Very Large Array
A Romantic in-space and on earth science-fiction, late 21st Century
Setting: Futuristic Pasadena and Jet Propulsion Lab, and a large Space Station orbiting high above the earth.
In 2077, a medically tech-enhanced threesome play futuristic sports and sort out their intricate personal lives, until a catastrophe threatens the existence of their orbital residence and possibly all life on Earth.
A science-fiction film set in the year 2077, primarily upon the Very Large Array, one of a three part system of light, radio and other data-gathering structures orbiting in space at the LaGrange point--and secondarily back on earth at Jet Propulsion City. in California.
"Space cowboys" and inseparable companions Josh Mathias and Tony Emerson are working on a girder of the VLA when their robot's video monitor receives on-screen visuals showing an alien planet surface undergoing seismic catastrophe while primitive humanoids scramble for safety. Astronomer Riley de Marco arrives from JPL City with her crack team to discover the source of video relay.
Even before completion, the expensive new Hubble Telescope on the VLA has delivered images of an earthlike world to house scores of billions of humans living on the overpopulated, polluted planet below. The unknown world is being "cleansed" of life due to another star near it going “nova:” making that planet a perfect destination for the human starships already being built next to the VLA.
Riley, Josh and Tony are an elite team. Their "Hi-Bio" health status -- based on micro-chip and advanced longevity nanotechnology -- unites them and separates them from the masses of normal-lived humans who are rioting to gain more internal technology and longer lives. Both men are athletes, Tony is reigning champion of the VLA's wild new sport, Air-Skate Boarding. Divorced Riley, who lost a teenage son in an huge electronics-tech "crash", falls hard for Josh and wants to start a family with him. They begin an erotic union, but nothing more. Riley has to return to earth to discover how and why the apparently hetero Josh is so bound to Tony.
Meanwhile, during their work on the Hubble Lens a completely unexpected, unparalleled disaster occurs on Earth. Suddenly all personal issues must take a backseat as the three fight off increasing chaos on the VLA and below in a race to find a way to save humanity from an unanticipated end.
Fantasy Medical drama
An engaging petty lawbreaker discovers that his body contains the cure to a worldwide plague; but is he prepared for the complex results when he decides to sell his body to medicine?
What if one person in the entire world was discovered by accident to contain in his blood, in his tissues, in his very DNA, the cure for a world wide epidemic? What if that same person were deemed to be "not useful to society" by virtue of being a petty criminal, or drug-addict, or homosexual or all of them and powerful people and professional groups demanded his freedom be restricted in order for him to become an involuntary donor of his blood, tissue and/or DNA to save millions of lives?
What if he has a woman friend with her own issues and problems, who comes to care for him, despite him, and who helps resists them all, in the attempt to preserve and defend his freedom and rights as an individual?
Universal Donor is a twenty-first century drama set in contemporary Los Angeles about a feckless, charming, seductive, irresponsible young man, Byron Scotti, who discovers that he possesses one of the greatest gifts of all, the ability to save mankind from one of the worst medical scourges in history.
How he makes his discovery and his relationship with pro-bono attorney Lynn LaBorde, his older sister's best friend, daughter of ambitious "golden-boy" state senator Rick LaBorde, forms one part of this riveting drama.
What happens to Byron, Lynn, Rick, Russian emigre Alexey Brickov and his mother as a result of Byron's decision to cash-in on his gift forms the rest of the story: it's the old fable of selling your soul to the devil, updated, and made as relevant as yesterday's headlines.
An ADAPTED SCREENPLAY FOR A FEATURE FILM
Horror-Fantasy, adapted from M.R. James’ much anthologized story of the same name.
Setting: Northampton, Massachusetts, 1886 (note: the town is intact from that era and the chamber of commerce is film friendly.
Log-line: In a picturesque 19TH Century New England town two brothers and their friends --including the reclusive, American poet, Emily Dickinson – must battle a powerful and vengeful Demonologist who can control and kill using the spells of ancient Icelandic “Runes.”
Brothers John and Henry Harrison leave a symphony concert and pick up a journal containing a review of an occult book John mercilessly panned. When they get home to nearby West Hatfield, they open the program to a strange paper with Icelandic Runes on it. It lights up and slips out as though alive. They chase but are unable to hold it, and it escapes out the window and burns itself up in a gas lamp on the street.
Two months John is delayed after a concert has missed his train home. He feels shadowed, threatened by loud invisible breathing. Menaced, he flees to the nearby churchyard eventually climbing up the steeple, he is plucked off by some unseen force and falls to his death, impaled by the spikes of the wrought iron fence.
Spring of the next year at Northampton’s Smith College: Professor Ashbrook Ludlow dictates four rejection letters over that many weeks to his daughter Stella, teacher at the local day school to one E.B. Karswell, who has taken up residence in nearby Amherst and wants his papers on Demonology published and even presented in lectures at the prestigious woman’s college.
Henry Harrison at the County office rejects any idea his brother John committed suicide. Meanwhile, in the auditorium Stella Ludlow is giving her school children a treat. Mr. Karswell has prepared a magic lantern show for them. But it get violent and frightening then completely realistic and out of hand. Henry joins in to battle the infernal machine as Karswell vanishes.
Strange, solitary, and super-sensitive, Emily Dickinson encounters birds and bees as her equals and speaks to them, but she sees Karswell’s carriage go by and sensing evil, hides.
Little by little, each one of these characters will become the targets of Karswell’s hatred, revenge or in Stella’s case, infatuation. And each will be subjected to his or her own “gift” of Runes, which spell out only evil, made more difficult to avoid due to Karswell’s disguises and his ability to cloud minds.
Finally all of them will join forces to bring him down, using the reclusive, possibly autistic, poet who can always see him no matter his disguise. The thrilling finale takes place during Northampton’s Founder’s Day summer parade. But victory comes at a cost; and one of them must pay.
An ADAPTED SCREENPLAY FOR FEATURE FILM
Romantic-police thriller, adapted from Picano’s critically acclaimed short story, “The Perfect Setting” in Tales From a Distant Planet.
A grieving detective learns a dead friend’s paintings depict the scene of crimes she never could have witnessed--including that of her own murder.
Detective Daniel Weill is late for the opening of Melanie Chase's new exhibit of paintings and when he does arrive it's only to find the beautiful artist in a classic crime conundrum-- locked inside an otherwise vacant art gallery and dead of poison.
Suicide, the police assume, and so does Auburn, owner of the gallery, as well as Melanie's wealthy mother and her stockbroker ex-fiancee. But widower Weill, who mysteriously left active duty to teach at the Police Academy, becomes obsessed by the need to discover the truth, and by his belief that the haunting painting Melanie grasped at in her dying moment was a final message to him.
At first resisted and then aided by lovely gallery assistant, Susan Vight, who has her own motives and secrets, Weill begins a search for a truth no one but he wants to know, a search that unearths the eerie power of Melanie's artistic gift, and the idea that we are all guilty, and somehow, somewhere, someone like Melanie Chase somehow knows all about it and can depict it in art, time and place notated -- sight unseen.
Sight Unseen is a taut, romantic, erotically charged, contemporary police thriller with a sensual, supernatural ambience, set in the glossy, wealthy high society and Fine Art World of The Thomas Crown Affair.
An ADAPTED SCREENPLAY FOR A FEATURE FILM
Psychological ghost-chiller, adapted from Picano’s novella, Looking Glass Lives.
Setting: Contemporary ocean-front, semi-rural, Rhode Island Coast, and in Civil War days.
A spellbinding, erotic tale eerily bridging two sets of young people living in a seaside New England town two centuries apart. Stories within stories, secrets buried for epochs, and the mysterious figure of a solitary figure from the American Civil War era that haunts the imagination.
When Roger Lynch and his newly-wed wife, Karen, detour from their honeymoon to the town where he spent an unforgettable childhood summer at his grandfather's summer house, they fall in love with the old Pritchard Place, up for sale: the town’s "haunted home" of Roger's youth.
They buy the house, move in, and restore it to its mid-Nineteenth Century glory. But they also set in motion a chain of events that Roger realizes was fated from long before their birth. The two young lovers and Roger's dangerously obsessed, cousin Chas end up playing roles that appear to be predestined.
Workmen discover a long shuttered library and among the dusty tomes, journals of Amity Pritchard, describing her life during the 1860’s, her beautiful sister, Constance, and dashing Union Army captain, Eugene V. Calder, who comes to court one sister and remains to seduce them all.
At first mysteriously, then openly Chas returns to the Pritchard Place and charms Karen, despite Roger’s warnings. Chas makes it known to Roger that he wants to pick up their relationship where they left it off, at ages twelve and thirteen. Roger violently rejects him, and Chas vows revenge.
Roger immerses himself in diaries and we too follow Amity Pritchard in her guarded life as she entertains Calder's advances and falls under his spell, only to be betrayed.
Roger begins to have vivid nightmares, out of which he awakens to see the figure of a woman – Amity?
Karen refuses to listen to Roger’s ideas of his and Chas' connection to those long dead, nor the horrifying future he predicts. More discoveries enlighten and frighten Roger. Chas impels the triangle to a climax demanding that Karen leave Roger to go with him. This is an exact repetition of what happened to Amity Pritchard.
Despite everything, Roger determines to halt the cycle of love and tragedy that seems doomed to recur again and again, forever, like the infinity sign engraved on the cover of Amity Pritchard's moldering journals.