When I started work on the TV series 'Emily of New Moon,' the entire experience was exhilarating, and I knew film and tv sets were where I needed to be. The biggest thrill of all was having the proverbial lightbulb go on – when I saw the scripts for the show, I realized they were written the way I 'thought,' which was in a very visual manner. I went home and bought my first computer for $600, an old second hand something or other, and wrote my first screenplay.
Since then, I've attended a number of screenplay writing workshops and produced a few of my short films, two of which sold to CBC and Bravo. Now it's time to produce a Feature drama…
A film shoot along the North Shore of Prince Edward Island serves as the setting for this tale of visible and buried scars. Beautiful Jane tells the story of Jane and William, a couple trying to salvage a marriage after the possibility of death forces them to take another look at life.
After a long and debilitating battle with Crohn’s Disease, Jane, angry and resentful, lands at the Charlottetown Airport to join her Film Director husband William as he tries to 'make good' for the decade of meaningless films he's made by memorializing his life through the creation of a self-penned film. Jane sinks further and further into herself, even going so far as to allow William his sexual freedom because of her inability to find any beauty left within herself worth sharing.
Jane is drawn to Eli, a young Mi’kMaq Native Canadian working as the shoot's wrangler, whose painful memory of a pretty young mother lost forever to the dark abyss of suicide, is endured through the beauty he finds in the animals and nature that surround him. Eli draws the older man's wife into a new understanding of what it means to allow oneself to be loved, despite physical and psychological scarring.
Watch the Beautiful Jane Trailer
Still the Water
A desperate hockey player returns home in search of his brother and a lost childhood, but his reappearance fuels jealousy and the emergence of a long-buried, painful truth.
All eyes are on 29-year-old Jordie MacAulay when he returns to small town Hope, P.E.I., after playing semi-pro hockey in Alberta. Usually in an alcoholic haze, he’s mucked things up big time by injuring a player in a dirty back-check. With no friends, no job, and no respect, in desperation he turns to his family for help.
Alongside his standoffish older brother Nicky and gregarious younger brother Noah, Jordie goes to work in his father’s fishing boat building business. But hockey calls him. The rink is his refuge, as it was for he and Nicky as boys when their father’s drunken rages sent them running. Jordie finds a place on a team, but it’s Nicky’s - Nicky’s the star. Jordie is a thorn in Nicky’s side. Things get worse when Abby, the woman Nicky is having an affair with, becomes attached to Jordie. Abby’s son Ryan was abducted by his father. She and Jordie connect through pain, which she channels through songwriting and music.
Domestic violence killed Nicky, Jordie and Noah’s mother ten years ago. The town thinks the now sober father, Doug, is to blame. Nicky’s jealousy finally erupts on the ice with the public admission that Jordie was responsible for her death. Both he and Nicky spend the night drinking, but when the sun peeks over the horizon they must rally. They are supposed to fish with a local Acadian fisherman, which is Nicky’s regular gig this time of year. Jordie is only going as a replacement for Noah, whose young fiancee is expecting a baby any day.
Can Jordie and Nicky get through the day? Their boat is rammed by a drifting log. The captain hollers, “She’s going down, boys!” They have less than a minute to jump into a life raft but…Jordie misses. Worse, a foot is tangled in lines. Nicky has a choice to make. Remove the brother who has stolen his mother, his girlfriend, his hockey glory, the affection of his kids? Or save him? With a knife in his hand, he watches Jordie fight the frigid sea, watches as the cold takes over and his freezing hands lose their grip on the raft.
In the end, Nicky chooses life – his brother’s and, essentially, his. But Jordie has seen the contempt in Nicky’s eyes, he’s seen the truth. The boys’ childhood alliance is over, gone forever the night their mother died. Jordie decides he has to leave. Nicky finds him in the hockey rink, on centre ice, lost and alone. The brothers finally make peace in a place that feels holy, in a sanctuary where the entire town goes to worship the game.
This is a story of redemption that will appeal to all adult audiences for its tragic tale of the men in a broken family trying to find their way back to each other. Written by Susan Rodgers, author of the wildly popular women’s fiction eight book Drifters series, its imagery, layers and texture are intricate, tragic, and beautiful.
Jack and Emma
Emma is a lonely single mother whose romantic infatuation with World War II is her safe place, her wall to hide behind. The owner of a small rural conenience store, she divides her time between running the business and shuttling her busy son to and from hockey practice.
When Jack comes to town and gets a job with the work crew building the Confederation Bridge, he’s running from a lonely marriage. Emma considers embarking on an affair with him, but her faith in God gets in the way. Still, she questions that faith and whether God has her best interests at heart, when it seems Jack has a lot of earthly good to offer both she and her son.
But soon Jack must make a choice – which comes first, his obligations as a husband and father, or the sad eyes of a woman into whose heart he has invariably strayed?