Being a student himself of medieval writings, I would sit in Perry's office in the Theatre department back in the early 1980s and we'd chat about so many things. He has a mind like an encyclopedia.
When I came up with this idea, Perry latched onto it quickly, liking the concept. he gave me some insight and help with it relating to medieval times. In the end, he said I had the language down very well and it turned out so well in his mind, that he wanted me to turn it into a one-act, one-man play that he could himself act in.
Sadly I could never come up with a viable solution to how to write that play and so, it never happened.
I put this story in my first published collection of my first original short stories, Anthology of Evil. I've expanded it into another story, almost a novella, in "Vaughan's Theorem" in my second book, Death of heaven. I've now set up the first draft of the screenplay in Final Draft, having copied the Mea Culpa document into the doc and typing in FADE IN: and FADE OUT:.
The biggest issue I have is the title, which I'm leaving on the back burner until it comes to me as it always does.
I wondered about working out the characters. Which is confusing. We have the Medieval characters with the Judge, his assistant\replacement Truman, the woman and bane of the Judge, and the other woman accused of witchcraft. All circa 1100CE, long before the later massive witch hunts and inquisition (good times, right?).
There is also the modern version's characters to consider and perhaps blending in of the Judge's and his assistant and replacement's descendants in England and that long and disturbing version contained in, "Death of heaven".
I'm hoping eventually to produce a short movie that is of the type that through repeated viewings you will notice more and other things you had missed the first time around. I had originally planned this film out at my last place of residence. Sadly, that did not come to be.
|Actor Nikolas Hayes as Reader and Victim in "The Rapping"|
What happened instead was for a first film, I went with a much simpler (perhaps too simple?) under the Attic Tales set of stories (to date, just one). From that came my short film, "The Rapping". It was a festival selection and shown at the Midnight Film Festival in New York this year and also won a slot in the Once a Week Online Film Festival. It was too simple a film to garner much attention, but I believe I've shown I can produce a watchable film. And so, with that in mind...
|Actors Jason Lockhart as Rowan the hitman with|
Tom Remick as Sampson the supplier in "Gumdrop, a short horror"
What I'm thinking of doing now is to simplify this first version of The Mea Culpa Document of London and just do the document as it originally was. My lead actor, Tom Remick, also my audiobook voice actor and lead in the current film, Gumdrop, will again play the lead. To essentially act out the reading of what is essentially a journal of the character's personal horror.
Gumdrop, especially after The Rapping, has been a challenge. It is difficult subject matter. I first heard of this true-crime in a university class on abnormal psychology toward my psychology degree. I and the rest of the class were very disturbed by the story.
Which left me feeling motivated to write about it, to share it with the public. Actually filming it has been even tougher, a difficult subject to film. One actor even decided not to play one role in the film as he said he had objections from his family about him playing the part.
I've tried to walk my talent, the actors, through the production with care and some degree of delicacy. Also in just how much I should show, what SFX I should use, and how much to put in it to show on a much bigger screen. To an audience. I decided not to push it as far as I could. Much to the relief of some of the actors.
What I'm saying is that after this film is completed, I need a sort of creative palate cleanser.
Not that Mea Culpa is an easy subject itself as it is also a difficult subject as it involves such things as official misjudgment by the State (in this case, by royal decree of an appointed Judge), female torture, death and even worse.
All which leads to the twist in the end.
Still, simply acting out the reading, rather than producing the actual story with all the characters, props, SFX and actors who would be needed, will be less difficult and taxing on the production,, crew and talent. And my budget.
If you notice them, if you do read these stories, or view these films, they are disturbing, if not startling. That is what I do, write and produce macabre stories. to disturb, to at times shock, to make us feel outside of our lives, our experiences. To entertain and hopefully to evoke considerations of things we seldom have to deal with.
It's all in the execution you know. Myself? I love the stylized film. To take a story, compress it down, concentrate it, make it bigger than itself, well...this should be fun to produce and to experience. Not just difficult to produce, but a labor of love with hope of entertaining as well as strumming a bit on the viewer's heartstrings.
And their fears. Your fears.
|Actor Aura Stiers as Miranda in Gumdrop, a short horror|
If after experiencing these tiny entertainments, you happen to think of them the next day? Then I've done my job. And then I'll move on, to try harder and to find on the next project, something that will take you a little farther into the dark recesses of the human mind. Or the alien mind. Or the mind of a monster.
#JZMurdock #MeaCulpaDocument #DeathOfheaven #AnthologyOfEvil #Horror #Gumdrop #MeCulpa #GumdropCity