Pen used to write brilliant movie pitches.

Unholy Unions

Movie Pitches

BATTLESTAR POTEMKIN [allegorical science fiction]

What if Joseph Smith had been a devoted follower of Karl Marx? Well, sure, Utah government and politics might be even stranger than they are today.

Still from the movie 'Battlestar Potemkin'

But what if Sergei Eisenstein had then been Glen Larson's film school professor? How might all this have changed the development of science fiction in both written and movie form?

BATTLESTAR POTEMKIN is a re-re-imagining of the classic 1970s series. A collectivist fleet of various Slavic nationalities searches for a way to find and re-establish the Rodina [the Motherland]. But they must fight off the sinister Teutonic Robots, nearly unstoppable German-speaking machines bent on stopping the fleet.

Can the Slavs unite and find the Rodina?

Featuring both the dramatic Caprica Steps massacre scene and the climatic battle on the ice planet Ladoga.

See, of course, the many Mormon elements in "Battlestar Galactica". Both of Eisenstein's Battleship Potemkin and Aleksandr Nevskiy are available at

ONE SCORE AND FOUR [TV action series]

Still from the movie 'One Score And Four'

President Lincoln's Centralized Information Agency has been formed in response to the Confederate threat in a nation torn apart by civil war.

Our hero is pursuing a shadowy figure known only as "Booth", reputed to head The Organization, a violent Confederate group bent on assassination.

Each episode follows events in real time of one hour out of the day (hence the title), shown by an animated daguerreotype of a pendulum-driven grandfather clock in the lower corner of the screen.

ONE SCORE AND FOUR will become a "water cooler show" (for history buffs) with its constant depiction of cutting-edge technology (for the 1860s) like telegraphic messaging, iron-clad warships, solid-steel rails for higher steam locomotive speed, and, most controversially, interrogation under high-intensity whale oil lamps.

------- Forwarded Message -------
So Mikhail Gorbachev and I are sitting in this hookah bar on the Virginia side of the Potomac when the door bangs open and in stagger Dick Cheney and Ahmed Chalabi, both about three sheets to the wind. "EAT, DRINK, AND BE MERRY!", Cheney roars, "FOR TOMORROW WE'RE ATTACKED AND THEN WE DIE!!", tripping then over one of the low footstools and falling head-first into a pile of pillows. Left standing alone, swaying and staring blearily about the place, Chalabi spots me, staggers over, and asks if I can write a "One Score And Four" character based on him. "IT MIGHT GET ME BACK IN FAVOR WITH THE REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE!" he shouts as though I were deaf. "Uh, Ahmed", I reply, "you do remember that Baghdad was just a backwater province of the Ottoman Empire in the 1860s, don't you?" Chalabi gnashes his teeth, raises his fists to heaven, and suddenly collapses on top of Cheney, who only grunts softly. Grabbing his trench coat with one hand and my upper arm with the other, Gorbachev springs to his feet and hisses into my ear, "Vee must leaf sis place before see Cleaners arrive!" On our way to the door he loudly tells the doorman that we need a taxi to 1126 Chain Bridge Drive in McLean, but once out the door we run across the parking lot to pile into his Lada and speed off in the opposite direction, hopefully having confused any attempted pursuit with his reference to Cheney's new address. As we cross the Francis Scott Key Bridge into Georgetown and turn east on M Street toward downtown, Gorbachev turns toward me and mutters, "If we
------- End Forwarded Message -------

From the creators of TAFT, TAFT'S BIG SCORE, and TAFT IN AFRICA.

XXIV [TV action series]

ROME, 48 YEARS B.C., OR ANNUM 713 AB URBE CONDITA (AFTER THE FOUNDING OF THE CITY OF ROME) -- Emperor Julius Caesar has established the Procurator Pelagus Intelligentsia in response to the violent threats faced by the Empire.

In the East Syrian Desert, in the remote city of Palmyra, the Warrior Queen Zenobia is refusing to submit to Roman hegemony. But that is the least of many problems.

Beyond Palmyra to the east, there are rumors of attempts to re-create the dreaded Greek Fire first developed by Archimedes himself, attempts being made by both the Mesopotamian realm and the Persians.

To the south, the once-docile Ptolomaic Egypt is restive.

And perhaps more dangerously, Britannia is a hotbed of Druidic discontent, with those mysterious hooded mystics claiming religious oppression under Roman rule.

Closer to home, our hero is pursuing a shadowy figure known only as "Brutus", reputed to head The Organization, a violent pro-Senate and anti-Emperor group bent on assassination.

Each episode follows events in real time of one hour out of the day (hence the title), shown by an animated klepsydra (or water clock) in the lower corner of the screen.

XXIV will become a "water cooler show" (for aficianados of history) with its constant depiction of cutting-edge technology (for the Roman Imperial Era) like iron weapons, arched stone construction, and, most controversially, and in another tip of the helmet to Archimedes and his defense of the harbor at Syracuse, interrogation under sunlight concentrated by several partially mirrored metal panels.

Beware the Ides of March!

[Since February and May are Sweeps Months, Julius Caesar's assassination (not to give too much away...) should be moved either one month earlier or two months later. Given the misalignment of the Julian and Gregorian calendars, that seems excusable. Perhaps the shocking assassination could happen during the Ides of Sweeps Month February, followed by the shocking interrogation under concentrated sunlight during the Ides of Sweeps Month May.]



A mysterious wealthy man hires our spunky heroine to search for the Holy Grail. But what does her would-be benefactor want with this powerful relic?

FLASHDANCES WITH WOLVES [drama / western / dance]

A spunky welder loses her job at the shipyard and heads west to find her fortune. Unaccepted by the citizens of the small towns of Kansas and Nebraska, she continues north to the Dakotas (the tribe, not the states) and finds her home on the reservation where she teaches the women how to weld.

She later finds solace by dancing alone on the prairie, where she is befriended by a pack of wolves.


To combat a witch anesthetizing unwilling villagers with poisoned apples, a beautiful young woman organizes a force of seven diminutive warriors.

Akira Kurosawa's Germanic fairy tale is now a western!"


Young Jim Hawkins lives at his parents' sleepy sea-side inn, the Admiral Benbow. Then one day he's drawn into a wild adventure with Long John Silver, accompanying him to the mysterious island of Doctor Moreau. It's a children's adventure and a harsh condemnation of vivisection!

And the one-legged pirate with the parrot on his shoulder? On closer inspection he's a one-legged pirate with the head of a parrot.


Plucked from the sea as the only survivor of a shipwreck, our narrator slowly comes to know the mysterious Russian doctor owning the tropical island. But he sees strange glimpses of nearly human creatures in the jungle. And what's more, these creatures are always reciting poetry. Idealistic poetry, about life dramatically torn apart by forces beyond a man's control (or in their case, a man-creature's control). And about a mysterious Lara. And snow.

KRAMER VS PREDATOR [drama / science fiction / action / horror]

The story of a divorce, its impact on a family, and the ensuing deadly battle between the former family patriarch and a mysterious warrior from outer space.

At the end we see a foreshadowing of the sequel with the creation of the Kramalien.

Imagine Dustin Hoffman with hydrofluoric acid for blood!

1776: A SPACE ODYSSEY [science fiction]

Taking the dead-pan humor of "Men In Black" as a starting point, 1776: A SPACE ODYSSEY shows that the Roswell conspiracy theories don't take the possibility of a connection between the U.S. government and extraterrestrials nearly seriously enough.

What if the Founding Fathers were from another world? Where do you think that Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson came up with all those inventions and brilliant ideas? Some late 18th century English colony?? Please....


Late 1940s San Francisco: Sam Spade is investigating what seems to be a run-of-the-mill extortion case when he realizes that the victims have something in common — they all worked on the same mysterious project in New Mexico during the war. It was the Manhattan Project. And now those scientists are working for various California-based defense contractors. Could the case have an overseas connection?

ANNE OF SOYLENT GREEN GABLES [inspirational / science fiction]

In a dystopian near future made harsh by overpopulation, middle-aged siblings who live together at Soylent Green Gables, a farm in Avonlea, on Prince Edward Island, decide to adopt a boy from an orphanage as a helper on their farm. Through a series of mishaps, they end up with a precocious girl of eleven named Anne Shirley.

She befriends an older man living on the adjacent farm, but comes to worry that he has become suicidal. Will he volunteer for early euthenasia? And will she discover what the apparently benevolent middle-aged siblings really do on their farm?


Four previously married older women live together in a retirement community in Miami. They start an erotic dance showclub for the retiree community, where they are the starring act.

It has been pointed out that this is very close to "Calendar Girls"....

THE SCORPION KING AND I [action / fantasy]

A desert warrior rises up against the evil army that is destroying his homeland. He captures the enemy's key sorcerer, takes her deep into the desert and prepares for a final showdown.

They are accompanied by the spunky tutor of his several children. She insists on teaching the children, and through them, the Scorpion King, what she sees as the more civilized ways of her native England.

GONE WITH THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS [historical / whimsical drama]

Toad, Mole, and their friends confront a southern American society nostalgic for the glory days of slavery. Atlanta burns, and peace returns to the river banks.


Two men in the just-post-Civil-War years of Reconstruction become friends, despite the fact that one is white and the other black. Their friendship becomes closer when one discovers that he is dying of consumption.

SPIKE LEE'S JUNGLE BOOK FEVER [drama / romance / animation]

Mowgli has fallen in love with a girl from the village near the den of the wolf pack which raised him. But her parents object because, being raised by wolves, Mowgli is of a lower caste.

Can true love break through the color line?


A chronicle of the life and reign of Mary I of Scotland [1542-1587], including her strained personal and political relationship with her father's cousin, Queen Elizabeth I of England; her comically complicated love life; the sometimes violent conflict between Roman Catholocism and Protestantism; a hilarious series of coincidences; and her imprisonment and eventual execution under accusations of treason.


Northern Britannia, 130 AD, as winter falls.

Along the northern coasts, in Pictish lands well north of Hadrian's Wall.

A small group of Roman soldiers at a remote outpost stumble across the remains of a strange ship that had washed up against the Britannic shore from the lands rumored to lie across the Northern Sea to the north-east. Strange and remote lands, where monsters are said to roam. No survivors of this wreck were ever found. But then strange things start happening back in their camp.

Seen through the eyes of one of the Roman soldiers, an unseen horror begins stalking the camp. A shape-shifting monster, it can completely mimic the man or beast that it kills.

Who can be trusted? No one.

In far northern Hadrianic Britannia, Man is the warmest place to hide.

THE INCREDIBLE GATSBY [drama / action / superhero]

Our unnamed narrator comes to realize that the wealthy and sophisticated Jay Gatsby has three terrible secrets.

One, he is in love with the married Daisy.

Well, that one isn't really a secret given that he goes down to the end of his dock every night to stare at the green light across the bay and scream "DAAAAIIIIISSSSYYYYY!!!!"

OK, fine, TWO terrible secrets.

First, he is not really a highly successful financier and he does not belong in the elegant enclave of The Hamptons. He has been watching the house for its wealthy owners, and he will be out on the street when they return at the end of the summer. He is living a lie.

Second, due to a mishap with gamma radiation, extreme anger transforms him into something very large, very powerful, and very green.

What will happen when his frustration over his unrequited love for Daisy turns to anger?

90,210 B.C. [mid-week middle paleolithic drama series]

Fur bikini

A adventuresome band of young and independent (and, of course, attractive) Cro-Magnons are driven from their Mediterranean basin home by a catastrophic eruption of the Thera volcano. They make their way across an enormously broad continent, across a somewhat soggy far northern isthmus, and down a foggy wooded coast.

They eventually settle near a petroleum seep just inland from a sandy coastline. Teen angst, fur bikinis, and vigorous discussion of the "Clovis First" model for the settlement of North America ensue.


ESCAPE FROM THE SEX IN THE CITY [post-apocalyptic chick flick]

Four self-absorbed (and, let's face, it, rather unpleasant) women meet for lunch, gossip, discuss expensive clothes, and have lots and lots of casual sex in a city that has been sealed off and converted to a prison colony by a repressive post-apocalyptic-war government.

Meanwhile, the President's daughter's aircraft has crashed in the prison colony. Our hero, Snake Plisskin, must rescue her while fighting off the increasingly zombie-like advances of those four women.

C.S.I. LEWIS [inspirational procedural]

Four children discover a doorway through the back of an enchanted chemistry storage cabinet, leading to an enchanted land where a gruff and obviously Christ-metaphorical lion leads them on weekly investigations into ghastly crimes.

CSI: SG1 [TV police procedural / science fiction]

Intrepid explorers use a mysterious ancient device to establish a wormhole to some distant place in the universe. An initial probe indicates a breathable atmosphere, so they bravely step through.

On the other side they discover a somewhat advanced civilization. The team can communicate easily with the local people, indicating some shared background. This other civilization is strangely obsessed with legal procedures and litigation.

Eventually they realized that they have traveled to another part of North America.

CSI: HOOTERVILLE [police procedural]

When New York defense attorney Oliver Douglas and his socialite wife Lisa move to the small midwestern town of Hooterville, they are initially no more than fish out of water. They have difficulty understanding the rural ways of their new home, but they seem to be adapting. "They seem like very nice people", the neighbors say.

But then something sinister starts happening in this bucolic small town. Livestock goes missing, including one family's pet pig. Next a group of young girls is found drowned in the city's water tank. The Illinois State Police report their inconclusive findings to the FBI's national crime database, and parallels are found to a series of unsolved murders in New York.

The elite CSI investigative team is dispatched to Hooterville to investigate. But before their train pulls into the station, even more heinous crimes are discovered and it's apparent that the perpertrators could not be the Douglases. This will be a crime spree that takes at least one television season to fully investigate and solve.


A spunky band of mongooses — or is it "mongeese", arguments over the plural form of "mongoose" are a running joke through the film — build a balsa-wood raft and travel from India to South America, in order to rid that continent of what they mistakenly understand to be a plague of cobras. They arrive and soon make friends with the local loveable creatures, eventually learning that while there are no cobras to fight in South America, there are many new friends to make and adventures to share.

Blending the beloved works of Rudyard Kipling and Thor Heyerdahl, this animated film will be a family-friendly hit, with vast opportunities for action figures and fast-food spin-offs!

As it also presents an alternative explanation of the settlement of South America by sea from South Asia, it mines the uniquely North American vein of alternative-history spirituality so successfully exploited by the SciFi Channel's hit "Battlestar Galactica": Mormonism. Not explicitly, mind you, lest it frighten away more mainstream viewers, but enough that the LDS cognescenti see it as "their film".

Music by the Osmonds, or the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, or lacking either of those, someone fairly wholesome. We will have to leave Sir Elton John out of this one.

TO BE AND BE NOT [action/drama]

A disaffected American expatriate in the Caribbean during the years before World War II seems to be somewhat imbalanced. Is it because he suspects that his uncle killed his father in an attempt to take over the family's small sport-fishing business? Or is he only pretending to be afflicted to lure the guilty into exposing themselves? Or is there something else going on?

An accidental death, mourning over the death of a long-dead friend, the true friendship of a dockside drunkard, and debate over whether our hero will shake his depression and fight the Nazis, TO BE AND BE NOT is a classic story.

28 DAYS, 27 DRESSES [romantic zombie comedy]

Bree's wedding to Drew is in jeopardy as, one after the other, all her friends turn into zombies due to some apocalyptic plague.


Imagine if some of the film world's best classic detectives joined forces to solve mysteries!

The group's founders are Nick and Nora Charles, beloved upper-class sleuths from the Thin Man mysteries — attractive, suave, and debonair, handsome and beautiful, respectively, and immaculately dressed. They are joined by Miss Marple, who is frumpy and, to be frank, not a little mannish, always dressed in a faded orange sweater and wearing some unstylish eyeglasses. The fourth member of their group is Raymond Chandler's famed Philip Marlowe, who has spiraled downhill since his glory days and now is drunk on bourbon more often than not. That four-detective group is joined by the Charles' scrappy little terrier Asta.

As Nick drives the gang in the Charles' roomy classic 1932 Packard limousine, with Miss Marple and Marlowe and Asta riding in the spacious back, Marlowe sometimes imagines through his alcoholic delirium that Asta is actually speaking to him! But he still retains his mystery-solving abilities and is a crucial member of THE MYSTERY GANG.

YETIL [musical / drama / nature documentary]

Aaanshuuull, a young female Sasquatch, defies the social norms of her hirsute tribe to carry out the roles that traditionally are done only by the males: shambling into the woods while looking over her shoulder, leaving fragmentary and somewhat ambiguous footprints, and most of all, never ever being seen.

Along the way obstacles are overcome, lessons are learned, and yes, a few songs are sung in traditional Yeti fashion.

STAR TREK N: THE CASE OF ENSIGN CHARLES DEXTER WARD [science fiction / horror / franchise]

A young red-shirted engineering crewman, declared at a later inquest to have been mentally disturbed, disables the safety interlocks on the first fully operational holodeck. He then loads it with the complete works of H.R. Giger, H.P. Lovecraft, and the recently discovered complete and original text of "Beowulf". Eldritch horror ensues.

AL-DAOUQ OF HAZZARKIS [SF SF, or Southern-Fried Science Fiction]

The setting is the distance future of humanity, in the tenth millenia of the common era, 10,312 AD, long after the Great War on Thinking Machines and the crippling boycott of space freighter fuel by the rulers of the oil planet O'peq.

The Grand Padishah Emperor of the Known Universe, Djimi Qar-Terr, has awarded the fiefdom over the desert planet Hazzarkis and its lucrative spice-mining contract to the corrupt minister Baushog and his local enforcer Qul Trayne.

The young and recently orphaned scions of the House of al-D'aouq, Bau and al-Uq, have been cheated out of their rightful inheritance. Their father, now dead, was to have received the fiefdom over Hazzarkis, and thus the control of the spice trade.

They are soon folding space for Hazzarkis in their modified cruiser, along with their attractive cousin Dai Shi. Can the three of them defeat the forces of Qul Trayne and capture Hazzarkis and the spice trade? If so, can control of the spice enable them to exercise political power over the emperor himself?

The spice must flow.


The Massachusetts Bay coast, in the early 1600s:

A group of English Puritans is struggling to establish a new life in the New World.

But how can they stay safe in their new and exotically different home? Who will keep them from eating ergot-contaminated grain, leading to hallucinations and behaviour that get them burned as witches? Who will keep them from inadvertently insulting the proud native people, on whose charity the struggling colony depends? Who will pull them from the icy waters of what is on its way to becoming Boston harbor?

The only thing the Puritans can rely on is MASSACHUSETTS BAY COLONY WATCH, a team of brave men and women ready to rip off their buckled hats and bulky cloaks and run in slow motion across the sand and into the cold water to save those in danger.

To some extent, this has already been done in the version of "The Scarlet Letter" with Demi Moore.

HUDSON BAY WATCH [TV action / drama series]

In the late 1600s a hardy group of English-funded fur traders struggle to survive in the northernmost regions of North America. Starting with a shaky alliance with the indigenous peoples, they slowly establish a trading network that will have become the largest single landowner by the time of the establishment of the Canadian confederation.

The spread of the Hudson Bay Company across much of Northern American was, of course, rife with risk. Polar bears, narwhals, and the environment itself took its toll in an era two centuries before the rescuing Mountie famed in early film serials. What could be done to protect the hardy trappers and fur traders?

HUDSON BAY WATCH was a little-known government-sponsored program of relief huts and rescue crews established initially along the eponymous bay shores, and later extending inland as far as today's North Dakota, western Alberta, and eastern Yukon Territory. This action-filled series follows the adventures and personal dramas of one HUDSON BAY WATCH crew, a team of brave men and women ready to rip off their fur chapeaus and woolen cloaks and run in slow motion across the sand and into the cold water to save those in danger.

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