Too Brutal to adapt? I’m not so sure.

I’m working on two different short films right now, and one of my choices is turning some heads amongst the inner circle. Can’t say as I blame ’em, though. My most notorious short story (the one that made Johnny Butane of The Horror Channel say he felt like he needed a shower after reading it), isn’t filled with gory special effects. It doesn’t feature car chases and explosions. It doesn’t sport a horde of zombies. It doesn’t call for outrageous costumes. It doesn’t need any CGI to pull it off successfully.

But it’s a twist-ending tale, and keeping that twist hidden until the resolution is the big question mark. When I was still doing comics, and passed this story around (it would later be included in my first horror anthology, Stuff Outa My Head), no one believed it could be turned into a comic book story. At the time, I agreed. I couldn’t figure out any way to do it, that was for damn sure. So, it remained solely in prose, waiting for the anthology to reach its audience. Which it did. I got comments from readers about it for years after Stuff was released.

So now, I’m resurrecting a character from my comic days, Redemption, who never saw the light of day in one of my publications, only in a limited edition Louis Small Jr. art print. I’ve shot one short, which is complete and in the can, and have decided to add two more to the package so I can shop the concept as a TV series, or release it as an anthology feature. Traditionally, anthologies ┬ádon’t do terribly well, but that doesn’t bother me. I’ve taken on bigger challenges. No, the big one here is, can I adapt┬áthe short story, BRUTAL, and make it into a quality piece of film?

I think so. It took me a while to decide, seeing as there’s so many drawbacks to shooting it. But one night I was laying in bed, thinking about options for the film, and Brutal kept surfacing. I know well enough not to ignore my semi-resting brain and what comes out of my dream state, so I got up, went to my computer, and got to work.

I think it’s doable. And I think just as many people will be disturbed by the film adaptation as were by the short story. It’s lean and mean and probably won’t take up more than 12 minutes on screen. But the punch it’ll pack, if I do it right?

Worth taking a shot. You don’t take risks, you don’t reap rewards. This one’s risky, but I don’t care. Besides, been a while since I had to trudge up a hill this steep, and I’m lookin’ forward to it.

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Currently listening to: Lucky Number by Lene Lovich

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