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Alter Ego
Friday, 8 September 2006
letter

I just thought I'd share with you a letter I received from Larry Brody a few years ago, a producer of several TV shows.  I entered a contest and Alter Ego won second place.  And he had some good things to say.  It's short, but also very sweet...

Hi.

Got your request for feedback about your entry into the People's Pilot and am glad that you're taking this opportunity to make an impression on future television programming so seriously.  We at TV Writer.Com believe in what we're doing and hope that we can pass on the insights you need.

ALTER EGO is the kind of project that appeals to me personally.  I began my career writing s-f and have produced several superhero shows.  I like what you've got there and thought your script was very well written.  I'm impressed with your talent.  Keep me posted on what you're doing, please.

As you've probably heard, all networks and studios these days want "high concept" ideas.  The real definition of high concept is "execution-proof."  It means an idea that is so cool on its face that it'll succeed no matter how badly it's done.  ALTER EGO, however, will depend on its execution.  It can be THE TICK or THE FLASH or BUFFY depending on who runs it, and that's a major problem these days.

The second reason this is tough is that it's a comic book style series not associated with an existing comic book.  And I don't think I need to tell you, that except in extremely rare cases, writing a series based on unknown superheroes is a waste of time.  It's a hard truth, but it's a truth nonetheless.

Hope you take the spirit of these comments as they were intended, as useful criticism for improving your chances in the future, and that you continue taking those chances.  There's potential here. Stay with it.

Thanks for your entry,

Brody 



Posted by blackroosterfilms at 4:16 PM EDT
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Friday, 14 July 2006
more sample pages :-)

Here are a couple more random scenes.

 

Scene #1:

INT. DINING ROOM - NIGHT

Linda and Bill finish up dinner.  

She looks to her husband, staring down at his food.

LINDA

Can you do without me for a couple hours?  My sister wants me to stop by.

BILL

Guy problems again?

LINDA

No, I just need to talk to her.

Without looking up, Bill waves a hand, motioning her to go.

Linda stands.  Kneels to Bill's side.

LINDA

Honey, look at me.

His head comes up just enough to meet her gaze.

LINDA

I’m not having an affair.  I need you to trust me.

He sighs.

BILL

It’s just been a long day.  And I was acting silly last night.  Of course I trust you.

He smiles.  She smiles back, kisses him, then heads for the door.

LINDA

Two hours, tops.

He nods.  She grabs her purse, exits.  Just as the door closes...

Bill flips out his cellphone. 

 

Scene #2:

(This is after he discovers the truth.) 

Linda walks into the room and confronts Bill.

LINDA

Bill, I need to know if you're okay with this.

Bill doesn't answer at first, but he finally gets the courage.

BILL

I'll be okay.  But that who tried to mug us today--

LINDA

Was a lucky shot.  I wouldn't have had the courage to stand up to him if you hadn't been there.

Bill gives her a half-smile, but he ain't buying it.

BILL

Sure, you wouldn't.

Linda squeezes his hand and then leaves him alone to think.

 After a few moments, he flips out his cell phone and dials.  It rings a couple times, then--

MALE VOICE

Hello?

BILL

Hey, Jack.  What are ya doing tonight?

JACK

Not much.  Why?

BILL

I need you to pretend you're a mugger and attack me and my wife.

There is dead silence, then--

BILL

Hello?

 

 


Posted by blackroosterfilms at 3:23 PM EDT
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Friday, 7 July 2006
sample pages

Okay, so it's been a little more than a week.  But, as promised, here are some sample pages taken directly from the screenplay.  Please forgive the spacing.  The conversion isn't perfect.

 

FADE IN: 

 

EXT. A DARK ALLEY - NIGHT

HEAVY RASPING.  A woman trying to catch her breath.

A PAIR OF SMALL LEGS pound the pavement.  Frantic.

Followed by a SECOND PAIR.

Stronger.

Determined.

The shoes in front splash through a puddle.

 

INT. THE SECOND ALLEY - NIGHT

A THUG shoves a YOUNG WOMAN against a wall.  She averts her eyes.

THUG

Your purse.   That’s all I wanted.  But you had to give me some shit.

She sobs, holds out her purse at arms length.

YOUNG WOMAN

Take it.  Please.

He shakes his head, disappointed.

THUG

Too late for that.

He flips out a knife.  Moves in for the kill.

A shuffle echoes behind him.  He stops.  Turns.  Grins a nearly toothless grin as he stares into the darkness.

THUG

Man, bitch, you wandered into the wrong alley on the wrong night.

But suddenly, an unseen force slams the thug against the wall.  He keeps hold of the knife, rushes forward.  Swings it.

A FIGURE, petite within the shadows, blocks his attack.  Twists the knife away.  Pushes him back against the wall.

He lands on his backside.  The knife lands on top of him, its blade folded in half.  He stares in awe, then...

Rockets to his feet.  Slips his hand inside his jacket.

Points his 9mm.

Before he can take aim, the petite figure seizes his wrist.  Pivots.  SNAPS the bone.

He drops the gun, falls to his knees and SCREAMS.

On his backside again, he stares at his broken wrist.  A clip falls onto his lap.  Empty.

He slowly gazes up at his attacker.

LINDA (32, brunette, the perfect housewife), stands over him, holding the gun in one hand, the bullets in another.

LINDA

Keep that.  It’ll remind you of what happened here tonight.

She glances to the young woman, unmoved since the attack began.

LINDA

I’ll walk you home.

They casually walk away from the injured man.  The young woman glances back.  He hasn’t moved.

YOUNG WOMAN

Thank you.

She follows Linda into...

THE STREET

Linda looks to her right, at something in the distance.

LINDA

You want to thank me?  Then forget you saw me.

The young woman nods.

 

INT. MASTER BEDROOM - NIGHT

Linda walks in, ignores the light switch, and looks to the bed.

It’s empty.  She slowly shuts the door, turns a bit, and stops.

LINDA

Bill?

Across the room, BILL, Linda's husband sits in a chair, shrouded by darkness.

LINDA

Honey, what’re you doing over there?

BILL

Waiting for my wife to come home.

He switches on a lamp sitting on a table next to him.

LINDA

I didn’t see your car outside.

BILL

Parked it on the next street.  Where’ve you been?

LINDA

I had to, uh...

BILL

Go to the store for a few hours?

LINDA

We were out of formula.  The store down the street was out, so I...

BILL

Save it.

Jack just stares at her.  She seems nervous, but refuses to look away.  Jack doesn’t seem angry, only matter-of-fact.

BILL

Sooner or later, I’ll find out who he is.

LINDA

Who who is?

BILL

Somewhere, you’ll slip up.  Or he will.  Everyone makes mistakes, if given enough time.

LINDA

Honey, you don’t honestly believe that I’m cheating on you?

BILL

No.  This behavior is absolutely normal.

Now the anger comes.

LINDA

Bill, don’t treat me like I’m in your interrogation room.

BILL

Then don’t give me a reason to.

She backs off.

LINDA

I’m sorry.  I guess I wasn’t thinking.

Bill stands.

BILL

Well, that’s one thing I’ve been doing a lot of lately.

Without saying a word, he grabs a pillow and exits.  She watches him go, sadly hangs her head. 

 

Posted by blackroosterfilms at 6:42 PM EDT
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Thursday, 18 May 2006
Alter Ego

It seems like just yesterday that I came up with this concept, but in truth, it's been in development for the past few years.  For those of you already familiar with the project, I wanted to let you know that I've abanoned the idea of making it into a feature, and am instead focused on it as a television series.

 

For those of you not familiar with it, I'll give you a quick pitch...

Alter Ego -- Thinking that his wife is having an affair, a loving husband sets to find out the truth and discovers that his wife is actually a superhero who is charged with defending the city from criminals.

 

There's much more to it than that, but that's the gist of the story.  I'm hoping to copy and paste a few pages in the next week or so.


Posted by blackroosterfilms at 12:01 AM EDT
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