Monday, October 21, 2013

Day 1


Always inspire to be the best you can be.





Day 2 The Unanswered Dreams of a Dead Man

BOOK TRAILER:


video


An Excerpt from Part One of 'Ted Christopher's Universe':
'The Unanswered Dreams of a Dead Man' vs. Jack Kerouac & Allen Ginsberg.
---
TC raises his arms in the air: the people gathered hinge on his words as if he was a messiah.
"Alright people!  Pineapple upstairs and then wrestling in the backyard.  Let's go."
And with a unanimous Viking yell, the circle unravels to the stairs and up.
"Your house?  Everything in this house is destroyed you know?"
"Material things, it doesn't matter."
The bear [of a man] raises a box to TC.
"Go over to that stereo, read this with only candlelight.  A bottle of wine is uncorked."
I am compelled by TC's aura: I blink, I breathe, I comply.
"I left my job and place for this?"
No answer; he's already upstairs.  It's just me, this metal box, a bottle of wine, and a stereo with 'Ode to Joy', Beethoven's 9th Symphony.  I do as told: I open the box and read-- The Fraternity of Mankind.


I sit paralyzed in the candlelight from emotions which cannot be broken down into smaller parts.  The seedlings of reason into the sight of the future are sown.  Suddenly, TC runs down.
"Get your shit; these people have taken this party to another level."
I don't hesitate.  A houseful of people on LSD: what could they be doing?
I see what he means. 'Killing in the Name of' has infiltrated the entire environment...
 

 

DAY 3 - Conquering Sin


AUDIO EXCERPT- 'THE ANSWER TO THIS LIFE'

 Here is Richard Wagner- 'Tannhauser'- it will close the day out.
 
  

A quote from Augustine’s Confessions:

“In my youth I wandered away, too far from your sustaining hand, and created of myself a barren waste.”
 
CONQUERING SIN
I have walked miles in snow.
I have been broke and slept on hardwood floors.
I have detoxed on a death bed for days.
I can go on and on-


Through it all I never blamed God; instead, I thanked Him for this life.

1.) Make a list of all your Sins.

2.) Purchase the right one. A spiritual emblem to be worn around your Neck.

3.) Choose a random Cemetery, walk around and take notice of the Names.

4.) Search out the Perfect Spot in Nature and Burn the List.

5.) Enter your Church or a New Church and ask forgiveness.

6.) Submerge the emblem in Holy Water, inside a Church or outside in a River or a Stream. Close your eyes; breathe in the air: the Gift of Life.

7.) Arrive at home: Set aside an hour to be alone. Center your body in the middle of your bed. Fold your hands over your heart. Close your eyes and mind and focus on an image of a red rose. Be Silent and Do. Not. Move. Avoid any itch or any thought that may enter your mind. Relax. Be Still and Be One with The Universe.

When a person experiences a near-death experience, they see a glorious light.  The seventh and final step may open the door to this light.  This spiritual awakening may be the answer to your life.

There are 7 virtues and 7 sins:
CHASTITY overcomes the sin of lust
TEMPERANCE overcomes the sin of gluttony
DILIGENCE overcomes the sin of sloth
HUMILITY overcomes the sin of pride
KINDNESS overcomes the sin of envy
GENEROSITY overcomes the sin of greed
MEEKNESS overcomes the sin of wrath






Saturday, October 19, 2013

DAY 4: Love - The Perpetual Jukebox of Emotion is Always Under Construction



A last sonnet of goodbye
To three girls I have loved with all my heart…




Please forgive me.
Hallelujah

And then-


The feeling of having your heart ripped from your soul and knowing it’s your fault.  The consequence: being alone.




To my College Girlfriend,
I will always remember you.



The first song on the cassette tape I made.  I’m guessing it’s packed away in some attic. 

We met in the summer of '95 at Blossom Music Center. I was at The University of Akron; you majoring in Psychology at Ohio University.  That summer, the greatest of my life; and you, the reason.

You had it all- The confidence, the intellect, the sensitivity, the brown hair, the brown eyes and the perfect smile. 

Written for you...


Book of Days – Enya


Our final trip of the summer; Mohican, it was you and I in a canoe, lost in the wilderness.  The tape player we brought played the theme.  The day turned to night, the moon our only light.  It was love; it was like a scene from the ‘Notebook’.  
It was love. 

I dug through some old journals like a madman.  I knew I would find it.  The ending of ‘Dear Love.’

I remember…

The time on the river
Drifting slow –passing the trees
Cutting through the wake-

The water'
Stood still

THAT NIGHT
I kissed your lips

Beneath the moonlight
I felt your love  

Tender

 (enhanced solo)
We were innocent
Like children
We were innocent
Frozen in the moment
Like a picture
I captured,
Your eyes – your smile
Every breath
Every breath

 This was the last song on the cassette tape:


These are the words from the letter you sent,
Ted, this is real, not a figment of my imagination.

This is the kind of love we shared. 

Months later, I wrote ‘Dear Love’, this is how it began:

Dear love
I listen to the music
(A Moonlight Sonata)
As you open the door
I let the wind blow in
A cold chill
Overcome by sin
Leaving us
Nothing left to win

     (the sonata)
This Continuous beat
Like my heart
It tears me up inside

This agonizing pain
As you drove away
I could only watch
      -in silence-

What you must have thought
What you must have done
With that love you had brought.

  (enhanced solo)
I left you there
Standing alone
Your body –must have been so cold
With no explanation, and no reply
I never said goodbye. 

                  [You will always have a big piece of my heart.]

Can I segue for a moment...?

Con-science

Conscience is instinct bred in the house,
Feeling and Thinking propagate the sin
By an unnatural breeding in and in.
I say, Turn it out doors,
Into the moors.
I love a life whose plot is simple,
And does not thicken with every pimple,
A soul so sound no sickly conscience binds it,
That makes the universe no worse than 't finds it.
I love an earnest soul,
Whose mighty joy and sorrow
Are not drowned in a bowl,
And brought to life to-morrow;
That lives one tragedy,
And not seventy;
A conscience worth keeping;
Laughing not weeping;
A conscience wise and steady,
And forever ready;
Not changing with events,
Dealing in compliments;
A conscience exercised about
Large things, where one may doubt.
I love a soul not all of wood, 
Predestined to be good,
But true to the backbone
Unto itself alone,
And false to none;
Born to its own affairs,
Its own joys and own cares;
By whom the work which God begun
Is finished, and not undone;
Taken up where he left off,
Whether to worship or to scoff;
If not good, why then evil,
If not good god, good devil.
Goodness! you hypocrite, come out of that,
Live your life, do your work, then take your hat.
I have no patience towards
Such conscientious cowards.
Give me simple laboring folk,
Who love their work,
Whose virtue is song
To cheer God along.
 
    ---- Henry David Thoreau
         
        Henry David Thoreau----


Great God, I Ask for no Meaner Pelf

Great God, I ask for no meaner pelf
Than that I may not disappoint myself,
That in my action I may soar as high
As I can now discern with this clear eye.

And next in value, which thy kindness lends,
That I may greatly disappoint my friends,
Howe'er they think or hope that it may be,
They may not dream how thou'st distinguished me.

That my weak hand may equal my firm faith
And my life practice what my tongue saith
That my low conduct may not show
Nor my relenting lines
That I thy purpose did not know
Or overrated thy designs.





Brink Of Eternity

In desperate hope I go and search for her
in all the corners of my room;
I find her not.

My house is small
and what once has gone from it can never be regained.

But infinite is thy mansion, my lord,
and seeking her I have to come to thy door.

I stand under the golden canopy of thine evening sky
and I lift my eager eyes to thy face.

I have come to the brink of eternity from which nothing can vanish
---no hope, no happiness, no vision of a face seen through tears.

Oh, dip my emptied life into that ocean,
plunge it into the deepest fullness.
Let me for once feel that lost sweet touch
in the allness of the universe.


Rabindranath Tagore


To the Only Girl I Built a Home with       




                          
Written for you...

I JUST WANT YOU TO KNOW THAT I HAD THE RING IN MY POCKET.
I WAS TOO MUCH OF A COWARD TO GET DOWN ON ONE KNEE. 

Where The Mind Is Without Fear

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high
Where knowledge is free
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
By narrow domestic walls
Where words come out from the depth of truth
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way
Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit
Where the mind is led forward by thee
Into ever-widening thought and action
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake

                   ---------  Rabindranath Tagore 




[ a beat]
O Me! O Life!... of the questions of these recurring;of the endless trains of the faithless-of cities fill'd with the foolish;
of myself forever reproaching myself, (for who more foolish than i,
and who more faithless?)
of eyes that vainly crave the light-of the object mean-of the
struggle ever renew'd;
of the poor results of all-of the plodding and sordid crowds i see
around me;
of the empty and useless years of the rest-withthe rest me
intertwined; the question, o me! so sad, recurring-what good amid these, o me, o life?

answer.

that you are here-that life exists, and identity;
that the powerful play goes on, and you will contribute a verse.

Walt Whitman



Dreams

Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.
Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.
 

-----   Langston Hughes

 

 
... my train of thought continues...
Now imagine being in the middle of a lake, in the middle of the night, with a 50 pound weight chained and bolted and locked around your ankle.  Now I’m not Phelps but I can swim.  It's just a matter of time... a matter of time.

To my first love,
I will always remember you. 




                      


      


      
       


Written for you...

      

 
 
After this train of thought,
WITH STRENGTH
AND CONVICTION

BEGIN TOMORROW

To love is to let go.  To let go is to love. 


-That 10 year old kid staring out the window--
-Thought it was football
-Thought it was-

 
- When a man and a woman find each other-
- it is beautiful
- I know you are out there...
 

                             




DAY 5 Inspiration - Don't Give Up


THE MAN IN THE GLASS

When you get what you want in your struggle for self
And the world makes you king for a day
Just go to the mirror and look at yourself
And see what that man has to say.

For it isn’t your father, or mother, or wife
Whose judgment upon you must pass
The fellow whose verdict counts most in your life
Is the one staring back from the glass.

He’s the fellow to please – never mind all the rest
For he’s with you, clear to the end
And you’ve passed your most difficult, dangerous test
If the man in the glass is your friend.


You may fool the whole world down the pathway of years
And get pats on the back as you pass
But your final reward will be heartache and tears

If you’ve cheated the man in the glass.

Written By: Peter Dale Wimbrow Sr.
(Published 1934)

The next scene and poem reminds me of my God Son Blake.
Quit was not a word in his vocabulary.
His last football play on Earth was a touchdown.
That's unheard of
Friendship:



DON’T QUIT
When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road your trudging seems all up hill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest, if you must-but don't you quit.

Life is queer with it's twists and turns,
As everyone of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about,
When you might have won had you stuck it out;
Don't give up, though the pace seems slow-
You might succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than it seems to faint and faltering human,
Often the struggler has given up.
When they might have captured the victors cup.
And you learned too late, when the night slipped down,
How close you were to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out-
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt-
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so afar;
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit-
It's when things seem worst that you must not quit.

I am so Proud of my Sister.
Talk about Strength and Faith-
I am honored to be her brother.


My older sisters: Therese and Traci were named after Therese of Lisieux.
One Red Rose: The reason my sisters and I exist.
An ordinary girl.  An extraordinary soul.

My Great, Great Ancestor
FAMOUS RUSSIAN AUTHOR: IVAN GONCHAROV



SONG: DON’T GIVE UP – PETER GABRIEL & KATE BUSH


[Dig Deep and Find a Way to Succeed]


Favorite Quote: Eddie Scrap – Iron Dupris
From Movie: Million Dollar Baby

IF THERE’S MAGIC IN BOXING, IT’S THE MAGIC OF FIGHTING BATTLES BEYOND ENDURANCE, BEYOND CRACKED RIBS, RUPTURED KIDNEYS AND DETACHED RETINAS.  IT’S THE MAGIC OF RISKING EVERYTHING FOR A DREAM THAT NOBODY SEES BUT YOU. 

Friday, October 18, 2013

DAY 6 The Struggle of This Life

I began writing this screenplay when I was 23 years old:
3 basements in Ohio
2 apartments in Ohio
1 studio in Venice Beach, Cali
2 lofts in NY
And 322,000 dollars later… welcome to my world…

THE STRUGGLE OF THIS LIFE

(2001 VERSION - *In Word – Not Final Draft)
Based on Real Events
WGA Registered 

TRACK 1: IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER –BONO AND GAVIN FRIDAY


There is a battle throughout the story between the Devil and God.  The Devil sees the main character, Chris Cooney’s world in color, while God sees his world in black & white.

FADE IN:
EXT. DARK SPACE

A white light blinks.
                                                                                    FADE OUT:

SOUND: Footprints trample through a forest. A human being breathes heavy.

                                                                                     FADE IN:
INT. THEATER HALL (LONDON) - CIRCA 1600

Ceilings and walls are decayed along with a stage. Theater seats are torn at the seams. A SHADOW, speaking its native tongue, engulfs the theater.

                                                   SHADOW
                                         (in Aramaic; subtitled)
                                                 Shakespeare.

                                                                                     FADE OUT:
SOUND: Cracking weeds with wind. A human being breathes heavy.

                                                                                      FADE IN:
MONTAGE:

-- People wait in line at the Landmark Theater in LA.

-- A young boy, Chris, stares at actors inside a studio. A worker looks at him and closes the door.

-- A hill showcasing the word Hollywood shines bright in the sunlight.

-- The Shadow engulfs the sign.

                                                  SHADOW
                                                       Art?
                                                                                       FADE OUT:

SOUND: Twenty-three seconds of heavy breathing.

                                                                                        FADE IN:

YOUNG CHRIS (10) stands at the edge of a cliff. A snake-like Shadow slithers towards him. The voice echoes.

                                                 SHADOW
                               The story he will write, will be legendary.
                              In five-hundred years,it will be understood.

                                                                                         FADE OUT:

                                                 SHADOW (V.O)
                                    Are you ready? Cue the music.

MUSIC: The original beginning of ‘The Ninth,’ by Beethoven.

                                                 SHADOW (V.O)
                                         His story begins now.

                                                                                          FADE IN:

EXT. DARK SPACE

The blinking white light explodes into a universe of stars.

                                                  CHRIS (V.O)
In my dream, I saw the ending.

A HEARTBEAT crescendoing to an ear-shattering octave.

                                                                CHRIS (V.O)
Or was it just the beginning?

The earth appears. Continents become countries and then states. An idyllic rural town of forests and suburban houses canvass the land behind a sign: “Welcome to Promised Land County, Ohio”.

EXT. MOVIE THEATER – EVENING

A marquee reads:

CHRIS COONEY
IN A ONE NIGHT ONLY EVENT

PRESENTS:
“THE STRUGGLE OF THIS LIFE”

INT. THEATER LOBBY - EVENING (COLOR)

Crystal chandeliers hang from a ceiling. Hostesses stroll through a rich and elegant crowd with trays of wineglasses upon their shoulders. Clean-cut bartenders serve mixed drinks at a bar.

TITLE CARD: “APRIL 22, 2000”

The hands on a mahogany clock are at 7:23. The anxious crowd forms a line at the four entrances of the theater.

INT. THEATER HALL - (BLACK & WHITE)

Three humanoid shadows creep across a high arching ceiling, religious painted walls and empty red seats. A stage curtain rises to reveal a living room set.

CHRIS COONEY (24), a gaunt man with a spotty beard, sits at a table with his back to the vacant theater.

Hands on a grandfather clock are at 7:23. A telephone sits on an end table with twenty-three messages. A violin with strings dangling from its base rests against a make-shift wall. A bible, shoe box, bottle of wine and a rose in a vase crowd the living room table.

The living room curtain opens. Chris stares forward at glass sliding doors then to an empty corridor to his left. Chris’ tobacco stained-fingers page through an open notebook. The Shadows unify into one human Shadow that lags onto stage.

SHADOW
(in Aramaic; subtitled)
Christopher, your time has come.

Chris looks back at the Shadow and attempts to respond.

SHADOW
(subtitled)
Shhh... you have seen this world as
I have seen it- in color. Glorious!
The deceit of black and white is
just an illusion. It’s not happiness.

The doors open. The audience files into the theater. A young wife stares up at her dignified husband.

YOUNG WIFE
Are we late?

The husband stares at his Rolex then up at the architecture.

HUSBAND
No. This is going to be something
different.

The Shadow stands tall on stage.

SHADOW
(announcing; subtitled)
Tonight is the night. This is not a
rehearsal. This is it, a live performance.
(to Chris; subtitled)
Are they here to participate or
bear witness?
(announcing; subtitled)
It doesn’t matter. Chris Cooney is
here to show you his world.

The audience is quickly ushered to their seats. Two women move towards their seats in the third row of the theater.

WOMAN 1
What’s on stage... a shadow?

WOMAN 2
I think so. What language is it speaking?

WOMAN 1
I’m not sure. But every word make sense.

CHRIS AT THE TABLE

rubs his tired eyes. An image of a real-life Marlboro Man appears and then disappears in the glass sliding doors. Chris shakes off the experience and begins to write in a notebook. The theater speakers announce his thoughts for the audience.

CHRIS
There have been demons from the
beginning, which I have fought and
will continue to fight. My only
hope is that in the end, I find-

The Shadow snaps its finger. The theater becomes black.

                                                                                                CUT TO:

INT. HOUSE - NIGHT (BLACK & WHITE)

A sanctuary of silence exists in a dark and empty living room.

TITLE CARD: “2009”

A candle rooted inside the mouth of a Grand Mariner bottle sits at the center of a table.

A MAN’S HAND-

MAN(O.S)
I’m being pessimistic, but bear
with me, because I like you have
experienced life.
(-strikes a match; the
fire burns out)
The road I traveled did not lead to
where I once thought, not even
close. I guess a child’s dream can
never live up to a man’s reality.
(-strikes another match;
the fire burns out)
I’ll admit- for many years I was in
a sad pathetic place where all I
wanted was for it all to end.
(strikes the final match
and lights a candle)
God, nothing is easy. The first
time I wrote the story, I began
with the ending. Now I choose to
start in the middle, because up
until now I was just the writer.
I know this doesn’t make much sense.
But when it happens in your life, it will.

                                                                                                 CUT TO:

EXT. POND - AUTUMN - EVENING (BLACK & WHITE)

Trees and rock formations slant from a hill and reflect upon still water. A beer cracks open. JOHN (21) and his Dan Marino resemblance, sips a beer at the edge of a pier.

TITLE CARD: “1996”

     CHRIS (O.S)
How can you start without me?

CHRIS (21), clean-shaven and built like a redwood, steps out of a forest and onto the pier. John reaches into a cooler of ice and whips back a beer. Chris makes a one handed catch.

                                                        JOHN
Chris can catch.

                                                       CHRIS
John learned to throw.

Chris chugs the beer, crushes the can and flings it in the pond.

JOHN
Jesus Christ, trying to set a record?

CHRIS
No, trying to make sense of it all.

JOHN
Make sense of what?

Chris stares at the sky: a horoscope of stars.

CHRIS
I don’t know. I think I’m being watched.

JOHN
By who?

CHRIS
I’m not sure.

JOHN
You’re XXXXXX up.

CHRIS
Maybe I am. Maybe I’m not. But I
know what I need to do. Hear me
out, what are your favorite movies?

JOHN
Um... Field of Dreams... A Few Good
Men... Shawshank... Rudy: I don’t
know there’s so many, how about you?

Chris tosses another empty can in the pond.

CHRIS
Cool Hand Luke.
                                                       JOHN
                                                                         That’s it?

Chris wanders the pier like an actor on stage.

CHRIS
Hear me out. Thousands of movies
lead to a climax. What makes a
great movie?

JOHN
I don’t know.

CHRIS
Think of your favorite song.
The chorus drew you in, right?

John nods in agreement.

CHRIS
A great song is like a great movie.
It’s not just the chorus or the
climax- it’s all that’s inside.
Take “Imagine” by Lennon. Yes, the
chorus is incredible, but so is
every line.

JOHN
What are you saying?

Chris packs a tin of tobacco.

CHRIS
What am I saying? Every word and
every detail in every moment is
essential. Just like every person
behind a scene and in a scene is
necessary to make a movie.

JOHN
And?

Chris places a healthy dip in his lip.

CHRIS
What do you mean... and? I want to
be a writer.
I want actors and directors to
bring my story to life. I don’t
care if it’s the Silver Screen or a
Broadway Stage.

JOHN
You drunk? Or just dreaming?

CHRIS
It’s hard to tell the difference.

Chris walks off the pier.

JOHN
Where are you going?

Chris finds a path in the forest.

CHRIS
To home, to church, to the bar. I
don’t know- somewhere to find hope.

JOHN
(to himself)
He’s drunk.

John crushes his empty can and tosses it in the cooler. He CRACKS open another beer.

INT. LIVING ROOM - MORNING (BLACK & WHITE)

Chris (21) appears to have gone the distance with the heavyweight champion of the world. He sits at a table with broken glass on a hardwood floor surrounding his bare feet.

TITLE CARD: “NINE HOURS LATER”

The necklace with a crucifix he wears dangles over the back of a wooden chair. His shaky hand picks up a pen.

CHRIS
XXXX God.

In anguish, Chris throws the pen against a mark on the wall. The pen sticks. The mark morphs into the Shadow.

SHADOW
Christopher, you are right...
nothing matters.

Chris nods and turns over a Bible. THUNDER VIBRATES the room.
The Shadow disappears.

The scene turns to COLOR.                                                       
                                                                                        
                                                                                            CUT TO:

EXT. CITY STREET - NIGHT (COLOR)

Neon flashes of light streak the skyline. SOUNDS of dynamite echo the atmosphere. The street is littered with car accidents. The Shadow moves along
the sidewalk.

TITLE CARD: “APRIL 23, 1975”

Police cars followed by an ambulance weave in and out of traffic. People on the sidewalk take cover beneath building awnings from golf ball sized hail.

LIGHTNING STRIKES a transformer. Buildings turn black as sparks fall to the street. An emergency entrance at a Hospital is blocked by a two-car accident. People surround the area as paramedics rush a pregnant woman from an ambulance inside.

INT. MATERNITY WARD - EVENING (COLOR)

A stretcher barrels down a hallway. An inexperience receptionist holds up a phone.

RECEPTIONIST
What do I do? There’s no dial tone.

The congested hallway switches from color to black & white every time the lights flicker.

INT. DELIVERY ROOM 623 - EVENING (COLOR)

The paramedics enter and lift the pregnant women from the stretcher to a hospital bed. A nurse, HOPE (21) with a little cap, dimples and long dark hair, enters the room. She holds open the door and nods her head as the paramedics exit.                                                    
                                                                                             CUT TO:

INT. MATERNITY WARD - EVENING (COLOR)

A skinny guy wearing glasses, MATTHEW (28) runs into an employee pushing a food cart. A tray of veal, yams and asparagus CRASH to the floor. Matthew looks to assist, but can only help himself up.

MATTHEW
Sorry, I have to go.

Matthew sprints down the hallway, turns a corner and bulldozes a paramedic.

MATTHEW
God I’m sorry. My wife’s in labor.
Do you know where Helen Cooney is?

PARAMEDIC
Room 623.

INT. DELIVERY ROOM 623 - EVENING (COLOR)

An overhead TELEVISION BLARES static. LIGHTNING STRIKES a telephone pole. A LIMB CRASHES through a window. An electrical surge shorts out the power. Matthew barrels into the room.

MATTHEW
Helen!

A petite Irish girl, HELEN (25), is secured to a steel stirrup.

HELEN
Matthew, thank god.

Matthew kneels beside her and brushes the wet hair from her face.

MATTHEW
You are so beautiful.

HELEN
We’re going to lose the baby!

Matthew kisses her forehead and holds her hand tight.

MATTHEW
Helen, look at me.
(a beat)
Look at me, Helen. God is with us.

The backup GENERATORS KICK on. Helen screams increase from the magnitude of intense labor. A doctor, CHRISTIAN (30s) with fierce blue eyes, jet-black hair and a Spartan body, SLAMS through the door.

CHRISTIAN
Hope, is she ready?

Christian slaps on latex gloves. Hope moves towards the operating table.

HOPE
Christian, this isn’t right.

MATTHEW
(to Christian)
Is everything all right?

Christian wipes the sweat from his forehead. The Shado appears, standing in the corner of the room. Hope knocks over a tray of instruments. Helen grimaces, breathing furiously.

CHRISTIAN
The child will be fine.

Matthew holds onto Helen’s hand. He brushes back her hair and whispers: I Love You.

HOPE
No. He won’t be.

CHRISTIAN
Hope, what are you trying to do?
(to patient)
Focus Helen, now one last push.

Helen’s last contraction is complemented by the sheer volume of her scream. The backup generator loses power; the delivery room is shrouded in darkness. Chris Cooney enters the world in tears.

SHADOW
How strange, the nature of birth is
for a child to leave the darkness
of his mothers’ womb and enter the
light. So why did Christopher have
to enter this world in darkness?
                                           Well God, do you have answer?

                                                                                         DISSOLVE TO:

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------


TRACK 2: DISARM – SMASHING PUMPKINS


The story encompasses the entire life span of Chris Cooney. 

EXCERPT:

INT. BEDROOM – EVENING   (BLACK & WHITE)

Full size pictures of the 1980 U.S Hockey Team hangs on the wall along with a crucifix.  A clock on the night stand is at 10:23.

TITLE CARD: “TEN YEARS LATER”

A mirror reflects Young Chris at the dresser.  He holds the crucifix of his father’s necklace in the palm of his hand. 

CHRIS
Are you real or are you like Santa
Claus and the Easter Bunny?

Chris retires the necklace to a dresser drawer.

SCENE TURNS TO COLOR

He grabs a notebook and lies on his bed. He opens it to the first page then stares up at the crucifix on the wall.

CHRIS
I’m sorry, but I need proof.

An outline of light pulsates behind the partially open bedroom door. The SOUND of a pounding hammer echoes.

INT. FAMILY ROOM - EVENING (BLACK & WHITE)

Matthew, age 38, hammers in a nail and hangs a family photo. A flame crackles in a fireplace. Family photos lie scattered on a carpeted floor. Matthew and Helen, age 35, are in matching pajamas.

Helen sits against a leather coach and places pictures in a photo album.

MATTHEW
Do you think he’ll be a doctor?

HELEN
No, he’s going to be a lawyer.

MATTHEW
How about a professional athlete?

HELEN
Only if he takes after me.

Matthew sits beside her and tickles her. She laughs as she turns the page. The photo album ends with a picture of Chris blowing out ten candles.

                                                                                                CUT TO:

INT. THEATER HALL - EVENING - (BLACK & WHITE)

Chris paces the stage for the sell-out crowd.

CHRIS
All I ever wanted was to create a
world and surround it with life. A
much better life then I know now.

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TRACK 3: CRIMSON AND CLOVER –TOMMY JAMES & THE SHONDELLS



Life events happen in mysterious ways.  Most writers write from experience.  Not always.  So many scenes I wrote happened later in my life.  For example, Christine (My second love) and I broke up and I lived alone in the apartment.  One night I was with friends at Scorchers, a bar in North Royalton, where I was playing pool.  Just like in the screenplay came a girl, out of the woodwork, that dressed and looked like Hope.  Hope is the main female in the story.  Anyways she whispered in my ear just like it happened in the story and gave me her number.  One day you will see the movie and understand why I had to be extremely cautious. 

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TRACK 4: KARMA POLICE –RADIOHEAD
John, Peter, Paul and Chris Cooney are best friends.  Michael and Seth are the leaders of a bad society, named the “Creeps”.  Very bad things are on the horizon.
EXCERPT:
EXT. PURGATORY ALLEY — NIGHT (BLACK & WHITE)
The dark and desolate horror zone lies between the bar and a church. The guys rush in to sewer rats, bums lying against brick walls with cheap bottles of booze and torn up blankets covering prostitutes.
The Creeps beat down an old man.
PETER
You guys ain’t XXXXXXX tough!
-Peter sucker PUNCHES a Creep—Paul takes off his shirt.
-Fists fly, blood scatters.
-Paul gets punched in the nose—wrestles the punk to the ground, chokes him.
-Michael SLAMS John’s head into a brick wall.
-Peter reacts—SHATTERS a beer bottle across Michael’s face.
-Chris kneels over Seth—BREAKS his face with his fist.
The creeps give up the fight and scamper away. The old man struggles to move on the pavement.
OLD MAN
They would have killed me, would of
killed me. Stabbed me to death.
Thank you boys… thank you.
Chris backs into the brick building. He slides to the ground.
CHRIS
There is no life here, just
shattered dreams.
(a beat)
Where is my faith?
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TRACK 5: POR UNA CABEZA 

This scene takes place after a vicious arrest. 
EXCERPT: (Tom an outrageous hillbilly cop –Kevin James perfect for the role.)
Chris looks up to see Hope, in the distance.
CHRIS
It’s her. She is real. It wasn’t a dream.
TOM
Whatcha talking ‘bout boy? You
wanna dream, dream in here.
Tom tosses Chris in the back seat like garbage. Chris bounces from the seat and onto the floor.
INT. POLICE CAR - NIGHT (COLOR)
Tom enters the car and calls back to the station.
TOM
Jerry, you read me?
JERRY
(from radio)
Go ahead Tom.
TOM
I gots me a drunken male. 6’2, 195
pounds. Damn boy’s a pistol,
bringin him home. Out.
CHRIS
(to himself)
This is crazy. Not again.
The cop car makes an illegal U-turn.
CHRIS STARES OUT THE WINDOW
The Shadow waits on the sidewalk, looking down. Hope climbs the cathedral steps and stops at the church door. She turns for a fleeting glimpse.
SHADOW (V.O)
Is she or is she not, what you
asked for?
Hope and the Shadow become smaller. The Shadow slowly looks up at him.
SHADOW (V.O)
She came to you- at that bar. She
came to you- as a child. Her
innocence- revealed her truth. Her
smile- allowed you to see.
Christopher, you have lost
more than just freedom.
CHRIS struggles to keep Hope in his sight.
SHADOW (V.O)
I’m sorry, but where is God now?
                                                                CUT TO:
INT. THEATER HALL - EVENING (BLACK & WHITE)
Dark space dissolves the image of Hope into ocean waves. We PULL BACK to reveal the ocean waves becoming the glass sliding doors. Chris writes.
CHRIS
(announcing)
The ocean is as vast and unknown as
our dreams. Nothing is or ever was the
way it seemed.
(to the Holy Bible)
I see it happening. Everything I am fading
away.
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TRACK 6: AVE MARIE –SCHUBERT

EXCERPT:
Chris leans back in his chair to search the ceiling for heaven but instead is blinded by the bright lights of the Interrogation Room.
                                                   FADE TO WHITE:
INT. CHURCH - EVENING (BLACK & WHITE)
Young Chris stands skeptically at a wooden statue of Jesus dying for mankind on the cross. Rosary beads are wrapped around his hands.
TITLE CARD: “1985”
Various people occupy the pews, some penitent, some entrenched by the altar.
Hope dressed in white, stares from the balcony.
“Ave Marie,” by Connie Francis echoes the Cathedral.
Hope walks down the spiral staircase and enters through the open doors. She slowly walks down the center aisle towards him. She reaches to grab his shoulder-
                                                                             
                                                      CUT BACK TO:
INT. INTERROGATION ROOM - EVENING (COLOR)
Chris leans back down and opens his eyes. He picks up a pen and signs his name. Tom grabs a dirty mag and kicks his feet up on the desk.
TOM
Damn boy ain’t that dumb after all.
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TRACK 7: HURT –NINE INCH NAILS

One reader opened a bottle of Red Wine, lit a candle, sat on the floor in the corner of a room and read.  He told me it was strange, during the jail scenes he felt a presence in the room.  It was as if the shadows in the story were moving along the ceiling and the walls of his apartment.  He said he was paranoid as if he was doing drugs.  He then gave me an amazing description of how it made him feel: MAN - IT FELT LIKE A RAZOR BLADE GOING DOWN MY SPINE.
 
EXCERPT:
INT. CELL BLOCK 23 – EVENING (COLOR)
Chris rots in the disarray of his cell.  He is focused on the fog outside the cell window.
TITLE CARD: “DAY THIRTEEN”
CHRIS
A spider inside my head won’t stop
spinning its web.  A spider
inside my head won’t stop spinning
its web. A spider inside my
head won’t stop spinning its web-
The Short Guard HAMMERS a cell bar with a nightstick.
SCENE WASHES TO BLACK & WHITE
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TRACK 8: LOVE TO BE LOVED –PETER GABRIEL

[It speaks for itself]
EXCERPT 1:
Chris' hands shake as he turns off the faucet. He lies on the cot feeling his chest. The sound of a HEARTBEAT on cocaine thunders in his ear. The Shadow enters the cell.
SHADOW
There is no God- like you said.
Just you alone, in a dark and
deserted cell. Christopher let go.
Accept this reality. You and I are
the same.
Chris labors for oxygen.
CHRIS
It’s coming out of my chest. I
can’t get it under control. I don’t
want to die- not like this.
(a beat)
Relax breathe- one-one thousand,
two-one thousand, three-one
thousand.
Chris breathes in and out. The HEARTBEAT is under control. He lays his head on the pillow and starts peeling at the paint on the cement wall.
CHRIS
Mother, I never meant to fail.
Father, I never meant to
disappoint you.
EXCERPT 2:
INT. CELL BLOCK 23 – EVENING (COLOR)
Chris stands aimlessly at the mirror, drifting.
CHRIS
I don’t even know who you are. I
don’t even know where you’ve been.
Am I losing my mind?  How do I
escape- these thoughts?
Chris falls against the wall, sliding to the cement floor.
CHRIS
Can words make you shiver?  Can a
story I write- make sense of our lives?
I don’t even know who I am.
Hope appears inside his cell, like flesh and blood.  She kneels beside him, brushing his hair from his face.
HOPE
Christopher… I know who you are.
The Warden and Tom watch from outside the cell.  No one is there.  Chris is talking out loud, touching air.
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TRACK 9: NOBODY HOME –PINK FLOYD

Jail scene… period.
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TRACK 10: WHO WANTS TO LIVE FOREVER --QUEEN

I don’t want to give away this scene.  I’ll just tell you know that every Youth Football Player dreams of playing for a championship.  
QUICK EXCERPT:
A fence sign: “1993 STATE CHAMPIONSHIP”
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TRACK 11: ON THE TURNING AWAY –PINK FLOYD


Here is another moment, where I wrote a scene and it happened months later.  I forgot my jacket at a bar (imagine that) late at night.  I walked in the freezing cold to my vacant apartment.  Of course I did not have my keys.  It was either freeze or break down the side door.  In doing so I almost slashed my wrist against the Plexiglass and the frame of the door.  I had the marks on my wrist for a month or so.  I can only imagine what the Judge Mentalist where whispering. 
EXCERPT:

EXT. SUBURBAN YARD – MORNING (B&W) – 1996
Chris (21) awakes to hundreds of crows perched on rooftops and telephone wires.  He stumbles to the locked front door.  Chris leans his head against the door, checks his pockets then feels for his coat. 
CHRIS
My jacket!

Chris uses the house for balance and checks the side door.  The dead bolt is locked, Chris exhales a cold breath.
CHRIS
Think.
Chris KICKS the door until it opens.  He falls into his
HOUSE

He staggers throughout and into a

BATHROOM

He turns on the light and manages to pull off his shirt, shoes and socks.  A mirror reveals a body covered with deep bruises and lacerations. 

Chris throws the crucifix on his necklace over his shoulder.  The crucifix now dangles down his back.
CHRIS
Can you hear me?  There is no God.
Chris shuts off the light and enters the

KITCHEN

He opens the refrigerator and grabs a bottle of whiskey. 
CHRIS
If God existed, he would’ve
shown his face by now.
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TRACK 12: TIME TO SAY GOODBYE –BOCELLI & BRIGHTMAN

Not sure if this is the actual version.  Still life is crazy. I came across this song at Oak Brook Gardens in N. Royalton, Ohio. I spent 6 years of my life at this apartment with a girl named Christine.
(Brightman–Phantom of the Opera–Christine - Yeah, I’m well aware of God’s humor.)
She and I went to the Library often. One day I found myself in the Opera section where I stumbled upon ‘A Night in Tuscany’ I have no clue why. 
Well I kind of do, I have always been drawn to a story within music.
That night Chapter 4, Title 23 or Chapter 23, Title 4
‘Time to Say Goodbye’   began playing.
Christine was in bed.  I was blown away in the living room.
I could not sleep.  I played it over and over and over. 
Many years later Ohio State lost two National Championships and both times they ended the broadcast with… Time to Say Goodbye. 
NO EXCERPT: (Can’t give it away.)
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TRACK 13: NO MORE AUCTION BLOCK –BOB DYLAN


I am so proud of this scene.  It is too powerful to reveal at this time.
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TRACK 14: FIGHT FIRE WITH FIRE - METALLICA


EXCERPT: (Not giving away this character’s name. - calling him MAN)

EXT. BARREN CITY – TIME UNKNOWN (COLOR)
The city is dreary.  Trash drifts across the street.  The house of Chris Cooney is guarded by yellow tape. 
MAN tosses the notebook in a trash can.  He strolls the center of the street as if he is the only life that exists.  His eyes wander to Violas Garden Cemetery.
Hundreds of crows fly from the tombstones.  The grass has over grown while the surrounding chain-link fence has rusted away.  The statue of Jesus is missing an arm and part of its leg.
He turns toward the Church.  The solid brick walls of faith are covered with satanic messages.  Stained glass windows of redemption are broken with hatred.  A five-foot cross above an oak door hangs upside down.
The Man walks on.
He stops and turns toward the hospital.  This empty and desolate place has no indication of life.  Man exhales a smile.  The neighborhood police station and courthouse are immaculate.
MAN
Who has won?
He turns toward the elementary school.  The American flag on the rooftop appears to have gone through every American War.  The swing on the playground dangles from one side of the chain.
MAN
How sad.  The hopes and dreams of
one child fails the world.
Dark clouds and fog dissipate as Chris and Hope walk from the horizon of the dead-end street. 
MAN
It’s time for our hero
to rise from purgatory.
The atmosphere is stifling; a blistering sun scorches the earth: Chris wipes the sweat from his forehead, examining the city in disbelief. 
A dove loses its ability to fly and SPLATTERS on the sidewalk.  Trees CRUMBLE in the cemetery; flowers welt and disintegrate: the heat is unbearable.
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TRACK 15: THE LORD’S PRAYER –ANDREA BOCELLI

The passion God gave us humans.
(Unbelievable.)
Bocelli – Hindered by being blind, so gifted with a voice.
Beethoven – Beat as a child to the point where he had to struggle to hear.
At concerts, he would literally lay with an ear to the floor. 
He could tell if the orchestra was on key through vibrations. 
As an Old Man, he would get beat-up in the streets.
His nephew thought he was insane.
He would walk around the house humming-
Ode to Joy, The Ninth Symphony.
Over and Over.
When I was 16, I spent many nights listening to the Ninth Symphony.
I wrote, ‘Fraternity of Mankind’ (PG. 68 – in the book) to that piece.
NO EXCERPT: (This scene is a major turning point.)
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TRACK 16: SERIES OF DREAMS –BOB DYLAN


EXCERPT:
SCENE WASHES TO BLACK AND WHITE

Chris’ face in the rear view mirror reveals the bout he lost in the bathroom bar.  Chris smiles.
CHRIS
It’s okay.  I understand.
Chris reaches into the back of his shirt and pulls out the crucifix.  He rearranges the necklace so the crucifix dangles over his heart.
He rolls down the window and turns up the RADIO.  A “Series of Dreams,” by Bob Dylan ECHOES in the night. 
The winding drive leads beneath bridges, over hills and to a
VACANT LOT
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TRACK 17 - WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD