Best Scene Reading of MORPH TV Pilot by Christine Davis (plus interview)

Watch the Best Scene Reading of MORPH:


NARRATOR – Danielle Nicole
Jack – Brett J. Kelly
Pablo – Aaron Drake
Jimmy – Jason J. Thomas

Get to know writer Christine Davis:

1. What is your TV screenplay about?

“Morph” is a sci-fi story about a Los Angeles homicide detective named Jack who, in the course of investigating a series of murders, is taken captive by those behind the killings. Unfortunately for him, he finds out firsthand what it is they’ve been doing to victims when they administer a DNA-altering serum that causes him to change – morph – from a regular man into something not quite human. In this initial offering, the pilot of the series, it’s up to his new partner Morty from the East Coast, and two fellow detectives, to find and save him. Morty gets to him and as a result becomes the only other person – they think – who knows former loner Jack’s new and terrifying secret.

2. Why should this script be made into a TV show?

Vehicles with supernatural or larger-than-life characters are a hot commodity right now. The way it’s currently written, Jack’s morphed alter ego is essentially a werewolf-type creature in the tradition of Lon Chaney, Jr.’s “Wolfman.” Because of this added element, “Morph” becomes a cross between standard cop shows where crimes are investigated and solved, and the old TV series “The Incredible Hulk” where in order for things to be resolved, the creature has to make an appearance. Very much like Bill Bixby’s David Banner was dealing with, the overarching theme will always be Jack wanting to have whatever was done to him undone, so he can become normal again, but in the meantime he has to live his life and do his job. There can be episodes that deal directly with this overarching theme, standalones that are case-driven and then opportunities in episodes to thread in the overall problem Jack now has to live with and how it is he and his partner Morty are trying to solve it. I think it makes for an intriguing premise that would catch the attention of sci-fi, creature-feature and police/crime show fans alike.

3. How long have you been writing stories?

Thirty years. I started out using pencils and spiral notebooks!

4. What movie have you seen the most in your life?

It would be a toss-up among the first four original “Star Trek” movies. I’m not sure if I’ve seen one of them more than the others, but possibly “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.”

5. What artists would you love to work with?

David E. Kelley – fantastic shows he creates. I especially loved the writing on “Boston Legal.” What a supremely intelligent show that was. I really like the way Peter M. Lenkov writes – great action but also wonderful character development. And I’d very much like to work at least once with Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, the men who brought an AU “Star Trek” and a fun addition to the “Transformers” franchise to movie screens. Extremely talented men who are excellent story tellers and very good at action and sci-fi.

6. How many stories/screenplays have you written?

I’m originally a writer of fan fiction for multiple television shows. I have 157 fanfic stories out on the internet at the moment, mostly in the Gerry Anderson’s “Thunderbirds” fandom. For original work, I’ve completed a four-book series called “Takers” which my publisher calls “Vampire Noir,” plus I’m currently working on a new horror novel series and contemplating turning “Morph” into an episodic Kindle Short Reads book series as well. I’ve completed four feature-length screenplays and in the past I wrote three spec scripts for “Boston Legal,” a series I loved for its sharp wit.

7. What motivated you to write this screenplay?

Actually, it was my primary editor and publisher Jaimi Sorrell (owner of Plotfish Press) who prompted me to do this. “Morph” started out as a piece of fanfic I wrote in the (new) “Hawaii Five-0” fandom, featuring Steve McGarrett as the one whose DNA is altered without his knowledge while he’s an active Navy SEAL. Jaimi liked the story a lot and saw the potential for an original series. Although it took her a while to convince me to do it, eventually this original version of “Morph” was born.

8. Describe your process; do you have a set routine, method for writing?

Not really. I just have an idea and I sit down and write it. I’ve tried to do the things other writers do, such as using index cards or plotting out every scene or plot point in detail, but what that does to me, in effect, is tells my psyche I’ve already written the story and then I lose interest in actually sitting down and doing it. I find that I have to have at it in a first run from start to finish without too much planning ahead of time in order for me to be successful at doing anything beyond basic plotting! Then comes the fun of massive editing.

9. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Gerry Anderson’s “Thunderbirds.” I am the website administrator for a family of six websites related to that series, and am the layout artist and co-editor for a “Thunderbirds” newsletter that is published three times per year. With this year being the iconic British show’s 50th anniversary, there’s been increased activity in the fandom. I helped my publisher work on the Kindle version of Stephen LaRiviere’s definitive book on the producing team of Gerry and Sylvia Anderson, “Filmed in Supermarionation” (he’s recently also made a critically acclaimed documentary based on his book). I am active daily maintaining the multiple websites and interacting with other diehard fans around the world. Other than that, I suppose you could say I’m passionate about my day job – I’m a project and program manager in the IT world.

10. What influenced you to enter the WILDsound Festival?

I had once entered a screenplay of mine while I was living and working in Canada several years ago, and received a notification recently via Goodreads about this current festival. Back then I didn’t have anything to enter into a TV pilot festival or contest, but since I do now, I thought I’d give it a try. WILDsound organizers really communicate well with entrants, which I appreciate. I don’t feel like I’m forgotten or just one of the masses, but rather like they actually care about how well I do or don’t do with my stories.

11. Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

Write what you love. Sometimes that’s what’s popular and sometimes it’s not. But if your passion isn’t there, unless you are extremely skilled at faking it, your audience will know. All you can do is keep trying. If success is meant to happen for you, it will! And if not, well…born writers know that you have to write just as much as you have to breathe…so at least you’re fulfilling a very basic need!

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