Yes, I wrote a film about a Catholic priest!

A Surprise Screenwriting Job: Little Lotto

Happy 2010 to you. It already seems like a year of sadness and trouble in the world, but you can rest assured that at least I am still here and still making movies. Though I must apologize for not finishing my new short comedy Ron and Nancy by the end of 2009, as I had promised. In November and December I got a ton of freelance work, which took me away from the project for a while. There were the usual design gigs, but I was also hired to write a screenplay. It is for a "featurette" - for I can't really call a 35-to-40-minute film a "short" - titled Little Lotto. It's a family drama about a blind priest who habitually buys one lottery ticket each week. When he loses a ticket one Saturday afternoon, he shrugs it off - until he later discovers that it's worth $58.5 million. Unbeknownst to him, however, the ticket is found by a young member of his congregation who doesn't know who bought the ticket. It's a story about ethical decisions, and I think it turned out rather well. It was produced and directed by my good friend Brian McLaughlin, who shot it in the Chicago area last month. Brian had originally asked me to direct it, but I didn't want to be in Chicago in the winter, especially when I had so many other projects that I was working on at home. But I'm happy to say that I was actually paid for my script, something I wasn't sure I'd ever be able to say again. The film is now in post production and I have high hopes for it. If it plays in any venue where you can see it, I will let you know.

Now my time has freed up and I am working on some of Ron and Nancy's surprisingly complicated special effects shots before I dive into the actual editing. The shots, goofy as they may be, are turning out well, but with just me and After Effects on my rickety old computer, it's a slow journey. It is certainly my intention, though, that when I check in here again, it will be after the film is finished and ready for your viewing pleasure.