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Movie Scripts

I learned script writing at San Francisco State University, but my interest in working in the film industry didn't germinate until later. I was heavily involved in the rock music industry during those years, and my attention was completely absorbed by that world and work on my three nonfiction books about music, which were published in the 1980's. In 1986 I went to live in London with a photographer named Christine Lawrence. Christine was a remarkable woman with a great talent; I was first drawn to her work when I saw her concert photography.

It was while I was living in England that the idea for my first script, Paradise Lost, was born. During my undergraduate years I read extensively in the classics, and John Milton's epic poem was one of my favorites. With the usual twisted workings of my mind, however, I saw Lucifer as the hero of the epic; a hero who is strong in mind and body, and seeks freedom from the oppression of a dictatorship.

I wrote Paradise Lost, a satire of Milton's religious poem, and it was read first by David Bowie's agent, Duncan Heath, and then by a producer at Paramount. Unfortunately the report was that the film would cost 30 million pounds to produce...nearly 50 million U.S. dollars.

When I returned to the states, I began writing with Sandra Brandenburg. We had begun work on our first novel, Beyond the Glass Rainbow, before I went to England, and film work would again recede to the back of my mind while we worked as fine arts journalists during the early 1990's. We also embarked on an ambitious four-volume fantasy novel series, and in the middle of the 1990's I began working as an investigative journalist. First for a local newspaper and eventually as an internet journalist, I loved this phase of my career, which unfortunately ended when the internet bubble collapsed.

My interest in film was renewed in the mid-1990's, and I tried my hand at more scripts. Sandra and I wrote a few together, and in 1997 I was nominated to the Who's Who of American Women for my music books -- to my surprise, I was accepted. This was followed by inclusion in a lot more volumes -- if these interest you, see my biography page.

That year I was introduced to Scott Ferguson, who was at that time an associate of my agent, Ellen Lively Steele. Ellen was a remarkable woman who had been, in her hey-day, a New Mexico state representative as well as a respected book and film agent. She helped Sandra and I hone our novels and scripts, but she was unfortunately past her prime, and a heart-attack and the chronic illness of her husband forced her retirement.

We continued to work with Scott, and wrote a script to his original concept entitled THE DANGER CLUB. This was our first venture working with another collaborator, and it lead to several true-life film scripts. One of these, a solo project based on part of my life entitled DEATH OF A SHINING STAR, was signed for development by ShadowHawk Productions in Ireland, in January of 2003. DEATH OF A SHINING STAR is being co-produced by Allied Artists and will begin production in May of 2004. In March of 2003 I signed a production contract with ShadowHawk for another solo script entitled THE SEWING CLUB. FRUIT OF THE POISON TREE, a true-life story co-written by Sandra, was taken for production in May of '03 in what has become a three-picture deal. POISON is being co-produced by Mind's Eye Productions. We ended our contract with The Zebra Agency in July of '03.

Our collaboration with ShadowHawk ended in 2006 in a very ugly, messy way.  Another writer named Paddy Kelly sued Anthony Whelan of ShadowHawk for misrepresentation and won a judgement against him, but we were so far away...we just moved on.  After several fruitless of attempting to work with so-called 'film financiers' (sidebar on that issue...they are mostly con men looking for a ripe peach they can suck on), in 2009 we decided to attempt to form our own film fund and become our own Executive Producers.  I learned a lot about global financing and something called Private Placement Programs -- high-yield, short term mega-investments for millionaires.  Was I a millionaire?  Far from it...in fact ShadowHawk forced Sandra and I into bankruptcy and in 2008 we both lost our houses.  In 2009, the year we started the 'film fund project' I moved into a little house in an orchard with Tom, Sandra and our two cats, Shadow the Norwegian Forest Cat and Gandalf the Grey.  We later acquired Bitt Boo, a little black Manx who showed up in our garage one day, tiny, hungry and desperate.

In 2010 we formed a collaboration with Stephen Edwards, a large-scale land developer who needed a mega amount of money, as we did, to continue his building project of luxury condominiums on the Gold Coast of Africa, part of a planned resort city called Eko Atlantic (check that one out online...it's pretty awesome).  But Stephen, who originally hoped to be our seed investor, had his own problems.  Although our collaboration continued over the next four years, we finally came to the conclusion that there were no investors out there for us.  Certainly not in the film industry proper -- they are terribly conservative in funding, and still rely mostly on debt and/or equity funding for films.  Which pretty much ensures independent producers never make a lot of money.   We fell into every possible sandtrap and off of every cliff...our corporate identity was stolen in April of 2013 by an employment of Citibank in the Global Financing Department -- with the collusion of the local bank manager of Citibank in Santa Rosa.  In the spring of 2014 we finally got an investment into a program, only to have the broker abscond with the proceeds.  

After Sandra died of complications from  MRSA infection, in August of 2012, Tom and I remained in the orchard house for awhile.  In February of 2014 I was in a serious car accident, and after that we moved to a beautiful house on a cul-de-sac called Hawk Haven Court.  We planned to remain there until we were able to buy the Lost Myths Ink estate, which had been in the works for years.  In June of that year I teamed up with a broker in Switzerland who we thought had her act together, only to have her abscond with the contents of a trust fund...our funds included.

The interim until the first third of 2017 is told in another part of this website.  Suffice it to say, we are still working on financing the LMI multi-media fund...

The first two slates in the Lost Myths Ink Film Fund are set.  They are:

SLATE ONE

Film One:  The Danger Club (also a short novel to be published simultaneously by Fire Mountain Press, illustrated)

                  To be produced by Richard J. Dubin of Crosscut Films

Film Two:   Dream Lovers

                   To be produced by Randy Turrow of FilmPro and Peter E. Jackson (Co-Chairman of The Director's Guild of America)

Film Three:  Death of a Shining Star

                    To be produced by Shalene Portman of Samilu Productions

SLATE TWO:

Film One:     Don't Breathe the Air

                     To be produced by Richard J. Dubin of Crosscut Films

Film Two:      1 Nite in SF

                      To be produced by Randy Turrow of FilmPro and Peter E. Jackson (Co-Chairman of The Director's Guild of America)

Film Three:   Birth of a Shining Star

                       To be produced by Shalene Portman of Samilu Productions

SLATE THREE: Possible

Film One:        Go West, You Idiot!  Collaboration with Frank Cmero and Scott Ferguson

                       Also a novel to be published by Fire Mountain Press

                       No production company chosen at this time -- this film is medium-high  budget and set in four different countries.