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Media Man Interviews Screenwriter Jason McIntosh

 

1) Most of your career has been spent as a designer. Why now are you making the leap into drafting a screenplay?

I actually started this business by writing and illustrating comic books and stories. I loved it – and, at the time, was relatively clueless as to what I was doing. But, at a very young age I made an amazing discovery: “People will gladly pay me for things that I draw!”. It was a ‘light bulb’ moment. I was hooked immediately, because it was like being paid to have fun. So, my business was born. As I developed as a designer, I realized more and more that graphic design and illustration are basically story-telling on a very basic level. When a colleague of mine saw one of the comic books I was working on he said to me, ‘You know, this is great! It should be a movie!’. I had never thought of it that way before, but at that point I already had the characters, premise and basic story-line in place – so I figured, let’s give this a shot. So again, yet another ‘light bulb’ moment.

2) The Thin Place is a simple, yet unusual title. Could you elaborate more on that?

I have always been fascinated with the idea of the supernatural; angels and demons in particular. In Celtic lore, thin places are basically specific areas where the veil that separates the physical and the spiritual worlds is so thin that both sides, at certain times – under the right (or wrong) circumstances can see, and nearly touch, one another. This story takes that notion, and puts a completely new spin on it altogether.

3) So speak more about the actual genre-fantasy? Sci Fi, combination? Tell us what your movie poster would look like.

I think I would have to classify this one as a fantasy-science fiction combination. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen done before. In typical movies and stories about the supernatural, especially when angels and demons are portrayed, somewhere along the line that portrayal becomes hokey – almost goofy at times. I mean, why do the angels always have wings? Why does God always look like somebody’s grandpa? Why do demons always look like large bats, or have sharp teeth? I mean, if they are creatures that exist for millennia at a time, wouldn’t they be the coolest most advanced things EVER? That’s why I think this would have a hefty dose of sci-fi in it. Everything would be so finely advanced if that were the case. I think the movie poster would be just a very simple, yet cool concept of the melding and clashing of light vs. darkness, good vs. evil. I think it needs a strong, edgy tone to it. I think that the moment it features a cherub with fluffy wings staring down a demon-bat, would be the moment a movie-goer would roll their eyes. Again.

4) What has been the greatest challenge while you’re drafting this?

When I first sat down to write this, the idea was so raw and real in me that I went away for a few days and did nothing but write from sunup to sundown, and beyond. I mean, I was literally forgetting to eat. I felt the concept so strongly that as I was writing I had chills. Actually, the subject matter was so real and intense, that I kept feeling like ‘something’ was watching me. I kept having to get up and walk away to shake that feeling. At that point, it was easy. Honestly, the greatest challenge has been walking through the steps to make this dream into a reality. The writing and concepting was fun — but now comes the hard work; getting this story noticed and read by someone influential who can make this into a blockbuster.

5) What other stories do you have kicking around in your brain?

I usually have about 12 stories circling my mind at any given time. I have always loved sci-fi, fantasy, and inspiring underdog films, so most of them have at least one of those elements in them. Right now the one that keeps rising to the top is one of my favorites. It surrounds an ancient Native American legend about an enormous beast stalking the land. The story chronicles a dwindling modern-day Reservation community and their run-ins with this creature that no one has ever seen, but everyone believes is the one causing disappearances of their livestock, and even some of their children. The eldest resident of the tribe tells how the beast is linked to one of their own bloodlines through a sacred relic. But no one knows what that relic is, or how to get rid of it. The other twist is that the beast was cursed in such a way that it can exist only in daylight. Which I thought would be fun, since most story-book monsters come out at night. And yes, it also means that it would never be able to rest, as it must follow the sun every day.

6) What’s next for Jason D. McIntosh??

Once we get ‘A Thin Place’ out the door, I am going to devote more time and energy into developing the other stories into screenplays, film and illustrated stories. But, with 2 young children and one on the way, I have noticed that when I read bedtime stories to my kids I’m often thinking ‘Sheesh – I could write and illustrate stories like this!’ Could be another ‘light bulb’ moment for me.

Jason D. Mcintosh is a NY based designer, writer and illustrator with a constant lightbulb over his head. Read more about him at Sexy Beast Productions and on Facebook.

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About sexybeastproductions

Entertainment company that creates and produces unscripted TV content and fantasy films.

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