocks Locker 13 and swings open the door.  About a dozen CHICKENS pour out, excitedly!  Feathers fly everywhere.  Gunthar scrambles to collect the chickens.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

And it’s porous, which deters suffocation.

Edgar double takes as he notices a lone, dead, chicken resting at the bottom of the locker.  Without missing a beat:

EDGAR (CONT’D)

That one was already dead.

ECU through the BULLET HOLE on the side of the locker, right to Edgar, who looks to Gunthar, indicating for him to “take care of it”.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

Gunthar.

As Gunthar crosses, Edgar scoops the gum (Gunthar’s been chewing all this time) from Gunthar’s mouth and covers up the bullet hole on the sly.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

Tragic.  She was my favorite.  In fact, that was her name, Tragic.  She was the sick one.

As Gunthar collects the dead chicken, fresh BLOOD squirts out of the bullet wound, spraying Edgar and the Farmers. Gunthar, quickly runs out to dispose of the carcass.  Edgar breaks the tension, by SLAMMING the locker door shut!

EDGAR (CONT’D)

Anyway.  L.O.C.K.E.R. 13 is also predator proof!  Anything kept inside, stays inside.  Including odors.  Foxes, wolves, possums, any carnivore with a keen sense of smell, and with chicken on it’s menu, will never detect your valuable feathered friends if kept in this baby.  Gunthar!

Gunthar runs to attention as a rogue chicken innocently hobbles by.  Edgar maliciously snatches it up! Then cradles it in his arms, kindly strokes it’s neck as he continues:

EDGAR (CONT’D)

For example. Pretend Gunthar, is a predator! A squat, ugly, ravenous beast that hasn’t eaten in weeks.

Gunthar, gets into it, trying to emulate Edgar’s description, with hilarious, physically comedic results.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

(re: chicken in his arms) Gunthar, try to get this chicken.

Gunthar, licks his lips, bears his “claws” and pretends to stalk and attack the chicken in Edgar’s arms.  Just as he gets close enough, Edgar flings out his fist and WHAM! punches Gunthar in the face!  Gunthar, spins from the impact and sails to the ground.  Edgar continues to the farmers.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

Now you shouldn’t have to exert yourself like that. Save it for your wives and daughters, eh?  Your hands are your investment!  Instead of challenging the problem with your fists, eliminate the problem altogether!  (to Gunthar) Gunthar!

Gunthar struggles to his feet and opens the locker door.

Edgar carefully places the chicken inside. 

EDGAR (CONT’D)

Simply insert a chicken into our catch-proof locker doors, and…

SLAM! Gunthar shuts the door too fast and catches Edgar’s finger!  He reels in pain!

EDGAR (CONT’D)

Ahhhgh!

Edgar holds his finger and stares daggers at Gunthar.  Edgar takes a peek at the damage and a squirt of his own blood shoots in his face. ANGLE on the Farmers as they get sprayed…again.

Gunthar, meekly offers a hanky.  Edgar snatches it away, wraps his hand, and continues…most condescendingly…

EDGAR (CONT’D)

Now say the predator happens to miraculously sense the chicken inside our locker right here.  Which he won’t.  But let’s say he does.(pointedly to Gunthar)  Say, the worm infested, mange covered, diseased, gluttonous little bitch, approaches LOCKER 13 and tries to get inside.  Go ahead.  Try and get inside.

Gunthar looks to Edgar, sheepish.  He doesn’t wanna.  Edgar shoots him a look.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

Go on now.  That a boy.

Gunthar pretends to paw and claw at the locker door.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

That’s it, now try and bite it.

Gunthar reacts, confused.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

Try to take a bite out of it. Open your mouth, really wide, then place your teeth around the corner there.

Gunthar, with trepidation, opens his mouth wide and places it on the corner of the locker.  Just then ZZZZZZZAP!!!!

LOCKER 13, vibrates with colorful bolts of electricity like a

Tesla-Coil!  Smoke emanates from the door, as well as Gunthar’s eyes, mouth, and ears!  His hair stands on end.

His mouth, fused to the locker!

Edgar produces a STUN GUN, which he has jabbed onto the backside of the locker, unbeknownst to everyone.  He releases the charge and a smoking Gunthar, falls to the floor.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

As a special bonus, not included in the final sale, we can equip L.O.C.K.E.R. 13 with a stun device, that would react not unlike the way you just saw.  (beat)  But what the heck, cuz I like you guys.  I’ll just go ahead and throw it in for free!

L.O.C.K.E.R.’s door slowly swings open, revealing a very cooked chicken!

The Farmers react, skeptical.  Edgar brings it home.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

I don’t know if I mentioned this, but L.O.C.K.E.R. 13 is the last one of its kind.  The only one left in the entire state of Arizona!  The only one left on this planet!   Every land owner, barn-hand, and chicken farmer would sell me their youngest daughter for one of these (beat) What say we start opening bids!

Gunthar springs to his feet, albeit a bit wobbly, and holds up a sign reading “$1000.00”.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

One thousand dollars. For L.O.C.K.E.R. 13 and free predator deterrent.  (re: fried chicken) And chicken dinner for one.  Who’ll start the bidding at one thousand?  One thousand dollars.

The Farmers ain’t biting.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

Ah.  We’re all here for a bargain, aren’t we.  Well I beg your pardon. Nine-fifty!

Gunthar scrambles to find a sharpee in his pocket and crosses out “$1000” and writes “$950”.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

Let’s open the bids at nine-fifty!  (ala auctioneer)Nine-fifty,doIhearnine-fifty,ninefifty,rightherenine-fifty…

He trails off as the Farmers continue to stare, stoic.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

(to Gunthar) Let’s go to eight hundred.

Gunthar crosses off “$950” and scribbles “$800”.

The Farmers don’t budge.  Edgar grows restless.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

(to Gunthar)  No no no.  Make it seven.  Seven hundred.

Gunthar scribbles.  Edgar tries the Farmers for approval.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

Seven?  How about six?

Gunthar makes the change.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

This is a military device here, gentleman!  Billions of dollars in research went into…

Farmers don’t care.

Edgar’s finger is throbbing.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

Alright, but I’m gonna get in trouble with my bosses if I… (new thought)  Hey.  If you don’t tell ’em.  I won’t.  Five-fifty.

Gunthar is growing weary of the changes.  There is very little room left on the sign.  ANGLE on the FARMERS – one, raspberries in disapproval.

Edgar stares at them with disappointment. He sizes them up like spoiled children. Finally he offers.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

Seventy-five dollars?

A Farmer, FARMER #1, raises his hand.

Edgar jumps with excitement!

EDGAR (CONT’D)

Seventy-five dollars!  (auction mode)  Seventy-five, we got seventyfiveseventy-fivedollars. Do I hear two hundred?! Who wants to give me two hundred?  TwohundreddoIheartwohundred…

He continues vying for two hundred as Gunthar finds a new piece of paper and writes “$200” on it.  The Farmers aren’t budging.  The bidding Farmer sits back, proud.  Edgar is losing ’em.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

Two hundred? No two hundred WegotseventyfiveI’mlookin. ‘fortwohundred. Seventy-fivetotwohundred? Seventyfiveto…eighty.  Can I get eighty?

A different Farmer, FARMER #2, raises his hand.  Farmer #1 scowls in offense.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

EIGHTY! I have eighty!  Can I get eighty-five Whowantstogivemeeighty -five, eighty-five, wegoteightyIwanteighty -five, who’llgivemeeighty-five? Eightyfive? Anyone? Eighty-five?

Edgar notices a Farmer, FARMER #3, counting change in his hand.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

Eighty-two-fifty?

Farmer #3, excitedly raises his hand!

EDGAR (CONT’D)

Eighty-two-fifty! Igoteighty-twofifty, doIheareightytwo-seventyfive? Lookingforeighty-two-seventyfive, helpmeoutwitheightytwoseventyfive.

The Farmers all reach in their pockets for change.  Some pull out hankies, hay, a wrench, and the occasional change.  Farmer #1 raises his hand again!

EDGAR (CONT’D)

Eightytwoseventyfive! Wegoteightytwoseventyfive, who’llgimme eightytwo-eighty?!  Do I hear eightytwo-eighty?!

Farmer #2 throws up a hand.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

Eightytwo-eighty! Wegoteightytwo- eighty, who’llgivemeeightytwoyninety?! Gunthar is desperately trying to catch up!

EDGAR (CONT’D)

Eightytwoninetylookingforeightytwon inety, who’llgivemeeightytwoninety?

Farmer #1 again!

EDGAR (CONT’D)

Eighty-two, ninety! Now, eightytwoninety-five! Who’sbraveenoughtoforkouteightytwoninety-five?!

Farmer #3 takes the bait!

EDGAR (CONT’D)

EIGHTY-TWO-NINETY-FIVE! Let’s go for a clean hundred!

All the Farmers stop fishing for change and shoot a collective look at Edgar. Edgar, reacts. Then covers.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

Eighty…three, dollars.  Who’s gonna offer eighty three?!  Eightythree.  Looking for eighty three.

The Farmers resume counting change, but none are biting.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

Eighty-three, eighty-three, anyone, eighty-three.

The Farmers are still counting change.  Some are even making trades and discussing combining funds.

Edgar looks to Gunthar, who has scribbled on everything in sight, trying to keep up with the bidding.  Edgar sees no future in this.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

Eighty-two dollars, and ninety-five cents, going once.  One, authentic, military approved, L.O.C.K.E.R., going twice. This is model number 13. It will hold a capacity of 50 plus chickens, going, eighty-twoninety-five, still going twice…fuck it, SOLD! To that guy.

Edgar, half hearted, points towards the Farmers, then turns to Gunthar.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

Get the cash.  Count it.  And get them out of here.

Gunthar leaps to. The winning Farmer, celebrates.  The other Farmers offer congratulations, rise from their seats and pile out.

We stay with Edgar, who retreats to the background, removes a pack of gum from his pants pocket, unwraps it and sticks it in his mouth in disgust.

SOFT in the FG: We can make out the commotion of Gunthar removing L.O.C.K.E.R. 13 from it’s pedestal and wheeling it out with the winning Farmer as Edgar shakes his head and checks his wounded finger.

After the Farmers exit, we FOLLOW Edgar as he makes the long walks back towards the door from whence he came.  He throws open the door, bathing us in light and enters: INT. BACK WAREHOUSE – CONTINUOUS

A florescent lit kitchenette!  There’s a fridge, water dispenser, several cabinets, drawers, rows of various tea, a coffee machine, plate of bagels and a vegetable plate.  Edgar grabs a bottled water from the fridge, a bottle of vitamins from the cupboard, his favorite tea bag, and favorite mug, which he fills up with piping hot water.  He searches for a band-aid, for his wounded finger, shortly followed by a change of shirt. He then unscrews the water bottle and dilutes the tea with a bit of cold so’s he can drink it right away. Gunthar enters and crosses frame.

GUNTHAR

I’m sorry I…

EDGAR

Shut up.  No one asked your opinion.

GUNTHAR

You didn’t have to…

EDGAR

(mocking) You didn’t have to… (then) Just, shove them in there so we can get on with round two!

Gunthar Exits.

OFF SCREEN – We hear deep, guttural, BARKING sounds and Gunthar, opening a cage.  We hear him ad-libbing distress as he is attempts to wrangle some boisterous, unseen, animals. We hear the sound of a door opening.  A familiar, METALLIC DOOR. And Gunther, forcing the animals into it.  Finally, he manages to corral all the creatures before finally slamming the door.  A familiar METALLIC SLAM!

We PAN over to find Gunthar, pushing another L.O.C.K.E.R. on a dolly. The BARKING sounds are muffled, almost mute.  Edgar, slaps a sticker marked “13” on the side.

Behind them, ala Raiders of the Lost Ark, HUNDREDS of L.O.C.K.E.Rs waiting to be sold.

Gunthar pushes the dolly through frame, we HOLD on Edgar.

Who gulps his tea, straightens his jacket, places his hair, and walks out of the room.  We CONTINUE with him as he makes the long walk back to the pedestal, where Gunthar has placed the new L.O.C.K.E.R. 13.  We PAN around to find, an audience of ESKIMOS!  All decked out in their thick, winter coats, spears, etc.  We continue PANNING, resting on Edgar, sitting in a chair, just like in the beginning.  He looks at the Eskimos and after a BEAT, says:

EDGAR (CONT’D)

Baby seals!

CUT TO:

BLACK.

Locker 13 the Lost Episodes Part 2

 

Here is part 2 to the unfilmed segments of Locker 13. This next one is written by Adam Montierth and is called, Apache Tears:

FADE IN:

EXT. GOLDFIELD NEW MEXICO 1885 – DUSK

Five MEN on horseback ride slowly into town.   The TOWNSFOLK eye the men suspiciously.

The lead horse carries a large grizzled man in dark leather.  He is JACOB CALHOUN.   He grins ominously with a full set of dirty teeth and looks over at his younger brother, RUSS CALHOUN.  Russ smiles too, mimicking his Brother, but he is missing most of his teeth.

Russ is a thin reed with wild hair, resembling a weasel more than a man.  He turns to look at the three following close behind.

One of the men has a face full of scars, aptly nicknamed SCARFACE.  The man on the other side is horribly disfigured with a burn covering his bald head and half of his face, nicknamed ASH.

Russ frowns at the RIDER in the middle.  He is a stark difference to the others, as he is ruggedly good looking. 

He has strong hard features.  It looks as if God made him out of granite.

RUSS CALHOUN

Why’d ya hafta bring him?  He’s trouble I’m tellin’ ya.

JACOB CALHOUN

We need a safe guy, don’t worry he knows Sanchez.

RUSS CALHOUN

But I’ve seen his face before.

JACOB CALHOUN

Probably with Sanchez.

Russ looks back at Rider who gives him a steely gaze.

The men ride up to the bank in the center of town and hitch their horses on the post in front.

Scarface and Ash stay on their horses, the others dismount.

JACOB CALHOUN (CONT’D)

Now you two bone heads keep your eyes peeled this time.

SCARFACE

Boss, he’s as skittish as a mule.

ASH

Me?  You’re as skittish as a Jack Ass.

SCARFACE

A Jack Ass is a mule…

JACOB CALHOUN

Enough!  If’n you two…  Don’t try me.

Scarface and Ash both nod.  Then they turn to each other and glare daggers. Jacob turns to the others.

JACOB CALHOUN (CONT’D)

Alright, stick to the plan.  Let’s go.

Jacob, Russ, and Rider head for the bank’s front door. 

Before they have a chance to go in, a beautiful WOMAN in cowboy dress comes out of the bank.

It is HELENA STORM.  She appears to be half Native

American and half Caucasian.  She looks up at the three men and locks eyes with Rider in surprise. 

A moment of recognition arises, as both pause in awkward silence.  Riders eyes seem to plead with her.

HELENA STORM

Terence…

Russ snaps his fingers in remembrance and points at Rider.

RUSS CALHOUN

Terence Dean, I knew it.  Marshal…Terence Dean!

Jacobs’ eyes squint in anger. 

Russ goes for his gun, but MARSHAL TERENCE DEAN is too fast for him and immediately has his six shooter out and guns him down. Scarface’s horse jolts from the gun shot. 

ASH

Let’s get outta here.

Jacob draws his Colt 45 and immediately grabs Helena from behind.  He puts his gun to her head as Marshal trains his gun on him. Ash and Scarface ride off in a cloud of frantic dust.

Marshal Dean evaluates the situation as each man pauses in stalemate.  Jacob eyes his brothers motionless form on the ground beside him.  He quivers in rage as he spits his words out at Marshal Dean.

JACOB CALHOUN

You’ll pay dearly for that, Marshal.  Now throw your gun down or I open up another hole in this pretty little thing’s head.

Marshal puts his hands up in surrender.  He slowly and carefully places his pistol on the ground.

JACOB CALHOUN (CONT’D)

Now, see?  That wasn’t so hard.

Jacob swings his gun around to the Marshal, but before he’s able to shoot, Helena lays an elbow hard into his face.  In a flash she brings up a knife from her other hand and stabs Jacob in his shooting arm.  He drops his gun.

Helena steps back.  Jacob yells in pain and frustration as he looks up to stare at the barrel of Marshal Terence Dean. 

Jacob freezes.

Marshal looks over at Helena, still in shock at the sight of her.

TERENCE DEAN

Helena.  You’re alive!

Helena smiles at him, unsure of what to say.

Jacob smiles at her with an evil glint in his eyes. 

JACOB CALHOUN

(Whispers.) Helena.

Terence clubs Jacob in the face with the back of his revolver.

EXT. GOLDFIELD NEW MEXICO – MORNING

The sun rises over the desert landscape.  A stagecoach is drawn up to the jailhouse.

The door opens and Terence comes out with Jacob in handcuffs.  Jacob has a bad bruise on his face left from the events of the previous day.

The towns’ SHERIFF follows them out carrying a bag.  He throws it on the stagecoach.

SHERIFF

Do you really think it’s wise to leave so soon?

TERENCE DEAN

Jacob’s a popular man, the Judge in Tombstone’s anxious to see him.  He’s got a date with the reaper.

SHERIFF

Give me time to send for my two Deputies.  They can go with you.

Terence puts Jacob in the stagecoach and handcuffs him to the iron bars on the doors window. 

Helena Storm walks over to the Stagecoach from across the street. 

TERENCE DEAN

Thank you Sheriff, but we’ll be fine.

The Sheriff tips his hat and goes back inside.

Jacob smirks at the sight of Helena.  Terence slams the door in his face. Terence walks over to meet her.

TERENCE DEAN (CONT’D)

I thought maybe you were a mirage.  We didn’t get to talk last night before you disappeared.  But thank you for coming to see me off.

HELENA STORM

Terence, I didn’t come to see you off,    I’m the driver.  This is my coach.

Helena has a hard time looking Terence in the eyes.  She busies herself with getting the Stagecoach ready.

TERENCE DEAN

What?  Helena, what the hell is going on here?  I thought you were…I mean…the fire-

HELENA STORM

Yeah, the fire.  There was a bad storm, lightning hit.  I tried to stop the fire, but it was no use.

TERENCE DEAN

You were no where to be found, you made me think-

HELENA STORM

I made you…?  Look, you were better off.  I couldn’t wait for you forever.

TERENCE DEAN

I had work to do.  I told you I’d be back.

HELENA STORM

You were gone for 13 months.  I had to move on.

TERENCE DEAN

So the fire gave you a chance to start a new life?

HELENA STORM

Yeah, something like that.

FATHER WINTERS shows up.  He looks uncomfortable with interrupting the heated conversation. 

TERENCE DEAN

Father.

Father Winters nods politely and hands Helena his bag. 

She secures it to the top of the stagecoach.

The Father opens the stagecoach door and hesitates at the sight of the prisoner in handcuffs.  Jacob smiles wickedly.

JACOB CALHOUN

Father.  How the hell are ya?

Father Winters nods politely and enters the stagecoach, clutching his Bible tightly.

TERENCE DEAN

Helena say something?  You’re still my wife.

HELENA STORM

Another time and place maybe.  You weren’t made to settle down and I couldn’t wait for you.  You ran away long before I did.

Terence stands before Helena not knowing what to say. 

She climbs up to her perch on the front of the stagecoach and looks down at Terence expectantly.

He stares blankly.  She slaps the reins and the stagecoach takes off.  Terence catches the open door and enters. He closes the door and sits back dazed. 

They ride out of town.  Jacob gazes out of the window as the stagecoach passes a plain pine box where his brother lie still.  The undertaker shuts the lid and begins to nail it into place.

INT. DEAN’S RANCH – NIGHT – PAST

The cabin has been recently decorated with the comforts of a newly wed couple. 

A younger Terence and Helena are in their king sized bed looking lovingly into each others eyes.  A fire illuminates the room.

TERENCE DEAN

So how is Mrs. Dean enjoying her second day of marriage?

HELENA STORM

Better than the first.  Every day seems like a dream.

TERENCE DEAN

It should.

HELENA STORM

I’m afraid that I’ll wake up one morning and you’ll be gone.

TERENCE DEAN

I’m not going anywhere.

HELENA STORM

But you’re not a rancher.

TERENCE DEAN

I am now.  I don’t miss it.  Wasting my life chasing demons.

HELENA STORM

You were good at it.  Too good.

TERENCE DEAN

Yes I was, but I’ll be a better rancher.  This is my heaven.  My reward for being good.

HELENA STORM

I hope it’s enough.

INT. STAGECOACH – DAY

Terence shifts uncomfortably in his seat, lost in thought.  Jacob eyes him closely.  He looks at his gun and then to his handcuffs at the window. 

Terence catches him and smiles for the first time.  Jacob scowls.  The Priest quietly reads to himself.

JACOB CALHOUN

So how do you know Sanchez?

TERENCE DEAN

Hung him in Wells.  Robbed a stagecoach, killed the driver.

JACOB CALHOUN

Who hasn’t?

TERENCE DEAN

Had a nice chat before he swung.  Told me where to find ya.

The Stagecoach begins to slow.  Terence becomes alarmed.

He eyes Jacob suspiciously, who shrugs his shoulders. 

Terence looks over at the Priest and then pokes his head out the window to see what’s up.

EXT. STAGECOACH – DAY

The Stagecoach comes to a halt.  Terence exits, guns drawn.  Helena grabs her rifle and jumps down from her seat.  The Priest exits behind Terence. 

JACOB CALHOUN

What about me?

TERENCE DEAN

Stay put Father!

The Priest hangs back with Jacob. 

Terence and Helena see an old wooden foot locker on the road with a rusted iron padlock on the front.  They slowly approach the chest, looking around.

HELENA STORM

What is it?

TERENCE DEAN

Trouble.

They look at the chest puzzled.  Suddenly, they hear a knock from the inside.  They both jump back.  The knocking ceases.

Terence slowly walks forward and knocks back on the wood. 

The chest begins to rock back and forth as a frantic voice is heard muffled.

Terence looks up at Helena who looks nervous.  He aims and shoots the lock off the chest and opens the lid.  A little man, BENNY LANG, jumps out.  He is gagged and tied up.  Terence unties him.

TERENCE DEAN (CONT’D)

What the hell?

BENNY LANG

Thank you kindly.  I thought I’d never see the light of day again.

TERENCE DEAN

How’d you get in there?

BENNY LANG

That is quite the story, and see’n as I like to tell them, should make for a good time.  Got anything to drink first?

BENNY LANG(CONT’D)

I done poured out all my fluids in that thing, if’n you know what I mean.

Helena tosses him a water canteen.  Benny drinks greedily. He finishes and wipes his mouth on his sleeve.

BENNY LANG (CONT’D)

Thank you again so kindly.  There’s no end to your generosity.  Ah yes, my current unfortunate predicament.

TERENCE DEAN

Cut to the quick, we need to move on.

HELENA STORM

Terence let him catch his bearings.

BENNY LANG

No need Ma’am, I’m sorry to delay.  The situation is simple enough.  Names Benny Lang, and I’m a gambler by profession.  I happened on four fellers last night and they welcomed me into their camp.  As is my nature, a poker game began and they didn’t take so kindly to my winning.  They locked me in my trunk, evidently taking my wagon and all my worldly possessions with them, leaving me for dead.  You’ve taken all the passion from my tale, in your haste, but there it is.

Terence takes an uneasy look around.

TERENCE DEAN(To Helena)

We need to move on.

BENNY LANG

Please sir, I don’t mean any disrespect to your generosity, but could you drop me off at the next stop.

TERENCE DEAN

I don’t think that’s a good idea.

Benny’s eyes plead with Terence.  He looks to Helena for sympathy.

HELENA STORM

Terence we can’t leave him.

TERENCE DEAN

We’re only a half a day out, we’ll send someone back.

BENNY LANG

But sir, these men, were the unsavory types…

TERENCE DEAN

Evidently.

BENNY LANG

What if they come back?  Plus, I don’t have food or water.

HELENA STORM

He can sit on top with me.

TERENCE DEAN

This is not a leisure trip.  We are delivering a dangerous man.

HELENA STORM

Well then we better go now, but I won’t leave him.

Terence sighs in frustration, having dealt with her stubbornness before.

BENNY LANG

Thank you, thank you, I will be no trouble, I assure you.  Heaven has sent two angels my way.

TERENCE DEAN

Let’s go.

Terence turns to go back to the stagecoach.

BENNY LANG

Please sir, could you help with my chest?

Terence turns back getting annoyed.  Benny motions to the  foot locker and smiles.

TERENCE DEAN

Leave it.

BENNY LANG

It’s my only possession now.

Terence looks at Helena and then back to Benny.  He sighs again.

He walks over and closes the lid and then picks it up.

BENNY LANG (CONT’D)

Again, many thanks.  You don’t know, it’s been in my family for generations.  I will be no more trouble to you.

Terence hefts the trunk on top of the stagecoach.

Helena helps Benny to the perch as Terence walks over to her.

TERENCE DEAN

You keep your eyes open, I don’t trust him.

HELENA STORM

Do your job Marshall, I’ll do mine.  When this is over, we can go back to our own lives.

TERENCE DEAN

You mean our life?

Helena’s only response is to look away.

Terence takes her hand and feels for her wedding ring.

TERENCE DEAN (CONT’D)

What if I told you this was my last job?

Helena looks him straight in the eye.

HELENA STORM

I’ve heard that before, remember?

Helena steps up to her seat on the stage coach and grabs the reigns.

Terence is again left standing there as Helena starts the horses.  He has to rush to catch the stagecoach door and climb in.

INT. STAGECOACH – SAME

Jacob is smiling broadly.

JACOB CALHOUN

Never gets old.

FATHER WINTERS

What’s going on Marshall?

TERENCE DEAN

Luke, Father, chapter ten.

JACOB CALHOUN

The parable of the Good Samaritan.

Terence and Father Winters stare at Jacob who continues to smile.

JACOB CALHOUN (CONT’D)

With that in mind, my arm where your girlfriend dug her knife, is paining me.  Is it possible to move my shackles?

TERENCE DEAN

When we get there.

JACOB CALHOUN

So kind.

TERENCE DEAN

Not another word.

Terence looks out the window at the passing red rock vistas.

EXT. DEAN’S RANCH – DAY – PAST

Young Helena exits the barn with a fresh bucket of milk. 

In front of the house, she notices two US MARSHALS mounting their horses. Terence stands between them.

US MARSHAL # 1

See you day after tomorrow.

The Marshals see Helena, nod and then ride off.

Terence looks at Helena.  She looks down worried and continues past him into their home.  He tries to say something, but can’t find the words.

EXT. STAGECOACH – DAY

Benny and Helena sit silently on the perch.  She steers the stagecoach through the winding desert, lost in thought.  The sun is falling closer to the horizon.

BENNY LANG

Personally, I’m not one to settle down.  Almost fell for a petite dancer in Georgetown, then I thought better of it and headed for the West.  Heard the cards were highly regarded out here.  They are, after all, my first love.

Helena smiles at Benny’s chatter, eager for a distraction from her thoughts.

BENNY LANG (CONT’D)

Love takes commitment.  The kind a traveller like me can’t afford.

He pulls something out of his vest pocket.

BENNY LANG (CONT’D)

You know what this is?

Helena looks down.  Benny is holding a deep black obsidian stone.

HELENA STORM

A rock?

BENNY LANG

Yes, but do you know what they call it?

 

HELENA STORM

(More hesitation.) A rock?

BENNY LANG

Yes, of course.  But it’s much more than that.  They call it an Apache Tear and it’s very rare.  Do you know how it got it’s name?

Helena shakes her head no.

BENNY LANG (CONT’D)

Alright, story time.  There is a legend behind the Apache Tear.  There were two young Indian lovers who were from different tribes.  They were warring factions of the Apache people.  They were commanded to treat the other as hostile, but they desperately loved each other.  They would meet in secret, making an oath of their undying love.  When their tribes learned of their treachery, they were each sentenced to death unless they denounced their love.  They would not.  Each one escaped from their tribe and they met again on the cliff of the mountain top, with the tribes in pursuit.  With no other option before them, they jumped off the cliff to their death.  Legend has it, the Apache Tears were made when the mountain wept.

HELENA STORM

That’s a beautiful story.

BENNY LANG

Commitment and sacrifice is true love.

Helena turns away with a tear in her eye.

HELENA STORM

That’s why it’s so rare.

INT. STAGECOACH – DAY

Terence is also lost in thought.  Jacob eyes him closely.

JACOB CALHOUN

I’m gonna kill you.  You know that?

Terence snaps into the present.

JACOB CALHOUN (CONT’D)

For killin’ my Brother.  You shouldn’t a done that.

Father Winters looks up from reading his Bible.

TERENCE DEAN

Actually, you killed him.

JACOB CALHOUN

How’s that?

TERENCE DEAN

Your life led you to that moment.  You created it years ago when you became an outlaw.  What do they say Father?  Live by the sword, die by the sword?  Only our swords have changed, haven’t they?

Terence pats the six shooter on his hip.

JACOB CALHOUN

Your moment’s coming Marshall.

Suddenly, the stagecoach begins to slow again.

Jacob smiles knowingly.

Alarmed, Terence pokes his head out of the window to see what’s going on.

EXT. STAGECOACH – DUSK

The stagecoach comes to a complete stop.

Terence exits with his guns drawn.

TERENCE DEAN

I told you not to stop.

Terence stops in his tracks and stares into the tree before him.

Two men ominously swing on nooses in the large oak tree by the road.  The first has a crude sign painted on him in red that reads, “Horse thief”.

TERENCE DEAN (CONT’D)

This is not right.

Terence swings around just as one of Jacob’s men, Ash, comes rushing around the back of the stagecoach with a rifle.  Terence raises his pistol.

SCARFACE

I wouldn’t do that Marshall.  Drop your guns.

Terence slowly turns to find Scarface swinging in the trees with the first man, but he is very much alive and has two six shooters aimed directly at him.

Helena reaches for her rifle, but Ash is there to take it from her.

ASH

I don’t think so little darlin.  You and the boy jump down.

BENNY LANG

Who you calling a boy?  I’ve more whiskers than you.

Helena and Benny climb down from the stagecoach.

JACOB CALHOUN

You bone heads gonna keep me in here all day.  I need the key in Marshall’s left vest pocket.

Ash walks over and cautiously approaches Terence.

SCARFACE

Marshall, why don’t you kindly throw my buddy the key then.

Terence looks up at Scarface who cocks his guns.

He takes the key from his vest pocket and throws it to Ash, who rushes it over to Jacob. 

Jacob unlocks his handcuffs and rubs his bandaged wrist.

Ash hands him a gun.

Jacob triumphantly walks up to Terence.

JACOB CALHOUN

Well, well, well.  Who’s moment is it now Marshall?

Jacob looks over at the dead man next to Scarface.

JACOB CALHOUN (CONT’D)

Who’s that?

SCARFACE

He’s a horse thief.  Where’d you think we got the idea.

JACOB CALHOUN

Get down from there.

Scarface struggles.

SCARFACE

Boss, I need help.

Jacob ignores him and turns back to Terence.

JACOB CALHOUN

You killed my Brother.  Now it’s my turn.

Jacob turns to look at Helena.  Terence moves towards Jacob who shoves a pistol in his face.

TERENCE DEAN

You got me, leave her alone.

JACOB CALHOUN

Or what, Marshall?

TERENCE DEAN

So help me, I will travel to hell to make you pay.

JACOB CALHOUN

Strong words, for a man in your position.

Jacob walks backwards towards Helena, with his gun drawn on Terence. He reaches her and looks around.

JACOB CALHOUN (CONT’D)

We’re missing someone.  (Yelling)  Oh Father, come on out.  I’ll need you to deliver some last rites.

Father Winters slowly exits the stagecoach.

Jacob turns back to Terence, as Father Winters raises a hidden pistol.

SCARFACE

Boss, look out.

Father Winters shoots Scarface dead, as a whirlwind of motion occurs simultaneously.

Scarface drops one of his six shooters and Terence catches it. Ash turns and shoots Father Winters, who goes down.

Terence shoots Ash dead.

Benny runs for cover behind the stagecoach.

Helena gets to her rifle and raises it to Jacob, just as he grabs the barrel and swings behind her.

Terence trains his gun on Jacob, who now has Helena in his grasp with his gun to her head. They face each other once more.

JACOB CALHOUN

Deja vu Marshall.  Seems like we been here before.

TERENCE DEAN

Let her go, and you live.

JACOB CALHOUN

Nice trick in there with the padre.  One of your Deputy’s I presume?

TERENCE DEAN

You can’t win.  Give it up!

Jacob cocks his pistol and pushes it into Helena’s temple.

JACOB CALHOUN

Why Marshall, I’ve already won.  I just want you to pay.

TERENCE DEAN

Don’t!  Okay, okay.  Take me, not her.

Terence drops his gun and holds his hands up in surrender.

JACOB CALHOUN

Oh how very chivalrous, but that’s not the point.  How does the scripture go?  An eye for an eye?

Helena swings a knife over, but Jacob intercepts it this time and throws it to the ground.  He squeezes her tightly.

JACOB CALHOUN (CONT”D)

I don’t think so, little lady.  Not this time.  You see Marshall, I’m going to take something from you now.

With a wild banshee cry, Benny Lang jumps out from behind the stagecoach with a small Dillinger aimed at Jacob.

Jacob just turns and shoots him square in the chest.  Benny looks helplessly down at the gaping hole in his chest and falls to the ground dead. Terence goes for his gun.

Jacob aims again at Marshall Dean.  Both guns go off simultaneously.  Jacob gets shot in the head and falls backwards. 

Helena looks up at Marshall Dean breathlessly.  He smiles.  She smiles back.  A red stain suddenly appears on his shirt. She hesitates unbelieving.  He staggers to the ground. 

She rushes over and kneels down and cradles him in her arms.  She begins to cry. He struggles to breath. 

HELENA STORM

Don’t leave me again, please don’t leave me.

TERENCE DEAN

I should have loved you more.

His eyes go blank as he stops breathing.  She cries.

HELENA STORM

Please, please no.  I will do anything.  Just come back to me.

A voice is heard behind her.

It is Benny Lang now standing and uninjured.  His eyes blaze red. Helena stares at him, puzzled.

BENNY LANG

Would you?  Would you do anything?

HELENA STORM

What?  I thought you were…

BENNY LANG

Sacrifice and commitment, remember.  The sign of true love.  Would you do anything?

HELENA STORM (Confused)

Of course I would!

BENNY LANG

Would you give your life?  Your… soul for him?

Helena looks down at the still form of Terence and whispers.

HELENA STORM

Yes.

BENNY LANG

So be it!

Benny snaps his fingers and Terence wakes up.  He looks into Helena’s eyes and kisses her.  She immediately falls limp, dead. 

Terence looks to Benny who smiles wickedly.  He holds a white wisp in his hand.  The faint voice of Helena can be heard in the wisp.

HELENA STORM (From the wisp)

I love you Terence, I always will.

The Marshall jumps up and goes after Benny, who quickly climbs up to the top of the stagecoach and opens his wooden trunk.  Terence advances and Benny jumps inside, slamming the door shut on top of him.

Terence pulls the trunk down off of the stagecoach and it crashes to the ground open, empty. Terence yells helplessly in the desert.

INT. SALOON – NIGHT

Another time, another place, a seemingly normal poker game proceeds in a dark and crowded saloon.  Benny Lang is smiling and rakes in another deep pot with a full house, aces high. 

The GAMBLER across the table sits unblinking.  Benny folds up the deed on top of the stack and puts it in his jacket pocket. 

GAMBLER

That’s it, that’s everything.  What have I done?  I’ve ruined myself and my family.  I would do anything to have the last few minutes of my life back.

Benny looks at him intently and his red eyes blaze.

BENNY LANG

Would you?  Would you do anything?

CUT TO BLACK:

Locker 13 the Lost Episodes Part 1

 

I bet you didn’t know that there were officially 3 segments of the movie Locker 13 that went unfilmed, due to the fact that we couldn’t raise the funds to shoot them during the recession of 2008. I thought it would be interesting to publish in the blog the 3 missing scripts, for those of you that liked Locker 13 and would like to read what could have been. Would’ve made for a VERY different movie.

Here’s the 1st one called, Midnight Blues:

BLACK.

DANTE (V.O.)

Nietzsche once said, “The advantage of a bad memory is that one enjoys several times the same good things for the first time.”

FADE IN:

EXT. CEMETERY – SOMETIME AFTER DUSK

A plain black casket lay closed on a pallet above a freshly dug grave. The casket is closed.

The cemetery is void of people, except DANTE CHARON. In profile, Dante is a pale white haired man dressed all in black. His hat in hand, he looks sadly at the casket as he says his last good-byes.

DANTE (V.O.) (CONT’D)

He never said anything about the bad times. There are some things we wish we could never remember. But sometimes…we have to. It’s the bad times that can remind us who we really are.

In silhouette, Dante looks up just as a CAR BACKFIRES, a flock of birds nearby release into the air with a start.

DANTE (V.O.) (CONT’D)

So I guess the reverse must be true as well. The burden of a good memory is that one must suffer often the painful memories HE holds…almost as if he’s paying some kind of endless penance for some past mistake…

Dante’s hand reaches down and cups some earth, he pauses a second…then tosses it into the grave.

DANTE (V.O.) (CONT’D)

But I guess that’s my fate. A life lived in solitude.

The morning sun hits Dante’s face. He is disfigured…

CLOSE-UP: DANTE’S EYE

His left eye is sealed shut and massive scars cover the surface from brow to cheek.

DANTE (V.O.) (CONT’D)

But it’s not only my life. I’ve made it my job.

Dante puts on his black hat. The hat of a chauffeur. He turns and walks toward a big black CADILLAC. But it’s no ordinary Cadillac.

It’s a HEARSE.

SMASH CUT TO:

INT. OFFICE – EVENING

A WOMAN screams.

It is SARA LIPTON, a middle-aged woman, stern and of fading beauty.

She wrestles with 2 YOUNG MEN. A hand with a rag filled with some kind of liquid is roughly placed over her mouth. She slowly goes slack and loses consciousness.

The men start laughing. One of them, JAKE, looks nervous. His eyes shift back and forth as a hand wipes nervously at a white powdered nose. The burly man, JIM, slaps Jake on the arm.

JIM

It worked!

Jake laughs at Jim and nods. He looks down at Sara and nudges her with his foot as she lays sprawled out ungenerously on the carpet.

JAKE

It’s payback, bitch!

CUT TO:

EXT. HEARSE – NIGHT

The Hearse door shuts.

Feet walk past to the back where it is parked next to a set of double doors.

The man in black passes a plaque that reads, “Phoenix City Morgue” on his way through the double doors.

CUT TO:

INT. HALLWAY – SAME

The man in black walks to an entry desk in the back. A MAN IN A WHITE LAB COAT sits with his feet up on the desk watching “Matlock” from a miniature television while chewing on a piece of beef jerky.

His name tag reads, “ROBERT DIENER”.

He looks up and just about chokes on his jerky.

ROBERT

Holy shit!

Robert sees the scarred eye of Dante for the first time.

Dante ignores the reaction and pulls a name tag out of his pocket and waves it at him. It reads, “Dante Charon, Green Acres Cemetery”. He taps a clipboard.

DANTE

Here for a pickup.

Robert tries to compose himself.

ROBERT

Course.

He shuffles some papers around. Can’t find what he’s looking for. Dante seems to make him nervous.

DANTE

New here?

ROBERT

I been round the block if that’s what you mean…

Robert lifts the TV and looks under it. Dante breathes out slowly.

DANTE

This block?

ROBERT

Damn! OK, so I been here about an hour, it’s my first shift, I just had that file…

Robert tries not to look at Dante’s eye. But it’s obviously freakin’ him out.

ROBERT (CONT’D)

Ok, ok. So? You’re makin’ me nervous ok, could happen to anyone.

DANTE

Which one?

Robert stops shuffling papers. He’s confused.

ROBERT

What? I wasn’t lookin’ at the eye if that’s what you mean…I mean it’s frickin’ strange and all, but I’m no peep…

Dante looks at the clipboard.

DANTE

Cold chamber. Which one?

ROBERT

Oh, locker 13.

Dante nods and exits through a large metal door.

Robert sits back down and breathes out a huge jet of air.

ROBERT (CONT’D)

Sorry, about the eye…thing…

He trails off talkin’ to himself.

CUT TO:

INT. COLD CHAMBER – SAME

CLOSE-UP: METAL LOCKER DOOR WITH THE LARGE “13” ON IT DEAD CENTER.

Dante unlatches the metal latch.  Cold air rushes out of the locker. Dante pulls out the casket on rollers. He pushes it towards the metal door in the back.

CUT TO:

EXT. HEARSE – SAME

Dante loads the casket into the Hearse.

CUT TO:

INT. HEARSE – SAME

The door opens and Dante gets in and buckles up.

He lowers the visor to reveal a group of postcards, with a picture of Edward Hopper’s painting, “Nighthawks” on top. The postcards say, “Chicago Museum of Art” in the lower left hand corner of each card.

He takes the cards down and shuffles them until he finds the one he’s looking for. He puts them back under the visor with a picture of Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” on top.

He closes the visor and starts the engine.

He reaches down and pulls out a “Hall and Oates” CD. He puts it into the CD player and skips to song number 4.

CUT TO:

ESTABLISHING – The city at night.

The Hearse drives through the freeway at midnight.

Hall and Oates, “She’s Gone” plays in the background.

CUT TO:

INT. HEARSE FRONT SEAT – NIGHT

Dante thumps on the steering wheel with the music.

INT. HEARSE BACK – NIGHT

The casket lays in silence. Something’s not quite right. Something BUMPS softly from inside the casket.

INT. HEARSE FRONT SEAT – SAME

Dante looks out the rearview mirror.

CUT TO:

EXT. HEARSE – SAME

The Hearse pulls through the large metal gates of a cemetery.

CUT TO:

INT. HEARSE FRONT SEAT – SAME

Dante looks left and right as he slowly drives down the small path.

INT. HEARSE BACK – SAME

The THUMPING gets louder, more insistent.

HEARSE FRONT SEAT

Dante stops the car and listens.

HEARSE BACK

The THUMPING is very loud and panicky.

HEARSE FRONT SEAT

Dante turns the CD player off and hears the thumping coming from the back.

CUT TO:

EXT. HEARSE – NIGHT

Dante gets out and walks around to the back. He opens it and pulls out the casket on rollers. The THUMPING is very fast and LOUD now.

He opens up the casket and Sara Lipton sits up and gasps for air.

She looks very much the worse for wear. Her hair is a mess, her makeup smeared on her face, and wearing what appears to be a mechanics grey jumpsuit. Dante doesn’t look surprised.

SARA

What’s going on! Why did you put me in here?

DANTE

I didn’t put you in there.

SARA

Where am I and how did I get here?

DANTE

You’re in the Green Acres Cemetery and I drove you here.

Sara gets out of the coffin and dusts herself off. She gets hysterical and runs over and starts beating on Dante.

SARA

ARE YOU CRAZY? WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT! THIS IS KIDNAPPING! I HAVE TO CALL THE POLICE…

Dante grabs her wrists and stops her from hitting him.

DANTE

Ma’am, calm down… I can help you through this.

She stops and cries.

SARA

You’ve done this before?

DANTE

I’ve helped people though a lot worse.

He points to his eye.

She notices it for the first time. This calms her down.

DANTE (CONT’D)

Do you remember who you are?

SARA

Of course I do, my name’s…

She’s puzzled. She can’t remember her name.

SARA (CONT’D)

My name is…

She’s terrified.

SARA (CONT’D)

I can’t remember…

Dante opens the car door and pulls out the clipboard.

DANTE

Sara Lipton.

She remembers.

SARA

YES! YES! Sara…of course my name is Sara!

He nods. She nods.

DANTE

Do you remember how you got in there?

She shakes her head. He shakes his head.

DANTE (CONT’D)

What’s the last thing you remember?

 

SARA

I remember working today. I’m a CPA…

CUT TO:

INT. OFFICE – DAY

Sara is at her desk, she’s yelling at someone.

SARA

That’s it! NO MORE CHANCES! I’m sick of the lies! The backstabbing! I won’t take it anymore…

She throws a file into a startled man’s lap.

SARA (CONT’D)

GET THE HELL OUT OF MY OFFICE! YOU’RE FIRED, JAKE!

CLOSE-UP: Jake.

Jake’s eyes are panicked.

JAKE

You can’t do this! I been with this firm 10 years, I can’t start over…

She pushes him toward the door.

SARA

I just did! I never want to see you around here again! Don’t come back…

He walks away, stunned.

She SLAMS the door.

SLAM CUT TO:

EXT. HEARSE – NIGHT

Her eyes remember little things, but her brow furrows.

SARA

I had a bad day today…I can remember some things…but not how I got here…

DANTE

It will come to you.

CUT TO:

INT. HOME – EVENING

Sara comes home to an empty house. She opens the front door, turns on the hall foyer light. She reads the mail on a side table.

INT. KITCHEN – SAME

She opens the fridge. Hardly anything in there. Nothing interests her.

INT. BEDROOM – SAME

She turns on the bedroom lights and looks at the bed. There is only one pillow in the center of the bed. She leaves.

INT. FOYER – SAME

She stands in the empty room. She stands in an empty house.

She is alone.

She leaves and SLAMS the door behind her.

SLAM CUT TO:

EXT. HEARSE – NIGHT

She’s crying now. The memories are coming on stronger now.

SARA

I couldn’t go home so I went back to the office…

CUT TO:

INT. OFFICE – EVENING

Sara screams.

She wrestles with 2 YOUNG MEN. A hand with a rag filled with some kind of liquid is roughly placed over her mouth. She slowly goes slack and loses consciousness.

FLASH CUT TO:

EXT. HEARSE – NIGHT

The memories are flooding in a torrent against her. She cries openly, trying to gain her composure.

SARA

It was Jake…he wanted to get back at me for firing him…but he was a junkie…I couldn’t have that in the office anymore. I covered for him way too long…

FLASH CUT TO:

INT. WAREHOUSE – EVENING

She slowly wakes up from the floor. She gets up groggily. She can hear voices in the next room. She shakes her head and walks over to the door.

INT. ROOM – SAME

Jim and Jake are arguing. There’s a table between them with cocaine and hard liquor scattered about. A gun sits in front of Jim.

JIM

…we can get a ransom!

JAKE

From who? She’s got no friends or family, everyone hates her!

JIM

-Then what, JAKE? WHAT DO WE DO WITH HER?

JAKE

Make her clear her bank account! Get all the stuff from her house–

Sara opens the door and staggers in. She’s not quite right yet, still not lucid from being drugged.

SARA

I’ve got to get to the police! You’re going to JAIL! YOU’RE…

Jim picks up the gun, startled as she hobbles forward like a creature from a horror movie.

She sways forward, woozy, Jim thinks she’s coming to get him. He pulls the gun up and everything SLAMS to slow motion…

His finger pulls the trigger.

The gun FIRES…

She gets shot in the chest. Looks down at the gaping hole where her heart should be. She crumples to the floor.

CUT TO:

EXT. HEARSE – NIGHT

Sara stops. Dante nods.

DANTE

You remember now, don’t you?

She reaches up and unzips the jump suit to reveal a Y INCISION on her chest.

DANTE (CONT’D)

They only do a Y-Incision when there’s been an autopsy…

She looks at him, in amazement.

SARA

You knew?

DANTE

It always goes smoother when they find out for themselves. I’ve been through this before remember?

She looks over at the casket. She walks over and lifts it.

The body of Sara Lipton still lies inside. She is looking at herself.

SARA

But how?

DANTE

The ones who aren’t quite ready yet, just need a little time to adjust. To get use to the idea of passing through…

SARA

Passing through, where?

DANTE

A much better place.

She cries.

SARA

Really?

DANTE

Yes. You have loved ones, Sara.  They are waiting for you.

SARA

For me?

DANTE

Yes, Sara. You’re not alone. There is a place for you, and you’re not alone. A much better place than here.

She walks forward and wipes her tears. She smiles up at Dante. She reaches over and touches his eye.

SARA

You see much better than we do, don’t you?

He smiles at her.

She turns and walks away.

SARA (CONT’D)

You’re the ferryman, aren’t you? The river Styx, come to bring me to the other world…

DANTE

The river Acheron actually. My name’s Charon.

He nods to her.

DANTE (CONT’D)

You’re free to go, Sara. Go in peace.

SARA

Thank you, Charon.

She smiles and slowly fades away.

He walks over and closes the casket.

SMASH CUT TO:

EXT CEMETERY – MORNING

A plain black casket lay closed on a pallet above a freshly dug grave. The casket is closed.

The cemetery is void of people, except Dante Charon.

DANTE

Aristotle once said, “Happiness is the highest good, being a realization and perfect practice of virtue, which some can attain, while others have little or none of it…”

CUT TO:

INT. HEARSE – SAME

He lowers the visor and takes the postcards down. He shuffles them until he finds Georges Seurat’s painting, “A Sunday on La Grande Jatte.” He puts that on top and closes the visor.

He skips the CD to number 2 and “Sara Smile” from Hall and Oates starts to play.

He smiles.

DANTE

But what the hell did he know.

SMASH CUT TO:

BLACK.

Belle Jewel, Bringing Sweetness and Style to Season 11 of The Voice

 

We met Belle Jewel last week for the first time when we booked her for the Jester’Z Comedy Improv at the Mesa Riverfront. Even though she’s a hometown girl and often mixes in some of the same circles we do, we hadn’t had the pleasure of meeting her until then. And when we did…she knocked our socks off. We sometimes have musicians and singer/songwriters at the Jester’Z Theatre and so this was not new to us, but I knew she was something very special when she performed a version of Parks and Recreation‘s song “Lil’ Sebastion” by fictional band MouseRat (actually originally written and sung by Chris Pratt).  It was both funny and heartbreaking at the same time and she had the crowd totally engaged with cellphones all lit up and singing along. It was special, I managed to record the last verse and put it on Facebook…you’ll notice the adorable mismatched socks, she was appropriately comfortable within the small family venue.
belle-jewel-on-the-voice

She’s just as comfortable on TV in a huge venue with millions of viewers, last night she secured her spot on the live shows (in two weeks) by singing a very smooth and cool version of “Don’t Dream it’s Over” on Season 11 of The Voice in the final Knockouts. So far in both venues there’s a lot to be impressed by as she has a style sorely missing on this year’s The Voice, which should help her go far and build up the fan base she needs in the next month or so. Her song choices are particularly amazing as she dials in on what she likes very effectively and gives them her magic touch, usually both heartfelt and sincere and very reminiscent of a lost era of jazzy melodic film noir. She would fit right in to Dark City right next to Jennifer Connelly or with Sean Young in Blade RunnerDark City Jennifer Connelly

belle-jewel-the-voice-dont-dream-its-over

sean-young-blade-runner

One of the very best things about her is her signature smile and authentic sweetness. In complimenting contrast with her style, it gives her such a unique blend of dark and light tones, best of both worlds and also gives us the comfort of an era long past but not forgotten. It’s about time that good things happen to good people, and believe me when I tell you she’s worth listening to! Please like her Facebook page and keep track of her on The Voice. In fact, tune in the next few weeks and VOTE for her!

Independent Film Prospectus – Crossing Walter – Comedy

 

For several years I’ve been asked how we go about funding our movies independently, and so a discussion usually follows regarding all that goes into development and pre-production of a film. Now, there’s a lot involved, and I have at times tried to breakdown the process for people and all of the work that goes into it. As a way to clarify further, I will be adding “no-frills” versions of documents we’ve developed over time to present to investors, production companies, and/or producers that helped us along the way. Several of these documents we’ve polished and updated, but for educational purposes for those interested in independent film production, I can share paired down samples of what we use for certain documents.

My next sample is a very basic, Movie Prospectus.

It’s for a movie that we are still very excited about, but have put on the back burner for now, so I don’t mind sharing this as an example. I hope you find this to be helpful:prospectus-title-page

Business and Product

     Company’s Business

Crossing Walter, LLC (herein also referred to as “CW, LLC” or “The Company”) is an Arizona-based company formed for the purpose of developing and producing a full-length feature film currently titled “Crossing Walter” (herein also referred to as “The Film”), a family comedy.  Brothers’ Ink Productions serves as the Member-Manager of The Company.

     Overview

We are seeking film production financing in the amount of $3,250,000 (three million two hundred fifty thousand US dollars) that includes the cost of pre-production, principal photography, and post-production for a theatrical and/or DVD release for the film.

$25,000 per Membership Interest, an aggregate of 130 Interests available for a total of $3,250,000 (three million two hundred fifty thousand US dollars) for the production. (PPM available upon request.)

This package has a high success potential due to the following reasons:

  • Recognizable TV actors, which makes the film more marketable, commercial and more attractive to a wider audience.
  • The Comedy genre is extremely attractive in the indie feature industry and sells well to foreign markets.
  • Brothers’ Ink is well established in the Phoenix Film market and will utilize their influence and reputation to recruit cast and crew for all stages of the production. This will create a buzz throughout the region and a sense of community for the film. The filmmakers and actors will in essence, market the film to all of their families and friends, building up an audience for the release of the film in the Phoenix market.
  • Brothers’ Ink has secured a letter of intent (LOI) for distribution…(Request to view LOI)

     The Product – Crossing Walter

Crossing Walter, LLC owns the option on the original screenplay, written by John Waldron, who is also on board as Executive Producer.

     Feature Film Logline

An average family man accidentally mistaken for a human trafficker gets deported the weekend of his daughter’s wedding.  With no money or possessions, he struggles to cross the border and make it back home in time to walk his daughter down the aisle.

     Synopsis

“Crossing Walter” is a film about Walter Wheeler, a compulsive tax accountant and over protective family man. His world is turned upside down when his daughter comes home for the weekend to announce that she is quitting college and getting married on Sunday.

At the advice of his hapless brother-in-law, Walter innocently picks up a few day laborers and gets mistaken as a human trafficker (coyote) and deported to Mexico. With no money or possessions, he struggles to cross the border and make it back home in time for the wedding.

Through the adventure, Walter finds a renewed strength with the love of his family and learns to let his children live their own lives.  “Crossing Walter” explores the themes of love, endurance, respect and commitment and that nothing is more important than family.

     Audience

  • Families
  • Couples

     Genre

  • Comedy
  • Family

     Comparative

  • Sideways
  • Little Miss Sunshine
  • Stranger Than Fiction
  • Garden State

     Business Strategy

 Brothers’ Ink, LLC’s business strategy is not predicated on luck. Given our knowledge of the film industry and the track record of our team, we are aware of the challenges and risks involved in moviemaking. We also know how to apply our professional experience in business affairs, creative affairs, development, production, and marketing to manage the inherent risks. We have a talented management team with business ownership backgrounds, film industry backgrounds, negotiating acumen, and storytelling abilities.

The film will be produced independently of a major motion picture studio. That is, it will be created and financed outside the major studios. However, Brothers’ Ink, LLC will seek leading distributors (including the distribution divisions of major studios) in the United States and abroad in order to obtain the widest possible distribution of the film and to maximize revenues.

The production cost of an average Hollywood film produced by a major studio continues to rise and now stands at over $60MM according to industry estimates. Each of the major studios has established units to produce pictures at lower budgets.

According to recent research from the Motion Picture Association of America, the average production costs for these subsidiaries and affiliated studios (companies such as Sony Pictures Classics, Fox Searchlight, New Line, and Miramax) is still high at $34MM. As a result, Hollywood has a strong incentive to work with independent producers who can deliver quality motion pictures that have wide audience appeal.

Brothers’ Ink, LLC plans to create a financially successful film without the burden of significant overhead charges, which in the case of major studios, have little to do with the production of the film. The Company will keep overhead to an absolute minimum and will devote our resources to delivering a quality film to the screen.

Brothers’ Ink, LLC will attempt to earn revenue and generate investor returns from the exploitation of the following film rights in the United States and worldwide:

  • Licensing the rights for theatrical exhibition
  • Foreign Distribution
  • DVD sales and rental
  • Pay-per-view
  • Television broadcasts (cable, free TV)
  • Other ancillary markets (including licensing and merchandising, etc.)

Obtaining an “acquisition deal” is a primary business objective. In this type of distribution arrangement, the independent producer raises production monies from investors, but distributor funds are not used to market and distribute the movie. The distribution agreement is usually entered into after the film is produced (i.e., the film is already “in the can”). This approach to film finance and distribution generally provides the producer and creative team with the most creative control and the investors greater profit participation.

In order to deliver the film on budget, the management of Brothers’ Ink, LLC plans to adhere to the highest standards of cost control and financing reporting. Key reasons for budget overruns on films are the lack of financial controls and the lack of overall project management. We will implement and maintain an accurate budget and related financial reports, a pre-production schedule, a shooting schedule and a post-production schedule. Tight internal procedures, the implementation of accounting policies in accordance with US GAAP, and outside review of financial statements by a CPA-certified auditor will ensure that the Company’s management and investors have an accurate fiscal assessment.

     The Industry

 Though the U.S. motion picture industry continues to be both profitable and financially stable, box office receipts, once the cornerstone of motion picture distribution, continue to become less and less important as emerging technologies both create new distribution methods and make those methods more accessible to independent filmmakers.

  • Filmed Entertainment
    • Strong box office receipts will fuel spending worldwide.
    • DVDs and digital distribution will continue to boost the home video market.

No other country’s film industry creates entertainment that is as well received as U.S. produced movies. In Europe, American films currently capture from 50%-90% of the box office.

The licensing of films for home Video/DVD and television (network and syndicated, pay cable, and basic cable) is now overtaking revenues derived from theatrical release. Nevertheless, the stronger the box office returns, the more money a film property will command in ancillary markets.

While the theatrical market has enjoyed steady growth, the home Video/DVD sector has been even more impressive, with digital distribution continuing a strong and steady growth worldwide.

The video IPOD, IPAD, IPHONE as well as online download and burn services create additional distribution methods for studios and independents alike. This bodes well for independent filmmakers who often find it easier to obtain home video distribution.

With robust industry conditions projected for the next five years the underlying fundamentals are in place to support independent film production and distribution.

     Independent Films

 The market for independently produced films in the U.S. has increased significantly in the last five years. The outstanding box office success of films like My Big Fat Greek Wedding ($368,744,044 Worldwide box office), Little Miss Sunshine ($99,121,298 Worldwide box office), and Napoleon Dynamite ($46,118,097 Worldwide box office) is well known. However, there is a well-established trend of independent films being embraced by ever-broader audience segments.

Above and beyond such record-setting results, there is a larger trend emerging at the box office. Independent films are no longer limited to niche or art house releases. Broad audiences across the country are now embracing independently produced films.

In part, this growth is being fueled by the continued expansion of theatres presenting independent films. “The proliferation of indie screens enables distributors to keep their films in cinemas longer, even if they aren’t breakout hits,” notes the business daily Crain’s New York Business.

     Distribution and Marketing

 When the film is completed, the Management team will explore the most financially optimal arrangement for Brothers’ Ink, LLC and its shareholders. This will include a domestic distribution deal with a major distribution Company, selling off of individual international territories and/or the combination of both. The intent of the management team is to structure a distribution deal that not only pays the Company monies up front but also ensures that the film will get the maximum exposure and marketing support by an established and well-known distributor. To this extent, the management team may accept distribution contracts that initially may not pay the most upfront for the picture but, at the discretion of the management team, presents the most viable opportunity to make revenues long-term.

As an example of the various opportunities that may be presented to the Company, a foreign distribution deal involves an advance against sales in all non-North American territories from a foreign sales Company. This advantage can range anywhere from a few thousand dollars to several million dollars, depending on the perceived value of he film and the structure of the contract. The film sales Company will then sell rights to distribute the film territory-by-territory. The film receives monies over and above the advance after the advance and the foreign sales Company has recouped the distribution expenses. Generally a cap is established in the contract for all expenses of the film incurred by the sales Company. Additional revenues, if any, are split between the foreign sales Company and the producers of the film. The foreign sales Company will take a percentage of revenues from a low 15% to a high 40%, depending on the amount of the initial advance. All these points are negotiable and are dependent on the needs of the individual film.

Domestic distribution deals are similar, except that the distribution rights are sold to one distributor rather thank to multiple distributors in multiple territories. Generally, the domestic distributor will acquire all rights, i.e. theatrical, television, and home video, in order to maximize exposure and coordinate marketing and advertising.

Foreign and domestic theatrical distribution, as well as home Video/DVD, are the primary revenue streams for independent films. Additional revenue may be derived from television and ancillary markets. Success in these ancillary markets will usually depend on the quantity of success enjoyed by the picture during its theatrical exhibition.

Brothers’ Ink, LLC has developed several strategies to obtain distribution for the picture. First, we will leverage and further cultivate existing professional relationships in the entertainment business. We plan to develop direct connections to both studio distribution executives as well as to production companies with “studio output deals”. (Studio output deals allow certain high-profile production companies to utilize the global distribution arms of major studios.)

To gain access to an even broader set of distribution decision-makers, we will seek to create an aura of desirability for the film from the very beginning. We will generate publicity for the project in the pre-production phase and we will start creating “buzz” within the industry and the comedy fan community. This is accomplished by, among other tactics, communicating with industry trade magazines and providing updates to insider websites. This early level of awareness will help strengthen our position as we begin to brief executives at the major studios. However, based on the commercial potential of the film, studio executives will want to keep track of our progress. When the film is complete, we will enter it into festivals around the world. The festivals will enable us to expose the film to influential moviegoers and to gain press attention.

In addition, we will retain a sales agent to represent the film at major film markets including the American Film Market, which takes place each November in Santa Monica, CA and Cannes Film Festival, which takes place each May in France. Film Buyers from around the world gather at these markets seeking motion pictures for foreign and domestic distribution in theatrical, television and ancillary markets. All of these elements will help us to expose the film to influential moviegoers, to gain press attention, and help our film stand out from competitive films.

The film will be particularly appealing to distributors due to large audience appeal because of the family and comedy genres and the PG targeted rating. With a film that is well received on the festival circuit, which connects with a broad audience, we should be suitably positioned to obtain a distribution deal from a major distributor. We will seek distribution from companies that give the films a theatrical run, but that are also strong in DVD/Video distribution. While the film business is inherently risky, we are producing the film at a small enough budget that will enable us to generate a profit under a number of different scenarios.

 Production

Principle photography is planned for the Fall/Winter of 2016.  Pre-production has already begun.   The films will be shot entirely on location in Georgia.  For further information on the benefits of filming in Georgia, see ‘Georgia Motion Picture Tax Incentives’ on Page 13.

 Rights

Brothers’ Ink intends to negotiate all ancillary rights to Crossing Walter worldwide.  Ancillary rights include but are not limited to the following:  Network TV, Premium Cable TV, Syndicated TV, DVD rental and sales, Pay-Per-View TV, Posters, Soundtrack CDs, Toys, Soft Drinks, Games, etc.

All rights are currently with John Waldron and Brothers’ Ink Productions.  These rights are to be negotiated with each individual distribution territory worldwide.  We seek to retain all publishing rights.

 Merchandising

We are looking for partnerships with major advertising like Pepsi, Apple Computer, and Dominos Pizza to help with creating merchandising for the films to possibly include a music soundtrack, toys, clothing, special promotions, posters, games, books, etc.  The merchandising rights will be negotiated as needed.

Licensing

Concurrently, we will negotiate television licensing, cable, DVD/Video and all other ancillary rights Worldwide.

Net Profit

Net Profits will be distributed after all expenses and fees are met and will be paid as follows:

  • 90% to the investors, 10% to Brothers’ Ink Productions, until 150% of initial capital investment is reached;

For a profit projection, see Figure 3.5 under ‘Revenue Forecasting and Projections’ on page 15.

Casting

We are committed to including at least two (2) “A” list actors that will attract studio distribution and/or audience interest.

Potential Cast:

WALTER:

  • Paul Giamatti
  • Jeff Daniels
  • Bill Engval

DeWAYNE:

  • Bruce Campbell
  • John Tuturro
  • Jim Belushi

PATRICIA:

  • Holly Hunter
  • Frances McDormand
  • Bonnie Hunt

GUY:

  • M.C. Gainey
  • Larry the Cable Guy

FAST FACTS

     Rating

  • 78 of the films in the top 100 grossing films of all time (Worldwide) are rated PG or PG-13.
  • 22 of the films in the top 25 grossing films of all time (Worldwide) are rated PG or PG-13. Out of the other 3, two are G and 1 is R.
  • All 10 of the top 10 grossing films of all time (Worldwide) are PG or PG-13.

     Genre

  • Over 50% of all the films on the one hundred top grossing films of all time (Worldwide) would fall under the Family or Comedy Genres.
  • Out of the 18 films entering the top 25 (Worldwide) since 2000, 13 of them are Family or Comedy.
  • So far in 2007, 8 of the top 10 grossing films (Domestic) are Family or Comedy.BrosInk Logo (1)

     Executive Summary

      Brothers’ Ink Productions

In 2003, Donovan Montierth, Adam Montierth and Jason Walters created Brothers’ Ink Productions. They released their first 35mm short film, “Reveille” to audiences in 2004 and have since produced or partnered with other production companies to produce over 15 short films based on Brothers’ Ink scripts.

The company has participated in over 40 film festivals across the country, won over 20 awards for their films and screenplays, and sold and optioned several screenplays. Many of the films have aired on TV and most recently, Brothers’ Ink Productions signed a contract with the Department of Defense for them to play “Reveille” on the American Forces Network and the Pentagon Channel throughout 2007. Brothers’ Ink Productions won a Rocky Mountain Emmy® Award for “Reveille” on October 6th, 2007.

Brothers’ Ink Productions added Nick Stahr, Neil Mather, John Waldron and Adam Devaney as Creative Directors in November 2008. This enabled Brothers’ Ink Productions to increase production and in 2008 they produced 6 short films and went into development on 3 feature films.

Brothers’ Ink Productions is an award-winning production company focused on creating commercial films that are high in quality at conservative budgets.  Brothers’ Ink recently finished their first feature film called Locker 13 starring Golden Globe Winner Ricky Schroder, Rick Hoffman, Jon Gries, Jon Polito, Curtis Armstrong, Krista Allen, Tatyana Ali and lensed by Academy Award Winner Russell Carpenter.

Member Managers

John Waldron

     Executive Producer, Brothers’ Ink Productions

John Waldron is a professional stand-up comedian, comedy writer and producer. He produced and co-hosted “Morning Coffee”, an AM radio morning show on KFHX 1620 AM, produced and co-hosted “Happy Hour”, a drive-time comedy talk show on NBC radio, and has written comedy for KDKB’s “Tim and Mark Show”, “The Howard Stern Show”, and several local radio programs.

He has trained with David Razowsky of Second City, Tony Vicich of The Tempe Improv, and performed with the likes of Jeff Altman, Charles Fleischer, Franklin Ajaye, and Steve Bluestein. He has hosted several television programs, including “Arizona Express”, “Arizona Book-Nook”, and “Live!…on tape!”, a short-lived but hilarious comedy talk-show in the Phoenix Market. He has Directed, Produced, and Acted in several Brothers’ Ink films, including “American Big Game”, “Dirty Laundry”, “Relocation”, and “Neighborwood”.

Donovan Montierth

     Executive Producer, Brothers’ Ink Productions

 Donovan has written, sold and optioned several screenplays, including adapting two novels from popular thriller authors into scripts. Donovan was also included as an Honorable Mention in the Best American Mystery Stories 2007, edited by Carl Hiaasen, for a short story called, “Capacity to Kill” which is published in the Thuglit Anthology Hardcore Hardboiled by Kensington Press. Donovan won an Emmy Award along with his brother Adam for writing, directing and producing Reveille, which was shown on the Pentagon Channel and all over the world on the American Forces Network.

Adam Montierth

     Executive Producer, Brothers’ Ink Productions

 For many years, Adam has specialized in directing, writing and producing a plethora of programs in classic and new media. He specializes in providing a cinematic storytelling experience for advertisers/brand marketers that want to reach their audience in a new and effective way. Some highlights include a 30 minute interview with New York Best Selling Author J.A. Jance, a viral public service announcement for battered women, a10-minute short film about military veterans that was viewed over 6 million times on Google and the release of an informative children’s book called, “Dream” that included a book tour where he spoke to elementary schools throughout Arizona about the importance making your dreams come true.

Revenue Models

SELECTED INDEPENDENT FILMS COMEDY GENRE
(Millions of Dollars)
ESTIMATED BOX DVD TOTAL
BUDGET OFFICE RENTALS REVENUE
Napoleon Dynamite $400,000 $46,541,000 $43,800,000 $89,941,000
Little Miss Sunshine $8,000,000 $99,041,006 $46,320,000 $137,361,006
Sideways $16,000,000 $109,336,065 $37,700,000 $131,036,065
Garden State $2,500,000 $35,825,316 $19,800,000 $53,125,316
Being John Malkovich $13,000,000 $22,863,596 $28,300,000 $38,163,596
My Big Fat Greek Wedding $5,000,000 $241,400,000 $65,100,000 $301,500,000
Calendar Girls $10,000,000 $96,543,000 $28,300,000 $114,843,000
Thank You For Smoking $6,500,000 $39,232,211 $27,310,000 $60,042,211
About Schmidt $30,000,000 $105,834,556 $51,000,000 $126,834,556
Muriel’s Wedding $3,000,000 $57,500,000 unknown $54,500,000
(Note:  Domestic DVD/Video Only.) Sources:  Box Office Mojo.com, The-Movie-Times.com, IMDB, Rotten Tomatoes.com
SELECTED STUDIO FILMS WITHIN THE COMEDY GENRE
(Millions of Dollars)
ESTIMATED BOX DVD TOTAL
BUDGET OFFICE RENTALS REVENUE
Stranger Than Fiction $38,000,000 $53,227,000 $35,690,000 $50,917,000
Are We There Yet? $32,000,000 $97,919,147 $44,010,000 $109,929,147
Nacho Libre $35,000,000 $99,253,544 $34,290,000 $98,543,544
Adaptation $19,000,000 $32,801,173 $48,800,000 $62,601,173
The Family Man $60,000,000 $124,745,083 $86,900,000 $151,645,083
The Family Stone $18,000,000 $92,283,851 $42,970,000 $117,253,851
The Upside of Anger $12,000,000 $28,198,143 $44,500,000 $60,698,143
A Good Year $35,000,000 $40,679,283 $15,730,000 $21,409,283
RV $50,000,000 $87,528,173 $41,740,000 $79,268,173
Must Love Dogs $30,000,000 $58,405,313 $36,190,000 $64,595,313
(Note:  Domestic DVD/Video Only.) Sources:  Box Office Mojo.com, The-Movie-Times.com, IMDB, Rotten Tomatoes.com

Expected Budget:

SUMMARY OF ESTIMATED PRODUCTION COSTS ESTIMATE
Acct # Description Page #  Total
1100 Story and Other Rights 2        77,927
1200 Producer 3      183,300
1300 Director 4      117,970
1400 Cast 5      388,764
1500 Travel and Living 6      208,125
1600 Miscellaneous 6        59,689
1900 Fringe Benefits 6      133,672
TOTAL ABOVE-THE-LINE    1,169,447
2000 Production Staff 7      117,333
2100 Extra Talent 8      211,400
2200 Art Direction 9      146,880
2300 Set Construction 10        20,050
2400 Set Striking 10          6,240
2500 Set Operations 11      173,280
2700 Set Dressing 13        39,072
2800 Property 14        43,040
2900 Men’s Wardrobe 15        43,200
3000 Women’s Wardrobe 16        29,200
3100 Makeup and Hairdressing 17        36,360
3200 Electrical, Rigging, and Operations 18        66,884
3300 Camera Operations 19        69,782
3400 Sound Operations 20        42,952
3500 Transportation 21        79,720
3600 Location 22        88,824
3700 Production Film and Lab 23        12,000
4000 Second Unit 25        45,000
  4900 Fringe Benefits 26      112,591
TOTAL PRODUCTION PERIOD    1,383,808
5000 Editing 27      378,000
5100 Music 28        90,000
5200 Post Production Sound 29          9,324
5400 Main and End Titles 31        17,500
TOTAL EDITING PERIOD      494,824
6500 Publicity 32        25,000
6700 Insurance 33          7,300
6800 General Overhead 34          5,700
7500 Fees, Charges, and Misc. 34          8,000
TOTAL OTHER CHARGES        46,000
TOTAL ABOVE-THE-LINE    1,169,447
TOTAL BELOW-THE-LINE    1,924,632
ABOVE AND BELOW-THE-LINE    3,094,079
Contingency      154,704
GRAND TOTAL    3,248,783

Revenue Forecasting and Projections:

In regards to utilizing private financing instead of having a major studio produce the film, “Crossing Walter” has two distribution options; 1) Negative Pick-Up1 or 2) Distribution Only2.  Relative to the direct expenses of the comparative Family Comedies listed above, below is a breakdown of revenue, expenses and a potential return for “Crossing Walter”.

1In film production, a negative pickup is a contract entered into by an independent producer and a movie studio wherein the studio agrees to purchase the movie from the producer at a given date and for a fixed sum. Depending on whether the studio pays part or all of the cost of the film, the studio will receive the domestic, international, DVD and/or TV rights to the film, with net profits split between the producer and the studio.  (source: Wikepedia.org)

2In film production, a distribution only deal is a contract entered into between an independent producer and a movie studio wherein the studio agrees to advertise, market and distribute the film.  The studio will recoup Direct Distribution Expenses prior to the disbursement of net profits.

Description Negative Pick-up  Distribution Only
US Theatrical Gross Box Office  $  15,000,000  $    15,000,000
US Gross DVD Sales & Rental  $  17,931,051  $    17,931,051
US Gross Network, Premium Cable & Syndicated TV  $    7,500,000  $     7,500,000
International Theatrical Gross Box Office  $  22,500,000  $    22,500,000
International Gross DVD Sales & Rental  $  26,896,577  $    26,896,577
Int’l. Gross Network, Premium Cable & Syndicated TV  $  10,800,000  $    10,800,000
Cumulative Gross Receipts (SUB-TOTAL)  $ 100,627,628  $  100,627,628
Direct Distribution Expenses  $  77,064,191  $    71,234,140
Negative Cost (BUDGET)  $    5,000,000  $     5,000,000
Talent Residuals  $    3,000,000  $     3,000,000
Producer’s Gross Receipts  $  18,297,624  $    24,190,675
Talent Participation (if any, @ 7%)  $    1,280,834  $     1,693,347
Producer’s Net Receipts  $  17,016,790  $    22,497,328
Studio’s Share  $    8,508,395  $                 –
Producer’s Share (NET PROFIT)  $    8,508,395  $    22,497,328
Investor’s Share  $    7,629,198  $    21,538,894
Investor ROI 153% 431%

Brothers’ Ink Productions is looking for funding or Production Partner for the feature film with an expected budget of $3.25 Million. For Script, Prospectus, Executive Summary, PPM, Budget or more info:

Please contact John Waldron at CrossingWalter@Brothers-ink.com.

 

Animatic, Effective Pitch and Pre-Vis Tool

 

Traditional techniques for pre-production on anything intended to be filmed, such as a potential TV show or movie is simply to have a script or treatment of it. Nowadays, that’s just not enough to get people to see your vision behind a project and get excited about your potential production. In some cases, the project has to have more documentation, maybe a show bible if it’s a TV show or drawings for a movie. It’s the paintings of Ralph McQuarrie that got 20th Century Fox excited about Star Wars in 1976, for example.original concept for star wars

An effective modern tool for pre-visualization is the animatic. This usually is done for pre-production on a film as a way to perfect the sequence in an inexpensive medium, rather than on real footage that can be very expensive to edit into a working piece of film.  Storyboarding usually comes first as a visual tool.  The storyboarding stage may be followed by simplified mock-ups called “animatics” to give a better idea of how the scene will look and feel with motion and timing. At its simplest, an animatic is a series of still images edited together and displayed in sequence with rough dialogue (i.e., scratch vocals) and/or rough soundtrack added to the sequence of still images (usually taken from a storyboard, for example this one below from the Towering Inferno — I show more in a blog post for Towering Inferno here) to test whether the sound and images are working effectively together.Towering inferno storyboard

Now, that’s where pre-production uses the tool, but recently the tool has become very handy as a “pitch” tool.  If a writer wants to show a network, studio or production company the merits of their story, they could create a trailer, or pitch video as a way to get them excited about the script’s potential. Amazon Studios is one of the few studios who uses the new techniques very effectively. We wrote a version of a story a few years ago called, Zombies Vs. Gladiators that we were very proud of. It’s an action packed Zombie origin story set in the rise of the Roman Empire (click here to see the screenplay). Here is a simple animatic test we made to visualize a part of a storyboard we were working on for the script.[fliiby]https://flii.by/file/05b7gukqlow/[/fliiby]

We also did a teaser trailer for the script which we liked very much and seemed to get the most favorable views and reviews from the readers and studio personnel that saw it, but it eventually was passed on and they never pursued it further. Here’s that if you would like to see it:[fliiby]https://flii.by/file/kz64fl7ib4f/[/fliiby]

Over the years, we’ve also developed a lot of pre-vis videos and documents for a feature film we are still actively pursuing based on our Emmy- award winning short film Reveille, called Capture the Flag. We have information about that on our “In Development” page. We have a poster mock-up for example. But since the film is still being pitched actively, I can’t show you a lot of those materials (unless you’re an executive or producer then contact us on the contact us page and I will let you see more). But I can show you two small clips of animatics that we developed as a few more examples how the animatic tool can be effective in creating a simple visual, that once added with the proper music and dialogue by professional actors can be effective in getting people to read your script or bible. Now with that said, all levels of the pitch should be strong…good writing and strong follow through on a query letter, treatment, show bible, script, storyboard, animatic, trailer, and verbal pitch, is still crucial in order to be picked up.[fliiby]https://flii.by/file/z3d1m9h1ysa/[/fliiby] [fliiby]https://flii.by/file/fxnxjvcn76k/[/fliiby]

David Huddleston, Star of Reveille, Locker 13 RIP

[fliiby]https://flii.by/file/dygc1weh5rb/[/fliiby]

We met David when we were casting for our short film tribute to American vets, Reveille. We had originally cast Gordon Jump from WKRP in Cincinnati, but he had to drop out due to Pulmonary Fibrosis, which he eventually died of. We were very sad about Gordon, but was pleased when we got a hold of David over the phone. He was willing to consider the role on short notice and asked that we fax over the 3 page script. He told us initially that he would get back to us within the week, but called us back immediately after 5 minutes and accepted the role because he loved the script. reveille david huddleston james mceachin

You see, David is an American Air Force Veteran. So the film had a special place in his heart…and I think it shows on screen. He became the heart of the film. See for yourself, if you haven’t had a chance to view the film:  David Huddleston in Reveille, Veteran Film TributeReveille

Now, when we finished the film we showed it in a special screening just for David and James McEachin, who plays the Army Veteran. They both were incredible touched by the end result and later each of them told us that the film was one of the proudest moments they ever had as actors. We are extremely proud of that, and of them. They were the perfect representation to our tribute. James McEachin was also an American Army Veteran in real life and he spent the next 7 years playing the Old Army Soldier at patriotic events across the country in front of thousands of people.
James McEachinBruce Dellis and David HuddlestonWhen we produced our 1st feature film, we had the opportunity to work with David again for Locker 13, a supernatural thriller anthology.  He played Floyd Marley, the leader of the Benevolent Byzantine Order of the Nobles of the Enigmatic Oracle, at a shady local lodge. He was great in the film and really stands out in the segment. Curtis Armstrong, from such movies as Revenge of the Nerds and Better Off Dead, jumped at the chance to work with him and played the role of Clifford. He had loved the actor since he was young and always wanted to work with him. He recently said in a tweet, “ . I once did a movie just so I could work with him. One of those actors who steals everything they’re in. Great actor.”[fliiby]https://flii.by/file/c2mvr036e5v/[/fliiby] curtis armstrong locker 13

We couldn’t agree with you more, Curtis. David, you will be missed. We enjoyed every minute we shared with you.
David Huddleston

TV Series Bible – Zombie Law

 

Adam and I have been trying for about a year to get a 30 minute comedy TV Show pilot picked up with no luck, so I thought I would post our TV Show Bible for the series here in one of our posts to show our process. I hope it can be of some use to someone, at the very least be interesting to someone who may be curious to see how we approach these things.

We have very little connections in Network and Cable TV, so have been hitting mostly brick walls, but if you’re reading this and can see it as a Series AND have connections with anyone in TV, contact us, we’d love to get this into the proper hands:

Boston SkylineEXT. OFFICES OF WYNN JUSTICE – ESTABLISHING

Superimposed, “One Week Earlier”.

Sign outside of a busy downtown city street building reads, “Wynn Justice Law”. The street is bustling with PEOPLE in suits and dresses, rushing to work.

A ZOMBIE slowly ambles into view in the midst of the madness. He slowly tries to grab and bite people, but he’s way too slow. People rush by, push him out of the way and move faster. No one is worried or taking the Zombie serious.

The Zombie population is ignored, and now commonplace.

A HOMELESS MAN sits against the wall of the building, next to him is a Zombie, also sitting against the wall. A WELLDRESSED WOMAN walks by and throws a dollar bill down on the sidewalk in front of the Zombie.

She then notices that she threw it in front of the Zombie, so she picks it up and then looks at the Homeless man and throws the bill in his lap. He nods a thanks.

EDWIN WYNN TALKING HEAD

EDWIN WINN (50’s) wears a tweed sports coat and plaid bow tie.

EDWIN WYNN

To say we were floundering would have been an understatement. In the current climate of Zombie Infestation, we just couldn’t find cases in our current practice area. It was getting desperate. We simply had to start thinking outside of the box, or risk the chance of bleeding to death.

He watches as a zombie ambles by and looks at the camera again.

EDWIN WYNN (CONT’D)

Literally.

THE PITCH

Series Logline:  The zombie apocalypse has come and now living in a world filled with zombies is the new normal. Zombie Law is the law firm of Edwin Wynn and Calvin Justice, with the help of their Investigator Laurel Hunt, they represent zombies in all kinds of lawsuits.

Pilot Logline:   In the current climate of the restless undead, struggling attorney’s Calvin and Edwin, with the help of bounty hunter Laurel, have to find new clients quick or face bankruptcy. Their first client, a zombie weatherman in a wrongful termination suit.

In a World Filled with Zombies…It’s Time to Fight…

…For Their Right to Proper Representation.

                                                      ~ Calvin Justice, Esq.

THE SHOW

The primary structure is a one-camera sitcom (Modern Family, The Office) type comedy that at times has a documentary feel where the characters talk to the camera.

In Zombie Law, the commentary is setup almost like video depositions in a case, scattered throughout each episode.

The feeling is a mix of supernatural, comedy, the law and the mundane.

The ideal would be Boston Legal during the zombie apocalypse or simply Office Space with zombies.

Sitcoms like The Addams Family or The Munsters could be accurate, but set within the modern business world not hidden behind the family’s sole residence.

Another good example would be to recreate the original Ghostbusters esthetic and tightly compact it within a sitcom format.Zombies hit the streets

STORYLINES

Each episode features a single case or lawsuit as the “A” story and then a “B” story that continues the season one arc and “C” storyline usually consisting of some kind of rift or resolution to the 3 main characters.

“A” STORYzombie_01A completely compact case or lawsuit, within each episode. IE: the pilot episode is a wrongful termination lawsuit of a zombie weatherman from KRQ News Station Channel 13.  Wynn-Justice Law is on the verge of bankruptcy and takes the case as their first in a long line of representing the new populace of zombies in the city.  They change their name to Zombie Law.zombie_outfits_03

Some examples of other lawsuits throughout the season can be:

"Love Hurts" -- Pictured: Luis Guzmán (Jesse Sallander). Christa must put aside her personal feelings for Grace and work with her to treat Brody, (Cameron Boyce), a patient who claims to have been abused at a camp for troubled teens. Also, Grace is surprised when Campbell asks her out, on CODE BLACK, Wednesday, Feb. 17 (10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Photo: Sonja Flemming/CBS ©2016 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

  • Family Law – A marriage counselor files for divorce citing irreconcilable differences because her husband is a slob and an unrepentant cheater and she’s dead. No longer…til’ death do they part.
  • Personal Injury – A post-life insurance adjuster files for workman’s comp when his employer sends him to a construction site where he gets his arm severed in a wood chipper. In the end, his job costs him an arm and a leg.
  • Tax Evasion – Zombie Law represents a Living Impaired Man who gets sued by the US Government when he stops paying taxes, just because he’s dead. Two things are no longer for certain; death and taxes.
  • Breach of Contract – A dead mailman wants to sue his life insurance company for not providing him the full death benefit to himself when he died. Their argument is simply that he is not the beneficiary, not that he’s not dead, but since his wife is also a zombie, they don’t feel the need to pay her either.
  • Letter of Eviction – A tenant tries to fight a letter of eviction from the management company of the apartment building he’s “living” in. They argue that he can’t really be “living” in the apartment since he’s dead.

CALVIN JUSTICE

Where do you suggest he move?

APARTMENT MANAGER

The cemetery?

SEASON ONE “B” STORY

The “B” storyline is that a major pharmaceuticals company (MOREAUCORP) is the one responsible for the zombie outbreak and Zombie Law has several clashes with the company in and out of court throughout the season.

It gets to be an all-out war, when Moreaucorp creates a new kind of zombie, a faster-stronger Berserker Zombie that threatens the whole world.

There are two main bad guys in the leadership at Moreaucorp.

Moreaucorp.Island of Dr Moreau

The name by the way is a hint to the real identity of the CEO (the secret shadow figure) who is the heir of the famous…DR. MOREAU. The H.G. Wells fictional protagonist in The Island of Dr. Moreau where Dr. Moreau was found to have been creating human-like hybrid animal beings, is the CEO, Edward Prendic.

His main LABORATORY SCIENTIST turns out to be THE FLY.The Fly Scientist

Throughout the series, the scientist will slowly pull in SCIENTIFIC ABORATIONS into the world Ala ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU.the fly returns

This way, we can also bring in other classic monsters that are science or organic based like:

  • The 50ft WOMAN
  • The SHRINKING MAN
  • CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON
  • SWAMP THING
  • THEM
  • THE BLOB
  • LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS.Little Shop of Horrors

(These could all be variations or our versions of these things.) Think about all the campy 1950’s drive-in feature creatures.

Not only is the CEO a secret shadow figure that gets revealed during the season, he also turns out to be a well-regarded State SENATOR, that eventually runs for President of the United States against the…

ZOMBIE PRESIDENT.Zombie Obama

Here’s more on that:

POLITICAL ATMOSPHERE:

The atmosphere behind the zombie apocalypse is the political commentary. Politics keeps coming up in several episodes that go along with the rising tide of zombie supporters for zombie rights.  It’s a metaphor for rights groups throughout history.  Later on in the season, the President of the United States gets bitten and becomes a zombie and Zombie Law is brought in to argue the diminished capacity of the President in front of House of Representatives and again in a trial at the Senate and whether or not he’s capable of doing the job of the executive office. This ultimately comes full circle as Zombie Law fights from episode 1 all the way through the series for zombie RIGHTS.

“C” STORY

The 3rd story thread usually consisting of some kind of rift or resolution to the 3 MAIN CHARACTERS; Calvin is in love with Laurel, Laurel hates Edwin, Edwin creates chaos for Calvin…etc.  Here is a specific example:

  • Calvin’s ex-fiancée, that spurned him at the altar, comes looking for him. She’s recently dead and wants restitution from Moreaucorp for accidentally creating the zombie that bit her. She’s realized a lot of regrets since dying, the main one being Calvin. This causes confusion and complications with him and with Laurel, whose jealousy makes her realize that she may have deeper feelings for Calvin.ZL Anna Zach

LAUREL HUNT TALKING HEAD

LAUREL HUNT

I’ve known Cal for most of my life, I’ve never seen him this low before.

She looks behind her to see if Cal may be around listening.

LAUREL HUNT (CONT’D)

And I’ve seen him get stood up at the altar. That was embarrassing. Pathetic really. But this was a new low. Even for him.

CHARACTERS

CALVIN JUSTICE

Calvin (30’s) is a bleeding heart without a paycheck, a conservative idealistic do-gooder.Cast of Zombie Law 3

Mona looks solemnly at Edwin and then to Cal. Cal knows when to speak and when to listen.

MONA

I have been here a long time. We’ve been thru a lot together. Edwin, Cal, you’re excellent lawyers… But you suck at running a business!

Edwin looks hurt, but Cal looks like that’s just about right.

MONA (CONT’D)

Cal, you’re a bleeding heart and you take every sad story that comes along. Many of them pro bono.

CAL

I do not.

MONA

My car broke down this morning. Can I borrow some money to get it fixed?

Mona holds her hand out.

CAL

(Taking his wallet out.) Oh, I didn’t know that. I only have…

Mona spreads her arms out for validation. Cal realizes and puts his wallet away.

CAL (CONT’D)

That was just mean.zachary-levi-heroes-reborn-star

He doesn’t like that he got roped into going into practice with Edwin years before, simply because Edwin thought their names together made for “great marketing”.

CALVIN JUSTICE

You only partnered with me because of my last name.

EDWIN WYNN

I don’t deny, Wynn-Justice Law, it’s a good marketing gimmick, but we’re good together.

CALVIN JUSTICE

We’re bankrupt, Ed.

He does, however, embrace the idea of helping the zombies.  He’s an activist with a cause!

ZL zachary-levi-psa-slice

EDWIN WYNN

Edwin Wynn is a brainless get-rich-quick schemer, putting his money where his mouth is…empty. Edwin is a liberal free-spirited entrepreneur.z Anthony_Michael_Hall_1

MONA

And Ed…

EDWIN

(He taps his forehead.) I’m a marketing master. The wheels never stop.

MONA

Like recently, you hosted an adult Slip & Slide contest to try and drum up business.

EDWIN

(He smiles.) Brilliant, I know.

MONA

People got hurt. And your P.I. Referral just signed 3 new clients and filed cases against us.

Ed frowns.

MONA (CONT’D)

Oh by the way, they sent you a fruit basket.

She points to a basket of exotic fruit off to the side. Ed gets excited.Z Anthony+Michael+Hall

He’s like a child in so many ways, 200% loyal, fearless, easily excitable, always upbeat and positive, his enthusiasm knows no bounds and often gets them into trouble, especially Calvin.

CALVIN JUSTICE AND EDWIN WYNN TALKING HEADS

EDWIN WYNN

We don’t need her. What happens when you fall off a horse?

CALVIN JUSTICE

ED, don’t cliché me.

EDWIN WYNN

Winners are just losers who never gave up.

CALVIN JUSTICE

Ed…

EDWIN WYNN

I’m just saying, we’re Wynn-Justice. We just need to figure it out.

Although, if backed into a corner, he can be a scary and formidable foe.  Someone you want on your side, he has a joyful glee in making people think he’s mean, but can use it at times to make the pair stronger. It’s downright mischievous at times.ZL ANthony Michael Hall

LAUREL HUNT

Their INVESTIGATOR is a bounty hunter named LAUREL HUNT. She owns a self-defense dojo, which is appropriate when you think of the world they live in, survival is a much valued commodity. She is the muscle.

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Laurel walks over to a small counter by the door. A rough Biker is waiting for her.

BIKER

I’ve got a coupon for your “Evading Police Package”…

He pulls the piece of paper from his leather jacket vest pocket and slams it on the counter.

LAUREL HUNT

The free lesson on how to get out of handcuffs? She looks at the flyer and reaches into a drawer.

BIKER

That’s the one.

She pulls out some handcuffs and slaps one on the wrist of the Biker.

BIKER (CONT’D)

Hey, what the…

LAUREL HUNT

You want the lesson, right?

BIKER

Yeah…

She cuffs the other side to a pipe attached to the wall nearby.

LAUREL HUNT

Here’s the lesson. Don’t break the law!

BIKER

What the? Why you little B—

Laurel headbutts the Biker in the face and knocks him out.  He hangs limply from the pipe.Z Anna Gun

Long-time friends with Calvin, they do not realize yet that, THEY ARE IN LOVE. The sexual tension is tangible, from the very start. The attraction is there, even if they don’t admit it verbally at first.ZL Anna Torv Window

Later in the season they complicate things by replaying the wall of Jericho scene in It Happened One Night. (look it up) Eventually, they connect.

She comes in handy every week and provides the show with some much needed action at times. In the 2 k’s…kicking butt and kissing.

JUDGE DEL TORO aka DODGER ELVIS

Living in an odd world where zombies are real and running around, gives the show an unusual feeling that anything and anyone is possible.  To emphasize that very thing, we’ve created a character that exemplifies that “anyone can be anything” persona; The Dodger Elvis as a JUDGE.Elvis Shadow

ROBERT RUE

Aren’t you going to swear me in?

JUDGE DEL TORO (40’s) turns to Robert to address him. Judge Del Toro looks like a Hispanic Elvis impersonator, with rings on all his fingers, sideburns, oversized gold shades and a pompadour. He picks up his bedazzled gavel and points it at Robert.

JUDGE DEL TORO

Now, see here, little man, this is just a hearing to determine if the plaintiff has a case, no need for that formality just yet. Please just answer the question, thankyouverymuch.Elvis

ZOMBIES

Let’s talk about what the series is wrapped around…ZOMBIES.

In most zombie films and TV shows, zombies are mindless, feeding monsters that are used as fodder.  To kill and forget about, to mow down in droves.

Our series ventures to change that. The series ventures to play on that impression by starting out to make fun of it and then to slowly HUMANIZE the zombies again.Zombies

To show the progression of the zombie disease as if it was Alzheimer’s or Dementia. To slowly endear the zombie to the viewer.  To get them on “their” side. We use it as a metaphor for HUMAN RIGHTS and to help us examine the human condition and the political and prejudicial atmosphere that is the United States of America.Zombie_law

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Zombie Sign