Marginalized teenaged boys, an Asian girl who vies to be popular, and a pastor’s defiant daughter, challenge the community of a small Texas town.
I’m currently developing a narrative feature film titled, “The Plains of Arning.” I started writing in earnest in Spring 2007 for a screenwriting course I was taking at Columbia University. The first draft made it past the initial round of the 2009 Sundance Screenwriters Lab. Alas, the project wasn’t accepted, but I have spent the last couple of years working on character development as well as the structure and refinement of the narrative. On August 3, 2011, a staged developmental reading was held at Stage Left Studios with 10+ wonderful actors. Having lived far too long in my head, on my computer and on the page, it was great to hear it with live actors and to get written feedback from the audience in exchange for a free margarita and Texas style munchies after the reading!
The Plains of Arning is a feature film about a fictional bible-belt community. Themes of place, isolation, and religion are played out in the high school stories of an ensemble cast of characters. When a troubled bi-racial teen is sent to live with his Hispanic uncle in the fictional town of Arning, Texas, he finds his new high school is consumed by the all-American rituals of cheerleader tryouts and crowning a homecoming queen. The popular daughter of the local pastor hides a disturbing secret from her authoritarian father. Two rebellious boys take out their frustrations on the football coach. A Korean-American girl tries out for cheerleading. All yearning for release from the vast plains surrounding their town, these teens find themselves playing an unwitting role in fatally ostracizing the newcomer in their midst.