The Most Dangerous Script in Hollywood

The red journal.I spent the first five years of the millennium on a therapist’s couch: a noisy, brown leather one that always left my ass damp from sweat. When I told Dr. S that I’d been molested, survived it sane, vanquished my molester, and written a musical about it, she didn’t bat an eye. “What better way to deal with really difficult material than to soften it with levity and music?” she quipped.

It made perfect sense to her just as it had made perfect sense to me when I wrote it. Happy or sad or angry, or peaceful, we usually choose a soundtrack to help us channel those emotions, or to soften their blow. That’s why there are break up songs and mix tapes.

That’s what I’ve done with Damages. I’ve used the operatic style of 13 mostly lesser-known Queen songs to convey some of the best and worst days of my life. In fact, the bounciest song in the soundtrack is sung at easily the darkest and most crucial moments. It’s not just irony, it is the remedy of light into darkness that placed it there; it’s also that contrast that makes it rightfully disturbing.

I am certain that Freddie Mercury would love it. He wasn’t afraid of complicated relationships or sensitive emotional material: courage that is apparent in his songwriting, and life.

I have the wonderful fortune of having some well-respected, very talented people on the Damages team, including Amy Schiffman, Larry Taube, and Stafford Arima. These people get it. It’s going to take more of the right people who get it and identify with that passion – with Freddie’s spirit – to tell this true and triumphant story.

When she first took me on, my agent, Amy Schiffman said to me, “Bronson, it might take ten years for us to do it, but we will, and it will be great.” Heck, Brokeback Mountain kicked around Hollywood for a few years as “the most amazing film that will never be made,” and we all know what happened there. I don’t think it will be long for Damages, but in the mean time it’s in excellent company.

3 Responses to “The Most Dangerous Script in Hollywood”

  1. 1 waltzinexile
    Wednesday, July 30, 2008 at 5:51 am

    Holy cow, you read W? *I* don’t read W and I’m, well, a W, LOL
    Oh, wait, that’s not an appropriate response to this. Let me try again —
    Your vision and the power of your beliefs inspires me. And as always, I can’t wait to see what happens next.
    Much love from the heartland 🙂
    M & S & Goats

  2. 2 Sam Page
    Wednesday, July 30, 2008 at 5:58 pm


    I remember way back when you didn’t have all of these amazing people “attached” and you were just getting everything rolling. Sometimes it’s good to just take a second and realize how far it (and you) have come in such a short time.

    You left out some of your most remarkable achievements, like the
    haunting moment
    you visited the swing-set in Naples where the final bullet was shot. Or
    speaking to young screenwriters
    in the Mary Pickford lecture series at Santa Monica City College.

    I know the road to getting a film made is long, but like anything worth achieving, it takes hard work, sustained effort, and a “fail proof” spirit. I respect you so much for “staying in the game.”

    Too many times we stand aside and let the waters slip away.
    ’til what we put off until tomorrow has now become today.
    So don’t you sit upon the shoreline and say you’re satisfied.
    Choose to chance the rapids and dare to dance the tide.
    -Garth Brooks, “The River”


  3. Sunday, August 3, 2008 at 10:02 am

    Sometimes I become impatient with the Universe. More times than that I become impatient with civilization.
    How often do I become impatient with Hollywood? Don’t ask. This MUST be made…it is aching to be let loose…to say the things that we all know…to take the culprit by the neck and choke it until it pays attention. This is your life and it is not a comedy, not a tragey…it is a victory. The fact that you saved others from feeling that they are alone is just one of the many reasons why “Damages” will be done; I cannot even magine how many people will feel championed and empowered. So many await the time to take away the lever of their tormentor. It begs us to remember “Sed quis custodiet ipsos custode?”

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