screenwriter's statement

The Birth of Father John

It was a dark and stormy night in Shanghai. I was sitting at my usual table in the Ritz-Carlton bar, thinking about an earlier conversation with Richard, my director friend. I told him about an idea I had for a story based on my previous career. Richard and I had worked together on three films in the previous nine months, including "The Golden Promise" - which I wrote and directed, and it was impossible to ignore the gauntlet he had thrown down. So, by the time I finished my Tequila Sunrise, I knew what I had to do - start writing. I kept at it for several weeks, and while Richard was off producing the feature film "Distance Runners," I finished the script and presented it to him when he returned to Shanghai.

Father John is not a feel good movie. If anything, it's a "feel nervous" movie that tries to illustrate the pressure an intelligence officer feels when he or she realizes that it's not enough to see the worst in people - you have to be the worst. John is someone who is very easy to talk to. He is nice, sympathetic, and above all, a deep listener. He targets individuals who can provide him with information on terrorist activities, earns their trust, and then exploits them. His technique works great in his usual London environment. But after a risky meeting out in the open, his cover is blown, his source is killed, and John is whisked out of the country. Reassigned to the field office in Shanghai, he faces his biggest challenge ever: Himself.

Perfectly suited to a film-noir setting, I hope the story is as entertaining to you as it has been therapeutic for me.

Steven G. Long
Screenwriter/Executive Producer

 

 

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