Screenplay Coaching & Co-Authoring
Note From John: "I began my writing career studying and writing screenplays in Hollywood. But not fitting into the Hollywood scene back then, I shifted into non-fiction writing and my therapy career. I did however continue exploring the dramatic expression of personal growth in film - and recently I've returned to the screenwriting profession, and am offering help to people with great film or cable ideas that they want to manifest and present for production. Below are some of our current film properties, several of which have emerged from author-mentoring."
High Heart Films ~ 2022 Offerings
Four New Series Proposals & Pilots
Plus Four Original Feature Screenplays
Our High Heart Screenwriting Team includes 4 writers, 2 editors and several funders dedicated to delivering commercial film properties to uplift the human spirit and inspire a more heartful approach to relating. Below are our current offerings:
New Cable Series Proposals
... all four Cable Series are based on source novels and memoirs. Click the button of a title for more info - and to request a copy of the full Series Proposal.
#1: WORLDS APART (6-Episode Limited Series)
heartfelt - romance - career - adventure - family
This uplifting true-life odyssey introduces Dao Le, a vivacious young Vietnamese refugee escaping from her war-torn homeland to America, then struggling through non-stop challenges, romantic heartbreaks and personal breakthroughs in her new homeland.
(2 Pilot Scripts + Treatment)
#2: INTERNVENTURES (Multi-Season Series)
interns - exotic - romance - travel - career
Explore the unique fictional adventures of nervy American interns as they plunge into exotic, exciting, romantic and growthful encounters with new cultures, business situations, deep mentors – and of course intense heartwarming romance.
(3 Pilot Scripts + Treatment)
#3: TEN%MAX (5-Episode Limited Series)
exciting - social issues - enlightening - intimate
What happens when our scientific good-guys decide to take the world's fate into their own genius hands? TEN%MAX delivers mature ‘save the world’ action-suspense merging hi-tech sci-fi, intense romance, realistic presidential drama, and gripping ethical confrontations.
(2 Pilot Scripts + Treatment)
#4: HEART FORCE (6-Episode Limited Series)
exotic - adventure - mystic - intimate - conspiracy - shamanic - insightful - uplifting
This fast-action odyssey introduces an almost-mythic half-Mayan hero named Mahalena Bernhardt. Mixing live-action with magnificent animation, HEART FORCE is a wild lucid tale of love and discovery, combining ‘white-coat terrorist’ mind-manipulation schemes, a lurking edge of ancient Mayan prophecy, plus radical romance and a spark of new hope and transcendence.
(3 Pilot Scripts + Treatment + Audiobook)
Four Feature Screenplays
In addition to the quite-commercial Cable Series properties described above, our HH writing team has created four more-radical (and lower-budget) feature screenplays – we call them ‘disturbingly uplifting’ tales of love and discovery.
Each of these lucid tales challenges our culture’s prevailing attitudes and assumptions regarding humanity’s future, exploring slightly mystic realms of deep relating and personal awakening. The scripts have been through multiple rewrites aimed to generate award-winning films. Feel free to request a reading of each script.
Feature 1: BLISS TWIST
pandemic - sci-fi - politics - intimate - provocative
Look out! A pair of our own best bio-tech scientists are set to do something terrible – and only the laid-back but nervy Joe Ramirez can save us. Written several years before Covid, this unique pandemic drama features a local Santa Barbara guitar maker who stumbles into a wild bio-tech plot to secretly spread a deadly designer virus – and then offer a successful antidote ... that just happens to also reduces sex drive and violent impulses.
Joe Ramirez is dead-set against letting them succeed with their plot to reduce planetary overpopulation and violence. Another major player in this plot, the US President, must make impossible decisions that will seriously impact humanity’s future. Then all hell breaks loose when the genius scientist behind all this cracks under the stress and begins doing truly terrible things. Finally it’s humble Joe Ramirez who must save the day.
Feature 2: JUST BEFORE DAWN
family - Ojai - inspiring - healing - exciting
What would happen if a contemporary family doctor in Ojai loves his daughter, who’s dying of cancer, so intensely that he slips into an altered state … and heals her? JUST BEFORE DAWN delivers a slightly-mystic and deeply-challenging tale where science and spirit become entangled in a deep-flowing family drama.
Dr. Kenny Banks’ father, an old-time Ojai Valley icon, was purported to have been able to heal his patients with a special inner power. Now his middle-aged conservative son must somehow do the same for his dying daughter – even though he denies all such esoteric powers.
The story is complicated by a lofty spiritual group predicting the rise of a new spiritual leader (a la the local Ojai Krishnamurti tradition), plus a Presbyterian minister who condemns all healing that’s not done in the name of Christ - and an atheist psychiatrist who goes violently crazy in the climax because Dr. Banks is doing something that is scientifically impossible. The audience is left struggling to decide what they personally consider real and possible.
Feature 3: ISLAND LOVE
family - native struggle - Kauai - romance
Delving bravely into the convoluted history of the island of Kauai, ISLAND LOVE tackles the underbelly of local post-colonial racial conflicts, following a white land-owning dynasty as it gets torn apart (and ultimately transformed) through the underlying power of mystic love triumphing over material dominance.
This is a raw realistic tale about middle-aged Gatlin McCabe, gritty fifth-generation owner of a thousand acres of sugarcane farmland he's turning into luxury estates, and Rebecca Cale, 20-year-old daughter of a neighboring plantation owner. Out-of-control sexual passion, mixed with much-deeper emotions and outlandish behavior, provoke a battle with young local Hawaiians fighting to win back their ancestral lands. The climax delivers both tragic disaster and also a transcendent resolution - and an ultimately uplifting sense of hope and healing.
Feature 4: MURRIETA'S LEAP
mystic - coming of age - Ojai - romance - discovery
This second Ojai-inspired film, drawn partly from the memoirs of a fourth-generation Ojai ranching family, delves deep into the local Juaquin Murrieta tradition, mixing a raw coming-of-age story with a bank robbery and cop shooting, plus a mystic undertone of enduring local myth merging with contemporary drama.
With an admittedly-dark touch of Shakespearian tragedy leading to a wild ‘up Coyote Creek’ climax (where normal reality and Ojai’s spiritual resonance morph into a startling wake-up resolution) MURRIETA’S LEAP unfolds within the inner yearnings and dreams of a teenage boy and a slightly older girl, caught up in the life-and-death struggles of several local grownups.
Literally for years we struggled to discover the deeper end goal of this lucid tale – then suddenly a truly startling conclusion manifested itself, and we simply played out that climax – and leave the audience to decide how they think the ending scenes sync with their own deep dreams and beliefs about what life and love are really all about.