About JuliusG

Julius Galacki is a professional playwright, screenwriter and director. He is a graduate of the Yale School of Drama playwriting program as well as NYU's Tisch School of the Arts and Gallatin School of Interdisciplinary Studies (respectively, a MFA, BFA and MA). He has been published by Smith & Kraus and has had plays produced or read on Theatre Row in New York City as well as New Jersey, Connecticut, Philadelphia and Los Angeles.

Limping Towards Babylon – the Antagonist

We’re off to a great start on the LIMPING TOWARDS BABYLON Kickstarter campaign, but as statistically happens in all Kickstarter campaigns, there are mid-section doldrums where contributions slow way down.

So, I’d like to ask everyone to help get the momentum re-ignited by sharing this project on their Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. pages, either with those handy “share” buttons on the front page, or by telling them to go to www.limpingtowardsbabylon.com

So, on to the post: an element of the story that I didn’t have time to explore in the teaser video was the character of the antagonist Professor Bligh, and yes, I’m deliberately referencing Captain Bligh from “Mutiny on the Bounty” in more ways than one with the character’s name.

I asked Adam J. Smith if he would take on this part both because he’s an excellent actor and he has a natural like-ability. It’s important that the professor also be charming, even when he’s being a jerk.

And to show off Adam’s range, here he is in a scene from the Pasadena Playhouse production of “Intimate Apparel”:
Adam J. Smith and Vanessa Williams in INTIMATE APPAREL at The Pasadena Playhouse.

(from LA Magazine’s review: “It doesn’t hurt the production that Ms. Williams is so simple and graceful as Esther, I could have watched her for hours. I didn’t say watch her act because her performance is so sublime and simple that I felt like I was not watching an actor, I was watching Esther. The same can be said of Mr. Smith. Their scenes together are so loaded with tension that in lesser hands would feel like a soap opera.”)

The scene below precedes the scene in the teaser video where the anthropology doctoral student and Teaching Assistant, Thomas (Josh Breslow), is drunk and is shouting up at the professor’s window about the theft of his dissertation title.

Josh Breslow as Thomas railing against academic theft

Josh Breslow as Thomas railing against academic theft


That drunken action by Thomas then unintentionally precipitates all of those kissing scenes (and eventually more) from the teaser video:

INT. ANTHROPOLOGY DEPARTMENT, PROFESSOR BLIGH’S OFFICE – LATE AFTERNOON

Thomas is packing his papers into his bag. Professor RICHARD BLIGH walks in carrying a box of books.

BLIGH: Oh, Thomas. Good, I caught you.

THOMAS: (Surprised) Professor Bligh. Uh, I just finished meeting all of the students. I’ll have their grades ready by tomor-

BLIGH: Good, good. I have something more important for you to do.

He places the box with a SOFT THUD on his desk.

BLIGH (CONT’D): Sit. Sit…. I just received the review copies of my new book. Here’s a list of my colleagues at other universities that I’d like you to send one to each. And, uh, ask them in so many words whether they’d write a blurb, which of course, I’d reciprocate, etcetera, etcetera, for their next book, etcetera.

Thomas opens the flaps of the box and takes out a book. It reads “Shamanism: Gift or Curse?”

BLIGH (CONT’D): Nice cover, isn’t it?

Thomas just stares at the book. Bligh’s voice is heard.

BLIGH (O.S.) (CONT’D): The photograph of the shaman in trance on his spirit journey adds a mystique.

Thomas continues staring – broiling inside.

THOMAS: Uh, huh.

BLIGH: (Sincere) Oh, I’m sorry. I forgot to mention that I borrowed your title because it was so pithy. I didn’t think you’d mind…

THOMAS: (Lying) No, no. Of course not…

BLIGH: And after all, it’s just a dissertation title. Not an actual book title.

THOMAS: Of course, a title can’t be copyrighted… (He makes a weird little laugh sound.) …after all.

BLIGH: Well, you don’t have to do this now. First thing in the morning is fine….

(Scene continues…)

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinrssyoutube

Dialogue sample from Limping Towards Babylon

Here’s a dialogue sample of the script I’ve been working on intensely with a great group of actors. If you want to support it by watching the video, sharing it on your platforms or better yet, direct communication, just go www.limpingtowardsbabylon.com

Karen Sours and Josh Breslow in a scene from the teaser video

Karen Sours and Josh Breslow in a scene from the teaser video

AMANDINE
Ah. He meant “E”…. We are a crazy bunch of people in this house, no? So much love, all for the wrong people.

She laughs. He half-laughs to hide that he doesn’t like the truth of that.
Then, she pulls her chair right next to his, and puts her head on his shoulder.

AMANDINE (CONT’D)
Oh, Thomas. I am such a bitch.

He wants to put his arm around her, but instead picks up one of the students’ papers and tries to remain casual.

THOMAS
No, you’re not.

AMANDINE
But I am so dramatic!

THOMAS
That makes you interesting.

She takes her head off of his shoulder and looks him eye to eye.

AMANDINE
If I was your girlfriend, you would not say that.

She stands.

THOMAS
Oh… uh… I might.

AMANDINE
Ah! That’s why I love you Thomas Babcock.

Amandine’s accent makes her insert an extra half vowel into his name, sounding something like Toh-mas Bab-i-cock.

AMANDINE (CONT’D)
You lie to me so sweet.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinrssyoutube

“Limping Towards Babylon” now on Kickstarter

Not “Chicken…” news, but I’ve been working intensely on this script for the past year and a half (though the seed began even earlier) with a great group of actors. Speaking of seeds, trying to raise the money to raise the (big) money.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinrssyoutube

LIMPING TOWARDS BABYLON – rejection and resilience

So, I just read the coverage for my script LIMPING TOWARDS BABYLON. I had applied to Film Independent’s Screenwriter Lab. Film Independent logo I was not accepted and coverage was mixed, but overall was slightly more positive than negative.

I am going to make the supposition that I at least was strongly considered if not on the cusp. Here’s an example of push me-pull you critique (and let me say, he/she seemed to have given the script a close, careful read even if I don’t always agree with the conclusions): “The dialogue can be very smart in places, and the long conversations between characters — while often unnecessary — certainly have verve and a feel to them that holds our attention.”

Now, when I finished the script it was literally the day before the FIND deadline. I’ve made the script even stronger since then… still it’s a disappointment and only further convinces me, I just have to make it myself because I believe in this script.

And it’s not just that I consider the best thing I’ve ever written, I believe in its universality… of what it means to love in the wrong direction and also the zig zag steps toward maturity and becoming one’s own person.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinrssyoutube

All Things Chicken named Best Score at WilliFest

Sept. 27 will be the awards ceremony in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, but they emailed to notify me of the win. Of course, it’s really Ben Wise, the composer’s win even though I submitted it. Nonetheless because I was so intimately involved in the score’s creation, I feel very proud. If one would call Ben the parent to the scoreWilliFest small, then I’m the grandparent.

Listen to it here: http://www.allthingschickenthemovie.com/trailer-and-score/

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinrssyoutube

Five Awards Nominatons at the Tenerife International Film Festival for “All Things Chicken”

tenerife_film_festival_new_5_small
“All Things Chicken” screened in Madrid on the 7th of July at 8 pm as an official selection of the Tenerife International Film Festival. It was honored with 5 Awards nominations:

– Best Short Film

– Best Short Screenplay

– Best Producer

– Best Lead Actor in a Short Film (Matt Mercer)

– Best Support Actor in a Short Film (Drew Nye)

Tenerife Official-Selection 2015

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinrssyoutube

ALL THINGS CHICKEN – Spain premiere today – TENERIFE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

Tenerife Official-Selection 2015“Chicken is now showing on July 2 in Room 2 in the DormirDcine hotel at 20:15 i.e. 8:15 pm as part of the Tenerife International Film Festival (but actually showing in Madrid in conjunction with the Madrid IFF):

http://www.madridinternationalfilmfestival.com/festival-programme/

At this festival, the film is nominated for Best Short Film, Best Short Screenplay, Best Producer of a Short Film, Best Lead Actor in a Short Film (Matt Mercer) and Best Supporting Actor in a Short Film (Drew Nye)

more info. on ALL THINGS CHICKEN at my other website: www.allthingschickenthemovie.com

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinrssyoutube

Twinkie Update

So, I recently wrote a little paean about the totally artificial snack cake that brought the word Twinkie into the lexicon. But quasi-good things often have a dark heart alas.

The corporate main stream media has been presenting the Hostess bankruptcy as being precipitated by a union strike in reaction to management demands for wage and pension give-backs amongst other things, essentially parroting the headline from Hostess’ own website: “HOSTESS BRANDS TO WIND DOWN COMPANY AFTER BCTGM UNION STRIKE CRIPPLES OPERATIONS”. And it’s not just Fox News leading the story with this spin.

This is the Google search headline for CNN: “Hostess Brands closing for good due to bakers strike – Nov. 16, 2012 money.cnn.com/2012/11/16/news/companies/hostess-closing/ 2 days ago – Hostess, maker of Twinkies, Wonder Bread and Ding Dongs, says strike by bakers forcing its closing. … Hostess filed for bankruptcy in January, its second trip to bankruptcy court since 2004. …. 2012 Cable News Network.” In fairness, once you click on the link, the actually story doesn’t use that headline but nonetheless, the first paragraph of the story is similarly worded.

Likewise, NBC has a story with this headline: “Twinkies Maker Hostess Going Out of Business, CEO Blames Union Strike “It’s over. This is it,” Gregory Rayburn tells “Today.”
Sunday, Nov 18, 2012 | Updated 4:21 PM CST”

I should note that I’m fairly passionate about the vilification of work and unions as opposed to the so called great good of the “job creators” and capital of the corporate kind. (I think small business people generally practice capitalism in a different manner than corporations so this rant is not about them – after all, they usually work side by side with the people they hire, and small business people don’t get golden parachutes whether or not they make good business decisions – their capital is actually at risk.)

So, I love reading correctives to our corporate mainstream media when I found out the inconvenient truth that Hostess had raised 4 of its top four executives compensation by up to 80% just a few months ago, even though the company had already filed for bankruptcy prior to that pay raise. Granted after that public relations gaffe, the then CEO left (with a nice package) and the 4 top officers took both a real and highly symbolic pay cut to $1, but they also guaranteed themselves a return to their full 6 or 7 figure salaries by January 1st.

So M.S.M., it’s all the fault of the guys making $20 bucks an hour for not believing that the company didn’t have enough money to honor the contracts they had previously negotiated with the union??? I WONDER WHY these baker and drivers were so distrustful of management? I f’ing hate hypocrisy and greed…that means the media as much as Hostess exec’s.

Here are 2 links (one of which cross links to an earlier CNN story for those that don’t trust non-traditional journalists) that back up my assertions here: http://americablog.com/2012/11/hostess-twinkie-ceo-salary.html and http://www.examiner.com/article/the-real-reasons-hostess-went-bankrupt

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinrssyoutube

Thoughts on Popeye and a review of the Bond film “Skyfall”

Saw the latest Bond movie, a really superior popcorn movie with great stunts. Solid performances, creative staging by director Sam Mendes to re-invent the familiar, exotic locations, high quality tech elements and a well written, intelligent script are some of the reasons for this creative success.

It puts one foot in the Bond past (e.g. the Aston Martin gets a big cameo amongst many nods to previous iconic Bond tropes and gadgets), while modernizing technology, attitudes toward woman (a bit) and even “stooping” so screenplay 101 to do a little character development… the only quibble was that the wit was not as pervasive as some previous 007 entries instead replaced with a melancholia about getting old and changing times. “Skyfall” actually threatened to be deep on occasion but fortunately something goofily over-the-top intruded and brought the film back into the realm of escapist fun.

But here’s an odd reaction I had during the opening action scene where civilian health and life are treated in a typically cavalier manner as the British agents chase the bad guy: I kept thinking about Popeye. When I was a kid, I watched Popeye cartoons on TV just because that’s what was on – but I disliked Popeye. I have a distinct memory of Popeye rescuing Olive Oil, who was tied to some train tracks, by punching the train, causing it to crunch into itself. I didn’t say to myself, “Thank god, Olive Oil was rescued.” No, I said, “There were people on that train and Popeye just killed them.” That was how my brain already worked at 5 years old.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinrssyoutube