Thursday, September 16, 2010

A Shirley Project

I suppose, of all the things we remember, good or bad, we always seem
to keep those first times forever, whatever they may have been. For me,
it always comes back to the first time I ran away from home.
- Natalie in The Last Radio Station
 As many of you know, this blog began with the idea of me relating how I would develop and fund Travel Day, a screenplay I wrote several years ago, and to be directed by Shirley Petchprapa and produced by myself. 

However, after 8 months, a key figure in the financing in Canada basically disappeared. My contacts in Manitoba revealed that nobody has seen him for a while and while some rumors spread, nobody really knew where he was. And he wasn't just some hustler, he actually made several TV movies for American companies.

But wherever he was, he wasn't with us.

And by that time, it was too late to go to someone else as it was too late to fund TD as winter would be over and it was a winter shoot. In the interim, I blogged about my adventures working on a TV series that had problems of it's own.

So now Shirley and I are facing another winter and will discuss what we both would like to do. Besides Travel Day, I have another screenplay Shirley likes; it's called "The Last Radio Station" at the moment and is essentially a set piece, meaning one singular location.

The location is a truckstop somewhere in the middle of America (or Canada), once thriving but now off the main route due to an interstate freeway bypassing them. Only the locals continue to come by as well as some truckers and lost tourists. And in my story, a young girl who runs away from home, encouraged by a distant radio station.

There's also another element to the truckstop. 

It's got a DJ. You know, disc jockey. Not a VJ or Party mixer or loudmouth talkshow host. Instead it's a guy that time forgot, spinning music and stories to a distant audience with a transmitter that spreads a hundred miles across the flatlands of America. The radio station, the one the girl listens to sits atop the lonely truckstop with the DJ inside, known only as the "traveler".

There's two more issues; the radio station will soon be shut down and a mysterious stranger whose arrival will touch the lives of the half dozen people who will meet each other at this lonely outpost.

So from the producer's end, me that is, it's a project that's easier to fund because it is one location. This would most likely be a set designed in a studio that would include an exterior as well. Or it could be a real place as well. For now, we're keeping open to both choices as either could be viable and since I and 10 million others live at the edge of America's great desert, the Mojave, finding a place within a hundred miles is quite possible.

I'm meeting Shirley for lunch today and we will discuss which project we will do. More to come on this movie project.

(Mon: Emperor and other projects)


  1. That's not what "set piece" means. Not even close.

  2. You're absolutly right. I was thinking one single set and setpiece came to mind. After 40 years in the business I do this now and then. Hope I didn't spoil your day. For the record I'll call it a single set/location.

  3. I'm not quite sure what Anonymous's point is; is he/she some kind of adjudicator of blogs checking them for spelling mistakes, bad grammar, wrong information or just a time waster?
    We all know what Jim meant.
    But answer me this, Anonymous - why are you hiding your identity?