Writing JANE, the Movie
An Introduction by Screenwriter Deborah Allen
When I was fifteen, I wrote poetry and had a best friend named Abbey. We were in love with this guy on a TV show and we actually embroidered a piece of burlap with yarn that said, “We love you,” and sent it to him.
When I was fifteen, my parents (big on long summer camps where their five children were gone for awhile) found me a high school drama program at a mid-Western university.
When I was fifteen, my mom made me a beautiful dress made out of Indian print fabric she had actually brought back from India (not from a hippy store). It was short and had long sleeves. I wore it with my first pair of knee high brown boots.
When I was fifteen, I was raped by a teacher at that summer camp, wearing the beautiful dress from India.
JANE is the movie it took me 45 years to write.
Here is what I want you to know:
Fifteen-year-old girls are awake and tender and adventurous. They have hormones just like boys and beginning sex drives. At fifteen, above all else, I loved my friends, my Art Form, my English class and my anxiety about the state of the world. I wanted to be part of social change. I wanted to be an artist. I wanted a boyfriend. I wanted to be Queen.
JANE is a story about what it was like for one girl, one set of dreams, one family story, and how to come back to wholeness after a very bad thing.
What brought me to write JANE is a passionate conviction that humans can tolerate complex answers to complex problems. Being raped, believe me, is a complex problem and healing is a long journey that looks different for each of us.
To write JANE, I had to really listen to the fifteen year old who's still within me.
One day I was funny and irreverent and smart... the next day I became one of the 1 in 4 girls who are sexually assaulted before the age of 18. I began eating Oreos and didn't stop until I weighed over 200 pounds. I didn’t know what to do or where to turn. I certainly couldn’t tell anyone. There was no information inside of me that told me that he was forty and I was fifteen and I was not at fault.
The hole that was torn in me because of the rape did not get smaller, I got bigger and stronger around it. I want to give back what I know and what I’ve learned to the girls who are hurting in silence. I wish I could say that things have changed to some amazing degree in the last forty-five years. But it seems like girls still have very few heroines out there who have strong inner lives and can navigate complex territory. There has to be more than one character like “Hermione” for girls to look up to.
So I wrote a story of what I wished could have happened.
JANE is about a 15-year old who is raped by the man she idolizes and then does the unexpected: she gets her life back. She gets help from the great people who are around her. She learns to fight in a powerful self-defense program. She grieves. She makes a beginning peace with her own suffering. She uses her poetry to chart her slow steady progress. She begins the long, complex journey home.
JANE is a story for a girl in a darkened movie theater who is being assaulted by hormones, confusion and choices. It is for her mother, who was silent and does not know how to help her daughter. And for her father, who has not a clue how to help and sometimes feels angry or frightened by his helplessness. It is for that equally hormonal young teenage boy, who needs to see great male role models responding to difficult choices with both action AND emotion, and comes out of the theatre ready to stand for what is right inside himself.
Worldwide, 1 in 3 women are raped or sexually assaulted in their lives…1 in 3…
I can’t think of any disease that affects a third of all the world’s women – if there were, I’m sure there would be a global outcry of support, money, vaccinations to curb it… but for rape, it has remained hidden away, behind closed doors, generation after generation.
May this film be an offering into the silence. May this film be an anchor to a girl who is lost. May this film serve its true purpose of using story to teach our children about navigating a soulful life.
JANE has had two years of develop work completed, including budget, location permissions in Monterey, CA, crew that are aligned to do the film if available, and a distribution plan for an indie film that is predicted to make return on investment even without commercial distribution (Dazzle Entertainment). It is also now available as a screenplay to a producer or production company that is ready to purchase the film script. contact Deborah Allen, firstname.lastname@example.org
THE MARKET & CONSUMER
There has always been a market for films with well-crafted, story-driven scripts. As an inspirational character-driven film with a female protagonist, JANE may attract an audience across a variety of age groups and special interests. “Its audience is every teenager and everyone who has ever been a teenager and everyone who loves a teenager,” former California State Senator Joe Simitian told Deborah Allen about this project. For JANE in particular, teenage girls age 11-18 and their families will be the target audience. The film is aiming for a PG-13 rating to ensure that teenagers can see the film without needing an adult to accompany them to a theater.
JANE – The Movie is character-driven drama that is budgeted at approximately $1,000,000, based on a budget created by line producer Rick Bosner (Fruitvale Station). The production team includes Producer/Screenwriter Deborah Allen, Producer Ike Jablon, Producer Brittney Buffo, Director of Photography Bob Elfstrom, Editor Steve Cohen, Production Manager Cristen Carr Strubbe, and Casting Directors Kevin Mockrin, CSA and Karina Walters, CSA. Consultants include Distributor, the late David Vasile and Entertainment Attorney Michael Saleman.
Deborah Allen, Executive Producer/Screenwriter Deborah Allen comes to her first feature film as an artist exploring her roots as a writer. She has a Master’s degree in theater arts and spent many years in the San Francisco Bay Area theater community as an actress and director. From 1984 to 1988, Allen served as the Executive Director of Theater Bay Area. She has worked with Trap Doors/Puertas Dissimuldas at Watsonville High School with the Bear Republic Theater and Teatro Campesino. She was an artist in residence at the National Theatre of Uganda and directed August Wilson’s Fences at the National Theatre. Allen is also an educator, training mid-life professionals with in-depth psychology, complementary medicine and trauma education. Her writing has appeared in the Christian Science Monitor, Callboard Magazine, American Theater Magazine, Tikkun and African Farmer.
Ike Jablon, Producer
Ike Jablon is a Daytime Emmy-nominated producer with a background in nationally and internationally syndicated television for CBS and ABC Networks in both Los Angeles and New York City. While at CBS, he produced for the long-running program Entertainment Tonight and its sister show The Insider – which together reached a nightly audience of 5-10 million viewers. He produced segments involving countless stars including Tom Cruise, Jennifer Aniston, George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Sandra Bullock, Will Smith and many more. He then moved onto help launch CBS’ first successful daytime talk show The Talk, which includes hosts Sharon Osbourne, Julie Chen and Sara Gilbert. While there, Jablon worked as a News, Celebrity and Human Interest Producer managing a wide range of segments from stars, to Gold-Medal winning Olympians, to teenagers at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. He graduated with a B.F.A. in Film Production from Chapman University’s Dodge College of Film & Media Arts. Jablon is a native of Santa Cruz, CA.
Cristen Carr Strubbe, Production Manager Cristen Carr Strubbe has worked as a producer and production manager for countless projects, including the Academy Award-winning film American Beauty. She has the immense experience of handling films from blockbusters to indie hits. Carr Strubbe has been a principal crew member for high-profile studio productions including No Strings Attached, Charlie Wilson's War, The Prestige, Hollywoodland, Catch Me If You Can, Ali and many more. She produced numerous independent films, among them Drag Me to Hell (co-producer), Susan's Plan (line producer), Dinner and Driving (producer),Lipstick Camera (line producer), and Every Breath (line producer).
Richard Bosner, Line Producer Richard Bosner is an experienced Line Producer for independent films on the same scale as JANE. His most recent project is the critically acclaimed Fruitvale Station, starring Michael B. Jordan and Oscar-winning actress Octavia Spencer. The film, produced by Academy Award-winning actor Forest Whitaker, recently won top honors at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival including Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award. The budget and shooting schedule for Fruitvale are in the same range as JANE. Under Bosner’s management, Fruitvale came in under budget with a first time feature director (Ryan Coogler). The film is now distributed worldwide by the Weinstein Company and is being fast-tracked for the 2014 awards season.
Bob Elfstrom, Director of Photography Bob Elfstrom’s vision as a documentary cameraman is defined by a confident, clear ability to focus on the essence of any given situation. Elfstrom has an intuitive sense of story, a feature film feel for lighting and an athletic agility with a handheld camera. His work commands attention with its visceral beauty, fluid grace and basic human compassion. Among the best in his field, Elfstrom has earned awards not only for himself as Director of Photography, but also for countless productions he's worked on over the years. Credits include Director of Photography on numerous PBS programs and specials including Nova, P.O.V., American Masters and Frontline, as well as programming for National Geographic and the Discovery Channel. Elfstrom’s own films include Johnny Cash!: The Man, His World, His Music, Gospel Road: A Story of Jesus and a tribute to Pete Seeger.
Steve Cohen, Editor Steve Cohen began his career using the traditional film tools of the editor. In the early 1990s, Cohen worked with Montage, Ltd. and then with Avid, helping develop a user interface and feature set that is now considered the gold standard for professional editing. He edited the first studio feature to use Media Composer (Lost in Yonkers) and the first TV movie that used Avid to conform a film negative (Teamster Boss). Cohen introduced Media Composer to the technical wing of the Motion Picture Academy, which led to Avid’s Scientific and Technical Academy Award. Cohen later became the Chairman of Editing at the American Film Institute Center for Advanced Film and Television Studies, one of the only schools in the world that offers a Master’s Degree in motion picture editing. He has won various awards over the years, including an Emmy for LBJ: The Early Years and an A.C.E. Eddy for Don King: Only in America. In 2007, Cohen received the American Cinema Editors’ Robert Wise Award for Journalistic Illumination of the Art of Editing.
Kevin Mockrin, CSA & Karina Walters, CSA, Casting Directors Kevin Mockrin and Karina Walters have a combined 15 years of casting experience between them, on a range of formats from pilots, to series, to features; and on a range of genres, from drama, to action, to horror, to comedy. Over the years, they have worked with some of the top Casting Directors, among them Denise Chamian, Junie Lowry Johnson & Scott Genkinger, April Webster, Alyssa Weisberg, FMW Casting, Deb Aquila and Romano/Benner Casting. Kevin's recent credits include the Comedy Central series "Workaholics," which he co-cast, as well as the pilot for the comedy series "Man Up!," and the features "Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol," and Josh Schwartz's comedy feature "Fun Size." Karina is coming off Shawn Ryan's latest ABC drama pilot "Last Resort," along with the Ben Stiller/Vince Vaughn comedy feature "The Watch," and season 1 of Michael Mann and David Milch's HBO series "Luck."
David Vasile, Distribution & Analytics Advisor (Independent 3rd Party)
David Vasile was the founder, owner and President of Dazzle Entertainment LLC. Established in 2004, Dazzle operates two divisions.
The consulting division provides management consulting, content development and mergers / acquisitions services to some of the leading media companies and brands in the industry including Lionsgate, Oxygen Networks, Ultimate Fighting (UFC) and fitness guru Richard Simmons. Through Dazzle, Vasile has also served as a Divisional President for several large ($120 million plus in annual revenues) media companies and has facilitated over $100 million in licensing and acquisitions for his clients. Vasile also holds executive producer's credits for over half a dozen critically acclaimed independent feature films in the comedic, horror, and dramatic genres.
Dazzle's independent film division represents a catalog of over 200 films worldwide. In 2012 Dazzle secured theatric, DVD and broadcast deals in over 100 territories worldwide and has secured premieres on the major U.S. premium pay TV channels such as HBO, Showtime, Starz, Encore, and The Movie Channel. Under Vasile's leadership, Dazzle has earned a reputation as a premiere boutique agency that maintains as successful track record of maximizing distributor/producer profits, implementing innovative market strategies and delivering results that greatly exceed that of its peers.
Prior to forming Dazzle Entertainment, Vasile served as the President of Anchor Bay Entertainment (now part of the Starz Entertainment Group). Under Vasile's leadership, Anchor Bay grew to annual revenues of just under $200 million and secured its position as one of the ten largest studios and distributors in the United States. It is also home for some of the top performing horror films and franchises including John Carpenter's Halloween, Clive Barker's Hellraiser series, Sam Raimi's Evil Dead trilogy and George Romero's Night of the Living Dead franchise.
Vasile also revitalized the company's Thomas the Tank Train children's properties generating over $14 million in annual revenues. During his tenure, the company's fitness brands also grew dramatically making Anchor Bay one of the largest distributors within the genre. He also assembled a multi-million dollar logistics and licensing venture together with Fox/New Corp.
Prior to Anchor Bay, Vasile served as a Divisional President and General Manager of HOL with responsibility for the MTV groups (MTV, VH1 and CMT) online music/video content, marketing and commerce. He also served as a General Manager for Handleman Company (a $2 billion U.S. based music distributor) with direct responsibility for over $250 million in annual music revenues. Prior to entering the entertainment industry, Vasile held senior executive positions with Kmart Corporation, where he led merchandising and distribution re-engineering efforts.
Michael Norman Saleman, Attorney. Michael Norman Saleman, a graduate of UCLA and Whittier College School of Law, is a Martindale-Hubbell AV-rated attorney-at-law admitted to practice in both California (since 1980) and Texas (since 1994) as well as in the Federal Courts of the United States. Saleman’s practice maintains a special emphasis on the representation of independent filmmakers. In the course of such representation, he handles the creation of production companies, prepares financing documents, production/legal contracts and distribution negotiation and agreements.
In 32-plus years of practice in the area of film, Saleman has performed legal services on more than 95 completed and distributed motion pictures and television programs and has represented individuals in almost all sectors of the entertainment industry, from independent filmmakers, actors and writers to TV producers and former studio executives including heads of network programming.