John Selby Screenplays


John wrote his first screenplay while studying creative writing for two semesters with William Goldman (Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid) at Princeton. He later participated in the American Film Institute's early Director Intern program and was represented by Reese Halsey. Although he then left Hollywood for a career as a therapist, he has periodically written new screenplays and novels. 


John's current film project, which he's been working on for a decade now, is finally finished in novel and audiobook formats, with the trailer, treatment and shooting bible also completed. He is seeking a film industry mentor to team with for the next steps toward production. The third-person suspense version of the story is published, titled HIGHER FORCES. Likewise the deeper first-person lucid-tale version of the novel is in print now, titled HIGH HEART. Together they present all the action and depth of the project. Here are links to the novel versions of the project.





John is currently at work on the first episode of the 6-part High Heart miniseries. The dramatic reading of High Heart for the podcast/audiobook offers you the deepest immersion in the characters and plot - click above in the header for the audio, or choose your preferred title for the print and kindle versions. Your feedback to John will be much appreciated! 




The California Scripts



Note from John:  Along with my current film projects, I also now want to bring to the fore these 5 unusual California screenplays that I wrote while living way out in north-shore Kauai. These feature scripts came to me out of the blue, one after the other - high-jacking my creative passion until completed 

Below are these 5 California scripts awaiting a director's magic touch:

"Finding Juaquin" is the film version of  John's Ojai novel Murrieta's Leap. Click on the title below to read the full feature screenplay. Further information  is available upon request from John's film agent. 

This mystic coming-of-age adventure, drawn from Ojai's rich local history and the author's youthful adventures on his grandfather's ranch, intermingles a bank robbery and police shooting with young wild passion and mystic awakening. It delivers a unique exploration of the multiple realities young people often experience in the heat of conflict and love.   

While living in Kauai, John worked passionately with the Hawaii Sovereignty movement. He wrote this screenplay with several leaders of that movement. The story exposes the explosive life and inner turmoils of a fourth-generation white landowner as he struggles to transform his family attitudes - and falls in love with a young woman who pushes him beyond his limits.

What would happen if a medical doctor loves his daughter who's dying of cancer so intensely, that he slips into an altered state and heals her? This groundbreaking Ojai tale blasts the film medium into raw mystic realms where science and spirit become enmeshed in a deep family drama and spiritual climax.

Written before the corona pandemic hit, this Santa Barbara-based romantic thriller exposes a white-collar corporate terrorist set to unleash a deadly virus - while an unlikely local guitar-maker hero and his long-lost high school girlfriend fight to save the world while caught in a deep emotional drama.

This is another of John's more ephemeral stories, roaming quite outside traditional genres - in which a renegade outlaw tries to hide out in an obscure Coastal California canyon, only to become entangled in a dangerous love triangle that pushes the romantic envelope with complex passions and surprises. 

Author Note: 

I'm a fourth-generation California native (Ojai Valley), and these 5 stories are all odes to the living presence of the native land where we reside - highlighting local myths and attitudes and  atmospheres to provide extra color and depth in the films. 


I admit that I'm crazy in love with these characters and transformation tales that came to me so powerfully in Kauai - but I never really shopped them in Hollywood because at the time, I was consumed with other projects demanding my full attention. So ... now seems to be the time to bring these unusual screenplays into production, to deliver unexpected uplift, insight and enjoyment to awaiting audiences.


Each of these dramatic themes explores timeless and universal human feelings, ambitions, compulsions and struggles. But the stories also go beyond dramatic genres in order to manifest what the muse of Kauai tends to encourage - pushing into deeper realms where imagination and spiritual insight, and the discovery of new ways of relating, have space to become an integral part of our otherwise highly-realistic human drama.


I'm well aware that these productions will need a remarkable team in order to manifest. That's why I'm posting the screenplays upfront, so that from the beginning our shared intent is clear - to put money and fame in third and fourth place, holding artistic integrity and insightful service to humankind primary throughout. Big words - big job - fulfilling pay-off.


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