Screenplays I'd like to sell
I think knowing the right people is the most important element in selling a screenplay. Followed by lots of luck, like being in the right place at the right time. The competition is enormous. Thousands of screenplays are written every year. Few see the light of day, and of the ones that do get considered, only a fraction ever get made. And, of the ones that do get made, an even smaller percentage ever show a profit.
To make matters worse, the people willing to spend their money to go out to a movie are usually young people, and young people who want a lot of action. Blowing up things, loud noise, lots of gratuitous sex, car chases, good guys vs. bad guys are the things they want to see. So, story is not as important as special effects.
Still, those of us who really like to write will write. We hope against hope that ours will be the screenplay that catches some decision maker’s eye.
God only knows how many screenplay competitions there are - dozens, maybe even in the hundreds every year. Unless the aspiring screenwriter has unlimited funds, it would be financially disastrous to enter them all. And, even if you win first prize, there is no guarantee anyone in a position of power will ever see your screenplay, or even hear of it.
And, if you have no credits, try to get an agent. Lots of luck. It's who you know, and nepotism runs rampant in the movie and television worlds.
Nevertheless, we write. So, I’m going to post the synopses of some of mine. Who knows, maybe some executive, desperate to find a winner, will stumble on one of these. Then I’ll become rice and famous. Well, not rich - whoever hears about the writers?
Greedy politicians want to turn city land into a dump. Motocross riders place garbage there to convince citizens that would be a mistake.
To show how much fun their sport can be - for spectators as well as participants - the motocrossers stage a race in which anyone and everyone can participate - even the oldest, and youngest, riders with the funkiest contraptions to be found. Those citizens who attend, love the spectacle.
The politicians bring outlaw motorcyclists to town to convince citizens bikers are undesirable, but the citizens end up liking the bikers.
To raise money to keep the field open for motocross and other extreme sports, the motocrossers put on a naked moonlight motorcycle ride.
The politicians hold a town rally to present their proposal for a dump, but the motocrossers slip marijuana into the refreshments. The townspeople get high and the rally is a failure.
The football coach realizes extreme sports could bring much needed revenue to the town and joins forces with the motocross group.
Other extreme sports participants join in the effort to have a true extreme sports venue. A major event is held, attracting top pros from all over the country. Enough money is raised to build a new senior center.
Roberto is a semi‑literate but brilliant young peasant in southern Mexico who yearns to ernigrate to the United States. But when his older brother is dying, Roberto promises to take care of the brother's wife and children, preventing him from leaving his village.
Roberto marries the widow and accepts responsibility as head of the family.But in time, an opportunity presents itself to go to America. Roberto strikes out on foot, promising to send money and eventually send for the family.
Roberto soon meets Victor, another young man intent on a new life in California. They quickly become close friends. When they reach the border they enlist the service of a "coyote" ‑ a man who will help them illegally cross the border.
After an unsuccessful attempt, and with most of their meager funds gone, Roberto and Victor try again. This time, Victor is shot and killed by Ku Klux Klan members, who were only intending to scare them.
Finally, Roberto succeeds. While hitch‑hiking, he is given a ride by a sympathetic Mexican‑American, Don. Don takes Roberto to his home in the San Fernando Valley, feeds and shelters him, and refers him to a friend on a farm in the San Joaquin Valley who gives him a job.
Roberto meets Delores, the Mexican‑American daughter of the foreman (Don's friend). She is engaged to a well‑to‑do caucasian lawyer, but is attracted to Roberto. He is eager to learn English, and she was educated to be a teacher. She offers to tutor him.
Roberto makes an extraordinary effort to learn English, going to the library every night after long hours in the fields.
Roberto and Delores fall in love. Against her parents' strong opposition, she breaks up with the lawyer and moves in with Roberto.
Roberto becomes a leader among the farm workers, joins Cesar Chavez's union and is on a fast track to become a leader with Chavez.
A plague hits Roberto's village. His father dies. His wife is deathly ill. Forced to choose between the woman he loves and his duty to his family and village in Mexico, Roberto must return to his village.
He resumes his life as the head of the family and tries to forget Delores. After some time, his wife has a relapse and dies.
Delores shows up at his farm. The village priest had written her of Roberto's wife's death. She says Cesar Chavez wants to arrange for Roberto and his two stepchildren to become American citizens. Then she introduces Roberto to his strongest reason to return to California ‑ their son. The entire population of the village attend their wedding, performed by the village priest.
Jan, a timid nurse, and Marilyn, an adventurous teacher, in their . twenties and single, go for a hike in the mountains near Los Angeles, without telling anyone where they are going or when they will return.
The weather turns bad – a blinding storm, cold rain. They become lost and must take shelter against a tree for the night. Coyotes come and scare Marilyn but Jan drives them away by throwing rocks at them.
In the morning, still lost, they strike out. They encounter a rattlesnake that scares Marilyn but Jan assures her they are not in danger.
Motorcyclists pass nearby. Jan and Marilyn jump and shout, trying to attract the bikers’ attention. But, in the frenzy of the moment, Jan loses her balance and falls off a steep cliff. Marilyn tries to reach her but cannot. In the effort, Jan falls further down the cliff. Marilyn must go for help. She marks the trail on her way, hoping it will help her find the way back.
Marilyn comes across Clay, who is growing marijuana, and asks him for help. He refuses and restrains her, waiting for his older brother, Charlie, to return so they can decide what to do with her.
Charlie, more evil, more desperate, a two-time prisoner, who faces 25 years in prison if he is arrested again, tells Clay they must kill Marilyn because she can identify them. If they let her go their names and descriptions will be on wanted posters all over the country.
A coworker of Jan’s worries about her because she has not shown up for work. She reports her missing. Later, a ranger finds Jan’s vehicle and the search and rescue team is brought in. Jan’s boyfriend, Kevin, a doctor, who is in Mammoth on a ski trip, learns that she is missing from a TV newscast and rushes to aid in the search.
With the help of volunteers and a dog, Jan is found. She is unconscious on a small shelf, old snow accumulated on her. A daring rescue by the sheriff’s helicopter crew saves her. She is rushed to a hospital, Kevin at her side.
Meanwhile, Clay stops Charlie from killing Marilyn by shooting him in the foot. Then, taking Marilyn with him, he drives madly to a hospital to save Charlie’s life. He leaves Charlie there.
Charlie’s foot is amputated. Jan recovers from a broken leg and other injuries. Clay keeps Marilyn prisoner, where she overhears him on the telephone telling his sister he will meet Charlie at an uncle’s house. Clay leaves Marilyn tied hand and foot and gagged to go out for food. But there has been a blackout and the motel has left a candle for light. Marilyn bravely, and painfully, burns the ropes off and escapes.
Marilyn visits Jan in the hospital – a wonderful surprise for Jan, who thought she was dead. Here, Marilyn meets Don, a handsome, charming doctor.
Charlie and Clay meet to sell the marijuana but in a fit of revenge, Charlie shoots Clay and leaves him for dead. Police have staked out the uncle’s home, follow Charlie and arrest him when he sells the marijuana. Clay recovers.
Jan and Kevin, and Marilyn and Don have a double wedding in the mountains.
Todd Wilson is an outstanding high school athlete. He plays quarterback and his coaches consider him to be “the next John Elway”. His parents, professions who spend little time with their children, assume he will go to college and pursue his football career on into the pros.
Todd has a different plan. He loves the brand new sport of snowboarding (in 1984) and is determined to forego college and become a professional snowboarder. His grandfather believes having a passion for what you want to do in life is the most important thing, and agrees to lend Todd enough money to chase his dream.
Todd gets his girlfriend, Wendy, pregnant. Still intent on his goal of becoming a professional snowboarder, he works two jobs - one for her father, one for his grandfather - and they live with her parents to save money.
At a ski show, Todd meets Sharon, a very attractive young woman who works for a ski and snowboard clothing manfacturer. They are attracted to one another, but he passes on the opportunity to bed down with her, preferring to remain faithful to Wendy.
After years of struggle, and two children, Todd finally lands a spot on a pro team. But by now, because of the amount of time he has had to spend traveling, and because he has not made money from the sport, his marriage is in trouble.
When one of his team mates is paralyzed, Wendy begs Todd to drop his career, get a job at home, and spend time with and their kids. But Todd refuses. He has finally started to reach his goal and won’t quit now.
Wendy begins an affair with Todd’s best friend. Todd meets Sharon again and this time they do go to bed.
Todd is injured and loses his position on the team. The company offers him a desk job. Wendy wants a divorce because she is now in love with Todd’s best friend.
At an office Christmas party, Todd looks at his trophies, a picture of him on a magazine cover, the memories of his days of stardom, then looks at a picture of Wendy and the children. He has reached his goal of stardom and now it is gone. Fame is fleeting. And the trade-off was losing the woman he loves and his children.
As an alternative, if a happy ending is preferred, Wendy tires of her romance and Todd returns home. They begin to rekindle their lost love.
A WAY WITH WOMEN
Rob White works as a short order cook at “Fat Jack’s” in Mississippi but longs to escape the drudgery of his job. He has an affair with the wife of a long distance truck driver and persuades her to lend him money to move to California, promising to send for her when he gets settled.
Hitch hiking to California, he is picked up by three hippies who invite him to live with them in a commune they call “the coop”. One of them, Sherrie, welcomes him by coming to his room the first night for lovemaking.
In need of a job, Rob meets Trudy, a stewardess who offers to drive him to look for a job, or to let him use her bicycle if she is out of town. He soon finds a job as a cook and uses her bicycle to commute to work. At the job he is intrigued by a group of motorcyclists at the restaurant.
Trudy suggests that they find and apartment and live as roommates, not necessarily as lovers. They move into a “swinging singles” apartment. They do become lovers, but it is a tempestuous relationship. Rob is jealous of her affairs with pilots, although he has a relationship with a married woman who lives in the building.
Rob makes friends with the motorcyclists, particularly with their leader, Ted. Ted helps Rob find and buy a motorcycle. Rob complains that he can’t often ride with the group because of his job hours. Ted suggests Rob get a job as a “shagger” - riding his motorcycle to deliver to businesses. Although the new job satisfies him, Trudy is upset that he is going further down the social scale.
Rob meets Gail at an ad agency, courts her and convinces her to lie to help him get a job there. . Gail lends him money to buy a car. He becomes an account executive and quickly wins the affection of a client, Ruth Scanlon. His new position pleases Trudy. For a while he simultaneously has Trudy, Gail, Cassie (the neighbor) and Ruth as lovers.
A new copywriter, Cindy, is assigned to work with him. He drops Gail and takes up with Cindy. He introduces her to motorcycling and she takes him skiing.
During the agency’s annual holiday party, he becomes momentarily involved with Ann from accounting, forgetting Cindy. He walks in on Patricia a married woman who is one of the agency owners, and his boss, John, who is also married, when they are having sex.
Later, implying that he has knowledge of their affair, and now being firmly in control of Ruth’s account, he demands that his salary be doubled. Patricia is furious, but agrees.
Patricia has a mild heart attack. Rob goes to her home on business and meets her young daughter, Rita. Although Rob has now proposed marriage to Trudy, he changes his mind, reasoning that if he marries Patricia’s daughter he can move to the top, or near the top, of the agency’s management.
Rob and Rita marry and have a child, but Rob cheats on her with their 16-year-old babysitter.
When the girl’s father blows the whistle on Rob, Rita threatens to divorce him. Rob goes to a gathering of his motorcycle friends, and, depressed, tells Ted of his affair with the babysitter. Ted is disgusted. Further depressed, Rob gets blind drunk.
On the way home from the biker gathering, Rob crashes into another car and kills a woman.
He goes to prison for 3 years. When he gets out, he makes the rounds of Los Angeles ad agencies, but his reputation is bad and no one will hire him. His old boss, John, recommends he move to a different city. He drives to San Francisco, meets the female head of an ad agency, charms her and they go to lunch. It is obvious he is repeating his old pattern of using women.
THE NEXT BEST THING TO SEX
Deacon Rhodes and Jerry Kline are long-time friends, partners in a Los Angeles Harley Davidson dealership, and part time motorcycle racers.
They race in the American Motorcycle Association championship series - a “circuit” that takes place in some 20 venues across the country. They must compete in a variety of races, on both dirt and road courses. They are “privateers”, financing themselves, but they must compete against factory sponsored riders.
They pick up Karen, a beautiful, sexy young girl. A rivalry for her begins immediately, with Jerry being aggressive and Deacon being more passive.
After a few moderate racing successes they encounter the “Assassins”, a group of “outlaw”
Bikers who are harassing a waitress, Pat. They rescue her and she agrees to travel with them.
Although Pat shares Jerry’s bed, he still yearns for Karen.
Jerry is injured in a race. While he is recovering, Deacon, Karen and Pat go skinny dipping and are run off by a deputy sheriff. Hospitalized, Jerry is jealous.
Later, the couples change partners. When they sober up Deacon and Karen realize they are in love and regret the indiscretion.
Trying to ingratiate himself with a factory race manager, Jerry asks Pat to have sex with the man.
Infuriated, Pat leaves the group.
On the way to another race, the van breaks down. Deacon leaves Karen alone with Jerry go for help. While Deacon is gone Jerry gets Karen drunk and seduces her. Later, Karen is remorseful but says nothing to Deacon.
Unknown to Deacon or Jerry, Karen is actually a run-away teenager. At a race a private detective hired by her parents confronts her, demanding she return home with him. Deacon knocks the man to the ground, grabs Karen and, with Jerry, they flee.
On the way back to California Karen tells Deacon she is pregnant. She wants to lie about her age so they can be married in Nevada. But Deacon insists on no more lying - they will go to her home, get her parents’ blessing and marry the right way.
At the wedding reception, Karen confides in her bridesmaid that she really isn’t pregnant - she just said that to make sure Deacon would marry her.
Two of the screenplays above are also written as novels: A WAY WITH WOMEN and THE NEXT BEST THING TO SEX, but neither have been published. If anyone wants to read them, please send me an email request at firstname.lastname@example.org. But, these are hundreds of pages long, so the download will take time.
Something else you can download is my book. OVER THE HANDLEBARS. it is a collection of 24 short stories and articles on motorcycling, most of which were first published in motorcycle magazines in the 1960s;. In 2006, I republished it with about one third more new stories. If you don't want to download it, it is available in paperback from Amazon.com
I've also written 3 books. OVER THE HANDLEBARS is a collection of motorcycle short stories. My two novels are also about motorcycling. You can read them all on your computer for just $2.99 each. For more information, go to motorcyclenostalgia.com.