Here are some of the projects I’ve written over the years. As far as the downloads go, you know the drill: these materials are copyright their respective owners (me, for the most part) and are provided for educational, personal use only. Unless you want to option one of them from me, in which case — sweet!
A five-issue miniseries that centers around the friendship between a young orphan girl and her guardian, an old military robot, as they make their way across a post-apocalyptic wasteland.
This is currently a work in progress. Download a seven-page preview of the first issue here.
OLIVIA DARK, MONSTER RESEARCH ASSISTANT (2015-present)
An ongoing all-ages webcomic about a 12-year-old girl and her absent-minded writer uncle as they research things that go bump in the night for his best-selling horror novels. Written by me and illustrated by Jennifer Albright.
Take a look and download free PDFs at www.oliviadark.com.
BALLS TO THE WALL (2014)
As I’ve mentioned, this was an original spec screenplay of mine that went through a ridiculous number of incarnations during its ten year trip to iTunes. I don’t know if my original vision of the movie would have been any better, but I will say this: that goddamn script would not stay dead. There was something about it that kept people interested in its various incarnations.
Here’s the original spec draft that landed me my then-manager, who then circulated it around town:
LOVE AND DEATHRAYS
Logline: A second generation superhero with professional performance anxiety falls in love with his therapist as the earth is menaced by his father’s arch-nemesis.
This is an old script — written in 2000 — and it made the quarterfinals of the Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting the following year. I got quite a few meetings off this one, though at the time everybody told me that nobody would make a superhero movie not based on an existing property. (The Incredibles gave lie to that a few years later, of course, but that was Pixar so I don’t know if it counts.) The time for this script has probably come and gone, but I still have a soft spot for it.
Logline: A rural teenager is convinced by the older brother he idolizes that they have to kill their abusive father — the town sheriff.
This grim little thriller/family drama was the first script that I wrote when I moved to Los Angeles in 1997. As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, I wrote it for my mentor Tim Albaugh during UCLA’s year-long Professional Program in Screenwriting. The script ended up winning the Program’s climactic competition, was written up in Variety and got me my first general meeting at a studio. I’ll never forget the Disney exec telling me, “This is a great script, but it’s not a Disney movie.” I then pitched him the thing I was working on at the time, to which he replied, “Yeah, that’s not a Disney movie, either.”
BONUS: BILL & TED & ME
In 2007 or so I got the opportunity to pitch for the first time on a preexisting property — in this case, the Bill & Ted franchise. The rights holder at the time was interested in rebooting the series with younger actors and a more modern sensibility; after my manager sent in one of my scripts as a sample, I was invited in to discuss my take. I spent way, way too much time working on this thing — much like J.J. Abrams would do years later with Star Trek, I came up with an alternate universe idea that rebooted the series without negating the original movies. The story was kind of complicated and a pain in the ass to pitch verbally, but the development folks seemed to respond with it. Supposedly, in the end, it came down to my pitch or a more conventional reboot idea, and they went with the latter. Not that it mattered — the remake never materialized. Eventually Ed Solomon and Chris Matheson announced that they were writing a third Bill & Ted for Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter, which is as it should be.
So here’s the treatment I wrote which I used as the basis for my verbal pitch. I can’t say my story is actually good, but it sure was a helluva lot of fun to write. Obviously I have no claim whatsoever on these characters, so consider this nothing more than fanfic, an enthusiastic tribute to two of my all-time favorite movies. It would have been awesome to land the gig, though.