Well, it’s been a couple of years since I first put together the pilot script for “West of the Warlock,” and in that time I’ve gotten some nibbles, but not enough to get me anywhere near production. It is incredibly hard to find anyone who'll bother to look at a script, it would seem. Unless you’re connected (or actually in Hollywood knocking on the doors of industry professionals) it is hard to catch a break.
A couple of things have happened, though, and I feel it’s important to post this update, so people don’t forget that I’m still here. Maybe someone "in the biz" will actually stumble upon this blog and take an interest in my Fantasy Western.
I did have a production company ask about seeing the script. It was through a TV pitch marketing website, and the company, Cross Genre Entertainment, never got back to me. They were supposed to contact me to arrange delivery of the script, but they went silent after requesting my contact info. That was a big let-down, as the biggest hurtle with this project is getting anyone to actually read the thing.
Since that initial let-down, I have shown the script to some independent reviewers and to a certain pseudo-professional who wasn’t in a position to do more than comment. Most of the comments were positive all around, and the only major point that was made is that I should have a shorter pilot.
The initial script I had put together was a “double length” version, basically the first and second episodes merged as one. I did this because Joella Talus didn’t appear in the first episode (it being an adaptation of “A Dwarf at High Noon,” which pre-dated Joella). For this reason, I added the second episode to the pilot, to introduce all of the main characters, Dwarven gunslinger Ron Grimes, Warlock sheriff James Doliber, and Elvish widow Joella Talus. This might work in production someday, but at the initial pitch stage I've realized I need a scaled-down version.
With this in mind, I had an epiphany last night. I realized how I could incorporate Joella in the very end of the first normal-length episode, and so I rewrote the ending toward that end. I now have a 48 page pilot script (I know, still a few pages long, but there is a scene or two that can be trimmed if needed), and all 3 principal characters appear, culminating in a complete setup for the series.
So, what’s my next move with this project? I really can’t say at the moment. I’m hoping to find someone in the film business who would like to take a look at the script, but it’s hard in a flooded marketplace, and even harder where a lot of studios are only looking to rehash old material. I am not a filmmaker, either, so I don't have any connections. I’m a writer with some franchises that could be very marketable if anyone would only give them a chance. I write a damn fine script, too. If there’s anyone out there who wants to make a Western series with Fantasy elements placed in the historical setting of 1880’s America, then drop me a line. Industry professionals can contact me at mtiediting (at) inbox.com
For those who want to know what this television script is based upon, pick up a copy of West of the Warlock. The pilot is an expansion on “A Dwarf at High Noon” which is the prologue of the book (2nd Edition), and the second episode is based on the “Unintended Consequences/Marriage of Inconvenience” storyline in Episodes 2 & 3. I also have part of the subsequent episode scripted, which will basically be “Into the Thick of It & Vendetta Ride.”
I could easily write the entire first season of this show by myself, but there’s plenty of room for other writers to join the team if we ever get that far. Come on, somebody give this show a chance!