I’m excited to announce that my company, DBS Films, has optioned the powerful memoir by Travis Waters, THE WESTCOAST KID-MY REDEMPTION, to turn into a major motion picture! THE WESTCOAST KID tells the compelling true story of Waters’ talented beginnings as a star high school basketball player in South Florida (competing evenly against the likes of Deion Sanders) whose dreams were shattered in the late 1980s when he fell into the seductive and extremely lucrative world of drug smuggling. At the age of 19 Travis was bringing tens of thousands of pounds of marijuana and cocaine into the U.S. for none other than Medellin cartel kingpin Pablo Escobar–his fellow Cuban and Colombian smugglers tagged him with the nickname “the Westcoast Kid.” A DEA-directed bust, though, landed Waters in prison where his descent turned truly horrific: prison gangs forced him into playing basketball for money which led to him being repeatedly beaten–and worse–simply for playing (and winning) at the game he loved. When he finally was released 6 years later, he returned home to Naples, Florida, where he now has turned his life around in a remarkable act of redemption: along with his powerful book, Travis counsels at-risk kids everywhere about the dangers of drugs, offering up his own painful but compelling story as a cautionary tale for those who are at the crossroads in making important life decisions. Look for THE WESTCOAST KID to be a provocative feature film!
I am very pleased to announce that my agent, Geri Thoma (Writer’s House, NYC) has sold my book proposal, A FAMILY ADVENTURE: THE FLETCHERS’ JOURNEY ACROSS 19TH CENTURY AMERICA, to Palgrave/Macmillan. My editor at Palgrave, Elisabeth Dysagaard, will offer terrific help in helping the book reach a very broad audience. The book focuses on an ordinary family, the Fletchers, originally from Ludlow, Vermont, who during the early 1800s spread into the South (Lynchburg, Virginia) and West (Indianapolis, Indiana) and beyond, showcasing the movement, ambition, and no small amount of heartache, that typified the American Dream. The final legacy of the Fletchers, daughter Indiana (named after one of the Fletcher sons who became a prominent founder of Indianapolis), founded the all-girls college near Lynchburg, Sweet Briar College, a testament to the family’s enduring commitment to education. Look for the book in the spring of 2016!
We are thrilled to announce that veteran indie filmmaker, Michelle Mower, has signed to direct TEXAS HEART! Among Michelle’s many credits as writer/producer/director are two films she wrote and directed, THE PREACHER’S DAUGHTER and THE PREACHER’S MISTRESS, that aired on Lifetime–and both are among the most watched films ever on that network! A Houston native, Michelle brings a strong visual style and keen regional sensitivity to TEXAS HEART. With her attachment we will be reaching out in the coming weeks to major casting via our casting director, New York City-based Adrienne Stern. We also hope Michelle’s involvement will help generate financing for the film.
We finished filming the trailer for my narrative feature, TEXAS HEART, Oct. 28, down in Dallas and Wolfe City. It was a huge success, thanks mostly to a talented crew, inspired performances, and compelling locations. A big shout-out to co-director and cinematographer, Bob Tullier, for his terrific work. The remarkable footage we shot is now in editing. We expect a finished trailer by Thanksgiving. Stay tuned!
The trailer for my new feature film, TEXAS HEART, a dramedy set in north Texas, goes into production Oct. 25-28 in and around my hometown of Wolfe City, Texas. The film tells the story of a corrupt New York attorney fleeing the Mob who seeks refuge in a small Texas town where he stumbles upon a powerful reason to do good. We’re shooting the trailer first to use as a ‘selling tool’ for the project–we’ll show it to financiers, agents, managers, other film producers to raise additional funds so we can (hopefully) go into production on the feature film itself next summer. The script is co-authored by my good friend and former Wolfe City High classmate, Nick Field.
Starring in the trailer are two experienced Los Angeles-based actors: TIM BRENNEN has appeared in JUSTIFIED, CRIMINAL MINDS, THE JIMMY KIMMEL SHOW, among many others; CODY SHILOH BROWN played a supporting role in the Oscar-nominated film, WINTER’S BONE.
Stay tuned to this page as well as the film’s soon-to-be launched website (www.texasheartfilm.net) and FB page for updates, trailers, and behind the scenes photos!