Happy Jack-daptation (a screenplay ready to pitch)

Way back in 2013-14, I wrote a novel manuscript called Happy Jack, which upon honest reflection, I had to admit fell short of what it needed to be to become a published novel.

Still, I adored the plot. I adored the protagonist and villain. I adored a few of the “scenes” — there were pages here and there that I still think are some of my most fun, energetic, creative writing. I had already been itching to try my hand at screenwriting, and it occurred to me with a novel’s worth of content and several very good “scenes” sketched out, Happy Jack was ripe for adaptation.

And now it’s written, edited, peer reviewed and ready to pitch.

Logline: A misanthropic hermit with a special power to make people happy is drawn out of hiding by a determined journalist and a charlatan doctor who force him to confront humanity, hurricanes and corruption in New Orleans.

Think of it as the reluctant superhero flick HANCOCK meets the fantastical southern storytelling of BIG FISH.

If you’re a member of The Black List, you can check out the script and all its details here.

Huge thanks go out to my good friend Chris Dunn, who has been an actor in the New York City stage scene for years and was a producer for the short film THE VILLAGER. He knows his way around a script and gave me some incredible notes to improve HAPPY JACK. Seriously, I can’t thank him enough.

Then it was time for a professional peer review. I hired a reader from The Black List, which in my novice screenwriter opinion looks like one of the better resources to get exposure for scripts. The verdict? Some very positive feedback, some less so. But a vote of confidence for the script’s potential and that it could get to production quality with some work. Not bad for a first try, and I’ll take it! Here’s a few excerpts from the reviewer:

Jack Hazelwood is a man with a gift. He can immediately tell exactly what someone needs for them to be happy. The downside is he is also compelled to do everything in his power to make that happen. It’s an interesting conflict for the protagonist of this story as there is just no way for him to humanly be able to fulfill everyone’s needs. Jack’s struggles with the fact that he is compelled to help everyone around him help to make Jack a compelling protagonist. Jack ends up being whisked away to New Orleans by Dr. Archambeau, a mysterious figure who promises to help Jack with his situation. Once in New Orleans, things get interesting. The best example of Jack’s innate ability to help people ends up being through his efforts to help Red Armstrong and Demetrious. The result of Jack’s efforts ends up being one of the most heartwarming aspects of the script. Jack also ends up helping a Haitian woman named Angelique, who is a sex addict. Every encounter between the two of them is very charged, and the relationship that blossoms between the two of them is arguably the most interesting aspect of the script.

Posted on July 13, 2022, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: