While many are born with the proverbial silver spoon in the mouth, I was born with a pen in my hand — a screenwriter influenced by everything Jamaica, everything Los Angeles. My chosen genre contrasts drama, political thrillers, and drama contrasting beauty and and the beast, yin and yang. the magical things noticed in my early life, Jamaica.
The great Ian Fleming and Noel Coward wrote from the Island where Bob Marley shared the Muse that still and forever reverberates through our consciousness and hearts to date. I wrote my first series at age seven, and gained an agent, unbeknownst to me, who distributed my serialized stories to her friends who heard about them word of mouth. My sister!
I later attended the Art Center College of Design. While there, I become a joyful painter, a fashion model, while working as an art director, and costume-designer, however, I left art for fashion, receiving a degree from The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. While there, a famous costume designer encouraged me: “You must do costumes for film!” she said. She looked like an exclamation in 3-D, so I listened.
In 1998, after a stint at Paramount Pictures, I became a part of the Ali-Parker Film family (formerly Renge Films) with Bill Parker and Karolyn Ali. There I learned what being a “hyphenate” was – job-wise. I was a costumer / Art Director / and writer, especially in development. The best part? I learned the kind of things you can’t pick up in school.
So at seven years old I was writing and now, here it was again. I studied film at UCLA going the extension route, and befriended my mentor, Linda Palmer, who formerly ran Columbia Studios; and Debra Hill (The Fisher King). Debra has sadly passed away. Linda and I remained friends until her recent passing. The loss was a blow, but along came another mentor in writing, Mr. John Truby.
While at UCLA, a film I wrote, “Jamaica Beat,” premiered at Universal’s Hitchcock Theater to an overcrowded audience which included my classmates and professors. The Write-ups landed me my first agent.
I am now a published writer in various mediums: Film, print, blogs and philosophical magazine op-eds, to name a few. I also edit books and help develop the screenplays of others. In this matrix that writers constantly navigate with each adventurous project, I rush for the moments, put in the hours of hard work (like going to jail in a mind palace) enjoy the adrenaline rush, similar to racing exotic cars speeding, registering on our third-eye clocks as a colorful blur.
I’ve co-written screenplays with Ben Moses, of Appleseed Productions, re-wrote a project with Linda Seger as an excellent mentor, and have sold a number of intellectual properties. I’ve worked with Stuart Gordon in development at Red Hen productions and enjoyed the collaboration immensely. I am forever a fan of Mr. Gordon’s work.
I recently completed a screenplay based on Iris Chang’s “Shanghai Massacre,” (working title, “The Rabbi of Shanghai,”) with the help of Mike Medavoy at Phoenix Studios. Mr. Medavoy was more than helpful. He kindly offered me a series of interviews with his mother, who is now in her eighties with whom he credits his having survived internment . Mike was in Shanghai until age seven and was wonderfully forthcoming in describing his memories. “The Rabbi of Shanghai” is now in Development.
Mike also facilitated a connection with the famous J.G Ballard. His best-known books are Crash (1973), adapted into a film by David Cronenberg, and the semi-autobiographical Empire of the Sun (1984), made into a film by Steven Spielberg, based on Ballard’s boyhood in the International Settlement and internment by the Japanese Imperial Army during the Second World War.
The literary distinctiveness of his work has given rise to the adjective “Ballardian“, defined as “dystopian modernity, bleak man-made landscapes and the psychological effects of technological, social or environmental developments.” Noire by Nature.
Ballard was diagnosed with prostate cancer in June 2006, from which he died in London in April 2009. I respectfully include him with sentiment.
In addition to screenplays , my philosophical articles have been published worldwide. Some include interviews with Dr. Cornel West, a regular on HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher” and Vinessa Shaw, “3:10 to Yuma”, and “Eyes Wide Shut.”
I presently have a Political Thriller, “Infamous,” — a short being filmed for inclusion in an upcoming Film Festival and “A Fire You Can’t Put Out” inspired by the book of the same name, written by Andrew Manis, a book edit and screenplay I’m prohibited from discussing, and all the travails that come with it. Many of my projects have been sold under pseudonyms — I am intensely private. However, I have joyfully remained in good stead with all whom I have thankfully had the opportunity with which to work. (You know who you are). Other authors have been generous in including samples of my writing in their books used in film schools.
I am a fan of Joseph Campbell’s work, including ‘The Hero With a Thousand Faces’, as a guide for mythological and historical dramas, but am exceedingly more amazed with the Female Myth and the parallel journey that authors take in the process of creating a story world and populating it with characters. Is this by unspoken design?
~The Man in the Cool Suit
~A Damned Smart Move
~The Rabbi of Shanghai
~A Fire You Can’t Put Out
~Dharma in A box
Manager: T.J. Mancini, Crossroads Entertainment, Inc.
Agent: Jerry Zeitman, CAA
Website: ‘Live Playscape’ – https://liveplayscape.wordpress.com