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The Tower
IndustryCentral ScreenWriters Exchange: Drama: The Tower
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By Josh Minnick (Maxsteele) on Wednesday, April 5, 2000 - 04:37 pm:

Once upon a time there lived a young man named Jarret. The young man lived above the hustle and bustle of the city, above the smog-line of the factories, even above the clouds, in an ivory tower. This tower stood like a monolith amongst the other buildings of the industrious city. Jarret has spent his entire life in the upper floors of this tower, never touching the ground. He was born in the medical wing of the tower and raised on the top five floors. He spends his days controlling Kalaban Industries in the first twenty floors of his tower. A corporation that prides itself on purchasing and controlling other industries. The young man's father started Kalaban when overseas in the war. The company soon turned from a small two-man communications firm, to a high player on Wall Street. Jarret's father died when he was twelve and Kalaban Industries was left to him. Since then he has increased profitability by 600%, created new divisions of the corporation; Kalaban Medical Research, Kalaban-Rhichters Shipping Company, Kalaban Electronics, KA Foods, Vivian Oil, etc. etc. The young man rules his kingdom from the tower. All meetings are held over the phone or on the web. He has no need to travel; his only human contact to the outside world is his father's best friend and co-founder of Kalaban Industries, Saunders Farrell. Saunders runs the business from the ground; he makes most of the day to day decisions. Saunders finishes the projects started by the young man, meets with diplomats and dignitaries, presidents and generals. For the last fifteen years Saunders has visited the young man once a month , each time bringing a gift from some new exotic location. Most people, far below in the city think Kalaban is run by Saunders. He is the one that does the press conferences; he is quoted in Papers. Only a handful of people are aware of the top of the tower, or the young man. Of course there are rumors, but if you know Kalaban Industries you know not to question, or at least be caught questioning. This is the story of the tower. This is the story of Jarret Kalaban and how he came to conquer his fear of the world with the help of Amy St. Claire. Amy leads a tough life, in school to be a teaching she has to balance taking care of her sick mother, paying rent, and finishing her degree. Her mother is in a hospital dying of lung cancer. The insurance company refuses to help. Amy has never felt more alone in life. She has no time for men, no time for fun, she feels like a robot in a city that doesn't care if it rips you apart. In a last ditch effort she confronts the face behind the evil, the insurance company, Kalaban Industries. There Amy learns to trust and Jarret learns to live. But is Saunders willing to share, for Saunders harbors a secret that can tear not only Kalaban Industries apart, but maybe Amy and Jarret as well.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By Alan A. Armer (Alana) on Thursday, April 6, 2000 - 04:13 pm:


Josh Minnick . . .

An intriguing fantasy, perhaps a look into the high tech future. A problem we writers frequently face is making fantasy believable. Understand, I'm not putting down fantasy. Forrest Gump was fantasy and it won every award in sight.

If the relationshbip between Amy and Jarret lies at the heart of our story (I'm assuming it does), then how are we to get these two together? Either Jarret must come down occasionally from his tower isolation or Amy somehow must find her way into the higher reaches of the tower. Or they must communicate through letters, telephone, the internet, or . . . ?

I find it hard to believe that Jarret has never in his whole life left the tower and visited the outside world. Wouldn't simple curiosity cause him to leave occasionally - especially if he's dealing in products used by the outside world? If he has never left the tower, then I think we will need to find a reason for such unusual isolation. Perhaps he has lost a leg or been badly burned and is ashamed for the world to see him in this condition. Therefore he remains content to stay hidden and run his empire by remote control. Perhaps he left once and was traumatized by what he encountered and so he vowed never to leave the tower again. Story feels like an amalgam of a Grimm's fairy tale ("Once upon a time") and the high-tech world of the future.

I guess the primary conflict will be betweeen Jarret and Saunders - but, of course, you will need additional characters to flesh out your story. And I guess that Saunders and Jarret will both fall in love with Amy. You haven't spelled out many details, Josh, so I'm just speculating.

Your toughest job will be to make the cirsumstances of your offbeat story believable to an audience. I wish you luck with that.

Critique by Alan A. Armer

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