A break in writing, mourning the sudden end of a promising partnership, and moving right along.

So I am taking a moment away from posting another couple of scenes for Faust. I need to address the sudden end to a project I had invested my whole heart into. It started six months ago with my stepping into the shoes of a publisher and publishing a book for a friend and client. Over those months, I toiled, while I was in classes, at attempting to get him a production option through the major studios (not realizing that they had already published their three-year schedules) and trying to secure a producer to help make the film project an actual movie.

I had a foot in the door with Amazon Studios. I had a producer and a directorial duo who were excited to to work on the project. Now, I am looking at a termination of the contract before I can even secure a studio’s commitment.

Update: The partnership is still intact, but the contract is to change so that he can bail should I not secure a studio by the end of the month. Tall order, but Either Netflix or Amazon Studios will definitely want this little gem.

Moving right along, I am going to try and have Faust complete around the same time as Soldiers. That way, I can make two deals at once.

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The Faust Syndrome: Act 1, scenes 1 and 2

   The Faust Syndrome

Act 1, Scene 1:  open with head shot of Sam. His hair is dishevelled, his eyes wild-yet-vacant.  his head is moving, almost as if he is struggling against bonds. Slowly zoom in on Sam’s  eye until the camera appears to go into the pupil. Fade to a cloaked stranger descending into Hell. Even the demons give the  stranger wide berth. His purpose in Hell is made known as he is accosted by the Devil resulting in him gesturing to a figure, obscured by a multitude of ravens feasting upon it, affixed to an ‘X’ shaped cross. The Devil nods and allows the stranger to go to the figure.

                                                               Stranger

(in a strange tone)

be at ease, my child, and begin your tale. I shall record all and take it  to the world and let all be known.

Sam

(pained, yet not muffled by the ravens. Repentant)

For those who read this tale, please–I beg of you–do not make the same mistakes I have made, for the tale you are about to read is true. I know, I lived it. (pan out to reveal hands writing as he speaks) And now, I regret my ever having lived…more than I could ever imagine. I regret ever being so polluted by desire and aspirations that I do not know where to begin making amends.

fade to scene of a birth. The family is affluent. progress through growth from baby to young child. Young Sam has an unnatural gleam in his eye that hints at an unhealthy obsession with wealth and power. As the scenes progress, he pulls “Dr. Faustus”, “The Devil and Daniel Webster”, and historical legends (Julius Caesar and the Ides of March) from the shelves in the family library.he also pulls other books (random) from the shelves feverishly researching something. as the scenes progress, it is evident that Sam seems to slowly transform from a normal youth to someone dark and evil, though very much handsome.

                                                                 Sam

(narrating the scenes)

I was born to wealth and privilege, but began to have great ambitions long before most children know what they want to become as adults. Being a voracious reader, I knew well the classics Doctor Faustus and The Devil and Daniel Webster…and even classic tale of Julius Caesar and the Ides of March. Much of my youth was spent in my father’s library divided between devouring the classics and doing research.

As I read, my ambitions grew. My desires, all so selfish, festered within my soul–eating away at me. My aspirations blinded me so to the realities of life and the world around me. All three caused me to stray from the path of truth, though I believed I was in search of it.

I became completely enveloped in my ambition and desire that all else was darkened and only my self-created search for ‘enlightenment’ mattered. But it wasn’t enlightenment that I found. Nor was it the freedom I craved, nor the power that I thought was rightly mine. Instead, I was to find that my soul was bound to slavery and no longer my own. In haste, I would sign away something that never belonged to me in the first place…and become a vassal of the darkness, owned by the Devil himself.

Scene changes to a cold dismal November. A 20-year-old Sam is in the family library, desperately searching through antiques tomes, some that are huge, others that are small, for something that isn’t made directly known through his ad libbed mutterings. he is pale, making it apparent he is both ill and weak due to the lack of sleep caused by his fevered search. Moaning can be heard somewhere else in the mansion, rising from time to time over the howl of the wind. The calendar behind Sam is on Nov. 22. pictures of Sam’s five anonymous brothers hang on the sides of the nearest interior shelves.

It all happened on a cold November night, when I was in the midst of my delusional search and at my weakest.I sat in the library, surrounded by the books I hoped would bring me some understanding of the occult world, when he appeared. It wasn’t my father,for he ailed at death’s door in one of the rooms above; and my brothers had all left the comforts of the manse for lives of their own. How I envied them all that they had, all that they had worked hard for and earned. Their money, their notoriety, their wives, their children, their homes, their cars…ah, but I stray from the story.

He appeared, there in the library, perched high upon the wheeled ladder that hung from the furthest shelf–smoke and the smell of Hell itself upon him. His name, though not that of the Dark Prince,was only breathed in the confines of Hell.Yet, he was considered, at least in his own mind and heart, a Lieutenant of Hell’s legions and an expert at buying souls.

Scene 2: Sam is distracted by a smell. Brimstone. He searches the room with his eyes, turning in his chair, for the source of the odor. Sitting upon the top of the wheeled ladder farthest from him sits a dark stranger who had not been there before. He is evidently excited, almost overjoyed, at the sight of the stranger.

Belial 

(Smiling. In a mesmerizing, seductive voice)

Seems you need a friend. Maybe I can be of service…?

Sam

(rhetorically)

And what sort of person needs friends when friends betray

your plans and keep you from rising  to the level in life that you should?

Belial

(in an amused hiss)

Well said, child of man, but not all friends betray your trust.

I won’t. It is not my place. In fact, my master has sent me to make all

your wishes and dreams come true.

Sam

(with sarcasm)

Really?

 Belial

(in agreement)

Indeed.

Sam

(intrigued)

Then, what must I call you?

Belial

My true name Is far too long and unutterable for your tongue,

so you may call me Belial.

Sam

And the price for your friendship?

Belial

(evidently lying, but convincingly)

Nothing. But for what I can give you, my master only asks for

your soul.

Belial produces a contract out of thin air and lays it in front of Sam. He produces a quill as well and hands it to Sam.

Sam

(testing Belial)

And what can your master give me? I must know

before I sign anything.

Belial 

(perceiving Sam’s businesslike stance)

Very astute, you are, so I shall tell you. Powers supernatural,

strength of a thousand men, the reverence of your peers,

and fame throughout the world. Immortality, agelessness,

whatever your heart desires.

Sam

(decidedly)

Very well, friend, then give me the contract. I would

have this and more.

Belial

(pushing the document closer to Sam)

Here it is, but it has to be signed in your own blood

for it is a pact betwixt you and my master. (pauses for a moment)

Yet there are a few restrictions I must make you understand.

(pauses to ponder his words) You must never ask any questions

about my master, the workings of our realm, or bring up the name of the                            High Father or His Son in my presence or even after I am outside your                                                   presence. And believe me, we will know.

          Sam

(slightly amused)

Then I have no more use for going to church?

Belial

(in agreement)

None. Continue to go, and our agreement would be

jeopardized. We wouldn’t want that, now, would we?

Hands Sam a knife. Sam pricks his finger and puts the nib to his finger, allowing his blood to be sucked into the reservoir. Sam puts the pen to the document.

Sam

(signing his name)

Not at all.

The signed document vanishes in a whisp of smoke. Belial smiles at Sam. Sam is less than amused. INtrigued with this new business arrangement, he begins plotting with his new “friend” as narration continues. 

Sam

(narrating)

Still, being young and naive, I allowed my desires to override my sensibility and clear thinking. I had no interest in my own soul, though I should have been more astute, defensive, and cared most about the wellbeing of my soul. But I thought, ah, but what is a soul that I should care one way or the other what happens to it? And so, I signed away the most important piece of me…my soul. And for what? A bit of power otherwise earned by hard work and careful planning? Abilities that are taboo to man for the very reasons I wanted them? A few years’ notoriety that I could have gotten by fair means rather than foul? All so selfish of reasons that I rue the day I ever met Belial, though that is not his real name. Nor will I utter it, for to do so is to call upon him and the bargain I made with him.

Fade to scene in Hell, Sam on the cross-though hidden from view by the ravens that are pecking at the man beneath as he continues to narrate.

Oh, if I could but turn back the clock…go back and prevent myself from committing so foolish an action! But it is too late for such, so I must suffer the pangs of my torments which I bought with my selfishness and decadence. The unquenchable flames which lick my feet; the hellish ravens which peck at my belly, pulling flesh-if, indeed, you can call it flesh-from there and my limbs.The agony! But all of my making. All the while, the Devil sits with my captive soul, mocking it and laughing…leering at me with mocking eyes and false concern.God forgive me!

Pan to scene of a leering Devil holding a glowing globe in his hand. The Devil looks over, from time to time, at the figure on the cross.

the one desire that sealed my fate was for power unimaginable. Some would term such a desire a form of magic but power over the air and such appealed to me. Powers supernatural were the forbidden fruit I desired so much that I gave my one chance at Heavenly glory away. As for money and fame, they were-in my eyes-a plus that were fringe benefits of my bargain. Once signed, the document vanished in a puff of smoke and my soul was taken from me. for the first time in my life, I felt empty. More than empty. I felt as if my life had truly ended. Yet, my newfound journey had just begun.

the hole where my soul had been began to fill with a deep greed, an insatiable thirst for riches and power. My heart began to grow dark and evil; malice, avarice, lust, sloth, gluttony, and a multitude of other evils which I would have never taken on if I had continued my journey with my born companion, my soul. My ambitions now had no end.By fair means, or foul, I desired to get as much as I could. I lusted after what I could not have. I envied all who had more than I.  I plotted their demise with every waking breath.

 

 

“The Faust Syndrome” Act 1, Scene 1…the Choices…

Before I begin, I  want to make it clear that I will be writing three different versions to Act 1, Scene 1. After all three are up, I will ask which opening scene is best. With this in mind, let’s begin.

******

 

                       The Faust Syndrome

Act 1, Scene 1:  open with head shot of Sam. His hair is dishevelled, his eyes wild-yet-vacant.  his head is moving, almost as if he is struggling against bonds. Slowly zoom in on Sam’s  eye until the camera appears to go into the pupil. Fade to scene in Hell. Sam, nearly unrecognizable, being covered with ravens that seem to be  feasting on his flesh, is talking to an unseen visitor. Sam is affixed, bound, to an ‘x’ shaped cross, unable to move.

Sam

(pained, yet not muffled by the ravens. Repentant)

For those who read this tale, please–I beg of you–do not make the same mistakes I have made, for the tale you are about to read is true. I know, I lived it. (pan out to reveal hands writing as he speaks) And now, I regret my ever having lived…more than I could ever imagine. I regret ever being so polluted by desire and aspirations that I do not know where to begin making amends.

fade to scene of a birth. The family is affluent. progress through growth from baby to young child. Young Sam has an unnatural gleam in his eye that hints at an unhealthy obsession with wealth and power. As the scenes progress, he pulls “Dr. Faustus”, “The Devil and Daniel Webster”, and historical legends (Julius Caesar and the Ides of March) from the shelves in the family library.he also pulls other books (random) from the shelves feverishly researching something. as the scenes progress, it is evident that Sam seems to slowly transform from a normal youth to someone dark and evil, though very much handsome.

Sam

(narrating the scenes)

I was born to wealth and privilege, but began to have great ambitions long before most children know what they want to become as adults. Being a voracious reader, I knew well the classics Doctor Faustus and The Devil and Daniel Webster…and even classic tale of Julius Caesar and the Ides of March. Much of my youth was spent in my father’s library divided between devouring the classics and doing research.

As I read, my ambitions grew. My desires, all so selfish, festered within my soul–eating away at me. My aspirations blinded me so to the realities of life and the world around me. All three caused me to stray from the path of truth, though I believed I was in search of it.

I became completely enveloped in my ambition and desire that all else was darkened and only my self-created search for ‘enlightenment’ mattered. But it wasn’t enlightenment that I found. Nor was it the freedom I craved, nor the power that I thought was rightly mine. Instead, I was to find that my soul was bound to slavery and no longer my own. In haste, I would sign away something that never belonged to me in the first place…and become a vassal of the darkness, owned by the Devil himself.

*********

OK, that is the first possible intro scene.  Now, for the second possibility.

*******

 

Act 1, Scene 1: A cloaked stranger descends into Hell. Even the demons give the  stranger wide berth. His purpose in Hell is made known as he is accosted by the Devil resulting in him gesturing to a figure, obscured by a multitude of ravens feasting upon it, affixed to an ‘X’ shaped cross. The Devil nods and allows the stranger to go to the figure.

Stranger

(in a strange tone)

be at ease, my child, and begin your tale. I shall record all and take it  to the world and let all be known.

Sam

(pained, yet not muffled by the ravens. Repentant)

For those who read this tale, please–I beg of you–do not make the same mistakes I have made, for the tale you are about to read is true. I know, I lived it. (pan out to reveal hands writing as he speaks) And now, I regret my ever having lived…more than I could ever imagine. I regret ever being so polluted by desire and aspirations that I do not know where to begin making amends.

fade to scene of a birth. The family is affluent. progress through growth from baby to young child. Young Sam has an unnatural gleam in his eye that hints at an unhealthy obsession with wealth and power. As the scenes progress, he pulls “Dr. Faustus”, “The Devil and Daniel Webster”, and historical legends (Julius Caesar and the Ides of March) from the shelves in the family library.he also pulls other books (random) from the shelves feverishly researching something. as the scenes progress, it is evident that Sam seems to slowly transform from a normal youth to someone dark and evil, though very much handsome.

Sam

(narrating the scenes)

I was born to wealth and privilege, but began to have great ambitions long before most children know what they want to become as adults. Being a voracious reader, I knew well the classics Doctor Faustus and The Devil and Daniel Webster…and even classic tale of Julius Caesar and the Ides of March. Much of my youth was spent in my father’s library divided between devouring the classics and doing research.

As I read, my ambitions grew. My desires, all so selfish, festered within my soul–eating away at me. My aspirations blinded me so to the realities of life and the world around me. All three caused me to stray from the path of truth, though I believed I was in search of it.

I became completely enveloped in my ambition and desire that all else was darkened and only my self-created search for ‘enlightenment’ mattered. But it wasn’t enlightenment that I found. Nor was it the freedom I craved, nor the power that I thought was rightly mine. Instead, I was to find that my soul was bound to slavery and no longer my own. In haste, I would sign away something that never belonged to me in the first place…and become a vassal of the darkness, owned by the Devil himself.

*****

OK, so here you have the end of  the second possibility. On to the third.

******

Act 1, Scene 1:  open with head shot of Sam. His hair is dishevelled, his eyes wild-yet-vacant.  his head is moving, almost as if he is struggling against bonds. Slowly zoom in on Sam’s  eye until the camera appears to go into the pupil. Fade to a cloaked stranger descending into Hell. Even the demons give the  stranger wide berth. His purpose in Hell is made known as he is accosted by the Devil resulting in him gesturing to a figure, obscured by a multitude of ravens feasting upon it, affixed to an ‘X’ shaped cross. The Devil nods and allows the stranger to go to the figure.

Stranger

(in a strange tone)

be at ease, my child, and begin your tale. I shall record all and take it  to the world and let all be known.

Sam

(pained, yet not muffled by the ravens. Repentant)

For those who read this tale, please–I beg of you–do not make the same mistakes I have made, for the tale you are about to read is true. I know, I lived it. (pan out to reveal hands writing as he speaks) And now, I regret my ever having lived…more than I could ever imagine. I regret ever being so polluted by desire and aspirations that I do not know where to begin making amends.

fade to scene of a birth. The family is affluent. progress through growth from baby to young child. Young Sam has an unnatural gleam in his eye that hints at an unhealthy obsession with wealth and power. As the scenes progress, he pulls “Dr. Faustus”, “The Devil and Daniel Webster”, and historical legends (Julius Caesar and the Ides of March) from the shelves in the family library.he also pulls other books (random) from the shelves feverishly researching something. as the scenes progress, it is evident that Sam seems to slowly transform from a normal youth to someone dark and evil, though very much handsome.

Sam

(narrating the scenes)

I was born to wealth and privilege, but began to have great ambitions long before most children know what they want to become as adults. Being a voracious reader, I knew well the classics Doctor Faustus and The Devil and Daniel Webster…and even classic tale of Julius Caesar and the Ides of March. Much of my youth was spent in my father’s library divided between devouring the classics and doing research.

As I read, my ambitions grew. My desires, all so selfish, festered within my soul–eating away at me. My aspirations blinded me so to the realities of life and the world around me. All three caused me to stray from the path of truth, though I believed I was in search of it.

I became completely enveloped in my ambition and desire that all else was darkened and only my self-created search for ‘enlightenment’ mattered. But it wasn’t enlightenment that I found. Nor was it the freedom I craved, nor the power that I thought was rightly mine. Instead, I was to find that my soul was bound to slavery and no longer my own. In haste, I would sign away something that never belonged to me in the first place…and become a vassal of the darkness, owned by the Devil himself.

***********

So there you have all three versions, all three possible beginnings. all three are good, but which is the best possible beginning? Please give input.

 

 

Are You Ready?

I have been convinced by some of my Facebook friends to adapt  The Faust Syndrome as a screenplay. Are you ready?

Since my Word program is down at the moment, I will be doing scene-by-scene here. The script here sill not be the finished product, but will be like a first draft. Are you ready?

Are you ready to see a horror film unfold in script form?

Computers and their ability to eat programs

Well, I have a diagnosis of what is wrong with my computer and why my Microsoft Office does not work.  Not only is my Office program expired, but my computer seems to have been making small meals out of my Office program. It has already eaten  my Power Point program and my Excel program. Recently, it ate my Word program. Kelly, my wife, found programs/files left by the person I bought the computer from. Unneeded files. Trojan horse type files.

I love being married to someone who is more computer savvy than I am. Otherwise I would be a blithering mess. Still, this computer was only meant to be a temporary filler until I was able to buy a new one. Key phrase here is “new one”, meaning a brand new model. After all, this one is a refurbished used computer that had, at best, only a year or two left to its life.

Since my forced withdrawal from college, I will be receiving one more stipend before there will be no more. This stipend is going toward fixing the problem. Well, not quite the acquisition of a new computer, but a temporary fix for this one.

Snippets

My classes:

It seems that my time at Kaplan has come to an end thanks to a “Student Advisor” who is horrid at doing the right thing. I asked for a LOA (Leave of Absence) for a single term, which is totally doable.  Instead, the Advisor submitted a withdrawal request, which was granted. His excuse was complete Bullshit because my wife is also currently on leave, but due to financial reasons. Suffice it to say, I may be seeking a new University to attend once I am done with a few projects.

There is something good coming from all this, though. The first is that I am getting a refund of what is left of my funding for the term I would have taken. This will enable me to get a few things done.

 

My Windows  Office:

So, my Windows Office expired…forcing me to take an unwanted break from the scripts for Soldiers Of Leaves and Mano: Nightmares At Twilight. This causes one thing. I am bored out of my gourd. And I hate boredom.

Lucky for me, Kelly will be helping me renew my Office tomorrow and the boredom will end. We hope.

 

Soldiers of Leaves:

So you are probably wondering what Soldiers is. Well, Soldiers is my debut in filmmaking. At the moment, I am working on a rough script, which will be submitted to both Amazon Studios and Netflix Studios for consideration. The Customer Service guy at Netflix responded that he would definitely watch a movie of this caliber, so I know that Blamah Moore (the author) and myself have a crowd waiting on this project to be finished.

the cool thing is that I have a small crew waiting to work on this as well as a financier who is willing to back it. We may have to make the film itself before it is accepted, but that is cool with me. The idea is to get the film made, no matter what route we have to take. I am also looking at a couple of sponsors (their products are mentioned in the narrative) for the film.

 

Mano: Nightmare at Twilight

Mano was born from a story I wrote in high school. I am currently working on the script for the first episode, part one of the pilot, as I write this. It looks as if it is going to size up to become an amazing series. Like Soldiers, I plan on submitting the script to amazon and Netflix.

 

The Vampire Wars

I am pondering taking The Vampire Wars, at least the beginning, and making scripts for them as well…instead of books. This would actually shorten the overall saga down to 4 series instead of an endless one.

I am also pondering adapting Angel of Death into scripts as well, which would round out The Vampire Wars nicely.

 

The Morrow Family Saga

This brings us to The Morrow Family Saga. I am thinking of doing the same for this saga that I am doing  for Angel of Death. Of course, I am also pondering whether the world is ready for Tales from the Renge as a series or not.

I plan on adapting The Faust Syndrome as a film script and working on bringing it to life by Halloween of next year…not to mention a few other releases.

 

News of the World, Souljourner’s debut, and other productions

I have a few unscripted Youtube projects scheduled for my new time off. Among these are unscripted skits such as News of the World, a satirical fictional news program that has its humble beginnings as a hallway skit done by the now legendary (in our own minds, anyway) “Three J’s and an E”. I must admit, I was a bad influence when I went to church…always leading the younger boys to create hilarious skits in the hallways of the college we used as a church hall.

It was here that I dreamed up characters like The Radio-Pirate, The Wasted Surfer, Big Dick Johnson, King Creole, Baby Jay, The Pissable Toads, and many others that would become my strange personal menagerie of personas…that joined the Fortuneteller who emerged in 1993 while I was at NWMSU.

Recently, a new character emerged: Souljourner, the soul reaver(reaper) and sometimes book reviewer who haunts a nether realm with his friend (a skull on a staff) Headley. At the same time, I may actually debut a few other skits/ideas such as Katthouse, DeepThroat, and a few other concepts that don’t need to be anything more than performance art.  

 

Other Projects

With all the adaptations and ideas, I have begun fleshing out other than televised pieces and scripts/films. These have nothing to do with the literary world (other than being intro’d in a story or two) and everything to do with the real world.

I have an idea for a concept that combines flood control, sustainable energy production, and water treatment (processing the used water so that it can be used for drinking, bottling, and distribution). Though the idea needs further study, I have many who are interested in this as it would work well in several countries where flooding is a major threat and the power grids need stabilization.

Add to this a plan to bring together farmers and their communities to create jobs and generate revenue, and thus strengthening the economy of an area, and you have a possible way to prevent the next economic Depression. Amazingly, it is hard to find sponsors for such ideas because it threatens the hold the major corporations have on the world.

 

My Delinquency

I have been having problems, lately, with panic attacks. I have been struggling since Before I took leave from college. It was not so much an overload of work, but an overload of pressure from the financial department. From the first series of phone calls, the pressure began mounting. after the first straight week of constant calls, I became a nervous wreck and began losing interest in my work. By the end of the second straight week, I had begun getting hit by panic attacks.

Now, I am stuck with a problem I didn’t need.  And this is partly why I have not been posting much. But not the whole reason. In fact, the main reason I have not been posting is I have been adapting Blamah Moore’s book Soldiers of Leaves to screenplay format.

Along with this, I have been searching for a home for the overall filming project as well. This was not as much a problem as I initially thought, seeing how Hollywood’s biggest studios have already published their schedules for the next year or three (all filled with franchise films, reboots, and remakes), but actually—it was fairly easy. there is interest in the project from both Amazon Studios and Netflix Studios. Pretty cool, eh?

As I adapt Soldiers, I am also working on the first five scripts for a series that was born out of a story written back in 1992. Johnny Mano: Nightmares At Twilight should make for a wild sci-fi ride. I have also been working on the little youtube pieces that will debut a few of my more colorful characters through unscripted skits…maybe I can cause widespread panic the way the original War of the Worlds did. (not that I have any intent, but News from Home Just might do that.)