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...continued from 6 I’ve ever met. I know I can fix her. I know I can…” “Don’t you go playing God, Jon, although Christ knows you have the talent.” But Dr. Bender’s efforts to save Sara aren’t enough, and she passes quietly, holding his hand, in her sleep. Fade to black. (We can see a whole sequence in which Dr. Bender’s life really goes to shit prior to the end of the flick – license revoked, lost in the bottle – but he is saved by Dr. Cox. And the two do or do not begin a passionate love affair. Depends on the target demographic, we suppose.)

Crossing Paths CRIME: A 31-year-old mansient entered an area thrift shop, sat down on the floor and

refused to leave. When the exasperated shopkeeper finally threatened to call SBPD, the man pulled out a “concealed dagger” and held it to the proprietor’s neck. He took off and was found later by SBPD with the “concealed dagger” and a meth pipe. (Go figure.) OBSERVATION: Our experience – having done this for at least three months – is that any concealed weapon of any kind is usually being hidden right next to a filthy old meth pipe. Coincidence? FILM CONCEPT: We’re feeling one of those flicks where there are a number of seemingly disjointed characters and storylines that all eventually come together in the end – sort of like Crash a few years back. This one starts with the scene in the thrift store, and gets the audience feeling scared and sorry for the apparently innocent do-gooder shopkeeper, aggressive and disgusted toward the mansient drug addict and enthusiastic for the all-American cops. But then come the back stories for each constituency. The transient drug addict’s story begins with an abusive father and alcoholic mother who used to burn him with hot fixedblade knives when he didn’t get home from school on time. He carries the knife as a little security blanket, not as a weapon, and weaves hemp jewelry to earn money to take care of his new clean girlfriend and her two fatherless kids. He was in the thrift store to buy some winter clothes for them, and sat down from overwhelming exhaustion stemming from an all-night weaving session. (He had fallen off the wagon for the first time that night and smoked a little meth to stay up and get the jewelry done since a storm was coming and he needed the money to get the warm clothes for the kids.) The shopkeeper is by all outward appearances an upstanding citizen, serving an underserved community. But it turns out he’s some weird creep who lures kids to the office behind the thrift store with candy. He occasionally burns them with a knife. The two cops who ultimately chase the mansient down after the climactic thrift store scene are drug addict criminals who spend their days shaking down innocent street folk for their next high. (You know, the usual.) By the time the thrift store scene comes around again toward the end of the movie, the tables have turned and the audience has changed its perspective and is rooting for the homeless guy to kill the weird pedophile shopkeeper and get away from the despicable druggie cops. But the flick ends with the mansient behind bars (and his girlfriend and her kids freezing in the winter storm), the cops high as hell on his leftover meth, laughing, and the shopkeeper free to continue his wretched abuse. The world is dark and unfair. Fade to black. That was way too fun. We could literally spend hours and hours (drinking wine, chugging beers, smoking whatever) and coming up with this stuff. Hey, wait…isn’t that what screenwriters and filmmakers do for a living? We want in, man, come on! What the hell were we thinking starting a weekly newspaper for cryin’ out loud?! Watch out, SBIFF 2014, we’re entering the script contest. And we’re coming correct. 

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Profile for Montecito Journal

The Money Machine  

Santa Barbara Film Festival 2013

The Money Machine  

Santa Barbara Film Festival 2013