Monday, December 17, 2007
WGA STRIKER CRITIQUED BY AWARD WINNING WRITER/PRODUCER/DIRECTOR
JAMES L. BROOKS ON PICKET LINES OUTSIDE FOX
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA December 17, 2007
First time writer and WGA picketer Rodney Peterson had his work critiqued on the picket line in front of Fox Studios Monday afternoon by legendary writer/producer/director James L. Brooks of Terms Of Endearment, Broadcast News, The Simpsons, Mary Tyler Moore, etc. fame. The work was a picket sign Peterson had written earlier in the day. Crossing the street in front of the Motor Avenue gate, Peterson saw his chance to introduce himself to Brooks. “With a guy as famous and successful as James L. Brooks, millions of people are approaching him and I didn’t feel comfortable just walking up to him while he was picketing himself or talking with other writers on the picket line, but I did want to meet him and talk to him-thankfully I had the chance to make that a memorable meeting.” Peterson introduced himself to Brooks then asked him to critique his picket sign, which Peterson had written to look like a script. It read EXT.-DAY OUTSIDE FOX STUDIOS HUNDREDS OF HOLLYWOOD’S MOST CREATIVE INDIVIDUALS ARE ENGAGED IN AN IMPORTANT STRIKE DECIDING HOLLYWOOD’S FUTURE. SUDDENLY THE ENTIRE PICKET LINE BEGINS TO “WALK LIKE AN EGYPTIAN”. STUDIO CHIEF: “LOOK, IT’S THE CURSE OF RAMSES!” LACKEY: “I SUGGEST YOU GIVE IN TO THEIR DEMANDS, SIR!” STUDIO CHIEF: “WE BETTER. MAGIC SCARES ME.” “He (Brooks) couldn’t have been more friendly and gracious”, Peterson stated, then added “He smiled and grinned as he was reading the sign and I could tell he liked it which was very cool. And then he said “That’s great, man!” I also told him I was writing a unique script entitled Cutting Confessions and now wasn’t the time but that I hoped to talk with him about it at another time.”
Peterson has been a fixture at the Fox picket lines for several weeks now and always pickets wearing a highly recognizable red white and blue U.S. flag felt hat that is nearly a foot tall. “Some people assume I’m very patriotic”, Peterson stated, then added “But the truth is it’s part of a promotional ensemble I wear around town along with some other (non picketing) signs I’ve written to attract attention to my script which has some of the elements of the 1975 Best Picture Winner One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest but it’s also a very different kind of love story based on real life events between a very unusual and talented Beverly Hills girl and myself. It’s the reason I became a writer.”
“Then I realized that the WGA strike was about me as a future writer and member of the WGA as well as the current talent pool of writers, actors, directors and Hollywood professionals. So I decided to start picketing with my fellow writers and I’ve really been impressed by the resolve of all the writers. I’m confident we can win this strike and I’ve learned a lot about why this strike is so important. It’s a privilege to be out here with the WGA.”
Peterson has posted the WGA registered film treatment along with portions of the WGA registered script for Cutting Confessions online and they can be found at www.cuttingconfessionsfilm.blogspot.com along with his personal thoughts as he walks the picket lines with the WGA.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
WRITER: RODNEY PETERSON
WGA REGISTRATION: 1218345
CONTENTS OF THIS FILM TREATMENT AND SYNOPSIS
Brief Film Synopsis
2 E-Mails sent to Producers and other Interested Parties with
Project Details and Goals
The Original Film Synopsis Including Character Descriptions of
Some of the Key Characters
The Original Film Trailer Script
The Short Version of the Film Opening
The Complete Visually and Emotionally Stunning Scripted Film
A Beverly Hills girl, seemingly born into a life of wealth and privilege, is anything but. Her father, despite making a fortune treating the misery of others, both causes and ignores untold misery of his very own daughter as she is beaten for years by her psychotic and socially well regarded mother. At age 12 the girls deep pain entices her to take up both razor blades and repeated serious suicide attempts. Despite all the misery in her life, she becomes a brilliant college student, an artist of tremendous talent, and a very funny and caring beautiful woman. When she is hospitalized yet again following another serious suicide attempt fate steps in and literally sends a man through time and space to save her life. This is proven by nearly impossible acts of fate that repeatedly occur between the two, starting from the moment they meet. Throughout Pasadena, Beverly Hills and Las Vegas the two develop a tumultuous-and ultimately caring and lifelong significant bond-two misfits who find hope and destiny in each other.
BRIEF FILM SYNOPSIS
We open on Tamar as she does art as only she can (chalks, oils, paintings-she’s excellent at all. (NOTE: To get an idea of Tamar‘s artistic talent and style, take a look at the cover of the Moody Blues album/CD Days Of Future Passed.) We will quickly establish the chaos in her life that stands in sharp contrast to her talent. Cutting to my character we’ll illustrate how our two characters-miles and miles apart to begin with-are on a cosmic collision course straight for each other by establishing the timelines of each.
Tamar’s timeline includes the following events (we don’t need to show all of them, and not all of these are in order (but most are): arrest for shoplifting with a friend, arrest for DUI and driving under influence of crystal meth, cutting herself on her birthday while driving home from a Los Angeles casino, overdosing on 500 Tylenol PM tablets and stumbling around an art store before somehow driving herself to Las Encinas (the Pasadena psychiatric hospital where we met), immediately taken in an ambulance from Las Encinas to a hospital ICU for a week, being readmitted to Las Encinas and facing a competency hearing which she loses, then breaks away from the hospital attendant and runs away, eventually winding up in South Los Angeles where she once again cuts herself after locking herself in a Taco Bell restroom. She is then taken to a South Los Angeles hospital before being taken back to Las Encinas in time to meet me.
My character’s timeline includes leaving Minnesota via Amtrak, arriving in Los Angeles and attempting to check into Las Encinas but no beds are available and I am sent to a Orange County hospital, am discharged from there, sent to a really awful hospital, act up, get arrested and sent to another awful hospital. After leaving that hospital, I wind up in a Van Nuys hospital, leave there and once again attempt to check into Las Encinas but no beds are available and I must go to county hospital or the better option, my idea, to wait in a nearby hotel for an available bed. Four days later, a bed finally becomes available at Las Encinas, I check in which takes hours and arrive on the Cherokee unit where Tamar will walk into my room seconds after I arrive on the unit. That will be the almost impossible first meeting where Tamar cuts herself in the century old cottage like locked Cherokee unit but I’m so enthralled by her presence at first sight that I can’t tear my eyes away from her face or even close my mouth or stop my eyes from gazing wide open in wonder as frozen in time I know instantly that she is significant in my life beyond anything I can imagine. And there she is, practically bleeding to death in front of me from self inflicted razor cuts to her arms, but all I can see is her face.
When Tamar returns from the Emergency Room back to our hospital unit the next day, we build a chemistry filled relationship full of wit and energy and sometimes finish each other’s sentences or get into quick exchanges of witty banter (usually won by the girl.) We will see our two main characters interact with other characters both patients and staff-all highly memorable. The head nurse on the unit is personable, funny and interacts with the patients in creative and entertaining ways. But she isn’t what she always seems to be and is one of several characters we follow along in bits and pieces as the story works best as an ensemble piece ala Pulp Fiction with several parallel plots depicting the lives of supporting characters.
Tamar will discharge and I will remain a while longer but call her every day to establish a relationship to which she is initially reluctant. We will show me both getting into serious trouble and having fun in the hospital after the girl leaves (there is a comedic scene based on a real event which occurred in the hospital that has never been filmed before and is both highly imitable like Meg Ryan’s fake orgasm scene in When Harry Met Sally and done correctly just as comically memorable as the eating beans around the campfire scene in Blazing Saddles but it is NOTHING like either activity.) Once I am released from the hospital, fate will keep stepping in to make sure Tamar and I never lose each other, even though she is now even more reluctant and rather freaked out. Tamar is constantly getting into trouble and my character is always there to more or less save her from herself.
Still Tamar fights her feelings any way she can yet allows Rodney to help her artistic career. My character introduces her to another artist and she develops a relationship. But all along her heart is unsure and can’t forget my character and the bizarre way he has come into her life. Meanwhile, other characters from the hospital, including the nurse, struggle with their own issues-sometimes life threatening.
Tamar realizes at almost the point it is too late that my character was her true love all along and she runs through rain and Las Vegas casino crowds to tell him her true feelings-if she’s not too late.
The following is an E-Mail sent to a producer about Cutting Confessions and contains further information regarding this film project:
Thank you for giving me the chance to introduce my unique film project. My vision and goal with this film has been for the film to approach both the storyline and technical quality of Goodfellas since day one, and it is very possible. Far from being just the writer or one of the writers, this story is deeply touching me and the idea is to make it as good as it can possibly be-and I am talking about Academy Award potential quality. Although I have never written or produced anything before (it is only real life events that are driving me to do so now as I am well aware of the ridiculous odds of what I am trying to accomplish and wouldn't even attempt it if I didn't have a great story) I see being involved as a key producer (but not the only one) in every phase of pre-production, production, editing, the dailies, post production and everything else right down to key decisions about the DVD/BluRay/HD-DVD extras and all of the marketing throughout (I think this is the type of film that works best with wide distribution and certainly has the potential to accrue a heavy international box office total and be the type of film that years from now many, many people will be purchasing the DVD’s, digital downloads and other forms of intellectual property and have conversations about films with each other and in groups and say “Cutting Confessions?” Now that's a good movie. It's one of my all time favorites." That may sound like a lofty ambition, but I believe a great deal in this story and it is doable. This is definitely an R Rated film. There are scenes of intense physical self harm as well as raunchy over the top comedy that can not be edited in such a way to take this film into PG-13 territory without significantly worsening the storyline and the overall concept. To put this into all time classics territory, it needs to hold on to it's raw edge-and trust me, it is raw edge. But in the end it will be highly entertaining, highly memorable and highly profitable.
Attached is an E-Mail sent to another interested party that explains this a bit more in detail.
I am very much looking forward to talking to you further about this project.
Another E-Mail sent to another potential producer:
Rodney Peterson writing you and first of all I'd like to thank you for giving me your card yesterday and for your initial interest in my film project.
What has happened is that I have been thrust into a very unique situation which is not only a terrific initial story, but has possibilities for multiple side projects as well both fiction and non fiction all stemming from the very unusual and touching main project.
It all concerns my involvement in the life of a girl who is a true anomaly in that she grew up highly privileged in Beverly Hills as the adorable Jewish daughter of fairly wealthy parents and rather unbelievably a father who makes his fortune in the mental health care field-yet ignored the cries of his own daughter as she was beaten for years by her mother. At the age of just 12, she started both repeatedly cutting herself and seriously attempting suicide over and over. Her life became an endless series of drama and setbacks, yet she still developed high intelligence through reading and a caring and magnetic personality as well as becoming quite an artist and a very funny woman. Even today as an adult, she stands just 4'11" and weighs all of 95 pounds. You can see right here what a terrific and rich character and character history I have to work with.
In February 2006, we met at Las Encinas Hospital in Pasadena and that meeting was so magnetic that all I could do was just stare at her face dumbfounded, unable to move or even close my mouth as she walked into my room seconds after I arrived on the locked Cherokee unit. I didn't even notice she had chosen that moment in time to cut herself-in a locked unit in a hospital, no less-to the point she required 86 stitches to close the wounds on her arms.
There's no way we should ever have met in the first place were it not for someone or something guiding us and there is where just one element of a terrific story exists. The real life events of the girl preceding that meeting are HIGHLY dramatic and my own timeline is as well, although not nearly as much.
Since that moment we met we have developed this incredible very rocky relationship of basically two misfits even though they are brilliant people being thrown together and things have continued to happen that are nearly mathematically impossible and appear to be further evidence of being thrown together by fate for either the purpose of a relationship or enriching each others lives to develop nurturing relationships with others. As I said, there's a lot of material here for several projects and a ton of unique and memorable characters that have the potential of making an everlasting impression with a wide audience. Evidence of this can be seen in that although films that deal with psychiatric hospitals are not common (in Las Encinas we have one of the worlds finest and most beautiful as well) but they are frequently hits and highly artistic and even award winners, as in the case of One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest and a later film also highly memorable while not an award winner itself Girl Interrupted. In addition, there is clear public demand for this type of subject matter as we are coming off one of the most acclaimed series of television history-HBO's The Sopranos-and psychiatry was heavily featured in that program.
How this relates on a storytelling level and why this film and story should be made and told is that it is basically real life magic and practically every female alive wishes from the time of being a little girl that magic and romance will somehow combine into their life. Here, it really has and into the lives of two very ordinary-and yet at the same time extraordinary people-a sort of match of misfits that has the potential of being one of the best mixes of chemistry ever to appear on film and make a ton of money for everyone, as well as be historic on film and pivotal in the lives of countless people as what kind of potential life can hold even if you don't always think so in that our characters end up being happy on screen (in the official version and behave in all kinds of different ways with different story angles and endings using other characters developed for other projects but based on our two initial characters, the girl and myself, but of course with no official connection as all the projects will be designed to be stories independent of each other. (Please note: although our subject matter is serious there is a ton of comedy in this film and my vision is best achieved with a happy ending. Our characters don't end up perfect but they do end up happy and hugely benefiting from each other. This is a huge difference from another film about two misfits, Leaving Las Vegas (or even Midnight Cowboy.) While both are excellent films, it is NOT where I want to take our characters. The audience should come away loving our characters, optimistic about their futures as well as optimistic about their (the audiences) own personal lives, wherever they may be in life. That will help get us into the category of classic film and one of everybody's favorite films. There will be enough high drama that doesn't end happily in some of our key supporting characters and that, too, will get us into Goodfellas territory.)
I'm very enthused about this project and I see writing and being involved with film making as something I will be doing for the rest of my life, although it is only these real life events that have motivated me in that direction and was never any kind of previous plan as I was a Disc Jockey and held various other positions for quite some time.
Again, thanks for your interest and I look forward to speaking with you further.
AN EARLIER FILM SYNOPSIS AND CHARACTER DESCRIPTION FOLLOWS:
THIS IS A TRUE STORY.
CUTE AND ADORABLE BEVERLY HILLS GIRL GROWS UP HORRIBLY ABUSED. AT AGE 12 SHE BECOMES A CUTTER AND A CHRONIC SUICIDE ATTEMPTER. 20 YEARS LATER FATE SENDS A MAN TO CHANGE HER LIFE FOR THE BETTER.
One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest
THIS FILM WILL FEATURE A SCENE NEVER BEFORE SEEN IN CINEMA THAT WILL BECOME WIDELY IMITATED BY THE GENERAL PUBLIC (as in Meg Ryan’s restaurant orgasm scene in When Harry Met Sally-complete details later in this synopsis.)
KEY CHARACTER DESCRIPTIONS (More key characters are being added as the project develops and different storylines for these characters are being added. There are an almost limitless number of highly memorable characters all at least partially based on real life people. Quite honestly, there is enough going on in this story to justify not only a terrific film but also an excellent long running HBO series.)
FEMALE LEAD-TAMAR Late 20’s-Early 30’s. Cute. Adorable. Jewish. Short. Petite. Wears jeans that are just a tad too big and t-shirts. Wears Snoopy underwear. Smart beyond words, can express emotion flawlessly with her eyes and face. Has been through more hell than most people can imagine, yet has emerged with a terrific personality. Can be happy one moment, instantly turn sad, angry. Cries incessantly. Pouts. Very vocal when she wants something. An absolute joy to be around for our male lead. Cute beyond words-think a slightly more nerdy Jewish version of Drew Barrymore from 50 First Dates.
THIS IS ADDITIONAL CHARACTER DESCRIPTION INFORMATION FOR OUR FEMALE LEAD. THIS IS EXCERPTED FROM AN E-MAIL SENT TO BOTH TOM HANKS AND PATRICK WARBURTON (David Puddy, Elaine’s boyfriend on Seinfeld.)
The role of the girl is going to be hard to cast. She must display a wide range of emotions and physical activity. She must be able to deliver lightning fast humorous exchanges, laugh, and be personable and talkative. She must also be able to turn instantly sad and angry, jump off from the couch in a second flat, run down a small hallway, cry incessantly, pout, hang up the pay phone in anger and basically act like a 30 year old woman who has been emotionally arrested as a 12 year old because she has been so abused and unfairly treated by her parents. And she must be able to do all this on a set that will probably be less than 1,000 square feet and resemble the actual century old cottage like Cherokee unit at Las Encinas. To say nothing of being able to cut herself under extreme emotional duress. And like me, the audience must see her as completely adorable, beautiful, intelligent and personable. She is a very easy person to love, even though she is not a classic beauty or model type. She must also fit the basic physical characteristics-short, petite, possibly Jewish. This is very likely going to be an Academy Award winning role.
(I should mention what happened since it's been awhile since I wrote this and new people are now looking at it. Tom Hanks did in fact receive my E-Mails and sent one in return promising to take a look at what then was the early stages of this project. But the #&@!*!#@ MySpace powers that be deleted my page-they do this often as they have one set of rules for Tila Tequila and other questionable personalities who must have teams working to add friends to her list around the clock and another for people like me. So I never heard from Tom Hanks again and finding him again at MySpace would take a tremendous amount of work, just like it did the first time. I never heard from Patrick Warburton and am not sure if he runs that as a fan page or what. At one time, I was interested in Patrick playing a certain key role and I think he could still do it if he were interested but the role is nothing like David Puddy (Elaine's boyfriend on Seinfeld) or his animated character in Bee Movie.)
MALE LEAD-RODNEY Mid 30’s. Not good looking, not ugly. Highly intelligent, a match for intelligence with our female lead. A bit eccentric, but not a total oddball. Can rattle off useless or useful information on any subject effortlessly and endlessly. Extremely picky eater. Wears sandals almost everywhere. Friendly, personable, usually cheerful. Helpful, caring. Smart ass at times. Smitten with our female lead mentally and emotionally, yet is willing to give her as much space as she thinks she needs at any given moment. When it comes to our female lead, can’t do enough to try to please her although such efforts are often fruitless.
NURSE-Could be anywhere from 33-45, sort of an ageless appearance. Earth mother type, yet beautiful. Reddish, brownish long hair, medium build. The type of person everybody loves. Will bring in her David Bowie CD’s to play for the patients. Interacts with the patients in innovative and cheerful ways. Smokes. Always cheerful and friendly, never superficial. In control of herself and others at all times. But yet is not always who she appears to be. Would like this role to be played by Marcia Cross of Desperate Housewives.
PSYCHIATRIST-Late 40’s-Early 50’s. Very fat, not obese. Walks like a duck. Arrogant and uncaring to a degree. Rather humorless. Educated, but not exceedingly bright. Sometimes talks normally, sometimes a little slow, but is almost always more distant than friendly. Can be condescending.
PSYCHO GUY-Walks around sprouting obvious nonsense only he believes. Is obsessed with hell and has probably read every book ever written on the subject. 30’s, average looking, slim to medium build, tries very hard to be friendly.
SCHIZOPHRENIC GUY-40’s. Talks to himself and others in mumbling utter nonsense, but is sometimes coherent. Secretly brilliant, he is an Oxford graduate. Always wears old brown stocking caps, long straggly red beard, never shaves, bathes rarely. Often stands in the corner just looking at others and/or half laughing for no reason. Friend of Paul McCartney.
FEMALE LINEBACKER-40’s. Could be a charter member of the Ugly Ladies of Wrestling. Throws temper tantrums if not allowed to watch her channel or listen to her horrible music (particularly Sinead O’Connor.) Physically built like an ox. Gets angry and does things like breaks television sets by throwing them around. Throws chairs. Heavy duty drug addict, both street and prescription with a deep faith in God. Exceedingly stupid and belligerent.
EX CRACK ADDICT TURNED BUSINESSMAN-Late 30’s-Early 40’s. Genuinely nice and intelligent guy, today he has a successful internet business. Almost a body builder type. Has completely turned his life around, is married to a great woman and has a child. Often keeps to himself and just silently observes the surrounding madness. Not really a psychiatric patient, but is lucky and clever enough to substitute a short stay in a psychiatric hospital as prison for a serious offense.
There will be many other character types added as the project develops further of all types of personalities, ages and body types so feel free to submit at any time.
THIS HAS THE POTENTIAL TO BE AN AMAZING PROJECT.
When you get to the part about me moving next door to the girls mother, please understand that my housing search stretched from Malibu to Pasadena. From a mathematical and statistical point of view landing next door to this girls mother is like winning the lottery. After all, there are millions of housing units in Southern California. My relationship with this girl is filled with the improbable and nearly impossible. Too many examples to list here and what is here are elements of the storyline we need to make known to the general public for the purposes of preproduction and prerelease publicity. In the actual film you will see other examples of the forces of the universe guiding this chain of events.
THIS PROJECT IS EXTREMELY UNIQUE, WORTHY OF STAR TREATMENT, A HUGE BUDGET AND ALL THE MARKETING SKILLS OF HOLLYWOOD’S FINEST STUDIOS AND PRODUCTION COMPANIES KEY PERSONNEL.
ALL OF THE FOLLOWING IS TRUE.
HERE IS THE REASON YOU ARE EVEN READING THIS.
I met a girl (Late 20’s-Early 30’s, cute, adorable, short, petite, Jewish) in a Pasadena hospital on February 17, 2006. Like two galaxies on a head on collision course, neither one of us were aware of the others presence-and yet it was both of our entire lives were building to.
HERE ARE THE EVENTS LEADING UP TO THAT ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE MEETING IN OUTLINE FORM:
TIMELINE-LEAD FEMALE CHARACTER-TAMAR-JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2006
Girl after a series of setbacks and depressive events overdoses on 500 Tylenol PM tablets, to which she is allergic, in a serious suicide attempt.
Stumbles around an art store feeling the effects of the Tylenol PM.
Somehow manages to drive herself to a psychiatric hospital.
Once there her condition is noted and she is immediately transported to a medical hospital where she spends nearly a week in the ICU.
She is released to the psychiatric hospital and an out of hospital competency hearing is scheduled. She loses the hearing. Running away from the hospital attendant, she boards a city bus and rides it to the end of the line, somewhere in one of the worst neighborhoods of South Los Angeles. She has four dollars to her name, no credit cards and no ID. She buys a pack of razor blades, locks herself inside a fast food restaurant restroom and severely cuts herself. She’s found and taken to a South Los Angeles hospital where she is treated medically and psychologically. Somehow after a few days she talks her way back to the original Pasadena psychiatric hospital.
TIMELINE-MALE LEAD CHARACTER (REAL LIFE-RODNEY PETERSON) FEBRUARY 2006
On February 1, after being away from Los Angeles for about four years, I board an Amtrak train from Minneapolis which is eventually headed for Union Station. My intent is to check into the Pasadena hospital I will eventually meet the female in. Instead, I am sent to a hospital in Tustin for a few days before being sent to a really awful hospital in Orange County where I act up, am arrested, and sent to another almost as equally awful one. I talk my way out of there and am sent to a hospital in Van Nuys where I spend several days and it’s not pleasant at all. Finally, I discharge from there and attempt to go back to the Pasadena hospital. There are no beds available, so I have the option of going to county hospital or my idea, which is to wait in a nearby hotel on Colorado Boulevard. I call every day for an available bed in one of the hospitals several locked units. Four days later, a bed finally becomes available and I begin the hours long process of actually checking in.
THE CHARACTERS MEET FOR THE VERY FIRST TIME
Male character walks into six bed cottage like building that serves as a locked unit on the hospitals wooded grounds. The mental health attendant introduces him briefly to the other patients, including the female character who he immediately takes special notice of as she sits on the couch.
Moments later the female enters the males assigned room and the male is completely transfixed and awestruck. Crouching on the floor by his just opened suitcase, he instantly realizes that not only is the woman a beautiful creature to him, but that also she is significant beyond words in his life. The female is bleeding from self inflicted razor cuts on her arms and neck, but the male is so awestruck he doesn’t even notice. He can’t stop looking directly at her face, mouth frozen wide open in wonder, eyes amazed wide open and not a muscle moving, maybe not even blinking eyes. This continues for the longest time until finally the mental health attendant, who has been going through the males belongings, notices the female bleeding. He immediately leaves with the girl to tend to her wounds and call an ambulance.
The next time the male sees the female she has her backside to him and is being lifted off the floor by paramedics. She is not wearing any underwear and her ass shows as her jeans fall halfway to the floor as she resists efforts to be picked up by the paramedics.
The female is transported to a medical hospital emergency room where she receives nearly one hundred stitches to her arms and is treated for less serious cuts to her throat.
That is just the beginning. The middle of the story is rich with events that will make an incredible story, but here’s what happens next:
RODNEY and TAMAR, together in a six bed unit in the psychiatric hospital for a month begin a friendship that soon turns into more than just a friendship. They share life stories together, laugh, talk and have lightning fast exchanges of witty banter. Rodney sees Tamar at her best and worst day in and day out as Tamar, uncertain of her future, is given to frequent crying fits and emotional outbursts.
After Tamar is discharged, Rodney remains in the hospital and forms relationships both extremely positive and extremely negative with other patients. He discovers by accident he has a mutual interest with another girl, DORI, in an activity not considered exactly normal and has a contest with her that continues for three solid hours while each are laughing their butts off. He witnesses other extremely funny events and exceedingly strange behavior exhibited by the other patients of all kinds. He keeps his relationship with Tamar alive by calling her every day and making an effort to be funny, creative and kind to the girl he absolutely adores who has so much pain in her life.
Once discharged, Rodney pursues a relationship with Tamar but she is resistant out of the hospital as abuse is all she knows and Rodney goes out of his way to be kind. September 1, 2006 turns out to be a very important day in the calendar of Rodney Peterson as fate once again steps in when Rodney searches all over Southern California for a new apartment and ends up right next door to Tamar’s childhood home, where her extremely abusive mother still lives today through no effort of his own. This after answering a Craigs List ad the previous day he almost didn’t answer and didn’t even believe was real because the ads grammar was terrible. Without a car, Rodney has enlisted the help of Tamar in the move and both are shocked to see his new home. Tamar is angry as this seems like a sick joke to her, and Rodney has no idea what she is angry about. Instant chaos ensues as neither one knows what’s going on. Rodney is shocked for days and Tamar probably doesn’t believe Rodney didn’t plan the whole thing. But Rodney has proof that he didn’t plan it and what happened was the hand of the universe stepping in to keep the relationship between the two alive and more mysterious than ever before.
NOTE: For those of you wondering why I obviously no longer live at that address, the primary reason is that things Tamar had said in the hospital led me to believe with good reason she had been the victim of attempted murder years ago at the hands of her parents. No statute of limitations exists on this crime and consequently I presented it to the Beverly Hills Police as a real life case of attempted murder. Since that meant I had in fact accused my next door neighbors of attempted murder, it wasn't the best idea or the most comfortable situation to stay at that address (also the roommate situation, while not bad in any hugely significant way, was however far less than ideal but that was very secondary to the feelings I had about living next door to people I had just reported for attempted murder.)
Copyright 2006 Rodney Peterson
All Rights Reserved
This copyright applies to everything in this entire E-Mail
Although a lot of the events we have discussed thus far are very serious, the truth is there will be tons of laughter in this film as well. The film abounds with humor and both Tamar and I have tremendously funny, wicked, quick senses of humor-in fact we often had lightning fire humorous exchanges, which she usually won by coming up with the most creative answer or statement. And there are too many funny events involving other characters to even make it to the final edit without sacrificing some really great stuff. We have another One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest on our hands, but different with both a relationship storyline and more than just a touch of the supernatural.
A SCENE NEVER BEFORE SEEN IN THE CINEMA
A secret only a few key actors, key personnel and I will know about will be a scene never before seen in the theater.
Here are some hints to get you intrigued:
It will be widely imitated by the general public, as Meg Ryan’s restaurant orgasm scene is in When Harry Met Sally.
In real life, it went on for three solid hours between a girl (DORI) and I and Dori happens to be BY FAR the most talented person I’ve ever met regarding this particular activity.
Both Dori and I laughed ourselves silly nearly the entire three hours-we simply could not stop laughing.
It happened in a public area (the TV room.)
It was witnessed by staff and patients alike.
No one objected or said nary a word-they just left the room.
It is NOT sexual in nature.
It does NOT involve a bodily function.
Are you intrigued? That secret will be a large part of the prerelease publicity that is unique to this film alone. This film has the type of potential to generate preproduction/prerelease publicity that will set the ears and mouths of America abuzz.
We have a true life story and a never before filmed scene that warrant national attention as a feature news item (and now headline news as well) (this part refers to this story being referred to the Beverly Hills Police as a real life case of attempted murder for good reason-however, real evidence is lacking. There is however enough material from that case to create a second unrelated film project using characters based on some of the characters in this story (but they will be different.)
Personally, I wish to present all my story, publicity and marketing ideas at this point to an agent I would like to sign with at a top agency. For the film, I envision all the resources of one of Hollywood’s finest production companies and best studios. It is my wish to work with a top notch creative team and create a creative, financial and critical winner. It wasn’t my intention to be touched by the Forces of the Universe and have a story to tell and a film to make upon returning to Southern California-it just happened.
Copyright 2006 Rodney Peterson
All Rights Reserved
This copyright applies to everything in this entire E-Mail
PLEASE NOTE: The following first written theatrical trailer script below contains elements of the original Cutting Confessions script which included the real life Beverly Hills attempted murder case. It is included in this treatment as an illustration of just how many angles the story contains and possibilities for related stories. All story elements of Cutting Confessions and all related projects are copyright Rodney Peterson.
CUTTING CONFESSIONS THE FIRST THEATRICAL TRAILER
STUDIO LOGO/PRODUCTION COMPANY LOGOS
INT.-NIGHT-LAS ENCINAS PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITAL
(Unpacking Rodney’s suitcase) Rollerblades? So you’re an excellent rollerblader?
(Almost embarrassingly grinning and smiling as he says this) No, in fact I broke my…
RODNEY’s sentence is stopped midstream as TAMAR enters the room, standing. RODNEY is completely transfixed and mesmerized by TAMAR and sits crouched on the floor just staring directly at her face for a few seconds.
Oh, hey Tamar. What’s that on your neck? Blood?
VOICEOVER AND SUPERIMPOSED ACROSS THE SCREEN IN HUGE LETTERS THE FOLLOWING:
WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF GOD TOLD YOU TO SAVE THE LIFE OF THE WOMAN YOU LOVE
(remains on screen for a few seconds)
NEXT SERIES OF SUPERIMPOSED HUGE LETTERS AND NEXT VOICEOVER WORDS:
BUT TO DO SO YOU HAD TO DESTROY THE ONLY FAMILY SHE’S EVER KNOWN
INT.-DAY-BEVERLY HILLS POLICE DEPARTMENT DETECTIVES DIVISION
DETECTIVE ELWELL sits at his desk. Behind him is a HUGE SIGN. It is the LOGO for the BEVERLY HILLS POLICE DEPARTMENT.
VOICEOVER AND SUPERIMPOSED ACROSS THE SCREEN IN HUGE LETTERS THE FOLLOWING:
WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF YOUR CRIMES CAUGHT UP WITH YOU 20 YEARS LATER
EXT.-DAY-OUTSIDE BEVERLY HILLS KINKO’S
(MALE VILLAIN (FATHER) CHARACTER NAME) sits in drivers seat of black BMW sedan addressing WIFE (MOTHER) in the passengers seat.
MALE VILLAIN (FATHER)
(Shakes his finger or makes other hand gestures as appropriate for effect) You want him to figure out what we really did? You get in there and delete those files!
INT.-DAY-BEVERLY HILLS APARTMENT
RODNEY addresses his ex-roommate ASHWANNI. ASHWANNI is dressed in Hindu ceremonial garb and face paint, kneeling on the floor by his personal altar where RODNEY kneels beside him.
It’s not an accident I was sent here, is it?
(Still kneeling, points to sky): No, it was all because of Him.
EXT.-DAY-THE BEAUTIFUL HOSPITAL GROUNDS AT LAS ENCINAS
ROBIN and RODNEY are sitting outdoors on a bench at the hospital, framed by beautiful flowers, palm trees and other trees and bushes.)
Are you sure you’re doing the right thing?
God, I hope so.
VOICEOVER AND SUPERIMPOSED IN HUGE LETTERS ACROSS THE SCREEN THE FOLLOWING:
A TRUE STORY
EXT.-DAY-SANTA MONICA THIRD STREET PROMENADE
RODNEY is holding a crudely written colorful sign over his head on Santa Monica’s Third Street Promenade. It reads: ATTEMPTED MURDER OF A BEAUTIFUL LITTLE GIRL IN BEVERLY HILLS.
(Yelling to Passersby) DATELINE BEVERLY HILLS CALIFORNIA! MEDIA CIRCUS FORTHCOMING! ATTEMPTED MURDER OF A BEAUTIFUL LITTLE GIRL! I AM THE KEY WITNESS!
PASSERSBY either ignore RODNEY or stare at him as if he is crazy.
A MAN ON A BICYCLE rides by and nearly clips RODNEY.
MAN ON BICYCLE
GET OUT OF THE STREET, YOU MORON!
EXT.-DAY-SANTA MONICA THIRD STREET PROMENADE-A PRETTY BLONDE NEWS REPORTER is trying to get rid of RODNEY
PRETTY BLONDE NEWS REPORTER
Sir, NO ONE is going to cover your story until those charges are filed! Now quit wasting my time!
VOICEOVER AND SUPERIMPOSED ACROSS THE SCREEN IN HUGE LETTERS THE FOLLOWING:
SOMETIMES GOD’S JUSTICE TAKES 20 YEARS
INT.-DAY-SHERMAN OAKS APARTMENT
A DRUG DEALER addresses a frightened and confused TAMAR as she sits on a couch in her friend MICHELLE’S apartment.
That entire bag of cocaine is missing! Where is it, Tamar? (pulls gun from his jacket.)
TAMAR looks frightened and confused.
EXT.-DAY-SHERMAN OAKS TREE LINED STREET
SEMI-CLOSE UP of RODNEY
(Yelling, Looks as if he has been running or is otherwise nearly out of breath) TAMAR!!!
DRAMATIC CHORDS STRIKE
VOICEOVER AND SUPERIMPOSED IN HUGE LETTERS THE FOLLOWING:
Cutting Confessions in huge letters with logo that will include some letters shaped as razor blades and/or scissors. Another idea for the film logo is to make the word CUTTING appear hard with razor blades, scissors, etc. and the word CONFESSIONS appear soft.
RODNEY and TAMAR sitting in upscale coffee shop or restaurant, for example The Standard on Sunset Boulevard, across from each other.
(Happily and Excitedly) Let’s do it! Let’s go to Las Vegas!
VOICEOVER AND SUPERIMPOSED ACROSS THE SCREEN IN HUGE LETTERS THE FOLLOWING:
END TRAILER 1
COPYRIGHT 2007 RODNEY PETERSON
CUTTING CONFESSIONS THE OFFICIAL SCRIPTED FILM OPENING
MAJOR CREDITS APPEAR SILENTLY AND QUICKLY WITHOUT FANFARE
CAMERA FOCUSES ON A BEAUTIFUL WORK OF ART FROM BIRD’S EYE VIEW AND SLOWLY PANS ACROSS ARTWORK. WE SEE A YOUNG, BEAUTIFUL PAIR OF FEMALE ARTIST HANDS AT WORK WITH OIL PENCILS CONTINUING TO CREATE THE ASTOUNDING WORK OF ART. THE HANDS ARE FLAWLESS, PERFECTLY MANICURED AND NOT A DROP OF NAIL POLISH OUT OF PLACE. THE CAMERA SLOWLY PANS UP THE GIRL’S ARM WHICH REVEALS A MYRIAD OF DEEP AND UGLY SCARS THAT NEVER SEEM TO END. AFTER ABOUT TEN SECONDS THE WORDS CUTTING CONFESSIONS APPEAR ON SCREEN. THE CAMERA CONTINUES TO PAN UP THE ARM UNTIL IT’S POINT OF VIEW SLOWLY REACHES HER FACE AND WE SEE A BEAUTIFUL YOUNG GIRL WITH INTENSE EYES CONCENTRATING ON HER ART.
(There is much more action after that initial opening as the camera pans around the apartment and we see this beautiful, creative, talented artist is clearly living in disarray and from there we go into the actions which prove this-it’s shortened here for the purpose of this synopsis as the first part is the most visually stunning and emotionally a roller coaster (that’s why no music is needed.) Also this could be the weekly opening of a HBO series.
COPYRIGHT RODNEY PETERSON
Below is the visually and emotionally spectacular film ending which came to me within seconds as the girl was telling me something and I imagined this as a result. Whatever else this girl is, she is a real life muse to me in addition to everything else.
NEW EMOTIONALLY AND VISUALLY SPECTACULAR FILM ENDING
INT.-NIGHT-THE VENETIAN CASINO LAS VEGAS OUTSIDE AN ART GALLERY
RODNEY has done himself in by doing his job too well. He’s got TAMAR well on the way to being a sought after artist, but along the way she has fallen in love with one of the artists he introduced her to and she seems to have found her true destiny with that man.
Inside THE VENETIAN, TAMAR and RODNEY are saying their goodbyes. TAMAR will be leaving for Italy in the morning with her new artist friend and RODNEY must be back in his Los Angeles office by at least the next afternoon.
I’m going to miss you terribly but I am so happy that you have finally found the happiness you deserve. I have never felt so happy as the feeling I have knowing you are finally happy.
It’s been a wild ride but thanks to you I have finally learned what love is. At least I think I know what love is, and I can finally be happy with someone. I know you wish it was you and I’m sorry.
It’s your happiness that matters most of all.
RODNEY bends down and kisses TAMAR on the cheek, wiping away a small tear from her face. TAMAR smiles, they hug briefly. TAMAR turns and slowly walks away. The camera focuses on RODNEY’s face as she goes further away and he’s smiling and looking confident as if he is watching a dear friend or a sister leave he knows he won’t be seeing for a long time.
Then RODNEY’s face grows sad for a brief moment.
(Almost a mutter but loud enough to be clearly audible) Fuck.
INT.-NIGHT-TREASURE ISLAND CASINO LAS VEGAS
TAMAR is in her wedding dress as she and her boyfriend are walking through the TREASURE ISLAND CASINO and the boyfriend is all smiles and TAMAR has a smile on, too, but not as wide a grin as her boyfriend.
Roulette! Let’s play!
TAMAR agrees and they sit down as the ball from the current game bounces around then falls in the hole.
Eleven! Winner, Odd!
Yo, Eleven! Lucky Eleven! Craps! That’s my game! I’ve got a feeling about this! I got to get in on this.
(To Roulette Dealer) Buying in! $5,000 straight up on seventeen!
(To Tamar) My sisters birthday and my lucky number.
$5,000 buy in on seventeen! Good luck, Sir!
The ROULETTE DEALER goes through the motions of watching the other players line up their bets, all business, as the PIT BOSS, standing behind the Roulette Dealer, can’t help but look a bit nervous at the sight of $5,000 riding on a single spin of the wheel. He’s seen it a million times before but he knows what it means-a $175,000 payout if seventeen hits.
The other players place their bets and the ROULETTE DEALER spins the wheel. TAMAR’s BOYFRIEND and TAMAR watch with an excited look on their faces.
The ball bounces around before bouncing into it’s chosen number slot.
Seventeen, Odd! Winner! House pays out!
(He then turns to TAMAR’s BOYFRIEND and TAMAR) Congratulations, Sir and Miss! Well played!
The PIT BOSS looks just a little sick, almost sighs, then regains his composure.
We see the camera follow TAMAR’s point of view as she looks at the lit up display board which is showing the sequence of winning numbers. The camera briefly focuses on eleven, then seventeen and we cut back to TAMAR sitting at the roulette table staring at the board and obviously thinking about something.
(Talking to herself) Eleven…Seventeen. Eleven…Seventeen.
A single tear rolls down TAMAR’s face. Suddenly TAMAR jumps up from the table and breaks into a run, her wedding dress awkwardly flailing around as the little Jewish girl breaks into a stride.
(Shocked) TAMAR, WE WON $175,000! TAMAR, COME BACK! COME BACK! TAMAR!
Behind the Roulette Table a brief shot of the PIT BOSS mouth wide open, looking shocked. He’s NEVER seen anything like this.
(Shouts after her) MISS, YOUR PURSE!
The camera follows TAMAR as she runs across the crowded casino floor, sometimes having to fight for room as her 95 pound frame encounters people bigger than her and she must push them aside with all her might. TAMAR bumps into a waitress, who then spills a tray of drinks all over her wedding dress. For TAMAR it’s like water off a ducks back-she hardly notices-but keeps running across the casino floor as fast as she can to where the TRAM STATION is that goes to THE MIRAGE, where RODNEY will shortly be checking out.
When she reaches the TRAM STATION, she fights for space as she did in the casino but now she’s outdoors trying to get on the TRAM. Now things really get messy with her hair and the wedding dress. It’s a rare Las Vegas evening and a THUNDERSTORM is in full bloom along with MODERATE RAIN. The THUNDER occasionally crackles and LIGHTNING lights up the sky as she fights her way into the TRAM. By the second, her wedding dress and hair are becoming more and more soggy. Finally, she enters THE TRAM and the crowded TRAM begins it’s short journey to THE MIRAGE.
As the TRAM travels, TAMAR is clearly nervous and almost slightly jumping around. Her eyes are intense and as the camera gazes into her face a MONTAGE of SHORT SHOTS of TAMAR and RODNEY appear. She is clearly deep in thought and the camera cuts back and forth to her worried and hopeful face between each short flashback shot as the SHORT SHOTS appear on screen: The first time they met when TAMAR walked into RODNEY’s room, TAMAR and RODNEY playing Scattergories and laughing, the very first time RODNEY said Well…I love you…you’re a very easy person to love (as he says this in flashback, the words are clearly visible by reading RODNEY’s lips, but there is no audio of the words), etc., etc. We will figure out exactly what shots to place here in addition to those already listed as we do the real post production and editing that needs to be done here.
Finally THE TRAM pulls into THE MIRAGE TRAM STATION and once again TAMAR breaks into a run in a sort of repeat of what happened at TREASURE ISLAND until she reaches the ELEVATOR.
Sopping wet, TAMAR enters the CROWDED ELEVATOR and once again the little Jewish girl in her soaking wet wedding dress and wet hair looks out of place and some of the other elevator passengers stare. She pushes a floor number. We don’t see what number it is. (We don’t want to overdo this plot device by putting RODNEY in Room 1117, but we want the audience to wonder where his room is, knowing some of them will be thinking 1117.)
The ELEVATOR opens and TAMAR, sopping wet hair and wedding dress, runs down the hall to where RODNEY’s room is. She knocks frantically on the door, rings the buzzer repeatedly and nervously repeats this for about 30-35 seconds. There is no answer. TAMAR slowly stops jumping up and down and a look of sadness comes over her face. She starts to cry uncontrollably as she slowly walks down the hall.
After about 10 seconds of this, the door finally opens and RODNEY is standing in a MIRAGE bathrobe. TAMAR runs to him and with her hair and wedding dress sopping wet and makeup (slightly, we want her to look a bit disheveled, but still attractive) running she gazes up into his eyes, just inches away from RODNEY.
(Gazing up into RODNEY’s EYES) Don’t say a word, just hold me.
RODNEY pulls TAMAR to his chest, holds her tight and slowly strokes her sopping wet hair.
This continues for a few seconds and RODNEY leads TAMAR by the hand and they slowly enter his suite where we see RODNEY’s suitcase almost packed and ready to leave the suite.
I have so much to tell you. I’ve always loved you, but I could never admit it to myself. I wanted to so much, but I just couldn’t.
TAMAR cries for a few seconds, then regains her composure as RODNEY looks lovingly into her eyes.
My parents didn’t abuse me as badly as you thought. They just could never bring themselves to tell you, with you being angry with them for what they did to me and all. A lot of it was me. I never felt safe. Never. Not for a minute. I mean, they did abuse me but so much of it was me. Never safe. Never. So I started cutting myself because somehow the feeling of the razor and the warm blood as it began to flow made me feel satisfied. And I could be less afraid. And the more I did it, the more it felt right. And I couldn’t stop. I only felt safe if I was cutting myself or maybe trying to kill myself. I mean, it’s weird, but it’s true.
TAMAR stops for a brief second, wipes a tear away from her face.
But then I met you. And I didn’t really feel anything for you at first. I just kind of tolerated you because I could tell you liked me and at least you would never hit me or yell at me or kick me or anything. Then things got really weird and I didn’t know what to do. I started to feel safe around you and I couldn’t understand it. Me. Safe. Without cutting myself or trying to kill myself. It scared me silly, so I wanted to shut you out. That shouldn’t be happening. I didn’t deserve that kind of love. Or to feel safe. But it couldn’t be denied, and all I could do was just keep shutting you out and hope you would get the message and go away. But you never did. You stayed with me through everything, no matter if I was wonderful or a total bitch. Now I really felt scared and I just wanted to find someone-anyone-anyone but you so I would never have to deal with those feelings. But tonight, I finally realized it when it was almost too late. It was you. I loved you too almost from the second we met but I was lying to myself always.
A VERY LOUD CLAP OF THUNDER IS HEARD, LIGHTNING LIGHTS UP THE SUITE AND EVERYTHING IS AGLOW IN LIGHTNING FOR A FEW SECONDS.
Hear that? It can’t compare to the sound of my heart beating when I’m with you.
TAMAR smiles and looks up into RODNEY’s EYES. She smiles again.
(Slowly, softly and sensuously) Ditto.
TAMAR AND RODNEY HUG AND KISS, RODNEY STROKING TAMAR’s HAIR AS THE CAMERA SLOWLY PANS AWAY FROM THE COUPLE AND TOWARD THE OPEN BALCONY WINDOW, WHERE THE LIGHTS OF LAS VEGAS SHINE ALL AGLOW AND THUNDER AND LIGHTNING (Not constant, we don’t want to overdo it so we need to be somewhat sparing regarding the thunder and lightning in this sequence) COMBINE WITH THE LIGHTS OF LAS VEGAS IN A VISUALLY STUNNING LONG CAMERA SHOT AS THE CAMERA SLOWLY PANS THE LAS VEGAS SKYLINE.
JOHN LENNON STARTS TO SING LEAD ON THE 1967 BEATLES CLASSIC “ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE”
“All you need is love/Love/Love is all you need” etc. etc. as long as we need to get to the next shot in our night time pan of the Las Vegas Lights, both natural (Lightning) and manmade (Neon)
THE CAMERA EVENTUALLY GETS TO THE LARGE NEON SIGN THAT IS THE PRIMARY OUTDOOR ADVERTISING SIGN FOR THE CIRQUE DE SOLEIL/BEATLES SHOW “LOVE” AND STAYS WITH THAT SIGN ABOUT FIVE SECONDS.
WE WILL NEED A TOP NOTCH AUDIO ENGINEER FOR THIS NEXT BRIEF AUDIO SEQUENCE AS THE MAJOR PART OF THE FILM ENDS: WE WILL SOMEHOW USE THE SOUND OF THUNDER TO VERY SEAMLESSLY AND VERY, VERY WAY COOL TRANSITION FROM THE BEATLES “ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE” TO THE SONG THAT WILL RUN OVER THE FINAL CREDITS.
FINAL CREDITS SONG: A NEWLY RECORDED FULL LENGTH VERSION OF “ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE” BY JAMES BLUNT.
END CUTTING CONFESSIONS
COPYRIGHT 2007 RODNEY PETERSON
ALL STORY ELEMENTS, SCRIPTED SCENES AND OTHER ASSOCIATED INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY OF CUTTING CONFESSIONS AND RELATED PROJECTS ARE COPYRIGHT RODNEY PETERSON AND ARE REGISTERED WITH THE WRITERS GUILD OF AMERICA.