Scripts

HAROLD (Romantic Comedy)

Feature length screenplay (Semi-finalist: 2006 PAGE Int’l, 2006 Scriptapalooza and 2006 American Screenwriting Competitions)

Logline: Nerdy, momma’s boy becomes the knight in shining armor to the woman of his dreams.

Brief Summary: HAROLD, a thirty-five year old NY lawyer still living with his pretentious mother, dreams of becoming the knight in shining armor to a beautiful veiled bride who haunts his sleep. When he sees a girl in a wedding gown fleeing the subway after being dumped at the altar, he knows, without a doubt, she is the woman in his dreams. He sets out to win her heart, but is crushed when she rejects him for being a nerd. He refuses to give up and transforms himself into a handsome hunk, only to learn that a true prince cannot be defined by exterior appearances, but by what lies deep within the recesses of the heart.

Long Summary: HAROLD, a nerdy corporate lawyer still living with his overprotective, widowed mother in New York’s Upper East Side, longs to break free from the confines of his monotonous life and become the chivalrous man his successful, wealthy father had been. This desire is so powerful, that his sleep is haunted by a recurring vision where he rides a white horse, racing to the rescue of a beautiful and mysteriously veiled bride who calls his name. Even though it is a dream, Harold knows this woman is real and waits for the day when fate will reveal her identity to him.

One night, while snoozing on the subway home, Harold is awakened from this dream to see a girl in a wedding dress and veil bolt from the train. He follows her, and as if by divine intervention, a gust of wind gently lifts the veil and he sees the face of the woman who has invaded his sleep for so long: it is the face of JULIE BROWN. She is lovely, but her eyes are red and swollen from tears shed after being dumped at the altar. When a by-stander accidentally spills Coke all over the front of her wedding gown, Harold, in a knee-jerk reaction, throws his overcoat over the puddle in an act of chivalry, much like his dead father had done for his mother. Julie ignores the gesture, and yet, there is a connection made; deep down, she realizes this seemingly odd behavior is the hallmark of a true gentleman.

When Harold finally meets Julie again through a dating service mix-up, she does not remember their initial encounter and rejects him as a nerd. Harold is heartbroken, yet not without hope. Determined to win her love, he transforms himself into a hip, handsome guy, later claiming to be an investigative reporter doing a story for the Post on “How Nerds Strike Out with Hot Chicks.” She falls for the lie, but soon discovers that this new Harold isn’t real – he isn’t a reporter after all, but a middle-aged nerd still living with his pretentious, demanding mother.

Harold’s dream comes crashing down when he learns that Julie is taking a two month assignment to London with the Times. He breaks free from his mother’s clutches and races after her, inadvertently revealing his identity as the nerdy, chivalrous man who had sacrificed his overcoat in her hour of need. It is then that Julie realizes what she has known all along: that outward appearance does not determine the strength and desirability of a man, but what lies deep within the heart. Harold wins Julie’s love and fulfills his desire of becoming the perfect groom to her beautiful bride. But most importantly, Harold realizes he has finally become a man – not the man his father had been, but the true man God intended him to be.

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MAGNOLIA HILL (Drama)

Feature length screenplay (Quarter-finalist: 2006 Slamdance Screenwriting Competition)

Logline: A romantic White farm girl in 1920s NC comes to realize that true love comes from the heart, and not earthly, material riches.

Brief Summary: CADIE, a romantic White farm girl in 1920s NC, believes she’s found the secret to eternal happiness in a wealthy plantation owner named BOY. But just as their love blooms into romance, he abandons her, and in her despair, she submits to a loveless marriage and sinks into total hopelessness. It is not until a young black girl, ZENA, intervenes, and introduces Carrie to the local Black Gospel Church, that she begins to see hope in the future. She experiences a love she has never known before – the love of God – and in turn, learns to love her husband, even after Boy returns home and tries to win back her heart.

Long Summary:  It is 1925, in Pleasant Oaks, North Carolina, and CADIE HAMILTON, a poor white farm girl, dreams of being whisked away to a better life of wealth, glamour, fine clothes, parties, and most importantly, love. She has her sights set on Magnolia Hill, a stately plantation home on the other side of Jackson’s Creek, near the Cape Fear River, where she watches, mesmerized, as wealthy guests are entertained in the finest of style. And yet, as she watches, the echo of sermons preached on the opposite side of the creek by the REVEREND AVERILL THOMAS, a dynamic pastor of a black Gospel Church, waft around her, tantalizing and enticing her, offering to fill the emptiness inside her heart with something that doesn’t come wrapped in a big plantation home or in all the finery with which the wealthy revel. It is something quite different, something luring her to stay where she is, on her side of the river.

Cadie experiences a glimmer of her dream when the nephew and heir to the plantation, ROBERT MORGAN (known as “Boy”), comes home for the summer. They quickly fall in love, but when he returns to school, his letters abruptly cease. Thinking she has been abandoned, Cadie falls into the arms of a loveless marriage with a local boy, NORMAN MCLAIN, who she despises. Their marriage goes from bad to worse, until Cadie finds herself in the pit of depression and despair. It is only when a young black girl, Zena Goodwin, befriends her and teaches her the ways of the Gospel Church, that Cadie begins to see hope in the future. A peace she has never known comes over her, and she realizes escape from this life is no longer an option, for she has found her place, her home with Norman – or has she?

When Boy returns to discover the truth that his uncle lied and cheated them out of their future, he begs Cadie to run away with him.  After a fleeting moment of temptation, she discovers that her heart belongs to Norman McLain and ultimately to God. But is it too late? Will it take a disastrous storm and a brush with death for her to convince Norman that she has loved him all along?

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BREAKING FREE (Drama)

Feature length screenplay (Second Rounder-Screenwriting: 2006 Austin Film Festival; Semi-Finalist: 2008 Kairos Screenwriting Competition)

Logline: A homosexual nightclub owner, haunted by memories of his childhood, finds solace in the friendship of a female Episcopal priest.

Brief Summary: GARY, a homosexual nightclub owner, is haunted by memories of his tormented childhood, until he finds solace in the friendship of an idealistic female Episcopal priest. Through their relationship, he discovers the love and forgiveness of God and, for the first time, is able to face his demons and break free from the lies of his abusive past.

Long Summary: GARY is the handsome, leather-clad, make-up-wearing owner of  The Manhole, a popular homosexual nightclub.  He is master of his domain, including an entourage of adoring groupies, as well as a monogamous, yet jealous lover, LEWIS.  But underneath the makeup and the facade, Gary is haunted by flashbacks of his abusive past. He refuses to return home to visit his mother and little brother, who are oblivious to his lifestyle.  Gary works out this frustration by imposing a surrogate, big brother over protectiveness toward a young boy, JOSE, and his mother, MRS. HERNANDEZ, who have been told that Gary’s mother and brother were killed in a tragic accident.

Things change when SANDRA, an Episcopal priest, moves into the dilapidated church next door to the Manhole, and sets out to minister to the prostitutes, street walkers and homosexuals in the area, including Gary and his patrons.  Her boyfriend, KEN, a fellow priest, questions her intentions and her ability to successfully reach “these sinners.” The BISHOP believes in Sandra and encourages her to stick with it, despite the rejections from Lewis and Gary’s other friends.

Jose, who also suffered an abusive past, looks up to Gary and desires to imitate his gay lifestyle, despite Gary’s numerous protests. One night, Gary is seriously injured after another fight with the rebellious Jose. Sandra is awakened by a dream and miraculously appears on the scene, saving Gary from near death.  Afterward, Gary becomes more and more intrigued by Sandra and gathers the courage to visit the church one night, where he experiences a supernatural encounter with God.  Thinking Gary has suffered a relapse from his injury, Sandra rushes him to the hospital, only to discover that he has been miraculously healed. Gary tries to return to Lewis and his old life, but he cannot. Sandra helps Gary reconcile with Jose, and Jose opens up to Gary and allows him to become the big brother that he never had. Gary spends more time with Sandra, and they embark on a deep and intimate friendship. Lewis’s jealousy grows until Gary is forced to end their relationship for good.

Lewis retaliates by attacking Sandra on the church altar after Sunday services. Jose intervenes and learns that Gary has lied to him all along regarding the death of his mom and little brother. Ken and the Bishop respond by urging Sandra to leave and avoid the dangers of the area, but she refuses. Gary overhears this conversation and questions her true intentions toward him. When he sees the bruises on her face, he instinctively knows they were caused by Lewis and seeks revenge. Gary confronts Lewis, only to find him in bed with Jose. When Lewis fails to get the reaction from Gary that he had desired, he threatens to expose Gary’s lifestyle to his mom and brother and reveal the secrets of his abusive past. Gary battles Lewis in a final show-down, similar to the battle he fought against his abusive father so many years ago.

Gary’s memory comes back to him full force, and he cannot hide from it any longer.  He confesses his secret to Sandra and seeks the forgiveness from God he has so long desired. Gary washes the make-up from his face, passes Sandra the keys to the Manhole, and confronts Jose to follow suit and come to terms with his abuse as well. Free from the haunting flashbacks of his youth, Gary heads home to his mom and brother for the first time in many years.

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SON OF THE DAWN (Horror/Thriller)

Feature length screenplay (Semi-Finalist: 2007 Slamdance Horror Screenwriting Competition)

Logline: Ex-cop turned street minister must protect his little girl from a demonic spirit that viciously murdered his wife years ago.

Summary: Two black Crows fly through the night toward a maximum security prison where EDWARD MERCER, a demonized serial killer lives out his last days, his body scrawled with self-inflicted scars of a strange serpent-like symbol. The Crows supernaturally manifest into two African American men, MELEK and OREB, who have come to set the evil Spirit loose who is trapped inside Mercer’s body. They warn the Spirit that it will soon be destroyed by the “one with the power of the name.” When the Spirit refuses to come forth, the Crows make an opening by ripping Mercer’s heart out and forcing the Spirit’s exit. The Spirit quickly makes its way to NY, looking for a new host.

FRANK DELGATTO is a tough, tattoo-laden, Harley-driving, ex-NY cop who now patrols the streets of his neighborhood with a Bible instead of a gun. His home, run by MARIA, his Latino housekeeper, and his little girl, STELLA, has become a refuge for the homeless, ex-drug addicts, and prostitutes in his area looking for love and compassion. While Frank believes he has the faith of God, he has no peace, as his dreams are haunted by memories of his wife, MEGAN, and her brutal murder eight years ago. Her body bore the same mysterious serpent-like symbol placed there by her killer, none other than Edward Mercer, who had marked all of his victims in a similar manner. In Frank’s dreams, her dead body is encircled by two low-flying black Crows, which form a suspicion in his mind that her killing was more than the act of a demented serial killer.

A sense of doom looms over Frank when both he and Stella see the same black Crows near their apartment. That night he receives a call from his former police captain, DAN GREENE, that another murder has occurred and the same serpent-like symbol is on the victim’s body – a detail of which no one outside the police force had known. When Frank learns of the mysterious and bizarre methods surrounding Mercer’s murder, his suspicions are confirmed that the actual killer is not flesh and blood, but supernatural – a demonic spirit that had once resided in Mercer and had murdered Megan years before – a demonic spirit now residing in the body of another human.

The Crows leave Frank a clue at the current crime scene: a bloody cross with a cryptic Biblical reference that only someone like Frank would understand. Frank knows the Crows are involved somehow and views the symbol as a message from God, a warning of coming evil. As additional clues mount up, it becomes clear that Stella is the Spirit’s next murder victim. What little faith Frank was holding on to, all but disappears, and he becomes a man desperate to destroy this Spirit before it takes the life of his precious daughter. But what Frank must learn is that neither guns nor weaponry forged by man can destroy evil, nor can the rote habits of religion, but it is only the child-like faith of the one with the power of the name.

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ANGELS ON EARTH (Drama)

Feature length screenplay (Second Runner Up: 2008 Kairos Screenwriting Competition)

Logline: A small-town southern matriarch receives supernatural healing powers from a divine homeless man, yet is unable to heal the one person she loves the most: her dying daughter.

Summary: MARION, a small-town southern widow, considers herself the matriarch of the local community, setting the standard for dress, social behavior and church attendance. She even goes so far as to publicly critique BILL, the local minister, on his stilted sermons and flat delivery. It’s not until she meets her match in a local hobo, ROY, that life begins to take on new meaning.

After Marion’s daughter, JESSICA, is seriously injured in a car accident, Roy, acting as a servant of God, whispers mysterious words to Marion and passes on the gift of healing without her knowledge. Bill, who is also Jessica’s former fiance, struggles to make a connection with the grieving Marion, but she rejects him and any notion of returning to church. Bill’s ineffectiveness as a minister is bolstered by the taunts of a local faithhealer, FLETCHER, who fuels a jealous rivalry with Bill. The only support Bill can garner from the community is from Roy and a local girl, DARLA, who is confined to a wheelchair. Roy comforts Bill by prophesying that his sermons will one-day strike at the heart of his critics, particularly Marion.

Marion experiences the flow of this mysterious power she received from Roy and unwittingly heals her best friend, REBECCA, who is in the final stages of terminal cancer, as well as Roy’s injured foot. Roy tells Marion she must talk to God if she wants to help Jessica. That night, a skeptical Marion prays for a sign from God and awakens the next morning to find her own right hand completely healed of crippling arthritis. Marion is now fully confident that God will heal Jessica. However, as time passes on, this confidence turns to skepticism again, as Jessica’s condition worsens.

When Bill’s relationship with Darla deepens into romance, Fletcher pressures Darla’s father to force her on his revival stage for a self-professed miracle healing. When Darla is publicly chastised for her lack of faith in God’s miracle power, an outraged Marion calls out to God to stop it. She experiences the flow of mysterious power and, to everyone’s amazement, Darla slowly begins to rise and walk. Fletcher attributes the miracle to his coercive tactics, until Darla acknowledges to the crowd that the healing came through Marion. The once private and reclusive Marion is now a local celebrity.

Marion makes one last effort to ask God to heal Jessica, but try as she might, she cannot conjure the flow of this mysterious power. She asks Roy for help, but he tells her she must accept God’s will. A distraught Marion heads for the hospital one last time. As she wades through a sea of reporters camped out in her yard, she is accosted by a jealous Fletcher. Roy warns Fletcher that he must repent of his evil ways before it is too late.

At the hospital, Roy convinces a determined Marion to let Jessica go. Marion, Roy and Bill unite together as the doctors unplug the life support machines from Jessica’s withered body. Bill and Marion fall asleep in a hospital chair, arm-in-arm, comforting each other. The next morning Bill delivers the most poignant and spiritually moving sermon of his career. As Marion continues to sleep in the hospital chair, she hears Bill’s words in spirit and they strike at her heart, just as Roy had prophesized to Bill. The love of God flows through her like a river of light, and she is a new person – no longer a religious hypocrite lacking faith in God, but a true believer in His mercy and power and love.

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NO PLACE FOR A LADY (Western Romance)

Feature length screenplay (based on the novel by Maggie Brendan)

Logline: Delicate Southern Belle moves to her aunt’s Colorado cattle ranch in 1890s, and finds herself captivated by this rugged, untamed land and the affections of a handsome, seasoned cow hand.

Summary: CRYSTAL, a delicate Southern Belle, moves to Aspengold, Colorado, after her father’s death, where her AUNT KATE owns and runs a cattle ranch in the Yampa Valley. Despite the beauty and majesty of this land, Crystal finds herself in a hostile, unknown environment and sets out to find some way to survive this wild, untamed country.

Crystal’s beauty and determination to survive do not go unnoticed by LUKE WEBER, a handsome, seasoned cow hand, who sees her as a breath of fresh air, like the delicate Columbine blooms that grace the surrounding fields of wild grass. He introduces her to the true spirit of the land and shares his dream of owning his own ranch. Crystal shows little appreciation for this dream or this untamed country and so begins the spirited animosity between the two.

Luke’s relationship with Crystal is threatened when a wealthy land baron’s son, JOSH MCBRIDE, begins to vie for her affections. Luke retaliates by showing affections to Josh’s beautiful and conniving sister, APRIL. Once Luke and April’s engagement is announced, Crystal can no longer ignore her growing feelings for the rugged cow hand. Luke knows he will gain the dream of his own ranch with this union, but in his soul, he realizes another dream has taken its place: one that includes a life with Crystal.

Crystal’s life is thrown into further turmoil when a fluke twister kills her beloved Aunt Kate, and she finds herself as sole heir to the ranch. Josh’s father plagues Crystal with requests to purchase it, to which Crystal refuses. She decides to stick it out as a ranch owner, with the help of Luke and the other ranch hands, and to lead the herd on the upcoming cattle drive. When the time for the drive arrives, Crystal’s faith and strength is tested by the long hours in the saddle, stampede, storms, extreme fatigue, and the drowning death of a trusted ranch hand. But her resilience brings her through it all and only strengthens the attraction Luke has for her.

Once in Denver, Luke discovers from Aunt Kate’s lawyers that the ranch had been left to him as sole owner. He tells no one of this revelation, but quietly breaks off his engagement to April and renews his interest in Crystal. She initially returns his affections, but then rejects him, thinking it is only a means to obtain the ranch. It is only when Crystal discovers a letter from Aunt Kate that she realizes the ranch actually belongs to Luke and that his affections were in fact genuine.

Thinking it too late to win Luke back, Crystal decides to return to her southern home where she truly belongs. As her bags are packed and she is ready to leave, Luke confesses his intense love for her. She embraces him and agrees to share his dream of living and working this beautiful and majestic land found only along the Columbine Trail.

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ESCAPE FROM MILLTOWN (Drama)

Feature length screenplay

Logline: Hollywood heartthrob returns to his hometown and wins the heart of a local girl longing to escape the drudgery of small town life.

Summary: MARY BETH JOHNSON, 19, lives out the everyday drudgery of small town life in Milfordtown, NC, a rural textile mill town, while planning her eventual escape to NYU’s school of journalism. When she isn’t waitressing at the local diner, she has her nose in a Victorian novel, dreaming of a life of romance and excitement found only in fantasy and make believe, with the main object of her fantasy being a hometown boy-turned moviestar, MITCH WARD, 25.

Mary Beth’s father, RAY, and the owner of the mill, BUDDY MORTON, have other plans for her: one where she marries the heir to the mill, Buddy’s egotistical son, GARTH, 20. In Ray’s mind, this union would provide him a place of wealth and prestige among the country club elite – and his only chance to take back what was lost to him so many years ago when his only son, RICK, the golden child of the family, was tragically killed in a car accident in the prime of his youth. The fact that Mitch was in the car with Rick at the time, and survived the accident unscathed to live out a life of success in Hollywood, is enough to keep Ray in deep bitterness and envy.

Problems arise when the quick-tempered, hot-headed Mitch is forced to return home for two months to live with his cantankerous old father, ANSON, as a judicial penalty for assault on a paparazzi photographer, GUIDO, who stalks Mitch’s every move. Mitch is still running from the memories of the car accident, but reluctantly agrees to go, saying good-bye to his Hollywood girlfriend, JESSICA, his manager, MIKE, and his identity as a famous movie star. Mary Beth is deeply crushed when she finally meets the man of her dreams, realizing that her fantasy image of Mitch is nothing as she had imagined.

When Ray purposely destroys her acceptance letter to NYU and convinces her that she isn’t good enough for college, Mary Beth sinks into total despair and contemplates what she sees as her only option: life as a pawn in the hands of the men around her – Ray, the controlling father; Garth, the selfish husband-to-be; and Buddy, the lecherous father-in-law who desires more than anything to be the one to unpluck her innocent beauty. Yet, she cannot help but find herself being drawn to the true Mitch.

They soon develop a friendship and quickly fall in love – he with the fiery intellect who no one else sees and appreciates, and she with the real hometown man, who is still running from the pain of so many years ago.

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GOING DOWN (Thriller/Suspense)

Feature length screenplay

Logline: Dead man goes back in time to alter the circumstances leading to his untimely demise. (Story speaks to the importance of pro-life versus pro-choice.)

Summary: BRAD is one of many young people huddled in a metal room, clothed in white and wearing a numbered wristband that is their only ticket out of this dark prison. When Brad’s number is called, he is escorted away by a man in a SUIT who tells him that he will return to earth at some time before his life ended with the goal of preventing his untimely death. If he is successful, he may continue life as planned, but if not, he will forever live in death. When Brad asks about the particulars of his life and how he died, he is told only one thing – that his last name is Morgan. Suit pushes Brad out of a huge metal door into the darkness of an abyss, where he falls to earth like a shooting star and lands in the woods near a farm in the small town of MORGANTOWN, NC.

MELISSA and her adoptive father, JACK, the owner of the farm, discover Brad in the woods and nurse him back to health. The local SHERIFF, Melissa’s biological father, tries to discover details about Brad, particularly regarding the mysterious numbered wristband, but to no avail. Melissa is amazed at Brad’s resemblance to her boyfriend, MORGAN, and tries to encourage a friendship, but Morgan isn’t interested in anything except himself and his wannabe music career. Brad suspects Morgan is living his life and attempts to follow Morgan and thwart any event leading to his death. Instead, Brad saves Jack from a heart attack and Melissa from a near car collision.

Melissa discovers Morgan is having an affair and confronts him that she is pregnant. When Morgan doubts his paternity, he and Melissa argue and Brad intervenes. Brad and Morgan fight each other and are almost hit by a fast-moving train, but Brad saves Morgan at the final moment. Thinking that his job is done, Brad asks Suit if his life will continue as Morgan. Suit tells him that this encounter was not his death, leaving Brad frustrated and confused.

Brad comforts Melissa and they fall in love. He becomes the son to Jack he never had and the love and comfort to Melissa that she has always desired. Melissa decides to keep her baby, with or without the support of Morgan. However, when Morgan sees her relationship with Brad begin to grow, he relents and wins her back, promising to marry her and raise the child. Melissa and Brad say their good-byes, and he takes her to be with Morgan.

That night Melissa finds Morgan with his lover and his groupies, making it abundantly clear that he has no intention of marrying her. Instead, Morgan pressures her to get an abortion, to which she refuses. They fight, and Morgan chases her into town where he viciously attacks her. Brad comes to her rescue and defeats Morgan, thus putting his own life at risk.

Brad and Sheriff rush the dying Melissa to the hospital where the doctors confirm they must abort the fetus to save her life. Suit confronts Morgan, who tries to escape by outrunning a moving train, but miscalculates and is fatally hit. When Suit appears at the hospital with the ghostly figure of Morgan, Brad learns that Morgan is in fact his father and that his life is really that of the fetus in Melissa’s womb. Brad must choose to stop the abortion, putting Melissa’s life at risk, or allow it and ensure her safety. To Suit’s dismay, he submits to the doctors’ decision and succumbs to death.

As Melissa is recovering in the hospital, she notices that the number on her file is the same as that on Brad’s wristband. At that moment, she knows her aborted baby was a boy. Brad’s aborted, dead body is wrapped in a blue hazardous waste bag and carried away by the local garbage truck, as life continues on in Morgantown. However, somewhere far away, Suit goes to the mysterious metal room and calls another number to come down, hoping this time, things will be different.

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THE KEY (Drama)

Feature length screenplay

Logline: A heavenly prince steps down from his ethereal kingdom to save his people from an evil warlord armed with powers from a magical sword that once served as the key to the kingdom.

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