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On screenwriting / "In the Footsteps of Thaddeus Thackeray"

It’s been a long time since I’ve written any screenplays. While my first script received attention from such outlets as entertainment website Aint It Cool News, and others were passed around in consideration by some TV networks and production companies, writing for that format can be a soul-crushing experience. The stories I could share – of the almost-happened, of high hopes/dashed hopes, of development hell heartbreak – would still come as little surprise to the (many) would-be/could-be/should-be screenwriters throughout the Los Angeles area.

It takes a small miracle to see a script go through the process of actually being optioned or purchased – much less produced. Most scripts’ fate is to fall on a closet shelf, be forgotten, yellowed, and abandoned. I grew so frustrated that I gave up on it for years.

Recently, though, I decided to submit some of my work to a number of screenplay contests, and have been encouraged by the response. Because of this, I finally decided to include a SCREENPLAYS page on my website listing them.

After all, who knows what could happen? You have to keep the dream alive…and keep alive to dream. 😊

I'm happy to learn that my screenplay "In the Footsteps of Thaddeus Thackeray" has just been chosen as a finalist in this year's Filmmatic Screenplay Awards - Comedy competition.

This particular script holds a lot of meaning to me, and over the years it's been tossed back and forth by a lot of different hands -- including the Cartoon Network, and Nickelodeon -- thanks to the support of a screenwriting agent and friend who told me how much he loved it. While I'm certainly not holding my breath or quitting my day job, I am pleased that many who have read the story were genuinely entertained by it.

The script was also selected as a semi-finalist by Amazon Studios, in their very first batch of script selections back in December 2010. Unfortunately, after they announced the initial winners, I learned I had to withdraw it because, as a Warner Bros. employee at that time, I was disqualified from entering.

Jumping even further into the past -- way back in 2006 -- a Hollywood blogger named "THE UNSUNG CRITIC," selected it as his #1 pick of that year. This particular quote almost reduced me to tears:

"Sometimes you read something that just has a kind of indescribable thing to it—an energy, a spirit, that you can’t really put your finger on. For lack of a better word, I’ll call it magic. And IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF THADDEUS THACKERAY has magic to spare. ... These may be simple cartoon characters, but they’re all so wonderful, so rounded and charming, I somehow wish they actually existed."

I'm planning on turning THADDEUS THACKERAY into an illustrated children's book someday, in collaboration with my friend Jeff West -- an artist whose talent I've always envied. Jeff did the two sketches you see here. I just have to finally muster the time and energy...

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