Beliefnet
Faith, Media & Culture

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture.

Here it is! My reason, that is. I co-created and co-wrote the thing with a guy named Michael Jue.  Actually, in all fairness, the idea started with Michael. He came to me with an original one-line pitch for a TV series that, quite honestly, was one of the best I ever heard. Basically, it was “What if there was a camera that could photograph the future?”

You see, in my other life, when I’m not making a living turning out a series of sci-fi adventure books for kids or doing this blog, I’m a scriptwriter who has had a few of my pilot scripts optioned.  I also consult with writers and/or boutique production companies on various projects.

Anyway, Mike (an entrepreneur who executive produced the film and also sells renovated vintage cameras via Amazon), asked me for my thoughts on developing the project and, always on the lookout for ideas I believe in, I jumped at the opportunity. Long story short, we talked it over. What started as a futuristic police procedural with cops using the camera to prevent crimes eventually became a heartfelt man-on-the-run action drama.  The concept line reads “The Fugitive meets Quantum Leap” in that it deftly (I hope) combines elements from both those classic series and weaves them into a new and (again, I hope) exciting premise.

Synopsis: Albert Einstein Fong (Michael Chaturantabut) was once one of the two top imaging scientists working for Fletcher Industries, an international defense and technology conglomerate founded by the enigmatic and politically-ambitious Ethan Fletcher (Meshach Taylor).

Jealous of his more brilliant professional rival, Matt Hayes (Joseph Daugherty) connives to have Albert fired while stealing his research for a super high-tech camera that captures “preflected” light waves producing photographs of future events!  But Matt soon realizes that Fletcher has connections to dark forces operating secretly within the government – forces that would use the technology to subvert democracy and, ultimately, enslave the people.

When the camera snaps a picture of his own murder at the hands of Quentin Travis (Patrick Copic), Fletcher’s chief security officer, Matt destroys the research and flees the corporate complex with the camera’s only prototype.

With assassins on his tail and realizing his bitter rival is now the only person he can trust, Matt makes a desperate plea to the man he betrayed, begging him to meet him at a deserted marina. It’s at that marina where Matt is (apparently) murdered forcing Albert to flee with the camera in hand. He soon finds himself framed for murder and in possession of the most significant invention in human history!

 On the run, he will find that a beeping red light on the camera mysteriously prods him to take photos at precisely the right location to reveal startling future events – warning him of dangers facing those he encounters. Those revelations will frequently cause Albert to place his life and freedom on the line to save others.

Whether racing time to rescue a stranger or to avoid his pursuers, the hallmarks of Photo Finish will be heartfelt story lines and tension-filled climaxes that will hold viewers rapt until each exciting episode’s final frame.

What exactly is behind that mysterious red light? With no scientific explanation, Albert finds himself contemplating something beyond science? Could it be coming from God?

Photo Finish was directed by Michael Brewer and produced by Madeleine Liebert. Original music was created by award-winning composer Bruce Hanifan whose TV work includes themes for Discovery Channel’s Deadliest Catch and Ice Road Truckers on History. The show is currently being pitched to the networks through Rick Dunaj at The Dunaj Agency.

If you’re in the LA area, you can see the entire pilot presentation this Sunday (9/16) when it premieres at the California International Shorts Festival. Location: 3rd Street Promenade Playhouse in Santa Monica (part of Film Block 3 running between 3:00-4:40 PM). For more info, click here.

Encourage one another and build each other up – 1 Thessalonians 5:11

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