Saturday, December 6, 2008

Debauchery - Six Years Later

For a small stint, I would say a year and a half of my life, (maybe two,) I was a very angry person. Not so much, if I saw you in public and you gave me a look, I'd try and rip your head off, but more an angry brewing deep in side. An anger towards myself kind of thing... Anyway, I was watching the news and some young man was arrested for attacking a rapist on trial in the court room. This rapist had raped and impregnated his girlfriend in their home while he was working third shift at a local factory. He had been sitting in the court just brewing at this guy as the rapist spewed lies on the stand. A source had said that he had maintained his composer for over twenty minutes before rising from his seat, jumping over the railing and slugging this rapist. He not only clocked him in the eye, but it took two bailiffs and three security guards to pull this man's hands from the rapist's neck. I started thinking... Here you are with a great simple life. A house, a dog, marriage on the way, a great life ahead of you. You go to work like any normal day, trying to make some money, and by the time you reach your lunch break, your whole life has been turned upside down. How a man's fear of not being able to protect his home becomes reality and a man's dignity and pride is taken away and that just being one little element in a complete mental breakdown he would experience in a situation like this.... I don't know how I would react. How would you react? I felt this to be an interesting take on a story so I began writing notes and really thinking hard about it.

I have always been a huge fan of the "payback is a bitch" genre of action/drama movies. So I thought: What if a man's wife was raped and this man walked in on the act and nearly killed the rapist. The only problem was this rapist was a very important person in the small town they lived in and because of other technicalities, the rapist got off and the man was tried and convicted of attempted murder and aggravated assault and was thrown in jail for four years.....Four years... To sit around and think about that guy.... Four years to let it seep in... Four years knowing he is walking the street a free man while your life will never be the same. Would you ever even be able to forget it or forget it long enough to be OK?
So here's the pitch: Parker West was convicted for attempted murder and assault. He walked in on an assailant raping his girlfriend in her house. Because the assailant was who he was, nobody including his girlfriend wanted to testify. Parker was sentenced to four years in Alexander County Correctional Facility. It would have been more, but the judge was lenient on him due to the fact he had tried this assailant with no conviction two times before as a prosecutor. After doing ninety five percent of his sentence, Parker West was released a free man. For four years, he's waited for this moment. For four years, he's planned his revenge. Four years in prison was enough to trade his life for his assailants. Parker will not be denied. He's gonna finish what he started....
Sounds like a run of the meal "payback" movie, right? Well, almost... I have a little twist at the end of it that throws you for a loop. I would love to share it with you, but that would spoil the surprise.
This story was conceived five years ago. With a pencil and notebook I scripted a rough draft that reached about ninety one pages. A friend in LA and myself thought it was too long and drawn out and needed to be tightened up. I thought about it for months and couldn't come up with a way to tighten it up without losing character build and also not giving away the secret before the finale. Ninety pages is about the minimum to make it a feature. You get much shorter than that these days, it feels like you are cheating the audience out of their ten bucks admission. I moved on to new jobs, new towns and ultimately lost the notebook with my original written script in it. I moved back into North Carolina and that aura of the story came back as I was driving by the small hole in the wall bars and as I talked to some of the more simple, but troubled folk I had always encountered during my stays here. The story started brewing again. New ideas started popping up.

Now when the eff am I going to have time to pick this one back up with all that’s going on?? Maybe 2014....

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