Amerika is a bold story about an alternate history in which we lost WWII and are now living under the oppressive yoke of a tyrannical government. Outside what used to be the United States, the temperature boils toward another great war. In an attempt to gain the advantage, Americans have become victim to experiments aimed at growing super soldiers. The great tragedy in the horrible situation is that no one in the program knows that it exists, what's happening to them, or even that they are not living in the US they think they're living in. The show focuses on a small town in Montana called Opal Lake and the families who live there as they learn the truth about the world they're living in and of who they are. We follow them through hell as they figure out how to fight back and as they prove just how resilient the American Spirit really is and just how hard they're willing to fight to preserve it.
I've been developing this show for around seven years and have created an extraordinarily rich world, full of complex characters who are destined for great story arcs, agonizing tragedies, and truly spectacular victories. During these years, this story has become so important to me; it's really the driving force of my life. There's an old adage about writing: the writer doesn't write the story, the story chooses the writer. I feel like this is most certainly true in my case. It's like I was struck one day with the idea and since then, it's my purpose to get the story out there.
Amerika is meant to be a TV show. I love TV. I think it's the most approachable and most widespread and most important means of communication we have in our society today. Everyone has a TV in their living room; and that means that everyone can be affected by a great story. This is my goal. This is what I know Amerika has the capacity to do. Let me explain: I come from the world of live theatre, which I love and
adore, and also from which I learned the importance of the audience.
The audience is exactly why we do this thing called storytelling. And
it is exactly why it's so important to think about using our gifts and
skills as storytellers to give them something that is powerful and scary
and full of that which makes us human.
All that said, the way TV gets made is changing. We have so many resources at our disposal that didn't exist even a few years ago. And with that in mind, I come here to Kickstarter, where I intend to make the first inroads to the audience. This project is finite in that, at the end of it, there will be a completed short-form version of a pilot that showcases the overall narrative, thematic elements, tone, and direction of the show in full AND that is entertaining and suspenseful and moving. It is forward-looking in that I will have something to show off in order to secure more resources and support so that I can bring to fruition the entire 154-hour saga that is Amerika.
The nuts and bolts of the project are this:
-What we're shooting here is about eight pages of the original pilot episode that I wrote, told entirely from the point of view of one of the principle characters, Charlie Collins. These pages are actually pulled straight from the pilot and exist with no changes, meaning that all of the stuff you'll see in this project are also an exact part of what you'd see of the full episode.
-The shooting process will be pretty short. There's only a handful of scenes here which will take two days to shoot. It will be shot here in Lakeland and I'll certainly be employing local talent on the shoot. My goal is to get actors in the project who will go on to play their characters in every Amerika project hereafter.
-Pre production should take about two to three weeks. Editing and post production should take about the same. All told, this Mini-Pilot will take no more than eight weeks to get "in the can".
-The projected release date will be in December.
I'm hopeful. I'm excited. And I'm so ready to get to work!
PS - Watch this page and our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/AmerikaOnTV) for announcements about the production as they happen during the Kickstarter process.