Monday, April 29, 2019

The Teenage Bodyguard - A True Crime Biopic Review

This is a couple of reviews for my true crime / biopic, The Teenage Bodyguard. I lived this story, I researched this story, I wrote this story. The names have been changed to protect the innocent, but not the criminals.
Ruger Blackhawk .357 magnum I carried
I have an alternate title for this story, Slipping "The Enterprise". Because what we were trying to do, was to slip by the Tacoma Mafia family who called themselves, "The Enterprise" and was referred to as such in local and national newspapers all through the 1970s. The question is, could someone like me, at eighteen years of age, protect a murder witness from an organized crime enterprise who was looking for her, and actually live to tell the tale?
Shoulder holster for the magnum
Obviously, I did survive. So the question remains and the intrigue is, who else might have, or didn't survive. And how did this all work out? Because the fun is in the telling of the story of how all of this came to be and how it ended up for everyone involved.

Was a magnum too much against a bunch of guys mostly carrying 38s and 9mm and shotguns? I'd argue, no.

My esteemed self partying at a drive-in theater with the friend in the screenplay the year previous
This is a story that oddly enough, involves and aside from the typical mafia environment and activities, parties, drugs, sex, skydiving, fast cars, flying planes, and... finding dead bodies.

In the end, the Pierce Country government near Tacoma, Washington, had to be changed so another crime or mafia family could not get their hooks so easily into those who were supposed to be involved in crime prevention and prosecution and not criminal support. Here are some photos of the actual things, vehicles, weapons, criminals and weapons involved in the story.



From BlueCat Screenplay Contest:
The story picks up relatively quickly after the explosion in the Carbone party—leaving Lena a few permanent scars. After witnessing the scenes involving [our protagonist's youth] Air Force background, we realize just what kind of a character he’s raised to be: someone who couldn’t really care about his own safety, but as witnessed with his reaction with Lena’s injury (as well as his eagerness to help Sara much later on), someone that has the capacity to care for others.

But it didn’t just stop there. Even with a skydive malfunction, it seemed like [the protagonist's] own life doesn’t even seem to be worth two dollars and fifty cents, as the repack itself was a bit out of his budget.

All this makes [the protagonist] quite the exciting character to follow given his astounding complexity. His nonchalant approach to life is intoxicating mainly because it’s like watching fire: although dangerous, it’s still alluring. The initial hook of witnessing [the protagonist] potentially murder someone, as well as echoing his words “do it” as he did with his first jump, is very well played out—as it shows parallels between one world and another.

The writer also seems to have done quite the research, and it’s impressive to know that the events are chronologically accurate. I was pleased to find out [the protagonist] actually made it out of everything and even had a family of his own. Given that it was a real story based off real events, I could’ve never predicted that he’d make it to that kind of life.

Overall, The Teenage Bodyguard is one heck of a life story that I’m surprised isn’t on the big screens already—a well-done thriller that knows how to lure you into a story about two unlikely people, the protagonist and Sara, and how they took a turn for the unexpected.

John Joseph "Handsome Johnny" Carbone, head of the Tacoma Carbone crime family
From The Blacklist Coverage:

The premise of a coming of age crime drama, where an eighteen-year-old protects a witness fleeing the mafia, could have solid commercial appeal, particularly as it is based on a true story. The narrative's period setting is rendered with a strong degree of authenticity and a specificity, through details like that of the commune, that makes the film's backdrop of the Pacific Northwest feel grittily alive and real.

[The hero] is an intriguing teenage protagonist, who is well-characterized, particularly on a physical level. His courage in protecting Sara from the Tacoma mafia is credibly rendered. The dialogue is well characterized as each member of the core cast possesses a clear, identifiable voice. The down ending, featuring the harrowing final scene of Sara in the mafia car, where she "closes her eyes, puts head back and hears sounds of children happily playing baseball.", right as the hitman next to her takes out a garrote, is chilling, surprising (in a good way), and sure to have a powerful effect on audiences.


THE TEENAGE BODYGUARD has a viable premise and core concept that could have commercial potential, likely in the indie space and is overall a solidly written script.


Every industry type who has read this screenplay so far has really liked it.
I am obviously moving forward on this project.

#producers #studios #screenplay #biopic #truecrime

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