WRITE THIS DOWN was born out of an
encounter with an old, seemingly insane vagrant in a Malibu restaurant.
He spoke to the empty seat across from him and instructed his invisible
friend to "Write this down..." The statements that followed
were at first bizarre and nonsensical, yet soon his murmurings became
not only coherent, but, in fact, strangely profound. There was something
about this man and his words that sparked a story that needed to be
WRITE THIS DOWN is the story of a homeless
ex-nuclear physicist, who wanders the city speaking to invisible
entities, and a disturbed war veteran, who escapes from a psychiatric
hospital and ends up taking the physicist, a waiter and a young girl
hostage in a late night cafe. Madness and emotion, love and fear,
physics and spirit, all collide in the dark cafe, leading to a profound
revelation and transformation for the characters and the audience.
My goal as a filmmaker was to explore traditional
dramatic structure, including the essential elements of premise, theme,
character development, plot and subplot, and the genre of dark comedy.
I started with the concept that if we start with a true
life event, character and/or emotional reality, we can create what I
call a "Living-Story." This story began with the meeting of a
homeless man whose ramblings touched me deeply. From there, through a
series of magical synchronicities I met other homeless people and war
veterans who further added to my Living-Story. Once the script was
written, a strange magic, or grace, took hold of the entire production:
The right people and resources showed up; the cast and crew entered a
state of communal fusion; and the images and sounds that were captured
were filled with a magical blend of powerful emotions, laughter, tears,
madness and sacred truths. We all had the sense that the story was
coming through us onto the screen...a story with a life all it's own.
Featuring: John MacBride, Michael Joel Shapiro, Stan
Buchanan and Heidi Holicker
The Center for Advanced Film Studies, The American Film Institute, Los Angeles,