Territorial Imperative

16 Jun

My twin brother Scott, had a dream in which settlers sought refuge in a cornfield when under attack by demons. The settlers defended themselves by sprinkling holy water around the perimeter of the cornfield, making a stockade against the demons. Scott took this fragment and developed a premise for a screenplay called Demon Wall. He’s never written a screenplay so he asked me to co-write it with him. We worked on an outline and then I wrote the first draft, finishing it in Costa Rica on a trip I made with Devon.

Michael read it, got really excited and added some “Whore of Babylon” elements that opened the story up even further. It’s a really good, commercial script with incredible scenes – Scott and I refer to it as “Hellraiser meets Last of the Mohicans.”

Rebie at Mentor read Demon Wall and pronounced it “fun and creepy.” When she hemmed and hawed about it being a period piece, and that it needed another pass, Michael said, “Let’s not waste time – do you want to take it out or not?” Rebie said she did. We should get notes from her in a couple of days on what she thinks the script needs.

This brings Scott into the fold, although Michael had a weird reaction to that; he’s concerned about us having three writers on the script, like we did on Umzumbe Boys. It sends a confusing message to producers: “If Fallbrook and Rogers are a team, why do they always have a third writer on board?” Michael asked if I’d see if Scott would take a “story by’ credit. I brought it up with Scott and he took it well, although I could see a shadow pass across his features.

It could be that as the stakes get higher, we’ll cross the border into a Mexico of the imagination – the same terrain as The Treasure of Sierra Madre.

It’ll be a tragedy if we descend into covetousness, greed and jealousy. I’m going to do my best to get the work done and do everything I can to stay on the high road – my personal version of the high road.

Who knows what that road would look like to anybody else. Probably a dirt track with sinkholes and upside down signs.

(2005)

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