The Orb

This is my first produced screenplay. I saw an ad somewhere for a screenwriter to rewrite a horror movie script. They requested a writing sample, so I sent them a copy of 210 Maple Street. They apparently liked it enough to hire me as their new writer.

I read over their original script, and found nothing good to say about it. To be fair, the original author admitted it was a terrible script. I asked for, and received, permission to throw it out and do it over. They then handed me a character list and the story synopsis.

The character descriptions contained such details as "John: likes to have fun" and "Kathy: likes money." The story synopsis was only one and a half pages.

I took the character list and expanded each one-line description into fully-detailed biographies. I gave each of them names that hinted at their personalities. Brad, who "likes to party," became "Brad Fiesto". Kathy, the gold-digger, became "Kathy Miner". To add depth to the story, I made one of the boys gay, and changed another boy into a girl (who was still in love with Kathy, despite the sex change).

Keeping the basic theme of the story, I fleshed it out from one-and-a-half pages to fourteen. I added back stories, new interpersonal relationships, and a few characters who weren't in the original story. And I turned the standard horror-movie genre on its ear by reversing the typical death-order sequence (the "good girl" dies first).

The producer and director both loved my treatment, and immediately commissioned me to complete the screenplay. The completed film debuted at the Hawaii International Film Festival. I played a small role in the film, the Scientist, billed as "David Penman".