Screenplay

Sanctuary

What is Sanctuary? The centuries-old idea of using churches to provide safe haven for those who need it.

A Script that asks “what if legal ≠ moral?”

Challenge

Because Sanctuary tells the origin story of the Sanctuary Movement, which took place over a decade and involves a half dozen important characters, it was a daunting script to write about an explosive subject.

Solution

By using the surveillance and trial of the Sanctuary Movement as the narrative framework, I was able to introduce the antagonists and zero in on the core conflict right away.

Process

Research

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Beatsheet

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Outlining

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Screenwriting

Review

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Rewriting & Polish

SAMPLE SCENE

I optioned Sanctuary twice; once to Caribou Productions and once to indie producer Jane Fleming. It’s a hard script to get made. This scene starts the movie and sets the stage for everything to come.

“It started four years ago, sir. In the desert.”

“It started four years ago, sir. In the desert.”

A sidewinder slides across the sand, winding between the radio and a woman’s high-heeled shoe.

A sidewinder slides across the sand, winding between the radio and a woman’s high-heeled shoe.

“They’re not Mexicans, Louise. They’re El Salvadorans.”

“They’re not Mexicans, Louise. They’re El Salvadorans.”

“Listen, I got a situation. You hear about them illegals, the desert people?”

“Listen, I got a situation. You hear about them illegals, the desert people?”

“Sorry amigos. My church works with the sheriff’s department. That means we have to follow the rules.”

“Sorry amigos. My church works with the sheriff’s department. That means we have to follow the rules.”

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