ENEMY OF THE STATE (a play) is a sharply drawn and thematically potent exploration of the ways in which democracy can be corrupted by ignorance and manipulation. The play uses the trial of Socrates to dissect the ways in which truth and knowledge fall victim to political opportunism. The play captures both the wit and intelligence of the famed philosopher. Simon Bowler creates a powerful critique of both venal and short-sighted politicians and the populace who support them.
Brian Porter, Senior Reader, ScriptPipeline.
INSURRECTION (mini-series) begins on a great foot and is an awesome way to start a series. It’s productive and efficient, which is essential for the success of any production, but especially a mini-series. The writer makes use of his/her time by filling the pilot with strong and heavy content from the very first go. We cut straight to the chase and dive into the meat and potatoes. The historical aspect of this show depicts the American south accurately for the time period. ‘Insurrection’ knows the method of mixing entertainment with history. The writer possesses a fierce talent for constructing a screenplay and engaging an audience.
Austin Film Festival
INSURRECTION (mini-series). The narrative structure for this pilot was extremely well laid out. Not only is the entire series concept infused with the ideals of freedom, individuality and the empowerment of African-American enslavement, but it also promotes a strong, solidarity and moral understanding that everyone is a child of God. Despite those who may be with John simply out of a desire to get rid of the union and not an internal motivation for the abolition movement itself, the writer makes it clear that the people closest to John and those he looks up to and respects genuinely believe in the notion of liberating these people from enslavement. John is a very smart, passionate and observant man who is clearly so moved and shaken by just idea of being idle, as others watch African-Americans and slaves be subjected to such a cruelty that he is physically incapable of not getting involved. The compelling details the writer incorporates throughout the script for his character’s commitment, dedication and willingness to sacrifices for the cause, even when it comes to his own family, evokes a strong emotional response from the reader/audience. As it also brings attention to the seeds of doubt that slowly, grow under John’s nose with his older children, and at times, his wife. This alludes to the potential of future issues for the movement and characters involved. Likewise, the writer does a great job of drawing the lines between the characters on both sides of the abolition movement and builds great tension between the politicians and John’s internal struggle with his involvement, while working in Frederick Douglas’ continued resistance and resilience while enslaved, truly locks the tone and direction of the narrative into place.
Bluecat Screenplay Contest
THE BRIEFING (a short play). The dialogue engineers the plot forward. It sells the story. It makes it easy to read and keeps the pace steady. Clark’s character is very direct. The script reveals a little about her character, but you find yourself wanting to know more. You would think that she would want some sort of vengeance for what happened to her husband, but instead, she’s not shaken by what happened. She’s strong and to the point with the general. It says a lot about her character. The use of actions are limited, but they’re all meaningful. Clark’s subtle cough, the coffee spilling, these subtle stage actions make the scene active but each and every action also has a specific purpose. It makes the tension and pace of the film stay interesting. The use of sound and shaking from the jets and planes almost adds to the stress and air of tension between the general and Clark. This is a very strong piece, with even stronger dialogue.
Bluecat Screenplay Contest
FRAGILE EARTH: UNNATURAL DISASTER (a documentary for Channel 4) pick of the day in The Independent, The Telegraph, Time Out, The Sunday Times, The Guardian.
HAMLET (an independent film) – An interesting experiment, this extremely minimal production exists in a black void but creates one of the most compelling screen versions of the story I have seen. Without any set or scenery the onus falls on the actors to carry the story and boy do they do a good job. Great performances from Michael Keith Morgan and Berndatte Sullivan as Claudius and Gertrude. David Melville’s Hamlet is a very different take from the usual and I found it extremely absorbing. Melville inhabits the role with a punky, insouciant swagger and a clarity of thought and speech which is quite electrifying. This is obviously a VERY low budget endeavor but these central performances hold the whole thing together. The language is so clear I found myself reading all sorts of new insights into the play. I felt as though I were watching it for the first time.