a black comedy / 1998
THE OBSERVER recounts the story of a naive college graduate who lands a job at a newspaper – The Observer – staffed by misfits and deadbeats, and run by a cantankerous old man who refuses to close down a paper which hasn’t turned a profit in years. The young hero learns to survive in this unfamiliar setting, and as employees leave the sinking ship, he finds himself rapidly moving up in the world. Only until the newspaper building burns down under mysterious circumstances does he realize that success has, so far, eluded him.
This is a black comedy which features a bizarre collection of almost Dickensian-like characters, and which ultimately involves the foolish young hero in a peculiar arson / murder investigation. See synopsis
THE SOCIETY OF PROMETHEUS
a thriller / 1998
THE SOCIETY OF PROMETHEUS tells the story of an insurance man who becomes involved with an underground organization devoted to making men free by eliminating their fears. It’s not long before his life crumbles apart around him; and on top of losing his job, he’s on the run for a murder he may or may not have committed. The hero must come to terms with his own fears while he endeavors to discover who, among the members of the Society, has undermined the fragile order of his life.
It’s a dark story in the Hitchcockian tradition of how an ordinary man faces extraordinary circumstances, and how he struggles to survive despite the odds. See synopsis
A TINY DEATH
a drama / 1999
A TINY DEATH is an unconventional love story about two young people who spend far too much time hurting themselves to ever fully consummate their feelings for each other. The heroine has given herself only two months to live, as she would rather die young and live well than live a long life without knowing what it is to live. The hero can’t seem to shake his dependence on drugs, but he sees the heroine as a ray of hope. Regrettably, the heroine has a deathwish and makes every attempt bring that to pass, despite the hero’s feelings for her.
The script features a cast of troubled twenty-somethings who struggle to come to terms with themselves. I would describe this as a character piece about people who are by turns amusing and unfortunate. It’s a tragedy animated by humor. See synopsis
a thriller / 1999
CHINA BIRD is a love story about two people – one a reserved and lonely bank manager, the other an amiable and care-free con-artist dealing in forged art works — brought together under very peculiar circumstances. The heroine is drawn into a world of counterfeits and lies; but as her increased involvement with this criminal underworld increases, so does her involvement with the rootless hero, a man who comes to lose interest in the world of forged art work.
On the one hand, it’s a thriller about the buying and selling of counterfeit art; on the other, it’s a story about two people learning to overcome their natural distrust and cynicism to find some semblance of love in their lives. See synopsis
a comedy / 1999
HIGH ASPIRATIONS is about two young couples who try to solve the problems in their relationships by swapping partners. The two men are brothers — one of them an aspiring actor and the other an overworked bartender — who toy with the idea of changing girlfriends; but their girlfriends, one of them a struggling agent and the other a dominatrix who fancies herself a screenwriter, act on their feelings and set in motion a risque game of sexual musical chairs.
Though primarily about the absurdities of modern relationships, the script also touches on the difficulty of achieving material success in this day and age by illustrating how these two couples attempt to realize their high aspirations. See synopsis
a thriller / 2000
DESCENT recounts the experience of a young man who has mysteriously lost all recollection of his former life. His condition attracts the attention of the enigmatic doctor who rescues him; but the doctor appears to have an ulterior motive for taking him into his home and introducing him to his wife. What begins as an apparent request for the young man to service the doctor’s wife leads to discovery of the doctor’s true design: to exact revenge for a rape he may or may not have committed.
The story navigates the hero through a labyrinth of lies and deceptions as the young male gradually learns the truth about his past and about what other want from him.
a comedy / 2000
MEDIOCRITY is a romantic comedy with dark, fantastical and surprising turns, employing a series of flashbacks and fantastic interludes to tell a character-driven story about love among modern day urbanites. In short, a successful divorce lawyer asks an unsuccessful, intellectual writer by the name of Roland to help conceal an affair from his obsessive-compulsive wife. Once the writer discovers that the other woman, a published author of trashy romance novels, was a former lover, he visits her, setting in motion an escalating battle of wits. See synopsis
FOOLS OF FORTUNE
a comedy / 2001
When a small-time hood and a hitman team up to rob the mafia of a million and a half dollars, they find they aren’t the only ones intent on making off with the money. And so a simple robbery turns into a struggle to stay one step ahead of the mob, the law and the corrupt FBI agent determined to outsmart the pair and take the money for himself. However, the involvement of the daughter of a mafia attorney proves to be the wildcard in this dangerous game.
a sci-fi thriller / 2001
Set in the near future, SIMULACRA reveals a world in which mega corporations and the government unify forces to better influence public opinion. But the Simulacra, a small group of anarchists attempting to disrupt the national election, tries to undermine the relationship between media and viewing public by utilizing integrated digital technology to doctor broadcast images.
When the President’s corporate supporters hire an information retriever to ferret out the whereabouts of the group, the truth becomes a murky and easily manipulated commodity. The investigator becomes a pawn in a battle Simulacra was never meant to win, but this unlikely hero surprises himself by learning that nothing is what it seems, not even himself. See synopsis
science fiction / 2001
LOST PARADISE recounts the last days of a one hundred year mission to colonize a distant planet. Three scientists awake from hypersleep only to be regarded as gods by the descendants of the original passengers who have already reverted to savagery; so much for the idealistic goals of a mission designed to showcase the best of mankind. The truth becomes even more difficult to explain when one of the scientists plays upon the ignorance of those around him for his own self-aggrandizement.
But the clock is ticking; and when the mechanized crew on the planet confirm the presence of an alien entity controlling the colony ship, they initiate the destruction of the contaminated ship. Surviving the barbarism aboard ship becomes less of a concern than escaping from a doomed ship. A mysterious power makes their escape possible and protects them when the mechanized ground crew attempts to exterminate them. Humanity has insured its own destruction, but the mysterious presence which dominates this planet sets aside one man and one woman for a unique destiny.
DELUSIONS OF SQUALOR
dark comedy / 2001
An angst-ridden college loner, agonizing over a multitude of petty disappointments including an ill-fated relationship with his literature professor, discovers the truth about his birth: that his mother had been inseminated at a sperm bank and that she had never even met his father. Finding his biological father is the easy part, but he fails to understand a hopeless dead-beat who can weather failure after failure with such casual good-humor. The pair have nothing in common, but a week together work subtle changes, even threatening to undermine the son’s perverse commitment to despair.
CONFESSIONS OF A SHOPLIFTER
drama / 2002
What begins as a tutorial in shoplifting soon becomes a picaresque journey from the luxury and frivolity of high-end department stores to the drab and often brutal life of prison. Helen Sullivan, a woman toughened by experience, embarks on a solitary journey only to find herself inextricably linked to other people, and inexorably haunted by a disappointing past. Determined to do the bad things that others expect from her, she almost fails to recognize her chance for love and redemption. See synopsis
EYES OF LUCIFER
metaphysical thriller / 2002
A mulatto doctor, on the run from his past, seeks refuge in a house with a sad history, soon finding himself inexplicably linked to the peculiar phenomenon surrounding the torture and murder of slaves by their owner, Delphine LaLaurie. Driven by his compulsion to murder the women who find themselves attracted to him, the doctor can find no escape, not even in his dreams which bring him face to face with the ghastly events of the early 1830′s, first as one of Madame Lalaurie’s slaves and then as Madame Lalaurie herself. When he discovers that perhaps he was meant to inhabit the past, events spiral out of control to their destructive conclusion. See synopsis
historical drama / 2002
SLANDER confronts the treacherous political scene of the early nineteenth-century where careers were made overnight yet where reputations were easily smeared by the muckracking press. It’s the story of overweening ambition and the devastating disappointment which follows when the ambitions of Thomas Jefferson and his allies lead to political defeat for both Hamilton and Burr. As rivals for political power, these two political powerhouses naturally came to blows, yet it was Hamilton’s obsessive jealousy of a man for whom everything seemed to come so easily which made their tragedy unavoidable. When Burr’s scandalous relationship with his daughter Theodosia gives Hamilton his best excuse to undermine Burr’s support, the defense of gentlemanly honor demands an illegal but regrettably unavoidable expedient: the duel.
historical drama / 2003
By the time a stroke brings the overworked author to his deathbed, the world of his imagination has utterly consumed him, bringing the ghosts of the past to life once again. His boyhood self directs him to the man he once was: hopeful and flush with his first success as a writer. A doomed love for his wife’s sister opens up old wounds but as he ventures into his childhood, the wounds grow even deeper. The past repeats itself and Dickens, forced again to earn his living in a blacking factory while his father languishes in debtor’s prison, must overcome his own feelings of hopelessness to remember what good fortune allows him to become. DICKENS is a fanciful journey through three ages in the life of one man, a view of a life distilled from a dream.
drama / 2003
ILLUSIONS interweaves the stories of six people who attempt to cope with the disappointments that plague their lives. But unable to come to terms with themselves, let alone others, about all they manage to do is make things worse. While a suicidal student struggles to communicate with those around her, an attractive woman believes that only cosmetic surgery can improve her sense of self-worth. But her plastic surgeon’s promiscuous life seems hollow to the son who’s tired of pretending to be what others want him to be. The other two characters – an out-of-work drifter with musical aspirations and his sister, an overweight and frustrated student counselor – must also confront their own inadequacies and attempt to overcome them. Only an attempted suicide and a botched surgery can bring the truth more clearly into focus.
historical drama / 2003
JACK SHEPPARD tells the true story of the famous thief and prison-breaker of the eighteenth-century. As a young carpenter’s apprentice, Jack’s dissatisfaction with his uneventful life propels him into the arms of a deceitful prostitute and into the life of a common house-breaker. But once Jonathan Wild, in control of the London’s first organized network of thieves, takes an interest in Jack, Jack’s life plunges inevitably towards the destiny of most thieves: death by hanging. Unwilling to bow down to anyone’s authority, Jack makes enemies; but as a man who escapes from every prison his enemies send him, Jack becomes a local legend.
metaphysical drama / 2004
A Canadian doctor’s ordinary life takes a peculiar turn when a homeless man claiming to be an ancestor of hers inquiries about an ancient alchemist text of her grandfather’s. But when a mysterious Frenchman explains that the homeless man was recently released from a mental hospital, she agrees to help, only to find herself drawn inextricably into the centuries old pursuit of immortality and the mystery of the philosopher stone.
While government agents request her presence in Phoenix, the Frenchman has other plans, luring her instead to San Francisco where she experiences the incredible life-enhancing powers of white powder gold. But more curious is the revelation that not only is the homeless man quite possibly an ancestor of hers but that he, along with the Frenchman, have prolonged their lives for hundreds of years by taking the white gold powder, also known as the philosopher stone. When government agents take her to Phoenix and to the isolated facility responsible for manufacturing the white gold powder, she learns the truth about her past, her family, the book and the philosopher stone.
sci-fi thriller / 2004
LEVIATHAN takes us fifty years into an unrelenting war on terrorism, to a time when even the mildest dissent carries with it the taint of terrorism. One man, a former dissident, works as an informant for the government, paid to ferret out evidence of discontent. But the curious appearance of a former friend reminds him of the revolutionary life he’d been compelled to set aside. And when he begins to suspect that the dissidents might not even be entirely responsible for the recent flurry of devastating terrorist explosions, his mounting sympathy for the embattled opponents of the President mark him as a potential terrorist as well. Torn between self-interest and the need to give his empty life some semblance of meaning, he finds himself at a loss; but it’s his attempt to regain a sense of self-worth that ultimately decides events for him and for everyone.
sci-fi thriller (SIMULACRA sequel)/ 2004
Illuminati takes us four years further into the escalating war on terror depicted in Simulacra, to the days leading up to the next Presidential election, and to the story of a government intelligence agent who has taken to interfering with digital broadcasts to tell people what those in power will never tell them. But when a recent spate of bombings around the country become a rallying point for a hardline Presidential candidate, the former government agent becomes a convenient scapegoat. And when his past comes back to him in the shape of a former lover and revolutionary, his survival becomes a matter of telling friend from foe. But there proves to be a thin line between friend and foe once he discovers who’s behind the bombings which have plunged the country into fear and confusion.
drama / 2005
It’s the early morning of April 18, 2003, Good Friday, and the beginning of a typical day in Los Angeles. As a peculiar accident on a Los Angeles freeway generates city-wide traffic congestion, the local residents go through their daily rituals. The invasion of Iraq, however, casts a shadow over the lives of some, while others remain oblivious to events beyond their neighborhood. While indifference colors the lives of most, some residents take the time to reflect on their lives and on what the future holds.
DA VINCI’S ANGELS
historical drama / 2005
DA VINCI’S ANGELS is a look at the life of Leonardo Da Vinci from the viewpoint of the two apprentices who were closest to him. It’s a look at Leonardo the inventor, engineer, scientist, anatomist and artist, viewed through the half-light of memory. Biographer and painter, Vasari probes Da Vinci’s life in the hope of uncovering the mystery of the Mona Lisa and of the painter himself, a private man who largely kept his thoughts to himself. But what’s clear is Leonardo’s yearning for something transcendent, and his quest to find it in others, particularly the ne’er-do-well Salai and the mysterious courtesan who may or may not have posed for the Mona Lisa portrait. See synopsis
sci-fi thriller (ILLUMINATI sequel) / 2005
Magus takes us another year into the mounting war on terror and to a new administration primed for the next step in the consolidation: the elevation of the president to the role of Protector. Opposing the president is a man they call Magus, an agent turned revolutionary, now regarded by all as the enemy of everything good, true and American. But his good intentions count for nothing when perception is nine-tenths of reality; but can he counter the forces arrayed against him, and see through false friends to find the friends disguised as foes? Will the future close its doors or give him one last chance to show the world who he really is.
SHADOW OF NIGHT
metaphysical thriller / 2006
Barely able to stay awake, a psychiatrist struggles to make sense of a world he no longer recognizes. But with the unexpected gift of a mysterious crystal, it’s his dreams which begin to make more sense. Yet his dreams no longer seem to be his own, but rather those of an alchemist by the name of Edward Kelley who lived over four hundred years ago. Nothing, not even the help of a psychologist with an interest in psychic phenomenon, can put the lie to a mounting suspicion that either he isn’t the man people think he is or that he’s dreaming someone else’s dreams. Only the arrival of two mysterious strangers can help him unravel the fantastical truth, possibly at the expense of his life. See synopsis
metaphysical thriller / 2006
Mysteriously afflicted with nightmares of what appear to be his own gruesome death, a man, trusting to a fault, soon grows paranoid for the safety of himself and his wife. Picking up clues from his prophetic visions, he struggles to prevent what, until then, had been a perfect life from spiraling irrevocably out of control. But when his wife disappears, exactly as he envisioned she would, he realizes that more drastic measures may be necessary to find his wife and save his own life, even if that means killing his future murderer before his future murderer kills him. However, his harrowing quest for self-preservation and preemptive revenge may turn him into a cold-blooded killer, ensuring the very tragedy he’s struggled so hard to avoid.
metaphysical historical drama / 2007
Babalon is a fantastical journey into the brilliant but erratic mind of rocketeer and occultist, Jack Parsons who died tragically in an explosion in 1952 at the age of thirty-seven. Unsure whether he’s experiencing prophetic dreams of his death or whether he’s actually a dying man dreaming of the past, Parsons is sure of one thing: his destiny. And it’s his destiny to lead mankind to the moon and the stars beyond; at the expense, if necessary, of his happiness and the happiness of the women who love him.
Despite inspiring the development of once-derided field of rocketry, Parsons soon finds himself sidelined by a government more interested in using rockets for warfare than space travel. But Parsons finds another outlet for his overweening ambitions as a student of famed occultist Aleister Crowley who guides him in the direction of his destiny and shows him that salvation will come in the form of a scarlet woman, or Babalon, who takes the form of every woman who ever suffered for loving him. Despite discovering that his relentless pursuit of Babalon, and his destiny, may cost him his life, Parsons is hell-bent on finding her, whatever the price.
metaphysical drama / 2007
When hallucinatory dreams lead a teacher by the name of Joshua Novak, still mourning the death of his wife and son in an explosion, to the location of a secret Mayan chamber in the jungles of Guatemala, he invites the interest of an Australian adventurer by the name of Graham Kemp, hell bent on unearthing the ancient Atlantean crystals Edgar Cayce prophesied existed. But it’s Graham’s remarkably intuitive wife Sophie who takes a more than plutonic interest in Joshua when the Mayan tunnel Joshua unintentionally uncovered contains one of three mysterious crystals with remarkably properties. As Joshua struggles to come to terms with his identity, the couple takes him on a quest for another crystal which may well inform them of the whereabouts of the great crystal of the lost city of Atlantis.
But Joshua’s unsettling visions are more than the stuff of dreams. Unearthly beings appear to be guiding him to find the crystals for a greater purpose, one which may affect the destiny of mankind. And with the world on the brink of nuclear war and global weather waxing apocalyptic with the impending alignment of the sun and the galactic center, it’s no surprise that he US government is hot on their heels to discover what the great crystal portends for the world. But upon finding it, the great crystal does more than neutralize the increasingly apocalyptic weather. It created a sense of hope in a dark time; talk of war no longer on people’s lips. Yet, Joshua’s quest is still one for self-discovery as he comes to realize that his destiny is not so much about finding lost crystals as it is about opening the world to the unearthly visitors who want to return to earth: visitors Joshua begins to resemble more than any human should.
metaphysical drama / 2008
A surprise visit from an apologetic preacher takes a struggling composer, Daniel Neroni, on an unexpected journey into his forgotten past, and to the day he met the preacher in prison when Daniel was only a boy, claiming to have lived the past life of the preacher’s mother. But Daniel’s childhood memories have faded and he can barely recall his own reclusive life with his adoptive parents, let alone the basis for startling claims he once made, claims which garnered the attention of prominent psychologists seeking evidence of reincarnation. Realizing that forgetting the past hasn’t cleared him of its influence, for good or ill, Daniel consults a therapist he once dated who offers to help him through the family issues and to gain closure on a life which he comes to realize was inextricably linked to a woman who died under unusual circumstances in a fire seven years before he was born. But Daniel must wade through his own murky past as well as the anguished past of a suicidal woman to find any peace of mind.
sci-fi thriller/ 2008
The prime suspect in the investigation of the murder of several influential security contractors charged with protecting the President and stamping out criticism and dissent, Peter Damian, a former employee of the organization, flees in the hope of proving his innocence. It’s not long after learning that the actual murderer was pretending to be him that Damian also discovers that the impersonator may be a surprisingly human form of artificial intelligence, bringing Damian face to face not only with a former mercenary colleague living out revenge fantasies through the use of advance robots but also with the wife of a man Damian shot during a protest he’d been ordered to disperse. But guilt for his own wrongdoing shadows him as he comes to realize that the robots are more than just similar to him in appearance; they’ve adopted his personality and also the killing instinct he’d once hoped to discard.
sci-fi drama/ 2009
A priest of a repressive apocalyptic religion which places a premium on purity and silence embarks on a mission to turn the unconverted only to discover that the mission is not one of peace but of mass murder. The recurring voice of what might be a divine entity asking the priest to seek him out, along with the warnings of a peculiar old man who remembers the time before the world died, impels the priest to breaks his vows of obedience and silence and head off in search of the divine presence and for an explanation for the haunting memories of a violent childhood, a father he didn’t think he knew, a preacher who took his innocence and of the last of the horses that died off soon after the apocalypse. The priest’s journey takes him to the founder of the Order of the Illumination who has since renounced his own creation and come into possession of a horse, the last of its kind. It was the founder’s intent to come clean about his relationship with the priest and about the experiments with memory extraction which may be explain the priest’s memories of a brutal loss of innocence which wasn’t his loss but that of the founder himself.
drama / 2009
Bella, a single mother with a habit of spurning friends and lovers and making enemies, faces the consequences of a combative life. Her son, a precocious boy who failed to distinguish himself in school not only finds himself powerless to help but realizes he’s the unwitting cause of her loss of employment when she can’t find anyone to help take care of him. The inability to pay rent when a roommate makes herself scarce compels Bella to an option of last resort: visiting the mother she never got along with. When Bella’s mother makes a case for keeping Bella’s son, suggesting that Bella is in no position to care for him, Bella realizes that staying would mean losing a chance to repair her relationship with her son. A romantic encounter gone horribly wrong brings her to a motel where she meets a trucker who isn’t put off by her brusque and off-putting ways. Imagining a chance of happiness with a man who also takes a fatherly interest in her son, she is no longer her combative self. But when the trucker takes off, she’s left with a choice between waiting for him and, in a repeat of a nomadic life, once again trying her luck elsewhere. Unexpected opportunities and overlooked fortunes may decide for her.
drama / 2010
When a misunderstanding results in the waving of a gun, an peaceful Hispanic college professor inadvertently gets the son of his gun-toting neighbor in jail. It isn’t long before the son gets released and tempers flare with the arrival of the neighbor’s brother, and his private militia army, who has vowed to protect his town from the dangers of the federal government. When another call and another police visit unearths a treasure trove of illegal firearms, the militia targets the professor and his wife, but it’s when militia money goes missing, that the war of attrition becomes one requiring the purchase of a gun. Faced with the choice of running or staying and fighting to stake his claim in the neighbor, the professor holds his ground, despite devastating consequences for everyone.
sci-fi drama / 2010
Technological advances help retard the aging process, but when a widely disseminated drug actually starts aging people instead, early death becomes the norm. But even those who weren’t exposed, like prison inmate Leo de la Cruz, risk exposure as test subjects for the very laboratory that triggered man’s early extinction.Â Fortunately for Leo, he gets an early release to put his good genetics to work in a breeding program to repopulate the world.Â Although he may be the only person immune to the effects of the aging drug, a discovery that the breeding program uses young teenage girls prompts him to flee with a girl who promises a better future on an island called Agape.Â His involvement with political agitators endeavoring to protect survivors from government testing leads him and the girl closer to the promise of a place where they can live in peace. A journey to Agape brings them to an abandoned military base devoted to the promise of youth and rebirth, but it may not be the utopia Leo imagined it would be.
HOW SOON IS NOW?
drama / 2012
Life as an outcast is hard enough for John Cutter, but he’s distrusted even by the outcasts. Only the universally admired rock singer and self-proclaimed freedom fighter, Riley Holmes, recognizes Cutter for his talents, and invites him to play a prank on a school, fast becoming a prison. While the fallout from the prank landing Cutter in hot water, his friendship with Riley intensifies. When an unexpected tragedy kills Riley, Cutter and his newfound punk friends struggle to find hope and meaning in an otherwise claustrophobic life. Only the hope of seeing a pop idol in concert keeps further tragedy at bay. A celebration of the power of music, How Soon Is Now is a wistful story of what it was, and still is, to be an American teenager.
RIVER OF DEATH (aka GREEN EYES)
metaphysical thriller / 2012
A hunting trip, scheduled designed to bring some old friends together, brings out the rivalries and jealousies that dogged them once, years befors, when their car gets stuck on an isolated road in the Appalachians. At the suggestion of a curious boy living with his grandfather in a remote, anachronistic cabin, four of the travelers dismiss the urgency of getting help in an attempt to find gold in a nearby river, famed for being the source of many a death for centuries. The fifth traveler, Arden, sets out for help only to find herself lost, followed by a man dressed as a frontiersman of old claiming that she’s returned home. Finding no gold, the other travelers drink of the water and feel fine. But the hunting instinct kicks in with the appearance of a green-eyed creature. The resulting pursuit brings them into the midst of what appears to be both a Civil War battle and a skirmish with Indians. What first appears to be visions becomes alarmingly real when bullets fly, and it isn’t long before delerium sets and the former friends turn bloody thoughts on each other. Death surrounds them and turns them to madness. Unable to find help, Arden soon finds herself in a prison that transcends time; her companion a holdover from the past, as is everyone she sees. Forgetting her friends, she settles into a rustic, simple life with her companion who implores her to remember what she is. Realizing that she’s been seduced by an illusion of a false past, she runs to find her friends only to discover they’ve killed one another. Still frantic to leave, she seeks to elude the green eyed creature preying on their minds, to find her way back home.