en passant

When two assassins meet in a restaurant, a chess match of skill and will begins.

Starring Dave Sapiro, one of the Midwest’s finest actors, and JP Thomas, who worked together previously at Chicago’s revered acting school, Greenshirt Studios.

Runner

Runner is a modern retelling of the story of the lost son using language directly from the original story. Familiar words sound different when placed into context.

Runner’s script went through nine months of rewrites, as the cast was retooled to include two daughters instead of two sons and a growth of the role of The Father’s right-hand man.

Runner was an official selection at IndieFest 2015, the Freedom Film Festival 2015, a Bronze Medalist with the Los Angeles Film Review, and an official selection at the Great Lakes Christian Film Festival.

Leaving Eden

Leaving Eden focuses on the untold story of the daily trials, stresses, and challenges of being a pastor.

Ben Nicholson has an odd job. Sometimes he’s a counselor, sometimes a public speaker. He goes to at least 40 funerals a year, visits hospitals every day, and faces scrutiny while in the public eye. And he’s always underpaid.

What happens when you get in a fight with your wife before you go to work – and your work is preaching at a church service? Leaving Eden finds out, showing you the lives of a pastor, his wife and family, the vicar, and all the trials, joys and pains no one ever thinks of or considers with this odd job.

We’ve completed three seasons of Leaving Eden, and passed 70,000 views on Youtube, Blip.tv, and Vimeo. Leaving Eden was an official selection for Drama by ITVFest.

The episode we’re featuring demonstrates much of the Leaving Eden style – master acting, handheld style, independent music from bands all around the country, the feeling that we’re spying on people living life. This episode was divided into two when we put it on our YouTube channel…so you can follow along starting on page 6.

What Ashley Saw

This latest episode to our series “Leaving Eden” features music composed for the episode, and stunning performances by two members of our repertory.

The show, which focuses on the life and trials of a pastor and his family, evolved from its pilot season, as the cast and crew grew into the story and how they’d tell it. We’re proudest of our efforts, and sparkles glimmer through the production. The ITVFest, which Indiewire called “the Sundance of television,” made it an official drama selection in 2013.

Laffite The Pirate

Feature screenplay by Greg Batiansila. Received great Blacklist reviews. Registered concept and script with WGA-West.

There will never be a city like New Orleans in the early 1800’s – a cauldron of n’er-do-wells, criminals, creatives, entrepreneurs. A place where opera flourished and jazz was born. 7 National flags flew over its capitol. The city’s leader and darling was Jean Lafitte – part Han Solo and part Tony Soprano, who ran his “privateering” business with such success that he was feared and revered everywhere.

The only thing that shared his desire to grow his empire was his passion for Clarissa. Lafitte promised Clarissa that once he legitimized his business, they would live happily and passionately ever after.

Louisiana changed hands again, this time becoming a territory of the United States. The Americans sent Claiborne, a young, energetic widower, to Americanize the territory of Orleans as its governor.

Two men wrestling for power in New Orleans, and fighting for the heart of a woman they love.

The Blacklist said “This script is rooted first and foremost in a strong and engaging protagonist with Lafitte. He’s dashing and fun. He’s gifted at cards and has a sense of honor. He tries not to hurt Adams early on (too much anyway). He loves Clarissa but is pained that she wants him to stop his privateering. Later in the piece, Clarissa has married the governor instead but he dances with her anyway and he’s wounded by her decision. Near the end, he offers to fight with Jackson for the U.S. He’s dynamic as a lead. The setting is also richly developed. It’s the early 19th century and New Orleans is its own world. There are balls featuring mixed-race women. It’s a city that’s had a lot of different flags over it but retains its character. The War of 1812 comes and Jackson is there trying to fight the British and there’s a fort that’s not even built all the way. It’s a colorful space that’s a character in its own right. The action is also exciting. It’s cleanly written and easy to follow. There are sword fights. At one point during the later battle, Youx levels Dale (and others) with a pinpoint shot. These kinds of moments give the piece verve….given the strength of its lead, this script could have decent prospects.”

A former New Orleans resident and the son of a Warren Easton graduate who was raised in the projects in New Orleans, Greg captured his family’s hometown in this epic.

 

St. Anthony's Garden, where "Lafitte The Pirate" opens.