Screenwriting Projects

Updates: Autumn/Winter 2017- 2018

There are currently no less than five screenplay projects in various stages of development

  1. The Seminar (completed 20 min short) . A modestly designed production – just four men in a cave. One is Aristotle, 42, and another – his teenage student-Prince Alexander, the future Emperor. The problem? How to teach the difficult student the three-act-structure. Two bored but anxious bodyguards look on at the testy Oedipal struggle . Tensions rise. Everyone carries a knife.
  2. Adaptation of a Joseph Conrad novel (120 min, 5th draft completing).
  3. Working Title: Whatever (90 min contemporary drama set in Texas Trumpland, USA). As of Sept 2017 this is now a completed treatment, moving towards first draft script based on feedback and interest from production companies.  Background reading has included The Big Con (David W. Mauer, 1999), The Confidence Man in American Literature (Lindberg, 1982), Major Problems in Texas History, 2nd edition (Eds. Haynes & Wintz, 2017), Red State (Thorburn, 2014). The narrative follows in the tradition of the picaresque novel, with film/genre references that allude to Ford, Hitchcock, Malick, Fred Zimmerman, the Coen Brothers, Wim Wenders and Barry Levinson. The final note is tribute to David Lynch.
  4. As You Lay Dying  – a Claude Monet bio, research and plot structure underway for a full length script based on his struggles with a particular sequence of paintings.
  5. Place by the River research and treatment plotting for a full-length Western that explores the relationship from 1811 to 1861 between Abigail and her lost father William Wright – former Ohio homesteader turned killer, frontier wildman, and now aged mountain man. How do they get her extended family to California?


The Seminar

A patient tutor, a stroppy student, and two impatient guards with a world to conquer.


So, the screenplay has been completed and, with the accompanying shot-list, is production-ready.

How, Where? It began as a 5-minute sketch several years ago and now stands as a 20-minute piece that takes its audience back to to  342 BC and a miserable winter’s afternoon in the ancient caves of the Nymphaion of Miera in Macedonia.


Who, What?  It is here that philosopher Aristotle – under the employment of  King Philip II of Macedon –  held his Elite School. Inside the caves – full of wonder, mystery and some danger – we experience the frustrations and joys in teaching the 3-act-dramatic structure to Alexander, the teenage Prince. However,  along with his impatient bodyguards, the future conqueror has better things to do.

The audience is thus captivated by the twisting Oedipal struggle between the two forces that is darkened by possible assassination and enlivened by moments of comic irony. And all taking place inside a pressure-cooker of rising tension.

Visual influence/reference:    St. Jerome by Caravaggio

By who? The tragi-comedy is designed to draw upon six actors, the craft skills of cinematographers, animators, editors, art designers, and, of course, a valiant and creative exective producer.  One core research source is here…


“When plotting stories and putting them into words one should do one’s best to visualize the events. By envisaging things while they happen, as if one were an eyewitness, one will discover what is appropriate and one will be less likely to overlook inconsistencies.”

Aristotle, The Poetics (Trans. Kenny, 2013







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