I want to tell you a few things. The reason I picked Billy to run this blog thing for us is because I'd already seen some of his material. This is Jonathon speaking, in case you cannot tell. Vampire's have a certain rhythm and cadence to their speech. It comes natural when we're not 'affecting' something else. We just see things our own way. That's how it is.
Well, Billy had this script. He still does. It's about a family of Philadelphia night-folk a lot like us. That's what surprised me. He didn't know me back then. He didn't know any of us. I don't think he'd actually seen a real vampire either. Oh, not all the characters were like us, but some were. No, I have to go back. The strange, little, cozy, all night book shop, PHILADELPHIA AFTER DARK was around then. He was obviously familiar with that place. Sarah says she thinks she remembers him coming in a few times. He'd look around, wander through the tight, maze-like aisles. Usually bought a paperback. Maybe he picked up on something? I used to go in there too. Energy smears out into the ether when we pass by... not just night-folk... mortal folk... everybody.
He sent it to a production company in Los Angeles... Sent it to a lot of production companies, talent and literary agencies too. One of those production companies had a gentleman with family in Philadelphia. He used to come back for a lot of holidays. I got to know him from a dark, little, club-like bar-restaurant on Sixteenth Street, The Happy Rooster they called it. He'd have a big bowl of gourmet chili at the bar. I'd drink my chilled vodka. We talked. One night he had this manuscript. He looked at it, was flipping the pages... went back... looked some more. I asked him what it was. He said it was a script all about modern day vampires in Philadelphia... I wanted to know if it was any good. Can you imagine? It was surreal. He had no idea I was a vampire. Sometimes movie people, behind the scenes types, are the most unobservant people you'd ever want to meet. Everything's all mapped out. They know who they want to know. They think what they always think. I hate when they're interviewed and talk about how they love the thrill of discovering a unique, new talent. What they don't tell you, is more often than not, that new talent is somebody's son, or niece, or bed partner. No, no, no, they do not tell you that. But it's a small industry and how many 'new, unique talents' do they need? Oh, outsiders can apply, but you know the rest....
He was lost in the thing, the script, I mean, so I asked him again. Without even looking up, he said - Oh, I guess there's a certain amount of ability and talent here, but 'talent' they all got, or at least some of them. Cousins they don't.....
As you know, vampires see a lot, though Hollywood was new to me. I asked him to explain. He scraped up the last of the chili (the place was famous for it) spooned it into his mouth, swallowed and said - I got a guy across the street... not here... in L.A.. His kid went to camp with my kid. Went to U.S.C. film school with him, everything. I see them all over town. Guy runs a hedge fund, a good one. One I want in on. You know, they don't just take anybody. A lot of old Academy members are in it. In West L.A. that's like high society. And his kid has a script too, vampires, magic, everything. Just like this one. So I got to ask myself... what could I get out of this one and what could I get out of that one? You know how it is? You do favors for people who can do you even bigger favors back. And this is by a kid in Philadelphia too...It's a shame...
Three months later, Billy got his script back in a big manila envelope with a form letter that guaranteed it was completely unexamined for lack of proper industry recommendations. Basically, in Hollywood, that means 'who's your daddy?' ... Or maybe who does your daddy know?
Funny thing is every other agency, or production company sent it back the same way... some with letters from the legal department saying - Do not contact us. If we hear of interesting parties, WE contact them. They do NOT contact us.
Sad thing is, it's a good script. I've read it twice. I've tried to help, but who do I know in California? Know a few night-folk in London, but they're not film industry types. A few acquaintances from THE HERMETIC ORDER OF THE GOLDEN DAWN house on Hoxton Street might know a bit. Film folk often show up at strange places like that, the 'mystery' and all.
Upright vampires, that's what PHILADELPHIA AFTER DARK is about. I cry when I read the final scene. It's that kind of play, or screenplay, I mean.
Always imagine the score from TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD when I read it.
Maybe we'll post a few scenes here?
Before I stop, pleased know that Conrad is going to this year's Vampire Revels and it won't be easy for him.
How many things in Vampire Wonderland ever are?
Please listen to the music up above. I, Jonathon ben Macabi, or Tomas de Macabea, hope you like it.
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