Thursday, January 9, 2014

In 1976, four boys walked into the jungle. Only three came back alive.

Dan Newman's 2 Minute Movie Pitch for "The Clearing" 

          Why did you pick this title?
As a title, The Clearing works on two levels:  It’s the physical setting for events central to the novel, but it also describes the journey the main character is put on.  He needs to peel everything back; in order to move on, he needs to clear everything away and start anew.

            W hat’s the logline ?
       In 1976, four boys walked into the jungle.  Only three came back alive.
      What’s the Teaser Pitch?
      Nate Mason’s life is falling apart.  In a small clearing on an island shimmering in the Caribbean, the past, along with a carefully silenced secret, is waiting.  For Nate, the only way forward is to go back.  The events of his childhood must be revisited, confronted, and old wounds must be carefully worked open.  Can Nate escape the echoes of a single event, decades in the past?  And will the demons of his youth let him go?  In the quiet clearing of his childhood, the answers are waiting.
      Who is your HERO and how does he change in the book?
Nate Mason is any of us – all of us – save one fundamental difference: a single visit to an old plantation house deep in the rainforest of St. Lucia – a visit that would set the spiralling trajectory of his life’s course.  Nate’s journey throughout the novel is one of reaching for salvation, not just for himself, but for his son, his childhood friend, and even his father.  In order to face a life that has been callously stripped bare of every comfort, Nate must look the cause straight in the eye, even if that cause is hell bent – and hell’s residents are happy to play their part – on stopping him. 

      How did you come up with the idea?
      The Clearing borrows heavily from real life events.  No one actually died, but perhaps that would be less shocking than what actually did happen.  Central to the events in the novel is the Bolom – a supernatural creature said to inhabit the forests of the island, bound to the great estates in service and all the more resentful for it.  Did one of these really come stamping through the darkened estate house?  I can answer that for you, but you decide.
           Why should a Movie Mogul like me invest millions in your story?
      Because at the root of it, The Clearing is a story about all of us.  It’s about pouring foundations; the base upon which boys will grow into men.  And those foundations, as hard as we try to make them pure and strong, almost always have their fractures.  That’s what The Clearing is about: our foundations.  Our fractured and overburdened foundations – something every one of us has to stand on.

{   [Terry: I LOVE THIS!  This is one of the GREAT pitches of all time!]

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