Alan C. Baird
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About Alan C. Baird
Alan is the Harvard Book Prize winner who coauthored a print/web/wap project entitled "9TimeZones.com," which was included in the Whitney Biennial. His work appears in a dozen-odd anthologies and in many periodicals, including Playboy, PC, and Britain's Guardian and Screenwriter. His Screenwright(R) screenplay formatter won a $3,333 cash award from Sun Microsystems, and he's written screenplays that finished in the quarters, semis and finals of various international competitions. Alan enjoys referring to himself in the third person, and was inordinately pleased when ABC-TV's "Max Headroom" series purchased his debut student film, widely hailed as "the most uncommercial piece of ____ in Michigan State's history." Born down east, he now lives just a stone's throw from Phoenix... which is fine and dandy, until the stones are thrown back.
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Synopsis: The endless hordes of Hollywood tourists in the late 1940's are easy marks for a con-man magician like Harry Merlinsky. He knows how to sucker the rubes and flash the ol' hamster-outta-the-fedora every now and then, to baffle 'em and dazzle 'em. But he didn't expect a naive fan like Jake, who wants to learn Harry's Old Knowledge - "real" magic. Harry's archenemy obliterates Jake's girlfriend, forcing Jake to become a wizard, just to stay alive. Will Jake use his newfound powers for vengeance? The timeless myth of the Sorcerer's Apprentice unfolds against the backdrop of the Magic Castle and the Hollywoodland sign.
Lineage: 12th-century folklore myths begat The Sorcerer's Apprentice by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, which begat a tone poem by composer Paul Dukás, which begat Disney's Fantasia, which inspired Merlinsky, a magical action-adventure. [Completed before the Nicolas Cage film was released.]
Quarterfinalist in these competitions: American Zoetrope, Writers Network.
Synopsis: Alex Barnett has a comfortable life in Los Angeles and San Francisco; it's probably too comfortable, although he can't quite admit to himself that an extended separation from his wife Nicole eats at his soul. An unusual set of seemingly unrelated circumstances impels him to seek out a centuries-abandoned monastery in southwest Germany, where he confronts the animate image of Hildegard von Bingen, the legendary twelfth-century mystic, prophet, and composer of ravishing liturgical chants. Although his friend Lars believes it's a bona-fide vision, much like the visions that fueled Hildegard's own creativity, Alex cynically distrusts his deepest instincts and drives himself to search for a more acceptable answer. His quest guides him on the path toward self-awareness, through experiences both sacred and profane. One man's inner and outer pilgrimages take him to the depths of uncertainty, and, almost inexorably, to the peak of actualization.
Background: Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179 AD) composed many chants in honor of Saint Ursula (?-383 AD). According to legend, Ursula was a Romano-British princess who, at the request of her father, King Donaut of Dumnonia (SW England), set sail across the English Channel with 11,000 virginal handmaidens to join her future husband, the pagan Governor Conan Meriadoc of Armorica (Brittany). Before the princess could arrive, all the virgins were beheaded in a massacre, and Ursula was shot dead. Modern research suggests the phrase "XI. M. V." was misinterpreted as "eleven thousand (in Roman numerals) virgins" rather than "eleven martyred virgins."
Genre: Spiritual drama. Warning: sexual situations and language.
Semifinalist in: Writers Network competition.
Found is chock-full of the latest and greatest of these finds, arranged in the style of the magazine, laying bare the tantalizing tales to be discovered in the trash we toss. By turns heartbreaking and hysterically funny, Found is a mesmerizing tribute to everyday life and our eternal curiosity about our fellow human beings.
This volume contains works by Emily Jiang, Toni Giarnese, Bunny Richards, Adrian S. Potter, Alan C. Baird, Anne Earney, Barb McMakin, Barbara Fleming Phillips, Britt Kaufmann, Caroline Michalicki, Christina Beasley, Colin Meldrum, Daphne Nichols, A Scots Limerick – David Jack, David Mohan, David Ochs, David Yost, Debbie Okun Hill, Diane Smith, Donna L. Turello, Ed Parrot, Ellen LaFleche, Emily Spreng Lowery, Fehmida Zakeer, Gay Degani, Geoffrey Hoffman, Graves Collins, Harold Bauld, Hema Raman, Jari Thymian, Jiayan Yu, John Gosslee, Josh Byer, K. S. Dearsley, Kathleen Rivera, Kelly O'Neill, Lori Pollard-Johnson, Lynda La Rocca, Margot Zucker Mindich, Max Speed, Meg Eden, Mimi Liberman, Mitchell Noel Kelly, Myra Merritt, Patti Jazanoski, Pervin Saket, Petra Angelen, Philip Sultz, Rachel Cordasco, Robert Craig, Russell Marsh, Ruth Almon, Samantha Priestley, Sue Ann Connaughton, SuzAnne C. Cole, Vanessa Gebbie, and Viccy Adams.
This book is a how-to, showing rather than telling the art of screenplay collaboration online. The bulk of the text consists of communications between two widely-separated partners, as they solve the problems faced by all distance collaborators. The emails are interspersed with literary examples (short stories, etc.) that serve as teaching moments. The screenplay scenes are numbered, as they are completed, and the finished screenplay is contained in the appendix, with the scenes in numerical order. Some readers have described the book as "a master-class seminar in script collaboration."