Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Healing Road - unfinished teleplay - Part I

For any RUSH fans what follows is an unfinished piece of writing that came about after I finished reading Neil Peart's book, Ghost Rider: Travels On the Healing Road.

Needless to say, I was moved greatly by Neil's story.  And as a writing exercise for myself, I looked to find a way of adapting his book for the television.  In my mind, I saw the book as a mini-series - not unlike the series Empire Falls which I believe I had been watching at the time this was written.  Indeed, I believe I had Ed Harris in mind as I wrote the main character of David.

My intentions were never to write a biopic.  I would never know anything at all about the private life of Neil or his family.  So instead, what developed was more of a fictionalized version of the book.  Many of the sentiments/emotions and situations were mirrored, but instead they are attributed to a family of my own creation.

Here is part one.  I hope you enjoy reading. 

P.S.  To my writing/actor friends - I know the formatting may seem a bit off, but trying to cut and paste from my original script written in Word  and putting it here in Blogger seemed to has made it all a bit wonky.  Sorry about that.


The thread that is sewn throughout this teleplay is of the “ghost chorus” of characters similar to Neil’s wife and daughter.  Through his book, Ghost Rider, Neil mentions of how he thought often during those days of healing, of Selena and Jackie, and their responses to the situations he was facing, how he would speak to them, etc . .  . 

Through this film I intend to use my versions of Jackie and Selena as a type of Greek chorus for him.  Their frequent appearances as well as the replay of memories will help the story of grief and healing unfold. 

This will be a non-linear script, in that it will depend a great deal on flashbacks.

As with the book, we start off with the main character leaving to begin “the healing road”.  And as his journey commences through out the film, the audience learns of the reasons of why he must keep moving.

The large problem was whether or not to make this a true biopic (ie Ray, Kinsey, Beyond The Sea).  I am not that presumptuous enough to say I know enough about Neil Peart or of the true dynamics of his various relationships, other than what little was written about in his book to write a true biopic. 

Because of this, the main characters are re-named and this is in fact a fictional character, whose story is paralleled if not heavily based upon the experiences of Neil and his family as he recounts them in his book.

“Dedicated to the future, with honor to the past.”
Peart, Neil, Ghost Rider, pp.460.



“And some of those memories I was now trying to hide from, escape from, ride away from.
I could ride — but I couldn’t hide.”

Peart, Neil, Ghost Rider, pp. 24


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