TELEVISION PILOTS AND SERIES
Contemporary dramedy set in The New South of big money, rural and tech arrivistes, and Northerners on the make.
Time: The Present
Place: South-Eastern Mid-Sized Metropolitan Area
Setting: The Beauregard Hightower Museum of Art & Culture, An old museum with a solid classical background and early
20th Century Beaux Arts building, now in the heart of one of the New South’s fastest growing, and wealthiest urban areas. Contemporary new building wings literally surround the old building; while railroad cars full of new art have been brought in to replace a lot of the “beloved” old junk. The “fine old place” is on its way to becoming “next year’s most talked about art showcase.”
Concept: Each week one piece of art work will be visually introduced at the beginning of the program, briefly described by a “cultured” voice-over, artistically evaluated, and priced. It then becomes the primary focus of the individual program, as we discover its background, and how the Museums curators and director plan to obtain—or in some cases —discard it. If, how, and when form the suspense. In the process we will get to know the various characters in the museum and their donors involved with the piece. Longer arc plot, character and relationship development arcs will be a third focus.
Mel Lavigne, 45 ("Le-vine"): The Hightower Museum’s Executive Director.
Carly Abbot, 30 ("Car-Lee"): The B.H. Museum’s Director of Sponsorship & Marketing.
Millicent Hightower Kovacs 77. (Koh-vaks). “The Unmentionables Queen,” Millicent’s from unimpeachable ancestry but married trailer-trash Stu Kovacs who can’t stop making money on ladies panties.
Paul Sinclair, 26.the B.H.’s newest staff member, freshly Ph.D from Harvard in European and 19th Century Art.
Raul Cjebcjech-Mendoza, 30 ("Cheb-check Men-dose-a") B. H. Museum’s Curator of Pre-Columbian Art. Of Slavic and Latino descent, his uncle is the dictator of a small Central American country, “Santa Lucia.”
Sidney Stuyvesant Simpson 35. African-American with a thick Noo Yawk accent, cousin of rapper Russell Simpson, and that’s as far as her hipness goes
O.S. Lee, 69. Head of Museum Operations, Lee overlooks the “physical plant,” from painting walls to sanitation to security.
Lavinia Ryerson, 59, Head of Museum Protocol.
The Reeds. (20-25). Six Armani wearing, reed-thin, recent graduates of expensive girl’s colleges. Interchangeably pretty, they run errands for staff.
Bobby Jay Baughtel 47 ("Bo-tel"). Good Ole Boy super-insurance-salesman, billionaire.
Complete “Frame-Up world, Full Pilot Script and Precis of other episodes are available.
An ADAPTED SCREENPLAY FOR A FEATURE FILM
An unexpected contemporary romance adapted from Picano's classic novel of the same name.
Setting: An east coast beach community as it is closing down for the fall and winter.
Young residents of a beach colony in late September find themselves in a unique, and uniquely difficult love triangle.
Jonathan and Daniel are longtime gay lovers who have everything: great looks, good loving, a house in town, a house on the ocean, successful careers, loving friends, families, even kids (by Dan's first marriage).
But when Daniel flies to England to produce a TV series he leaves Jonathan in the throes of creative crisis with his new composition: a piano concerto commissioned by a major orchestra. And ripe for trouble and also for seduction.
Enter their beach house neighbor, Stevie Locke, twenty years old, and in her own personal crisis, questioning everything including her boyfriend and her future. Circumstances in the nearly empty retreat throw the two lonely young people together and an completely unlikely love affair begins, witnessed by the few remaining residents of the summer place who have their own interest, agendas, and desires concerning the pair.
Can this romance last, and if so, how much destruction will it wreak all around it? Late in the Season is a frank, erotic and romantic love story set in a contemporary summer resort that asks what exactly is the nature of infatuation versus that of commitment; and who does really belong together.
Full length treatment available
An ADAPTED SCREENPLAY FOR A FEATURE FILM
Psychological ghost-chiller, adapted from Picano’s novella, Looking Glass Lives.
Setting: Contemporary ocean-front, semi-rural, Rhode Island Coast, and in Civil War days.
A spellbinding, erotic tale eerily bridging two sets of young people living in a seaside New England town two centuries apart. Stories within stories, secrets buried for epochs, and the mysterious figure of a solitary figure from the American Civil War era that haunts the imagination.
When Roger Lynch and his newly-wed wife, Karen, detour from their honeymoon to the town where he spent an unforgettable childhood summer at his grandfather's summer house, they fall in love with the old Pritchard Place, up for sale: the town’s "haunted home" of Roger's youth.
They buy the house, move in, and restore it to its mid-Nineteenth Century glory. But they also set in motion a chain of events that Roger realizes was fated from long before their birth. The two young lovers and Roger's dangerously obsessed, cousin Chas end up playing roles that appear to be predestined.
Workmen discover a long shuttered library and among the dusty tomes, journals of Amity Pritchard, describing her life during the 1860’s, her beautiful sister, Constance, and dashing Union Army captain, Eugene V. Calder, who comes to court one sister and remains to seduce them all.
At first mysteriously, then openly Chas returns to the Pritchard Place and charms Karen, despite Roger’s warnings. Chas makes it known to Roger that he wants to pick up their relationship where they left it off, at ages twelve and thirteen. Roger violently rejects him, and Chas vows revenge.
Roger immerses himself in diaries and we too follow Amity Pritchard in her guarded life as she entertains Calder's advances and falls under his spell, only to be betrayed.
Roger begins to have vivid nightmares, out of which he awakens to see the figure of a woman – Amity?
Karen refuses to listen to Roger’s ideas of his and Chas' connection to those long dead, nor the horrifying future he predicts. More discoveries enlighten and frighten Roger. Chas impels the triangle to a climax demanding that Karen leave Roger to go with him. This is an exact repetition of what happened to Amity Pritchard.
Despite everything, Roger determines to halt the cycle of love and tragedy that seems doomed to recur again and again, forever, like the infinity sign engraved on the cover of Amity Pritchard's moldering journals.
An ADAPTED SCREENPLAY FOR A FEATURE FILM
Horror-Fantasy, adapted from M.R. James’ much anthologized story of the same name.
Setting: Northampton, Massachusetts, 1886 (note: the town is intact from that era and the chamber of commerce is film friendly.
Log-line: In a picturesque 19TH Century New England town two brothers and their friends --including the reclusive, American poet, Emily Dickinson – must battle a powerful and vengeful Demonologist who can control and kill using the spells of ancient Icelandic “Runes.”
Brothers John and Henry Harrison leave a symphony concert and pick up a journal containing a review of an occult book John mercilessly panned. When they get home to nearby West Hatfield, they open the program to a strange paper with Icelandic Runes on it. It lights up and slips out as though alive. They chase but are unable to hold it, and it escapes out the window and burns itself up in a gas lamp on the street.
Two months John is delayed after a concert has missed his train home. He feels shadowed, threatened by loud invisible breathing. Menaced, he flees to the nearby churchyard eventually climbing up the steeple, he is plucked off by some unseen force and falls to his death, impaled by the spikes of the wrought iron fence.
Spring of the next year at Northampton’s Smith College: Professor Ashbrook Ludlow dictates four rejection letters over that many weeks to his daughter Stella, teacher at the local day school to one E.B. Karswell, who has taken up residence in nearby Amherst and wants his papers on Demonology published and even presented in lectures at the prestigious woman’s college.
Henry Harrison at the County office rejects any idea his brother John committed suicide. Meanwhile, in the auditorium Stella Ludlow is giving her school children a treat. Mr. Karswell has prepared a magic lantern show for them. But it get violent and frightening then completely realistic and out of hand. Henry joins in to battle the infernal machine as Karswell vanishes.
Strange, solitary, and super-sensitive, Emily Dickinson encounters birds and bees as her equals and speaks to them, but she sees Karswell’s carriage go by and sensing evil, hides.
Little by little, each one of these characters will become the targets of Karswell’s hatred, revenge or in Stella’s case, infatuation. And each will be subjected to his or her own “gift” of Runes, which spell out only evil, made more difficult to avoid due to Karswell’s disguises and his ability to cloud minds.
Finally all of them will join forces to bring him down, using the reclusive, possibly autistic, poet who can always see him no matter his disguise. The thrilling finale takes place during Northampton’s Founder’s Day summer parade. But victory comes at a cost; and one of them must pay.
An ADAPTED SCREENPLAY FOR FEATURE FILM
Romantic-police thriller, adapted from Picano’s critically acclaimed short story, “The Perfect Setting” in Tales From a Distant Planet.
A grieving detective learns a dead friend’s paintings depict the scene of crimes she never could have witnessed--including that of her own murder.
Detective Daniel Weill is late for the opening of Melanie Chase's new exhibit of paintings and when he does arrive it's only to find the beautiful artist in a classic crime conundrum-- locked inside an otherwise vacant art gallery and dead of poison.
Suicide, the police assume, and so does Auburn, owner of the gallery, as well as Melanie's wealthy mother and her stockbroker ex-fiancee. But widower Weill, who mysteriously left active duty to teach at the Police Academy, becomes obsessed by the need to discover the truth, and by his belief that the haunting painting Melanie grasped at in her dying moment was a final message to him.
At first resisted and then aided by lovely gallery assistant, Susan Vight, who has her own motives and secrets, Weill begins a search for a truth no one but he wants to know, a search that unearths the eerie power of Melanie's artistic gift, and the idea that we are all guilty, and somehow, somewhere, someone like Melanie Chase somehow knows all about it and can depict it in art, time and place notated -- sight unseen.
Sight Unseen is a taut, romantic, erotically charged, contemporary police thriller with a sensual, supernatural ambience, set in the glossy, wealthy high society and Fine Art World of The Thomas Crown Affair.