My first screenplay grew out of a short story I wrote. It was a natural progression and didn't seem to take that long to write. In the case of the magazine stories I've written, they also came about fairly quickly, although those are all based on real events. I say this because it amazes me having such a flood of words. All my musical years I wrote instrumental music, never having to deal with singers and lyrics. When I listen to the radio, I listen to the band and don't pay much attention to the words. Then suddenly I found myself writing a musical: 31 songs filled with words. Oy. I think because I knew the subject so well, the lyrics came to me pretty easily. Writing vocal tunes on the other hand is a different story and one I was unfamiliar with.
First up below: my bi-monthly column in DUTCH the magazine, "Painting the olde town". Next are the screenplays I've written followed by the episodes of Let's Go Dutch.
I write a column for bi-monthly DUTCH the magazine entitled "Painting the olde town". Each column is one of my paintings along with a story about the city I painted. The stories come out of the film shoots of the show "Let's Go Dutch", as well as travels around Nederland.
DUTCH the magazine can be found in bookstores or by ordering direct at
THIEF OF ANTIQUITY
A charismatic thief stumbles upon a time machine and uses it to steal pieces from the past which he sells in his antique store.
DEEF PARSONS; not exactly a role model. He's a thief but surprisingly charming and armed with a time machine he "acquired" on a "job", quite successful. DEEF opened an antique shop on a quaint street lined with antique shops. To populate his collection, DEEF uses his time machine to plunder the splendor of medieval Europe. His proprietor neighbors soon realize they cannot compete in price or authenticity. BOB DUNCAN, whose shop is directly across the street from DEEF ANTIQUITIES, sells an early 20th century locket for twice the price as an 18th century royal locket in DEEF's shop. Or walk in to CARL STEINHARDT's shop next door and you will see a Louis the 16th style table for three times the price of a real Louis the 14th table in DEEF's shop. BOB and CARL conspire along with their neighbors GREG and TIM to force DEEF ANTIQUITIES out of business. With the help of a shady character from BOB's past, they hatch a plan to steal a painting from the local museum and plant it in DEEF's shop. DEEF however discovers the painting hiding and is able to conclude that his neighbors are setting him up. Using his time machine, DEEF returns the stolen painting to the museum. An anonymous tip sends police to DEEF's shop. Finding nothing, DEEF let's it slip he heard the painting was back in the museum. Time to get even with his pesky neighbors: using his time machine he gets inside the museum and takes four paintings. One is placed in each shop’s window. He makes an anonymous tip, but sends police to his own shop. DEEF knows with reporters and cops all around, it won’t be long before someone spots one of the paintings. DEEF is sympathetic to the legal and financial woes of his neighbors. He offers a way for them to raise some extra cash: a shopping spree in medieval London. As they magically appear in the past, BOB remembers one of DEEF’s fantasy tales about when he was married. His wife was having an affair with a guy in the past. DEEF got wind of it and so he left his wife behind in the past. Worried, BOB looks at DEEF who confirms the story is true and with that, he says goodbye and disappears. One thing is for sure; DEEF will not be returning to London again
A clairaudient director shooting a period piece in Amsterdam struggles to keep her wits when her set is visited by cranky ghosts.
A film shoot is underway in Amsterdam about the making of Rembrandt's masterpiece, The Night Watch. Stumbling upon the set one day is the ghost of captain Frans Banning Cocq, the key figure in Rembrandt's painting. Although he has heard mention of "The Night Watch", he has no idea what's going on until he sees the name Rembrandt on an actors chair. He goes off to find the ghost of his old friend and ask if he has a painting called "The Night Watch"? Rembrandt knows of no such painting called the Night Watch and he follows Banning Cocq to see what's going on. The 2 ghosts wander about the set, passing in front of the camera. Their presence will later be seen embedded on the footage; the first sign the set is haunted. Rembrandt goes to the director to inquire about this Night Watch. The director, having never know she is clairaudient, can hear the ghosts. She soon comes to realize Rembrandt is cranky because he still has not been paid in full. Her set is not only visited by Banning Cocq and Rembrandt, but the ghosts of the whole company in the painting. Most of them are cranky as well, having been painted blurry, or a half blocked head. 350 years may have passed, but Rembrandt is still expecting to be paid and this film is stirring up old emotions. Rembrandt argues about the incorrect title and the fact that it's set in daytime. The director argues that public perception cannot be changed. She takes Rembrandt to the museum to see his centuries old masterpiece. He walks in scarred with the memories of its poor rection and the dissatisfaction. He is even more mortified to find that the painting had been cut down to fit a wall it once hung on. The director has her hands full, but she ultimately shows the old ghost how beloved his work is. Rembrandt even accepts the fact that he can't change public perception; The Night Watch it shall remain. In the end, the ghosts help out with the final scene of the film.
JINGLE JANGLE JAY
A humorous look at the jingle business in the early 1980's
It is the early 1980's and JAY MONTROSE is one of the most well known and prolific jingle writers in NYC. While Jay knocks out catchy melodies and sing along hooks, his partner in crime producer MARTY BURROWS spends most of his time downstairs in their recording studio.
The jingle business is at its peak as huge amounts of money are strewn about Madison Avenue. It’s a dog eat dog world as ad agencies vie for the big products and the jingle houses compete for a piece of the pie. Jingle singers ply the streets with demo reel in hand, trying to get in and those lucrative residual paying jingle contracts.
JINGLE JANGLE JAY is now the place to go if you want a hit, as JAY has more jingles on air than any other writer in town. With MARTY in the studio producing, they run like a well oiled machine. GARY CONNORS, a shy kid from the suburbs is hired as a new intern where he is immediately thrown into the hot seat by the energetic and intimidating JAY. Everything moves quickly as GARY shuffles between the music house and the recording studio one floor below.
With such high stakes and exorbitant amounts of money being spent, changes are a usual thorn in JAY's side. One client in particular, BOB NAREN is quite adept at pushing everybody's buttons. On one session for instance, engineer ALFIE BANKS having had just enough, sets BOB NAREN up with a "dummy" fader to make moves that "only he can do".
Our intern GARY soon learns there are some terrific perks in the fast paced jingle business and at times, very little sleep. Learning all he can about the studio from tape op FERN MILLER, GARY becomes an indispensable assistant to JAY, who always seems to be working on multiple projects at once.
Although the work is hard and the hours long, there is a lot of fun as an interesting assortment of characters come and go in the colorful jingle biz.
There was a perfect storm brewing back in 2011, one that I remember distinctly. A year before I had joined my wife in the acting, film and TV world. By then our European travels had culminated in an all-out love for Amsterdam and The Netherlands. Being a musician and somewhat prolific composer made up the 3rd front of the storm. When the storm finally subsided, an idea had been planted in my brain: a travel show. The storm had welded together the film biz with our passion for travel and my original music. The first incarnation was a dud. But then our love for The Netherlands kicked in and the show became more focused. A title soon emerged: Let's Go Dutch. The show would be about travel to the Netherlands as well as the places the Dutch East and West India companies have been. That included our own home town: NYC, formerly New Amsterdam. Soon after a seamstress was found to make a traditional Dutch costume, with which my wife would host the show in. One night while on a film job, she came up with the words and the melody for a theme song. I took that and added chords and we suddenly had a show with a name, a costume and a theme song. The last piece of the puzzle was a hook, which appeared out of nowhere: "So put on your clogs and Let's Go Dutch" ®
All episodes are 26 minutes in length
episode 001: AMSTERDAM
episode 002: LEIDEN & EDAM
episode 003: HAARLEM & DELFT
episode 004: OPEN AIR MUSEUMS includes Zuiderzee museum & Zaanse Schans
episode 005: TREATS FOR THE KIDS includes Sprookjes Wonderland & de Efteling
episode 006: MAASTRICHT
episode 007: GOUDA & ALKMAAR includes the Gouda cheese market
episode 008: DEN HAAG
episode 009: RETURN TO AMSTERDAM includes side trip to Muiderslot
episode 010: NEW AMSTERDAM
episode 011: BRUGES includes a side trip to Damme
episode 012: ANTWERP & GENT
episode 013: ENKHUIZEN
episode 014: HOORN
episode 015: UTRECHT includes a side trip to Kasteel de Haar
episode 016: DUTCH MASTERS the Golden Age painters
episode 017: SIDETRIPS FROM AMSTERDAM 1
episode 018: SIDETRIPS FROM AMSTERDAM 2
episode 019: TULIP TIME USA Pella and Orange City, Iowa & Holland, Michigan
episode 020: WINTER IN AMSTERDAM includes day trip to Dordrecht
see also www.letsgodutchtv.com for more info and short clips
This is the story of the historical Dutch settlement that became New York City. From the discovery by Henry Hudson; to the legendary purchase for $24; to the stern Peter Stuyvesant and the famous wall street he created. This is the story of a little island that laid out an entire blueprint for America.
In the Golden Age of Holland, the Dutch were quite eager to expand their global influence and open up new trade routes. They faced stiff competition from the British, Spanish and Portuguese. In 1608 the Dutch hired Henry Hudson to find a faster route to the spices of the Far East.
Hudson sailed on a Dutch ship called the Half Moon. His mission was simple: find the that passage that would cut across to the Pacific and avoid going around the horn of Africa. He never did find that mythical passage although he thought he had, when he sailed North up the river that would one day bear his name. The river eventually narrowed, forcing Hudson to turn back around. The voyage wasn't a total bust however, as Hudson reported back to the Dutch about a great Harbor with several islands.
The Dutch took notice and sent cartographers to map the landscape. In 1623, they sent the first wave of colonists to the New World. The Dutch set up a trading post and colony on Manhatta Island and in 1626, paid "$24" to the Indians for the island. As merchant traders, the Dutch were unrivaled. As Colonists, they were second-rate. Carving out life in the new world was not without problems. For the Dutch, New Amsterdam was a lucrative trading post. For the colonists, this was their life.
The Dutch changed directors 7 times, with the final director the stern Peter Stuyvesant. While the colony was taken from the Dutch by the british in 1664, a blueprint had already been created and implemented. New Amsterdam was as much a melting pot in 1660 as it is today. The Dutch blueprint for self-governance was the forebearer of the US Constitution.
Between the British take over and the American revolution, much of the history of New Amsterdam faded away. As the city expanded and structures torn down, eventually all traces of the Dutch foundation was lost to time.
It may have only been a 41-year run, but the Dutch left behind a script that is still running today.