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Help/coach me in finishing writing/editing the script for my docudrama (Hollywood)

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compensation: DOE, well compensated
employment type: part-time
job title: Excellent Script/Screenplay Writer
Hello fellow script/screenplay writers!

As the title indicates, I'm about 1/2 done with writing and editing the script for my docudrama.

Please only respond IF you:

1. Read all of this ad.

2. Like the content and story. A lot.

3. Are very accomplished with documentary script writing and editing. Some experience with memoir films would also be appreciated.

4. Can provide links that show evidence of your skills here, IMBd, LinkedIn, etc.

5. Write me an email that demonstrates that you read this ad, get/grok it (for the most part), and
can demonstrate some ways in which you would be a good addition to my writing team

I'm just back from the Sundance Film Festival, my 4th time...amazing!
I'm in NYC (excited for Tribeca) and will be back and forth between NY and LA.

If we are not in the same city, we can have Zoom meetings.

My name is Scott Hannon. I'm 57 years old. Gen X.

In terms of the images I provided, I'm the 14-year-old in one photo with dad, the 45-year-old next to Pelosi (that was from the Inaugural Ball for Obama's first term, a real honor). There is an image of the 200 grandfather documents, as well as a photo a the box containing the 16 years of answering machine messages I saved. I'm more than happy at some point to let you bring an audio cassette player, select any tape, fast forward it to a random spot, and confirm that the collection is authentic.

There is an image of a letter from Steinbeck, which you can also in the (upside down) video of the book I designed at the end of this ad. You can also see video footage of Paul, a Pulitzer Prize-winning member of our team. There is an image of my dad at age 78 (you will see an accompanying video below). There is also an image of the 13-minute doc short I did years ago (for which you can also find a link below).

Stick through to the end of this! It will be worth it!

This summary includes the 4 main pillars of my docudrama, and then a few video segments to help you understand what is going on here and what my team is looking for!

I'm a UC Berkeley (BA History), Harvard (MA Social Studies Education), Pepperdine (MA Psychology), and Columbia (EdD in Education, Media, Storytelling) who did almost 30 years of teaching, coaching teacher, and director of school, school counseling, and specializing in teaching film and developing video-enhanced Social Studies curriculum and pedagogy.

Somewhere in there, I was a Director of a School for the Performing Arts.

I'm particularly in love with how film is the most interdisciplinary of the art forms!

A few years ago I made the transition from a "film academic/critic" to making the film I've been planning to make for over 20 years.

I'm making this film with the help of a few others, who include award-winning filmmakers.

This docudrama is very memoir-heavy. Should I use the term "documoir". Naww, it does not roll off the tongue, nor is it as recognizable, as the term docudrama.

We don't know whether this will be a 1-3 season scripted series or a feature film.
It will cover an 80-year period, almost the exact lifetime of the main character, my father Denis.
It is about a son-father-grandfather relationship during a time when technology has not only disrupted but actually
(in some cases) fractured our family lives and society.

My team wants to put together a small team of film script experts who love this story and can collaborate with us on the best additions, subtractions, edits/trims, etc.

One of my former careers was as a group dynamics facilitator (for school districts and film teams), so we aim to be one of the most collaborative film teams out there!

The most likely title is "I Miss You: Please Leave a Message".

Here is the basic premise of my docudrama (probably double the length of most films, maybe done as a series in two parts), based on 4 pillars, covering the years 1940 - present.

Of course this will not be the chronological order of the film; as you will learn, because it centers around the time-machine trope of answering machine messages, there will be a lot of flashbacks and flashforwards.

*********

1. PILLAR #1: Me and my 16 consecutive years of saved answering machine messages

I did the unthinkable, the incomprehensible, the inconceivable (Wallace Shawn's reference from Princess Bride, and we will have one clip of him saying that in the film). I saved every-single-one-of-my-answering-maching-messages for...drum roll...16 consecutive years (1988 - 2004).

Let that sink in for a moment.

Let me be more clear and specific. I persistently, but joyfully, transferred/recorded EACH of my messages from the voice box on the table (yes, with those tiny tapes inside) onto those famed and nostalgic 90-minute cassette tapes. And I have upward of 80 of these 90-minute cassettes.

Sorry to bring you back to middle school, but let's do the Math:
80 tapes x 90 minutes per tape = 7200 minutes of recording.
But taking into consideration silences, gaps, and sometimes the outgoing messages themselves (which we won't count), let's round down and call it 6000 minutes of *actual* messages.
That's 100 hours of messages, or over 4 full days' worth of messages.

I covered the fascinating 16 years from 1988 - 2004!

Not only with the most personal of shares, regular messages, and many comedies but also many mentions of the historical and cultural events of the time.

The fall of the Berlin Wall.
The dissolution of the Soviet Union.
The Clintons taking power.
The freedom of Mandella and the end of Apartheid.
Rodney King-related events/riots, etc.
Madonna rising up the charts.
The films Forrest Gump and American Beauty (of course many other great films came out, I'm just mentioning 2 for brevity).
Cell phones, email, and the masses getting Internet (just that little thing).
The Supreme Court handed the 2000 election to Bush.
9/11 (side note, part of the 9/11 memorial museum is hundreds of the final cell phone calls from those in the towers...heartbreaking).
The beginning of the Iraq War.

Yeah.

Yes, they are 100% authentic, and at some point, if you want proof, you could use an old-school audio tape player, reach into the pile, fast forward or rewind anywhere you want, press play, and there you would hear one of the messages.

Messages from family, best friends, friends, acquaintances, and yes those random calls from, say, the phone company calling to remind of bills due (which will add some humor to it all!), etc.

According to the opinions of over 100 documentarians I've met in LA and NYC, this is a priceless time capsule of the intimate voices of the 90's.

It is DOCUMENTARY GOLD.

Ira Glass from NPR's "This American Life" (whom I met and talked to at Sundance) wants to do a piece on it, a few podcasts have expressed interest, and a friend at the Smithsonian American History Museum wants them to be part of their collection.

But what is the back story on *why* I was so nostalgic about my father, my family, and other friends, that I would aware save this treasure trove, this time capsule?

******

2. PILLAR #2: My father Denis Hannon

Understanding my dad and his life is instrumental to understanding why I became the "most nostalgic person in the world", and saved 16 years of messages.

You see, my dad has been described by some as the most interesting, charismatic person in the recent history of the state of Arizona

Why do we not make the claim of him being the most interesting person in the entire Southwest? Well, I guess it might be considered quite a stretch to include places like LA in this ranking, given the personalities there. I just decided for this film to make this claim about Arizona.

Even if he is in the top 3 or 5 in Arizona, it's still story-worthy!

Not the wealthiest, nor most powerful, nor most politically savvy, nor most ethical.

Just the MOST INTERESTING (an admittedly subjective term, but let's have fun with this!).

And here is why (and we have ample testimonials to back this up).

My dad grew up the son of an American diplomat (who observed the Nuremberg Trial and was part of the Marshall Plan), and got to travel all over the world as a kid. His dad was Assistant to the American Cultural Ambassador to Switzerland.

During this time his siblings and parents lived in a castle overlooking a valley near Bern. He and my uncles and aunts remember diplomat parties that were similar to the famous dance scene "So Long, Farewell" from the Sound of Music.

He inherited intelligence, but more importantly, he developed a keen sense of humor and wit during this time.

His family returned to Berkeley in 1952-5 where he was the Sea Scout boy and newspaper boy that friends instinctively crowded around to hear stories of world travel.

Fast forward to his 20's and early 30's, my dad hung out in famed Laurel Canyon, which one associates 70s LA (parties with Neil Young, Tom Petty, etc)!

This was, of course, a time when people experimented with many different kinds of drugs. During this time my dad also made several trips to India and Nepal, at about the same time as the Beatles were..."experimenting".

When he eventually settled in Phoenix, he slowly built a real estate business and landlord-ed (at different times) a youth hostel, a trailer park, a rooming house, and an apartment complex with 30 tenants.

But most important and relevant is that his stories from growing up abroad (and seeing a tattered Europe), several years in Berkeley, several in LA, and a year total in India/Nepal, combined with audiences made up of his Phoenix tenants and friends, led to him being almost a professional storyteller; people crowded around him to hear his tales and humor.

He organized and ran the Phoenix Humanists group each week. He also went once a week (for over a quarter of a century) to the huge local auction in Phoenix, where a community of friends met up EVERY SUNDAY to buy rare vintage items and to tell stories over coffee.

He constantly was surrounded by people socializing, making music, doing drugs, and telling stories.

One certainly could make a direct analogy to Jack Kerouak and the Merry Pranksters…but the Arizona version! And we may make that analogy in the film.

Now, since my dad was the most interesting person in Arizona, you can imagine how LITTLE ACCESS to him I had.

Combined with two fiercely jealous wives (the two after my mom), my time with him was limited to just a couple weeks a year, if that. All other communications occurred on the phone, often when his wife was not home.

I saved every letter and photo he sent to me.
And oh how I treasured, even more, each conversation I had with him!
I wanted to remember them all, but how would that ever happen?

When he called but I was not there to answer, he left the most extraordinary, lovely, magical, witty 2-4 minute messages that you can imagine.

Many times I LET IT GO TO THE ANSWERING MACHINE rather than pick it up so that I had a record of his 2-4 minute "messages in a bottle" (the machine being the bottle) to me.

Then I'd usually pick up at the end of his message, or call him back in a few minutes, pretending I'd been occupied with something or had just walked in.

Then I'd listen to his message 4-5 times before deleting them.

After many years of wishing I'd saved my dad's extraordinary messages, I started to do so in the late 80's.

In addition to my dad's messages, I also saved messages from my friends (each of whom had their charisma, many of them actors and storytellers).

Systematically. Every single message. for 16 years.

With the patience of someone like Richard Linklater in his filming of Boyhood, who filmed that movie over 12 years!

We'd love to get Linklater to help direct and/or produce this film!

Linklater did:
1. "Tape" (obvious connection!);
2. The "Before Series" (focus on depth of connection between actors Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy, as well as playing creatively with TIME
3. "Slackers" and "Dazed and Confused" which captures Austin TX characters from the '80s (my messages capture Berkeley characters in the '90s);
4. "Waking Life", which plays creatively with time, imagination, and dreams.
5. "Boyhood", which he filmed over 12 years (I saved my messages for 16 years)

Fun note: I experimented with interesting "outgoing messages" (using, in fact, well-known jingles from TV shows from the 50s-70s), designed for comedy and to lure out more interesting and elaborate messages on my machine.

And so then, a full decade and a half after I stopped saving them, when I had all but forgotten about the collection, I stumbled upon the box of messages behind the cobwebs of my family's attic and instantly realized that I'd "accidentally" discovered a time capsule of gold (in the form of "the private phone messages of the pre-cell phone and pre-internet 90's America"), featuring front and center the arguably most interesting and colorful character in all of Arizona from 1970-2020.

*************

3. PILLAR #3: My grandfather Stuart L. Hannon, the American diplomat and Democratic presidential consultant

***NOTE: I recently self-produced/published (Snapfish) a 90-page coffee table book with all his documents in full color, along with my commentary on those documents. This will serve as a guide, a storyboard, for you and/or those who go on to make the film!

We have about 130 documents from his life so far, as mentioned in the videos below.

And like any well-designed film that covers a large period, we must look back at the past (thus my grandfather) to understand the present.

My grandfather was raised in Seattle and met his wife in a Russian class in the 30's.
He absolutely loved radio.
His wife Mimi had her own radio show in SF Bay.

He combined his love of radio and his political savvy to forge a career in which he:

a. Broadcast a show from the SF Bay called "Above the Battle" with updates about the state of WW2.
b. Help out diplomatically with WW2 and the Marshall Plan
c. Be an official observer of the Nuremberg Trials
d. Support the President of Greece during one of their most turbulent times (1948).
e. Be the assistant to the Swiss-American Cultural Ambassador
f. Be the #2 man to the Director of Radio Free Europe (see reference above to "Video Killed the Radio Star")
g. Advise and correspond with Adlai Stevenson in his (losing) campaign against Dwight Eisenhower
h. Advise and correspond with LBJ both while he was a Texas Senator and while he was President
i. Resisting Soviet aggression while also resisting the McCarthyist witch hunt scare frenzy.
j. Help to bring an end to the Vietnam War (letters document this)
h. MOST INTERESTING: Correspond with John Steinbeck in 1958, writing about Pasternak, the Soviet Nobel Prize Winner in Literature. Pasternak wrote the script for the famous film Dr. Zhivago.

It was in this climate that my dad and his siblings were raised, sometimes living with their mom away from the action, sometimes along with their dad on these diplomatic trips.

At the risk of this being too long, I'll sum it all up by it leading to some very interesting life experiences for my father, combined with also not having much access to a personal relationship with his father, often having to compete with the other siblings, as well as media who came into their home.

**In fact, my grandfather was gone so much of the time, and my dad missed him so much, that he asked for access to his dad's radio broadcasts so that he could at least get to know him from his VOICE.**

If you didn’t see the glaring way in which that last sentence gives away the key to this entire film, well, perhaps you do now.

We hope your mind is filled with inspiration for this future film, one that (if done with your expert help) could be one of the top films ever made (with plenty of authentic humility all along the way).

*****************

4. PILLAR #4: Denis' descent into Alzheimer's, 2015-2023. He died on November 12, 2023. And just so you know, I'm doing pretty good with my grieving...it's a process.

His passing is why I finally have the time and inspiration to press the accelerator on this documentary.

In this section, I will reveal that I documented my dad's descent into Alzheimer's just about as systematically as any Alzheimer's patient. The footage is as raw, authentic, and entertaining as any you could imagine.

Remember, during these 7 years of Alzheimer's I recorded someone who had accumulated (up to the start of the Alzheimer's) 75 years of one of the most interesting lives in all of Arizona, and he did not shy away from telling those stories, even as he lost his memory.

IT IS THE FACT THAT DAD WAS ONE OF THE TRUE LOVERS OF STORY AND MEMORY (AS MOST STORYTELLERS ARE) WHO THEN *LOST* HIS MEMORY (THUS HIS CAPACITY TO COVER ALL THE DETAILS) THAT MAKES THIS FOOTAGE SHOCKINGLY RELEVANT, POWERFUL, AND BEAUTIFUL.

I'll remind the reader that Alzheimer's is one of the most relevant topics in all of medicine and psychology at this time, the 5th ranked killer and perhaps the most mysterious. With much money going toward research about it!

A relevant film clip of the hundreds that *could* be used in this film are the two below in SECTION D. Admittedly the first one needs the lighting adjusted with the help of video technology.

In it, you will see me and Dad listening (while looking at his own 1959 high school photo) to a famous 70's song titled "Cat in the Cradle" which, to some extent, captures the Zeitgeist of my dad's relationship with his father, and my dad's relationship with me.

The other short clip is of my dad talking about memory and time passing.

**********

How is all of this pulled together in one paragraph?

Perhaps something like:

"An epic son-father-grandfather (with other important characters, but its focus is male parent-child issues), a tale spanning the last quarter of a century. The smash of modern society and technologies took them away from each other. And yet hidden in the cracks were breadcrumbs, in the form of recorded voices, that provided clues to knowing each other.
The son, yearning to understand, not wanting to continually delete an already much-deleted dad, surrendered to his nostalgia and saved 16 consecutive years of his answering machine messages. In the hopes of finding his lost dad and granddad.

Title: "I Miss You: Please Leave a Message"

This film will be, in a sense, a MESSAGE for humanity.

And the audience will be invited to, if they choose, leave a MESSAGE for us afterward.

******************

Now, here are a few links that provide some sense of added reality to this project

A. A preliminary trailer (if you can even call it that) in the form of a 3-minute narration (in two parts) I made of my dad,
a Pulitzer-Prize-winning member of our team named Paul Brinkley-Rogers, evidence of the 200 papers that make up my grandfather's diplomatic career, and footage of the original 16 years of answering machine messages.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E-EjIQfvvfM

https://www.youtube.com/shorts/wjRIVUcR2Xc

B. A doc-short I made in 2015 about community in the SF Bay Area that provides a small example of 2 of the approximate 10,000 messages I saved from 1988 - 2004:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gcTJq9QrTa4&t=7s

C. For those who geek out about the period of my grandfather's heyday (diplomacy, resisting Soviet aggression, Radio Free Europe, etc), you might want to listen to only known (as of yet) audio recording of one of my grandfather's many talks. This one took place in September 1960, just before Kennedy beat Nixon, titled "The New Soviet Offensive".
And yes, this is PARTICULARLY RELEVANT as of Feb 24, 2022, when Putin invaded Ukraine!

https://www.commonwealthclub.org/events/archive/podcast/new-soviet-offensive-09021960

D. Two of a few thousand video clips made by me from 2015-2023 documenting my dad's descent into Alzheimer's,
which play a role in telling the larger 80-ish-year story.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wAQY0FvL8Cc

Here is just one of several hundred videos that show my dad's presence while he speaks, his tone of voice,
and his simple wisdom. Just imagine what can be done with videos like this in the process of telling this story:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x7qcjMM277c

E. This is (in 3 parts) a video I made explaining the content of the self-published 90-page book I made about my grandfather, Stuart L. Hannon. For anyone working intensely on this part of the film, I'll provide you with an actual hard copy of the book!

PLEASE FORGIVE ME FOR THEM BEING UPSIDE DOWN, YOU CAN FLIP YOUR PHONE OR COMPUTER.
I'LL TRY TO FIX THIS SOON.

Part 1: https://youtu.be/m44bGhCZ6F0

Part 2: https://youtu.be/34FBhaBHyqo

Part 3: https://youtu.be/oeQs67d5K9o

*****************

Finally, if you have made it this far (which demonstrates your true interest), and think you can help write/edit the script to profession standard, please reach out!

Please, in your email to me, in addition to your resume, include A PARAGRAPH OR TWO WITH YOUR REACTION TO ALL OF THIS!

Finally, I humbly ask you please do NOT respond to this ad unless you are quite accomplished and qualified.

My regular film team, to which we might extend an invitation to join in the future, is full of award-winners and other extraordinary talents.

Thank you immensely,

Scott
  • Principals only. Recruiters, please don't contact this job poster.

post id: 7749305666

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