|Director Gabriel Alfonzo|
My new film, "Open My Eyes," directed by Gabriel Alfonzo, just finished twenty-one days of shooting in Florida. Gabriel Alfonzo had directed a number of Spanish-language films. "Open My Eyes" is his first English-language film. I'm very excited. I've been waiting for a director to give one of my scripts a hot, Latin feel.
Here's the synopsis from the IMDB:
"Photographer Paul Sanders has a passion for beauty - especially beautiful women. But in his spiritual blindness, he admires on the creation and not the creator. When Paul becomes physically blinded in a freak accident, he is forced to reconsider what true beauty means - and where it comes from. With the help of Abigail, a recovering alcoholic and down-on-her-luck singer, Paul realizes the meaning of love and the power of the Gospel to change people's lives. Although he can no longer see, for the first time in his life, his eyes are open. A film of faith and forgiveness, "Open My Eyes" proves that even the hardest hearts can be turned and that broken lives can be healed if only we are willing to believe."
How did I get involved? Let me tell you.
For a number of years, I have posted scripts on the webpage InkTip. In fact, the folks at the Kairos Prize paid to list my winning script, "I, John." One day, Gabriel contacted the folks at InkTip looking for a screenwriter with faith-based experience. They pointed him to me. It was a happy marriage because he had already seen and enjoyed some of my previous films.
Gabriel came up with the original concept of the film. He had previously hired a writer, but he wasn't happy with the results. He initially wanted me to re-write the script. However, I didn't like the original script either. I liked the original idea, but I thought the script went off in an entirely wrong direction. I told him I wanted to start over again, and I wrote a long, detailed treatment. He liked the treatment and wanted to hire me. There was only one problem. He wanted to go into production immediately, and I was already bogged down on other projects. I was working on the contentious treatment for "Revelation Road 3," writing the first draft of "The Shallow Grave," and finishing up the re-writes of "The Engineer." I wasn't sure I would be able to finish it on time alone. I needed help, and I knew just the right person.
Timothy Ratajczak and I hadn't written a script together in over a year or two. We had worked on nine scripts together over five years, but now we were working separately. Why? Simple economics. We were paid the same amount of money per script whether we worked on it together or separately. By working separately, we both doubled our income. Fortunately, Tim had the time to work on this script with me and Gabriel gave his approval so we could hang up the shingle once again. Even working together, however, we were a week or so late. Still, it all worked out well. Everyone was happy with the script and we can't wait to see the footage!