Teleplay · Video Pitch
Written by Darin Fauver & Clint Horvath
A mechanical engineer takes his deranged father's time machine in order to track down his estranged sister who's on a quest to save their mother from dying.
Drama · Western · Sci-Fi · Adventure
New York - Present Day · California - 1857
Can Ellington find the part that will work for the time machine to get him back home?
Will Ellington ever gain the respect from his Father?
Ashes II Ashes is about a broken family and an even more broken time machine. A brother and sister struggle to keep things together after the loss of their mother. They try to come to terms with their father, Daniel, that’s completely lost from his own greed.
The daughter, Hope, discovers a time machine in their father’s lab and goes missing in time. Her brother, Ellington, a young man who suffers from turrets syndrome is sent to try to bring her home. Daniel’s lust for power and influence may be the root cause of them both being lost in time forever.
Ellington comes to terms with the fact that he’s stuck in 1857. He’s forced to deal with his turrets syndrome while trying to survive the harsh environment of building the transcontinental railroad. He befriends the Chinese laborers and tries to help them get out of the oppressed company they work for. He finds peace and healing from their eastern medicine.
Daniel struggles to gain power, influence and money while working both sides of a dangerous game of secrets. While trying to keep his cool working a thin line of treason, he also has to contend with a nosy detective trying to find his missing young daughter.
A Detective turns up the heat looking for Hope. Arrested and waiting for charges in jail, Daniel no longer has contact with anyone or control over his situation.
Lonely, hurt, and angry Ellington’s health isn’t good. His turret is ticking like a bomb. Stuck in a dark makeshift cell isn’t helping. A Chinese medicine man offers mental and physical healing if he’s willing to open up and listen.
A raid on the railroad camp brings the foreman and his henchmen to their knees. A window opens for the Chinese workers to finally have peace and good working conditions. A missing piece reveals itself there’s hope for the time machine.
Ellington, Daniel, and Hope all find a conclusion to their individual journey.
This story began in 2013. A co-worker, Darin, and I decided to collaborate on a western genre feature screenplay. We outlined the whole thing and when it came time to write "The Lone Ranger" with Johnny Depp came out. This halted our excitement about finishing the project. Our story and the film shared similar elements so we let the idea die.
A few years passed and I wanted to pursue the story, so I developed a new outline where our main character, Ellington has superpowers of some sort. And I came up with a new title, "Ashes II Ashes" and a sequel "Dust II Dust". I wanted to bring in the fans of superheroes and now wanted to make it a graphic novel. Darin loved the new direction plus enough time had passed for us to get excited again.
As we outlined our new idea, we soon came to realize nothing has really changed in the story besides Ellington having a superpower; which made him not likable. We continued to brainstorm. Darin came up with the idea of time travel and bringing the element of Sci-Fi into it. All I can say is, "I Loved It!".
I ran into an online submission for Legion M, who was pushing their "Pitch Elevator" contest of a television series or film. I decided to do it even though I don't like being on camera. I pitched it as a series rather than a film only because I felt it needed to be stretched out to really get the idea across. I ran it by Darin and then sent it off. A few months later we received a bunch of e-mails from the company for us to be included in an in-person pitch to a panel of judges. This was an amazing feeling. Not only did we spend a couple of years working on it, but we also get this good feedback.
We really didn't hear back from the company for another couple of years and since then we didn't really work on it because I had left that place of business and started a new job. And a couple of years later, we got another e-mail about bringing "Pitch Elevator" back. So this time I called Darin and was like we need to fix the outline and write the pilot. This all happened at the beginning of the Co-Vid 19 Pandemic. Once we knew our families were safe, we set up a week of dinners to knock it out.
For the most part, I may be a little hard head of working with only because I study this stuff and I feel I have a good grasp of storytelling and it has to be a certain way. However, working like that does not go well with good collaborating. I really wanted this to work and like collaborating. So my new train of thought is to say, "yes" to everything and see where that takes us. I became happier. There were so many new possibilities that I never knew we can go.
From what I experience from writing over ten years is, don't be so structured. Take chances, trust your collaborator, and have fun. These things take time to produce and if done with love/passion the outcome is well received.
The pilot is written and we are ready for the contest once it comes around.
*NOTE: I do not own the rights to the above image. It is clearly a depiction representing the story.