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Books

The Telling of My Marching Band Story
(includes Bonus Screenplay)
That Disney Summer

Screenplays

Why The Squirrel Won't Fry
The Cyberjack
Reborn
The Making of 'Sex and Violence'
The Penny Raffle
The Zen of Art
Y.M.I.
The Last Reel

Teleplays

Take Off!
The Barn

Stageplays

Trivial Pursuits

Books

The Telling of My Marching Band Story



Ba-aaand!


Attention by the numbers!


Readyyyyy...


ONE!  This is the (mostly) true story of one Freshman's experience during "Hell Week" - the time allotted to transform 250 summer-vacation bloated recruits into one of the best college marching bands in the country.  It's about Trying.  It's about Truth.  It's about the perfect length for a transcontinental flight.


Readyyyyy...


TWO!  As a bonus, the screenplay version is included after the book for those with a genuine interest in scriptwriting, i.e., anyone not actually affiliated with Hollywood.


Readyyyyy...


THREE!  I used to be a writer for "THE WONDER YEARS".  This book is my attempt to tell a personal story in the same way...


...with both heart and humor.


Ba-aaand!


READ!

6X9 MMB Cover


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That Disney Summer





Young Walt Farquhar, lifelong classic Disney fan, pursues his dream of working the summer in the Magic Kingdom at Disney World...



...but soon learns that it takes more than wishing upon a star to make dreams come true.
That Disney Summer Cover Image


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$2.99

Screenplays

Why The Squirrel Won't Fry


I know guys like this.

Guys who have never been out on a date.

Guys who have never even tried.

Why?

That's the question "WHY THE SQUIRREL WON'T FRY" examines.  It takes 4 of these guys - 4 distinct vertices of a square labeled "excuses" - and looks at how each has become trapped in his own corner.

Until one of the guys tries to break out of the box.

Here's the logline:

Four enginerds are perfectly content to sit around a luncheonette talking about the girls of "Star Trek",
until one decides to boldly go where none of them has gone before:

On a date.

Just 4 guys in a room.  No gunshots.  No paranormal phenomena.  No CGI.

No budget.

On purpose.  See, the idea was to write the lowest budget movie I could, with the goal of producing it myself.  The production part didn't happen, but the writing part did.  Minimal characters.  Minimal locations.

Maximal (?) humor.

Well, you can be the judge of that.  Maybe I was too clever for my own good.  It wouldn't be the first time.  For example:  The original title for this screenplay was "BRAINS"...

...but with the final "S" reversed to hint at a certain irony.

But the real irony is, there was a better title staring me in the face the whole time.  I just couldn't see it.  Or maybe I was just afraid to take the chance.

I know guys like this.

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The Cyberjack



 Which would you choose?

 Perfect fantasy?

 Or real, but imperfect, love?

 That's the question "THE CYBERJACK" sets out to answer.

 Here's the logline:

 In the near future, a scientist seeks to create Virtual Reality,
and tests his theory by wiring his own brain.

Now, before the word "scientist" conjures up irreparable images of math and sterility, let me hasten to point out that, like many consumer technologies, Virtual Reality will initially be driven almost exclusively by the Sex Business...

 ...which will not only be somewhat advanced in our near future but will, in fact, entirely underwrite our scientist's work.

 Yet, at its heart, “THE CYBERJACK” is really a romance set within a VR Frankenstein story, as our protagonist struggles to hardwire and control the variables of  attraction, while jeopardizing his growing connection with an actual woman.

 A real, but imperfect, love?

 Or perfect fantasy?

Which would you choose?

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Reborn



 What if you could start over?

 What if you could wipe the slate clean - your entire past, gone - and begin a new life?

 That's the idea behind "REBORN":

 A lonely man, struck by lightning, loses all memory of the past.
Or is he just using the accident as an excuse to start over?

 “REBORN” is a comedy of "un-inhibition" with something to say about the choices we make in life.  Its star is an ordinary man offered an extraordinary opportunity.

 The real star, however, is the idea that we can all change in an instant - a flash - whether that flash be lightning...

 ...or simple inspiration.

It's your choice.

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The Making of 'Sex and Violence'



The Pitch:

"The Making of 'Sex and Violence'" is a mock-umentary
in the tradition of "This Is Spinal Tap"
about the movie business.

 Pitch Checklist:

- Just one sentence?  Check.
- Refers to previously successful movie?  Check.
- Simple enough that Marketing can "see the poster"?  Check.

 Intended Pitch Audience:

 Anyone who has ever wanted to know how a movie is really made.

 Please be advised:  This story has been rated MFB:  Movie Fans Beware.

You know what they say about sausage...

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The Penny Raffle




Here's the pitch:

Reeling from sexual discrimination, advertising expert Penny Mann
decides to market her only remaining asset:  Herself.


How?

By literally offering herself as the grand prize in a raffle.

A penny raffle.

$0.01/ticket.

Of course, there are other costs, both legal and moral.  But Penny always seems one step ahead of those who invariably seek to shut her down.

Will they succeed?  Will the penny raffle find a winner?

Or has Penny herself somehow stacked the deck?

Turning sexual harrassment on its head.

Heads...

...or tails?
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The Zen of Art




A comedy about Zen Buddhism?  Hai!

Or maybe "Haiku":

Art Westin goes East;
A Salesman who finds The Light;
Occidentally.


Or even more "Occidentally":

Art Westin - high-strung, plugged-in, always-selling - is forced to spend a week in a Japanese Zen monestarty...

...where he encounters a unique koan ("riddle") of philosophy and phunny...

...culminating in a moment of satori ("insight") that changes his life.

But will this enlightenment last when he returns to the West?
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Y.M.I.




Choir, listen to the pitch:

A diverse chorus of teenagers unite
during a whirlwind musical tour of Europe.

“Y.M.I.” stands for “Young Musicians International”, based on an actual organization I traveled with during my own teenage years.  The idea was to “promote fellowship through the international language of music”. 

At least, in theory.

In practice, fellowship within the group was hard enough to maintain, while concerts were often the last thing on the mind of young men and women far away from home for the first time in their lives. 

Until, miraculously, it all came together at tour’s end.

It’s not “High School Musical” nor "Glee", but it will be recognizable to anyone who ever sang in a high school choir. 

Or survived adolescence.

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The Last Reel




1.  Confidential:  The following logline has been classified "reliable" from an inside source:

Two former covert operatives
 are forced to recover the mysterious film

that turned them into fugitives... and enemies.

Decryption (Level I):

Once the top field team planted deep in the former Soviet Union, two U.S. agents have been living off the grid for decades, on the lam after a mission gone bad...

...until the C.I.A. rounds them up to recover what they lost...

...reopening personal wounds...

...and national secrets.

2.  Secret:

Decryption (Level II):

This document was originally written to be the final movie in the Newman/Redford “trilogy”, which began with "Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid" and continued with "The Sting".  Many references, both overt and covert, are hidden within.

3.  Top Secret:

Decryption (Level III):

The NCS (National Clandestine Service) suspects this entire story to be a stealth metaphor for the current state of the Hollywood movie industry, code name "The Biz".

[Reference:  "Goddamn metaphors..."]

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Teleplays

Take Off!




This is a Television Pilot Package, specifically a 1/2 hour comedy series that offers:

A behind-the-scenes look at a locally-funded travel show
that reports from destinations around the world
on a very low budget.

Ironically, it was written just before the proliferation of unscripted TV.

Not so ironically, it was written "on spec" (speculation), meaning no one hired me to develop this concept.  I did it because I liked it.  Thought it had potential.

Still do.

It's still different.

Still risky.

Therefore still unlikely to ever "take off"...

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The Barn




This is a Television Pilot Package, specifically a 1/2 hour "dramedy" series that shows:

A behind-the-scenes look at a struggling community theater
presented in 5-episode arcs
each based on a well-known musical.

I wrote "THE BARN" several years ago, well before the coupling of Song and Series began to dominate the televised landscape.  Perhaps that's why, at the time, this particular programming barn was never "raised".

It would still be a risky venture, mainly because of its unique format.

And because in television, unlike its theatrical counterpart, sometimes "The show musn't go on."

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Stageplays

Trivial Pursuits




It ain’t dinner theater.

“TRIVIAL PURSUITS” is a 3-act, 4-character, 1-set play that asks:
“How much can an audience learn about a bunch of guys
who are sitting around a table playing a board game?”

Because that’s about the only action taking place on stage.


Unless you count the struggle for Timmy’s soul.

TIMMY is the timid host of this week’s gathering, which includes buddies TOM, the skirt-chaser; ROD, the logic-monger; and BEAR, the large and shambling animal – four vertices of a box called “maleness”.  And at the center of this box is a question, a single thin story thread upon which hangs pages of character revelation like sheets upon a clothesline:  Will Timmy grasp his last chance at salvation, saving himself from the hollow fate of his fellows by seeking the not-so-subtly-named Hope?

Because, mostly, “Trivial Pursuits” is about girls.  Or, rather, the attitude of Timmy’s counterparts toward girls.  Each (TOM, ROD, BEAR) is given a devoted ACT and a particular P.O.V. to present, all while playing a sometimes metaphorical game.  They use a number of time-proven male methods to get their points across.  They eat chips.  They drink beer.  They cheat.  They deliver monologues in the john.  They draw pictures.  In short, they cover every angle of their favorite topic from the juvenile to the sobering to the downright offensive.

With the final goal?  To reach out and touch each member of the audience with those twin masks of the theater, laughter and tears.

And possibly discomfort.

So, please:  No dining allowed.
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