ALieNZ

Kane comes from Drop Nine, a desolate little asteroid in the middle of nowhere, where life is nasty, brutish and short.  Where men are men and women are…well, men have been cloning copies of themselves for a couple of hundred years, so no one actually remembers what women even look like, except for the “Honey” AI-android companions that abound.

The cloning system is imperfect, the gene pool is deteriorating and some fresh DNA is in dire need.

Drop Nine as well as the other Drops are being harassed by “ALieNZ” (aka “shrieks”), who are so elusive no one knows what they are, and occasionally there have been abductions.

Kane’s ship falls prey to an alien encounter, and as the two spaceships viscously out-maneuver each other they collide.

The alien boards and takes Kane prisoner.

Una is an ace fighter pilot from a technologically and intellectually superior female civilization on the other side of the solar system.  A civilization of women residing on Luna, a glowing megalopolis circling the dead planet, and who consider the hordes of “retroidors” camped out on the colonies to be the polarized scum of the universe…. and they hold the keys to life, the vast DNA library.

The two have never faced each other’s species before.

Kane and Una are unique, in their individual imperfections. They’re young, ambitious, brave, and are now stuck together on Kane’s beat-up spaceship hurtling across the vast reaches of intergalactic space.

The hate, the fear, mistrust, the difference in the lingo-dialect, the personality clash, the war between emotion and rational thought, is beyond description, but like Bogart and Hepburn, in the “African Queen” they are forced to make it work. One trying to outdo the other, one taking the other prisoner, as the tables keep on flipping.

But despite their different backgrounds, Kane and Una quickly become reluctant allies in a desperate and foolhardy attempt to save what remains of humanity from certain destruction as men plan to wipe out women from the universe forever and grab the DNA.

And while they’re saving humanity, they do the one thing people on opposite sides of a millenia-old war in outer space should never do.

They fall in love.

And their efforts fail and all humanity self-destructs in a cosmic big-bang event.

Except for Kane and Una, who escape and crash land on a hazy blue planet, and behold the cycle starts again.

Romance,  adventure and the battle of the sexes with lots of attitude.

The past and future history of the human race as it’s never been told before.

Concept Drawings: LUNA (female world)

GATEWAY TO A TRANSMEDIA STORY UNIVERSE

The screenplay, is a movie (or a limited series) that enters this realm through an adventure-love story, between two opposites, and it is an epic journey. It’s Romeo and Juliet, it’s Adam and Eve.

The back story reveals itself sporadically – apparently, after life on the planet was destroyed, the “Split” occurred.

It’s ancient history, myths and all records are gone. The tales speak of women having “expelled” men forever after the cataclysmic destruction of the planet. War after war, had plagued civilization since the dawn of humanity and this was the final straw.

It reveals two fascinating never-explored before worlds – one all male, one all female, and they haven’t interacted for centuries. In fact they don’t even know how the other looks like.

It’s an opportunity for scientific theorizing, explorations of race and gender, culture, belief-systems, as well as humor and sophisticted satire.

This particular point-of-view of the future, could provoke a million reactions, discussion and debate, agreement and disagreement in audiences – all for a holistic goal. The more the better.

Men are racially divided, in a state of war.

Women are racially homogenized, in a state of peace.

Each has found a way to keep the species alive. Men clone sons, women give birth to daughters. 

Each has its own artificially intelligent “companions” when needed.

Two systems of social structure, government, architecture, design, fashion, arts, you name it.

Both utopian in their own way, both dystopian if you look closer.

The narrative is a gateway to a trans-media story universe that could be spun-off into series or several movies, allowing creators a framework to explore this never seen before universe, mythology and reflect on our ever changing society and world of today.

For example there could be a season detailing the back story of how the “Split” had occurred, a season about life on Luna (the female principle), a season about life on the colonies (the male principle), a season about Kane and Una multi-generational re-start of humanity at their new home, and there could even be a season about previous alien abductions that had occurred before Kane and Una’s union.

It is about cycles, and how the universe evolves, so there could be a multitude of further story-universes dealing with previous and future cycles of this ever lasting story.

PRE-VIZ

Check out initial blue-sky designs by group of independent artists and thinkers: –

 

Concept Drawings:

Concept Drawings: The Male Colonies

Cirque

A magical surreal satirical film inspired by true stories, some of them fictional.

Loosely based on the memoirs of Michael Sinelnikoff, the director of the first Cirque du Soleil show in a small town in northern Quebec in 1984, that put the famed institution on the map. Stories and characters that were largely forgotten, but deserve their appreciation, artistry, and memory.

The Dawn of Le Cirque du Soleil (1984)

 as told by Michael Sinelnikoff

This is a story that ends at the beginning—the beginning of an entertainment phenomenon that has inspired, scintillated, fascinated and thrilled millions around the world, and continues to do so every day. It ends with the first performance of The Cirque du Soleil.

 The Cirque du Soleil has redefined the North American concept of Circus. Through the marriage of superb marketing, circus style, human performance, and theatrical presentation it has launched a new circus art form borrowing from the traditional, but unique unto itself. Yet what we thrill at today in the permanent show in Las Vegas and at the numerous road shows traveling the world had humble and shaky beginnings as do most endeavors that struggle to break new ground and chart new courses. 

 As happens with many innovative creations, those who were there at the beginning, who breathed life into this young idea, taught it how to walk and guided its first steps, have more or less been forgotten or overlooked in the successes that followed. 

Michael Sinelnikoff has been—and is—a dear friend of mine. As a young aspiring Director, I used to watch Michael’s programs on the CBC and wished I were in his shoes. I admired what he did. I envied his skills. I hoped one day to be as good as he was.

He was—and remains—a kind and generous mentor, a man of refinement and good taste, and a truly gentle man.

We reconnected recently and he told me something fascination: that he had directed the first ever production of The Cirque du Soleil and asked me if I thought it would make a good story.

Did I think it would make a good story? I thought it would make a great story! 

And as it unfolded, what a story it turned out to be! 

Generation P

Polyamory: Polyamory (from Ancient Greek πολλοί (polloí) ‘many’, and Latin amor ‘love’) is the practice of, or desire for, romantic relationships with more than one partner at the same time, with the informed consent of all partners involved.

It is 2023, and the Pandemic is still a memory.

We are introduced to Holly, an 18-year-old girl who is in an open relationship with seven partners. She meets Alex, a 21-year-old guy who is dating six girls from Monday to Saturday, but wants to make Holly his Sunday girl.

Holly is hesitant, but she agrees to date him, and they both fall in love.

However, when Alex reveals that he hasn’t told any of his other partners about Holly, she is furious and feels betrayed. She gives Alex an ultimatum: either he comes clean to his other partners or they are done.

Holly sets out on a mission to reform Alex into an honest man. She starts by teaching him about the principles of polyamory and how important it is to be truthful with all partners. Alex initially resists her efforts and thinks that she is trying to change him.

However, as they spend more time together, Alex starts to realize that Holly is right and that he wants to be honest with his other partners.

In the process of trying to reform Alex, Holly begins to see that he has all the qualities of her other lovers in one package. She starts to question whether she really needs the poly cube and wonders if Alex could be the right one for her.

Alex decides to come clean to his other partners, and it doesn’t go well. Some of them are angry and hurt, while others are surprisingly understanding.

Alex and Holly face some challenges in their relationship as they try to navigate their feelings for each other and for the other partners.

However, they ultimately realize that they are in love and that they want to be together.

In the end, Holly decides that she doesn’t need the poly cube, and that Alex is the right person for her. They both make a commitment to honesty and communication, and their relationship flourishes.

The movie ends with a scene of them snuggled up together, happy and content in their love, a baby on the way.

Bardo Thodol

A BARDO IMMERSIVE MOVIE

A young love triangle in the life after death state – one has a near-death experience, one is truly dead, and one was given a date drug. Each character has their own individual Bardo experience.

Tibetan Book of the Dead

Bardo Thodol (Bar-do’i-thos-grol) in Tibetan or more commonly known as “The Tibetan Book, of the Dead”, is a classic of the world’s religious literature.

It concerns the nature of the mind and its projections – beautiful or terrible, peaceful and wrathful – which seem to exist objectively and inhabit the external world.

In particular, it describes these projections as they appear immediately after death, in a much more overwhelming form since the consciousness is no longer grounded and shielded by its connection with a physical body.

It teaches recognition of these terrifying and seductive forms, and through recognition attainment of the state of enlightenment.

This centuries-old scripture was traditionally read aloud to the dying to help them transcend and see death and rebirth as a process that offers the possibility of attaining ultimate liberation.

Bardo means gap. It is not only the interval of suspension after we die but also suspension in the living situation.

According to the Tibetans, death happens in the living situation as well.

The Bardo experience is part of our basic psychological make-up. The book is not only a message for those who are going to die and those who are already dead, but it is also a message for those who are already born: birth and death apply to everybody constantly, at this very moment.

History

I came across this book as a teenager in India when we visited Nepal.

When I was at MIT, studying art, design, and film, I received a grant to turn it into a one-hour immersive three-screen film and I had William Burroughs writing the script and Phillip Glass the music. We got only part of the way as the computers were not up to speed.

When I came to Hollywood, I developed a screenplay (“Bardo”) which was a mainstream film aimed at a wide audience, and also two subsequent low budget indie versions (“Last Verse”, “In a Dark Wood”).

After seeing the recent breakthroughs in VR I became interested in a realization of it as a VR experience and embarked on creating a new screenplay – utilizing lessons learned from the previous incarnations of this project and molding it into a VR experience that could be perfect for today’s audiences.

After realizing that VR needs more development as a medium – did not seem to catch on, and the image quality is still lacking, I see it now as a movie, that would be shot in an immersive style, in ultra high resolution, that could be screened in IMAX or even larger venues (such as the Las Vegas Sphere), as well as a traditional movie formats. The VR could be a side component – a series of moments taken from the story, to be released on a platform like the Apple Vision Pro.

The screenplay is divided into chapters of 12 minutes length each (because in VR, it becomes too exhausting to watch), so the project could also be made as a limited TV series composed of half hour, or one hour episodes.

The screenplay is an epic story that was intended to “overwhelm” the mind of the viewer (simulating what the Tibetans describe as the death experience), and in a TV medium it could be taken more slowly and leisurely, with each segment expanded, so we spend more time with the characters and the situations.

Story-synopsis

The script is a love triangle between three characters who find themselves in the Bardo state – Adam suffers a hear-attack (near-death experience), Julia is truly dead, and Chloe was given a date drug.

We also visit dream-states, hallucinatory-drug experiences, and moments of illumination where life and Bardo almost meet.

The central character Adam (24), works at a VR startup designing games.

Over a weekend in Las Vegas, he hooks up with Chloe (22), an escort, at a music festival, overdoses and has a heart attack, is placed on life-support and is declared technically dead.

In the near-death state, he reunites with Julia (21) his college sweetheart (love of his life) who died three years earlier.

His experience merges with Julia’s consciousness, who is truly dead. As they re-visit scenes from their lives and loves.

Julia encourages Adam to snap out of the coma, return and live out the remainder of his life.

Julia has brought Adam and Chloe together for a reason.

After Adam unexpectedly snaps back to life, Chloe immediately rejects him and they go their separate ways – but Julia engineers a way for Chloe to visit the Bardo through a date-drug experience.

As the two women meet in the Bardo state, they resolve past karma between them.

All three are linked in more ways than one.

As the audience, we experience three Bardo journeys – Adam goes part of the way, and turns back. Julia take the entire ride (the movie is told through her eyes, although we do not realize it, until half way through). Chloe dips into the Bardo, her mind clouded by the drugs, just to meet Julia.

Chloe’s destiny is to be with Adam… so Julia and Adam can be together again. Julia is reborn as their child, Jules.

Inspiration

Several films have been an influence – Its a Wonderful Life, Ghost, Jacobs Ladder, 2001 and Enter the Void, Matrix.

Even people who do not believe in life after death or reincarnation would relate to the story – it is about looking back and seeing the effects of karma – the power of each action, word, and thought.

It is also about being fully in the moment in every point – seeing the magic of life, the world all around us and the loved ones that surround us and are connected to us in more ways that we can imagine.

It’s about how we all are so interconnected and ultimately one and all.

It is really a movie about love and life, rather than death.

I see it as a new version of the classic “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

My hope is for it to be a visceral (beautiful, awe-provoking, mind-blowing and at times terrifying) experience as well as a journey that is moving, emotional, sensual, consciousness expanding and ultimately even “spiritual”.

Core Audience

Understanding death one can lead a richer more meaningful life – especially if there is still much left to experience – so we are aiming at younger audiences.

The central character is a designer of games – the story is about young love, childhood, school, college, relationship to one’s parents.

It is set in the world of tech start-ups, the Electric Daisy Music Carnival, Burning Man Festival, the outdoors – backpacking around the world, action sports and situations that would be fun for a young audience to enjoy as a large screen immersive and VR experience.

Budget

Coming from the independent world, I see this as a film that could be done on a modest budget – it could mushroom into something bigger by embellishing the effects – but at its core it is an emotional film – about real people – real lives – real places – so the effects should not overpower the experience. As an indie project, it can be more daring and we can push the envelope further.

Immersive Large Screen Experience and VR offshoots (in conjunction with the movie)

The Tibetan Book of he Dead describes the Bardo as an overwhelming hallucinatory state, that is multi dimensional, combining simultaneous levels of time, memory, space and realm.

The audience is the consciousness of one who has died (subjective POV), but the character can also appear “watching”, so we can also become an objective POV – like watching one’s physical ghost of current age beside one’s mother in childbirth – seeing one’s own birth.

The past and the present reunite and become one. It is a chance to merge several realities and time frames into a single shot, witnessing a collage of moments from one’s life play out all around as we, or the protagonist, interacts with the memories.

The experience is grounded by placing it largely in real settings with real people from the main character’s life – it is more about connecting death to life rather than visiting otherworldly realms.

Films about death typically have fantasy settings can be problematic (“What Dreams May Come”, “Pretty Bones”) because they try to create a sort of spectacular, limbo-fantasy life-after-death setting which is unreachable for our imagination.

Adam’s experience is colored by him being a designer of video games – but these elements can be kept to a minimum if the budget is a constraint.

The three characters are often seen surrounded and immersed in memories, visions, and hallucinations (“cycloramas”) – to be filmed on a 360 green screen set and then capturing various moving components individually to collage behind and around the actors.

Personal Connection

My mom has vivid memories of her past life, and I have seen the proof – I’m 99% sure that life does not end after death.

My writing partner on the original “Bardo” passed away a few years ago, but the moment I decided to write the new version as a VR film, the script came to me guided as if from beyond – often I found myself writing, without even being aware I was writing – and it was a joyful experience.

I met with a practitioner of past-life regression therapy and interviewed her. One fascinating aspect has been the reversals she has encountered, time and after time – unresolved issues repeated from life to life – men being re-born as women, parents reborn as offspring, the same “cast of family characters” appearing in different configurations. She has seen abusers being reborn as the ones abused, racists as ones discriminated against, killers as their victims.

I tracked down the Dalai Lama and offered the script to him – he took it, smiled and sort of giggled… then just bowed – a perfect “Bardo” moment.

Rafal Zielinski

Mia

A music film about a teenager (Mia) who is a singer/musician from a small town in search of her father, a down and out rock-n’ roller.

Twelve-year-old Mia lives in poverty with her mother, Lacy, in a mobile trailer in Death Valley. She has a pet turtle, Aristotle, and a piranha necklace, which she believes was left behind by her father, Tommy. The frontman for the band The Piranhas, he left a long time ago. Smart, cynical, and tough, Mia endures torment from her classmates and neglect from her drug-addicted mother. Mia is blessed with a talent for the guitar, a soulful voice, and a talent for writing songs, but her mother refuses to let her sing and Mia seems to lack the confidence to ever do anything with her gift – early in the film, she records herself singing only to delete the tracks.

Lacey brings her boyfriend Spencer to the mobile home, who shows an interest in Mia’s music – and in Mia herself. Grabbing her guitar, turtle, and Spencer’s keys, Mia steals his Cadillac and heads to Los Angeles. Her journey is quickly cut short when the car runs out of gas. She walks to a gas station and obtains a jug for gas from the cashier, an irate man who has a piranha tattoo. He recognizes Mia’s necklace and tells Mia that he lived with her father in L.A. at a place called the Paradise Apartments.

Mia steals gas but at the last minute abandons the car and jumps onto a nearby freight train. She journeys by train to L.A., accompanied by a rotating group of itinerants: vagrants, migrant workers, gangbangers. She reaches L.A., only to find that Paradise Apartments is a hip, posh place where no one has heard of her father. In a record store, she finds an old Piranhas’ CD and, in the liner notes, finds an address for “Paradise Productions”. This takes her to a much more rundown apartment complex, where a neighbor tells her that Tommy has moved. However, he mentions a bar where Tommy can usually be found. At the bar, she’s told that Tommy was spotted walking a dog down by Ocean Park.

Mia goes to Ocean Park where she eventually finds Tommy walking a dog (she recognizes him because of the piranha tattoo on his arm).  She follows him and even picks up the dog droppings which Tommy abandons. Tommy spies her and tells her to get lost. Mia continues to follow him as he takes the dog back to a big beach house. He leaves the dog there (we later learn he’s dog sitting) and Mia finally confronts him. Tommy tells her he isn’t her father and drives off. Mia wanders off and ends up crashing with a bunch of homeless teens, who she dazzles with her music. But when she wakes up, she finds she’s been robbed: the guitar is gone.

Feeling defeated, Mia contemplates returning home. She finds Tommy on Facebook and notices that he’s playing at an Open Mic event that evening. She goes to the bar where she sees Tommy play. He’s terrible, but at least two people think he has potential: Mia herself and a producer named Gregory, who gives Tommy his card. Outside the bar, Mia sings for Tommy, who finally cracks and offers to get her some food. When it turns out he’s broke, Mia takes his guitar and busks for change. When Tommy learns she has nowhere to go, he reluctantly takes her home.

 

Tommy is living with a burlesque performer named Kate, who is not pleased that he’s come home with a twelve-year-old girl. Mia spends a few days with Tommy and Kate, but it’s clear that Kate is threatened by her and even tries to set Aristotle free. As Mia runs off to find him, Kate gives Tommy an ultimatum: her or the girl. Mia finds the turtle but also sees the homeless kid who stole her guitar. When she tries to get it back, it leads to a fight in which the guitar is destroyed. Mia steals the kid’s skateboard as he runs away. Tommy appears, having decided to help Mia. All this time Lacy has been calling and Mia finally answers the phone. Tommy talks to her and it’s clear Lacy doesn’t know who he is. She gives Mia twenty-four hours to come home – or not to bother returning at all.

Tommy finds a motel for them to live in and eventually gets her enrolled in school. They continue to bond and Mia encourages him to contact Gregory. Tommy strikes a deal with Gregory and gives him money to book a recording studio, but he soon learns he’s been scammed. Tommy takes his anger out on Mia and repeats that he’s not her father – he and Lacy never even had sex. Mia runs off. Deciding to hop on another train, she takes a picture of herself by the train-yard and sends it to Tommy. She jumps onto the train, only to find Tommy suddenly driving alongside. She leaps off the train and back into the car.

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Ecstasy

I was young.
I was troubled.
I wanted to get lost in distractions.
He was older.
He was the remedy.
He was the perfect distraction.

 

 

A poetic diary of a fourteen-year old’s girl’s roller-coaster love affair with an 18-year-old boyfriend, fueled by the drug MDMA.

Inspired by the novel “Misconception” by Clelia-Angelina Frith and by true events.

 

“CUT UP METHOD” – WRITING/FILMAKING STYLE

The cut-up technique (French: découpé) is an aleatory literary technique in which a text is cut up and rearranged to create a new text. The concept can be traced to at least the Dadaists of the 1920s, and the corresponding literary technique (or genre), was invented by author and artist Brion Gysin and the English mathematician Ian Sommerville. 

It was popularized in the late 1950s and early 1960s by writer William S. Burroughs, who experimented with the technique cutting up his original text into random fragments and then rearranging them to produce a new text. 

The cut-up is closely linked to the lifestyle and philosophy of the Beat Generation defined by Jack Kerouac and Burroughs. It tries to reproduce the visions due to hallucinogens, the spatio-temporal distortions of the thought under toxic influence (phenomenon of déjà-vu in particular).

It has since been used in a wide variety of contexts.   Aesthetically, the cut-up is close to pop-art, happenings and post-war surrealism (Henri Michaux for example) and his quest to explore the unconscious. 

Philosophically, Burroughs sees in it the culmination of language as a virus and writing as a letting go of consciousness (he proclaims “language is a virus”).

Musique concrète had introduced such techniques as well — cutting, re-arranging and re-editing sounds — much earlier in a musical (as opposed to literary) context.

From at least the early 1970s, David Bowie has used cut-ups to create some of his lyrics.

It is a technique which came to influence Kurt Cobain’s songwriting.

Other musicians working in sample-based music genres, such as hip hop and electronic music, employ a similar technique. DJs may spend hours in record stores looking (“digging”) for LP records featuring obscure or interesting breaks, vocals, and other fragments to meld together in new compositions.

THE NOVEL “MISCONCEPTION”

Written by the 14 year old Clelia Frith, is an intimate series of chapters that are poems chronicling her love for a boyfriend who was 18, a drug dealer, who swept of her feet, got her hooked on the drug ecstasy, started cheating on her, broke her heart, leading to an attempted suicide, then an awakening, efforts to clean up and eventual self-discovery, refusing to allow him back into her life, when he came crying – story of empowerment, and hope that hopefully will inspire and shed some lightness onto the darkness of our world and what teenage girls experience not only in this country but across the world.

The novel has a hypnotic, musical-like effect, almost like lyrics of a song, often using repetition, affirmations, as form of self-enforcement, a chant, a prayer, as if Clelia was trying to make sense of her feelings as a young girl on the cusp of womanhood and will herself into some kind of understanding and illumination.

The script incorporates themes of abuse, teen -pregnancy, addiction, discrimination, race, bullying, suicide, crime, violence, exploitation and trafficking, drawing from several characters from the world of Clelia’s circle growing up in Montreal during the early 2000’s.

The central character, Katherine is a composite character embodying several of these life-journeys.

CHARACTER BREAKDOWNS

KATHERINE

She is the main character. She is a 14-year-old who grew up as an only adopted child in a family with 2 kids. The father was always away on business trips and the mother was always home. They wanted what was best for Katherine, and they made that clear. They didn’t approve of any friends, were always on her case about schoolwork, choices, etc. Katherine thought they were just trying to ruin her life. She didn’t realize that what they were doing was only for her best interest. She rebelled and got into a lot of trouble. Growing up as an only child was lonely, and not having a father around much, she went seeking for those traits in older men. She was also bullied her entire life, which made her depressed. She never felt good enough, or like anyone loved her. She was completely damaged/hated herself, and her life, and was on a relentless path of self-destruction and blamed it on everyone but herself. Her fear was the future. She didn’t know what her hopes and dreams were. She didn’t think she would make it long enough to live her future life.

Her desires are finding new, fun, and thrilling/ rebellious things to do, and new bad people to meet. She has many issues but the biggest one of all was the way she saw/felt about herself. Once she learned to love herself, she changed her mind, heart, self and way of life. She finally had the unconditional self-love that she deserved.

She is hypersensitive and has a deep soul, but she hides it well behind an almost expressionless mask and almost imperceptible tiny smirk, a defense mechanism from battle scars of pain and hurt she has experienced thought out her young life. The “ice queen” image often provokes people to throw punches at her – verbal, psychological, even physical to see how far they can go – to get a reaction. This facade often drives Jacob to rage as he tries to dig deeper and twist and carve himself into her tender heart.

JACOB

He is Katherine’s lover. He is an 18-year-old high school drop out/bad boy, living at home with his father. He sold drugs, he was fun, careless, selfish. He grew up with a dysfunctional family. He watched his mother cheat on his father as a kid, he saw the pain, lies, despair. He watched his father get hurt, repeatedly. He was in the middle of everything, was around for the long, and tough divorce. That destroyed his soul and was what turned him into the horrible person he was. It damaged him deeply. He had no trust in any women, because of course, “they would all turn out to be his mother”. He learned that abuse was okay, because his parents were like that. He learned that lying was the way to go, and to cover up any mistakes…  because a lie would hurt the other person less than the truth. His belief system was completely fucked up. He had no hopes, or dreams for his future. He had no ambition. He desired Katherine, because he had full control over her. He fucked with her mind, and made her believe that he loved her, and did everything in his power to never let her leave. That was his deepest secret. The fear of losing her. Not because he loved her, but because he did not want to be alone.

Jacob in the beginning is a bit of a lost soul. He works odd jobs, is very charismatic and interested in music but he never studied it. He hangs out at club events and concerts selling drugs.

Jacob has a huge record collection (his treasure) and has been messing with “Garage Band” on his computer, creating tracks, but he suffers low esteem and thinks his music is shit. He is shy about singing and using his voice. He has no ambition to pursue it as a career – its just a hobby he likes to dabble in. Kat gives him courage and encourages him.

Jacob has a very eclectic taste in music – he loves rap and EDM, which are forms he is experimenting with, but his ultimate idol is David Bowie. He has huge collection of vinyl records from the 60s, 70s, 80s as well as Blues and Jazz – especially Miles Davis.

He is almost religious about his “sacred” collection. Katherine loves to come over and be engrossed into this world of music and sound. She loves when he makes love to her and the music plays loud, especially when it is music he is working on, it’s as if she’s making love to him and his music.

When Katherine gets drunk and high, she accidentally trips over the record player, the needle snaps, scratches a record and breaks another. He attacks her, beats her up and almost wants to kill her.

When she gets mad she starts smashing the records and starts to throw them out of the window. “You love your fuckin’ music more than you love me… you are incapable of real love. You are a psycho! Devil!”

Later they must pawn the whole collection to make the rent.

He is troubled, from a poor working-class family, and single-parent household. Eventually he gets his own pad in an industrial neighborhood, gets a van, and when he gets evicted, he lives out of the van.

He is trying to juggle drugs, music and Kat and can’t handle it all… he crashes and burns…

Kat hears his music (which he is afraid to play to anyone) and thinks it’s amazing and encourages him – she becomes his muse – he eventually will DJ in a talent night at a club, and that gives him courage to start performing.

He also starts posting on SoundCloud and gets fans….

He is an amateur self-taught musician – he is trying to experiment merging rap-music with electronic dance music, incorporating vocals, words, even using bits from Katherine’s   diary.

Once he even uses her voice into the mix. She is excited to be part of his creative journey… it makes her feel closer to him and makes her feel he really loves her….

He allows her to come on stage and sing one of her lyrics – they duet – to her it’s the greatest honor.

He likes to play seduction games with her, unable to face reality… his fear of intimacy. It leads to mind-fuck scenarios and violence in the relationship.

Jacob having been hurt in love, afraid to open up, carries the “baggage” of previous relationships with other girlfriends, as well as the loss/betrayal he felt from his mother’s infidelity/the messy divorce. When they are together there are not just two people in a bed, but three, or even whole entourages of the “ghosts” of his ex-lovers… he even talks to them in his drug out state.

Their relationship perhaps at first is more of a cat n’mouse courtship. She challenges him (like Effy from “Skins” might behave). They don’t come together too quickly and too easily.

Kat, like Effy, at first never talks – sort of a “death n’d dumb” mystery girl – only after the first meeting they talk and the first things that come out are riddles and fragments from her diary… she is a born writer, and that’s how her mind works.

DIMITRI AND LOLA

Jacob’s friend is Dimitri, who is a rich French Quebec kid who studies Philosophy at McGill and drives his parents Mercedes and hangs at their fancy million-dollar condo while his parents travel in Europe. Sometimes Dimitri “chauffeurs” Jacob around town as he delivers and sells his stash of pills and various drugs hidden into his ever present back-pack. Dimitri likes to hang out with Jacob, a poor kid from the wrong side of the tracks, so he can study him. Dimitri is shy and loves how Jacob is so exuberant and has such a magnetic personality and great sense of humor that makes everyone laugh.

Dimitri is into Jean Paul Sartre and the Existentialists, and he interests Kat too – sometimes she is torn between Jacob and Dimitri, especially when Jacob is abusive to her. Dimitri sees Katherine as his “Simone de Beauvoir.” His interest in philosophy, books and her writings brings them together.

Dimitri dates Lola, half Brazilian, (fashion student at Concordia) who dresses outlandishly – creates a new crazy outfit for each day – Dimitri dates many girls and uses them as experiments in existentialism. Lola is free sexually, is bi-sexual, and does not take relationships so seriously.

After a night of drinking, partying and drug-taking when the two couples end up having sex and switching partners… something Kat does not fully remember because she was so high, Jacob starts a full-flung secret relationship with Lola on the side – but lies and denials it all to Kat.

Jacob is obsessed with Lola because she is visually so enthralling, stunning and such a free spirit. She fascinates him.

Kat, as a revenge sleeps once or twice with Dimitri, but has guilty feelings about it.

It fuels the violence and Jacob’s increasing abusive relationship with Kat.

STORY NOTES

WHY WAS JACOB SO ABUSIVE?

He grew up with a dysfunctional family. He watched as his mother screwed over his father from a very young age, up until the divorce 6 years later. That is all he knew. How to lie, cheat, be mean, how to bring people down.

WHAT TRIGGERS JACOB?

The fear of losing control over Katherine. The fear of her leaving him and being happy on her own. He is scared to be alone, and to not have control over her anymore. It makes him feel good and powerful, knowing that she’s under his “spell”. That she’s so blind about what is really going on and letting him make all the choices for her.

WHAT DROVE HIM TO BE ABUSIVE?

He started to be abusive once Katherine had each little “wake up call” and was beginning to see who he really was and what he was really doing to her. Once she started to catch on to the lies, cheating, and dishonesty. Seeing her realize who he really was, instead of that “perfect lover” made him scared. The thought of him losing control drove him towards the abuse.


THE DRUGS

The drugs were MDMA and SPEED. They made Katherine feel so good. Life was amazing, she was so happy, she felt warm and only saw good in the world, no matter what the circumstances were. She was oblivious to the real world, and towards her true emotions. The drugs covered up anything true, and bad; then made it seem amazing. She was living a lie.


THE NEAR DEATH EXPERIENCE

The more drugs you take, the higher your tolerance is. The high is never the same as the first time; but the first time was the best feeling in the world. As months went by, the high wasn’t as great. The world wasn’t as perfect as it was the last high. Then one day, Katherine took a bit too much, hoping to feel good again. As the high took its peak, about to hit her, it wasn’t a weak high and it wasn’t a strong, pleasant one. It was different. It wasn’t warm and fuzzy. It was cold and a stiff feeling took over her body. Her head started to feel like it was mushy, and she fell to the ground. She couldn’t feel her body. She couldn’t access the thoughts in her mind. She couldn’t feel any emotions. Every time she tried to get up, she would fall back down. And so, she just lay there, letting go. Not caring that it could have been the end for her; and so she closed her eyes and let fate take over.

DIRECTOR’S NOTE

I see the movie as a sort of passionate-psycho, ecstasy-fueled, musical love-journey.

Several years ago, I was thinking of a movie about twisted young-love relationship where the guy messes with the mind, body and soul of an innocent girl who loves him unconditionally.

Some of these previous ideas for scenes would work well in Ecstasy.

365

The screenplay is an imaginary, conceptual, hypothetical film as if written by “John”, the central character, who is an aspiring screenwriter, an outsider and a rebel. John is adopting his “love-journal” that he created documenting his love scenes with his girlfriend “Jane” to an imaginary screenplay, a movie that would not be made by any main-stream filmmaker, as it is too intimate and risque.

With the advent of the internet, there are millions of such pieces out there in various forms. Whether they are photos, blogs, videos, tweets, social-media text bits – our compulsion to document and share the most intimate moments has become the fabric of our collective consciousness.

It is a “journal” – someone writing it down right afterwards, sometimes next morning, next day, next week. Sometimes it is a re-telling of the stream of consciousness, or trying to capture it as if the writer lost track of whether the dialogue was actually spoken, or went through the mind at the time, or occurred after the fact.

The challenge of this material would be to minimize the nudity, rather make it a poetic-literary stream of consciousness full of beautiful hypnotic images, a film about memory, poetry, art, the soul… and the mind of these two characters. It will also be a way to open up the film so it does not become just two-actors-in-one room.

I see this as a 240-minute movie (in four parts: Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall) with a non-stop continuous-hypnotic-sound-track that could almost place you into an altered state – it’s about those moments in our lives when we are in that zone. The non-stop beat will help us jump in time within scenes and even edit them as non-continuous events – fragmented – as if snippets of memory…. it may involve working with 4 different DJs creating a separate piece for each of the four seasons.

My hope is to premiere the film as a triple screen immersive experience live event in 4 parts, with intermission, each with a live score by each of the 4 DJs. It could as a multi-city tour, followed by a conventional theatrical and video release.

Calling Aphrodite


IN DEVELOPMENT

based on play “Calling Aphrodite” by Velina Hasu Houston which received its world premiere recently at International City Theatre, Long Beach, California.

Youth, dreams, and lives destroyed in Hiroshima. The story of two teenage sisters who survived the blast close to ground zero and how it affected their lives.

Houston is a Pinter Review Prize for Drama Silver Medalist for the play which also was a finalist for the American Theatre Critics Association Steinberg New Play Award for its 2007 world premiere. Calling Aphrodite has been embraced by The former Honorable Consul General of Japan of Los Angeles Kazuo Kodama as a “remarkable and appropriate exploration” of the Hiroshima experience. In 2008, Calling Aphrodite was presented at Tokyo Engeki Ensemble (TEE), Tokyo. TEE and Houston continue to collaborate toward an international presentation of the play in Hiroshima.

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Frisco Disco

Set against the backdrop of the late 1970’s into a changing new decade full of promise, hope, and uncertainty.

Meet Frankie, Ingrid, Ricky and Christian; each with their own secret demons of drugs, promiscuity and sexual uncertainty. Each longing to break free and try their wings and soar.

An upcoming feature, based on a true coming-of-story, set during the apex of the disco-era in New York City, full of exciting dance, glitter and updated re-makes of classic disco hits.

Our goal is to bring the excitement of the disco era to a new generation, in an updated form that will be both nostalgic and futuristic.

producers: Joey Dedio & Dennis Grimaldi

written by: Jared Iversen

director: Rafal Zielinski

 

 

TWINS

Twins

Mom wanted a son… Dad wanted a daughter.

They had one kid… And got both!

A serious romantic comedy.

Imagine knowing what its like to be the opposite sex even for one day.

Imagine knowing someone who does.

Well, meet Joe and Josephine. He’s all guy. And she’s all girl. Together they’re one and loving it.

You’re likely never to see them in the same room at the same time. But no ones caught on yet, although it could happen soon.

In fact, Joe tries awfully hard to remain male throughout high school. But when all attempts to win bombshell Julie – the princess on campus – fail, Joe’s left no other choice.

He becomes desperate and deep in the darkness of his room, or locker or a bush, a captivating transformation takes place.

A rugged, striking Joe inch by inch develops into a softer, more round and voluptuous Josephine.

Now as Josephine, she can befriend Julie, distract Julie’s brutish boyfriend, clear the way for a passionate affair with her “twin” Joe, and learn that perhaps there’s a bit of male and female in all of us.

It’s not fair, but who said teenage love ever was?

 

SYNOPSIS

It’s your dream: to become the opposite sex, just for one day. Here’s a teenage boy who does just that. Every day, whenever he wants. And no one knows – except his parents, and they engineered it.

The “Twins” begins with a brilliant moonlit scene of young JOSEPHINE and a guy attempting to make out in a car. She resists, and he begins to physically pressure her. Suddenly he realizes he’s losing the fight – Josephine overpowers him. He bolts from the car with a panic-stricken look on his face.

Flash to parents and their son JOE, who looks strikingly like the girl making out in the car, in a station wagon with a U-Haul trailing behind. The father’s dialogue implies they’ve been run out of town before but there’s no bitterness in his voice. It’s the price they’ve had to pay for their selfishness. Father wanted a daughter and mother wanted a son. So through their genius wizardry with potions and bio-engineering, they had one offspring and got both sexes.

And their son Joe, a good-looking boy with a mischievous disposition is about to enroll in his umpteenth new high school. On the first day of classes, he sets his sights on a knock-out blonde cheerleader who is very popular and very “taken”. As Joe and his newly found friend FRED plot the courting of JULIE, trouble begins.

Julie’s football hero boyfriend DOUG jealously plots the destruction of this new hunk-about-town. But this is no ordinary Joe faced with an-ordinary crush.

The tantalizing theme throws rope-fulls of twists to the awkward boy-meets-girl saga. And what new boy in town wouldn’t welcome a little cheating to get that princess on campus.

Joe has been beaten up, on the football team and off, and unsuccessful in his attempts to impress Julie. He has no other choice, he didn’t want to do it…

Back at home, an eerie green light shines from under the door next to Joe’s bedroom. In this room sits an incandescently lit bottle of liquid, lots of female gadgets, and a family portrait of Joe’s parents with a girl – who looks just like Joe. He puts the picture down and contemplates himself in the mirror. With intense concentration, Joe tightens his lips and endures minutes of mild contortions. Very slowly, Joe’s chest hair disappears and softer, round hips replace the firm, boyish torso. A silky voice emanates from a previously stubbled face and supple breasts begin to form. The transformation is complete.

Now as breath-taking Josephine, Joe’s supposed twin sister, she will become Julie’s best friend. Then she will coyly distract Julie’s boyfriend Doug by flirting with him. Perhaps then, will Julie be available to Joe – the girl he desperately wants. And Josephine can have her fun too – driving every boy on campus mad with her charm.

The witty highlights of this comical story climax when people become friends with both Josephine and Joe.

Comic confrontations and masterful transformations surface constantly. Frantic scenes erupt when the two are supposed to be present at parties as Joe uses lockers, bushes or closets to expertly become a girl and vice versa.

But behind all the humor, a very strong dilemma is brewing, Joe has absolute y fallen in love with Julie, and now wants to remain male.

Today it’s the football championship, tonight is the prom, and he’s got to have her now.

In a triumphant, charged game, Joe becomes the hero of his winning team and slaughters Doug’s team into oblivion. Joe’s become the hit of the high school, but more importantly, he’s Julie’s date for the dance

It’s Doug whose been defeated on both counts – expelled from the team and cast out of Julie’s life. By now Josephine and Julie are best friends and even she no longer wants to toy with the loser.

Joe is in heaven, and devilish Doug will do anything to change that. One fateful night, he is followed by an inebriated, bitter Doug to a ravine where an unsuspecting Joe becomes Josephine. This scene frightens Doug to death – and he runs home to his army-disciplined father who accuses the lying boy of being on drugs.

Prom night turns into a superb nightmare with scenes of alternating personalities even a magician would envy, with Joe and Josephine being the dates of Julie and Fred almost simultaneously. In a desperate attempt to persuade his peers of the fraud, Doug practically strips Josephine in the school parking lot – only to reveal very feminine attributes.

But soon, Joe’s dream to be male forever may just happen as his parent concoct as steamy brew at home to separate the twins forever.

Unfortunately, the effect of his parents sex-changing hormones begins to alter Joe’s appearance at the prom. While talking to Julie as Joe, gradual breasts appear as Joe self-consciously tries to hide the mummeries.

Suddenly in a cosmic blast of colored air, the twins emerge as two complete people – yes, it’s Joe and Josephine staring at each other.

The experiment is a success and the ecstatic teens return to their unsuspecting dates.

Now Joe will have Julie forever…