In 2011 I was asked by eMergent Publishing editor, writer and all round inspiration, Jodi Cleghorn, to write an story for an planned anthology of post-apocalyptic love stories called (Nothing But) Flowers. The anthology was part of eMergent’s Literary Mix-tape lineup and contained 24 alternative takes on love at the end of the world, all of them inspired by the classic Talking Heads song from which the collection took its title.
My story, Driver and the Beautiful Highway, was inspired by the line ‘I fell in love with a beautiful highway’, and tells the story of Kid who after years of abuse at the hands of his Old Man finally escapes when he discovers one of the last cars still running after the apocalypse. As Kid becomes Driver, he soon discovers that some things can’t be outrun, no matter the BHP at your disposal. As you can probably tell from this synopsis, beyond the setting and the iconic car, this is not a story that necessarily lends itself to adaptation into a visual medium. The narrative largely centres around Driver driving while internal conflict and flashback play out in the firing engine of his imagination. Which is why I was both thrilled and surprised when Jodi approached me for permission to adapt the story into a short film script. Even after reading the brilliant job she did adapting it, I figured it was a script that would never make it to screen. I figured, for a short film, based on a short story, it was just too difficult to actualise, not least because of the driving sequences that would need to be filmed. Which explains why I was even more thrilled and surprised in April this year when Jodi emailed me to let me know that shooting was about to start.
Driver and the Beautiful Highway, directed by Dustin Masters, produced by Devin Watson, screenplay by Jodi Cleghorn, from a story by me, started shooting on May 30th and continues as I type these words. As you can see from the splendid promo photography decorating this post, it’s going to be a great looking movie. I’ve already seen some great early shots of key scenes and photos of the wonderful cars the production team has somehow sourced to help bring my characters and story to life on the screen. Can’t wait to see the finished film. Rest assured, as soon as it’s ready for viewing, I’ll be posting links to the relevant video-sharing sites. In the meantime, you can read Driver and the Beautiful Highway, along with 23 other tales of post-apocalyptic love, by purchasing an ebook of (No More) Flowers from the eMergent website.