Petition asks Debra Monk to read prison screenplay
More than 2000 women sign petition demanding a firm commitment from Debra Monk (film producer) to read screenplay addressing Texas judicial system
Debra Monk – Talent Agents
– Actress, Soundtrack, Producer – The Devil’s Advocate (1997), One for the Money (2012), NYPD Blue (1993), The Bridges of Madison County (1995) – BRS / Gage Talent Agency, Sarabeth Schedeen – Principal Entertainment LA, Marsha McManus
Debra Monk & Adam Sandler’s film company targeted by Texas petition
Will Hollywood just rollover and let prisoner’s suffer?
More than 2000 women have signed an open letter to Jana Sandler calling on Debra Monk and Hollywood to take “movie action” to tackle injustice against men and women in the wake of revelations that Texas has more prisoners incarcerated than the Soviet Union’s gulag system had. Texas currently has over 290,000 inmates housed at 580 facilities.
The signatories, including state senators, professors of criminal justice, social workers, family, and inmates, call for a “firm commitment” to tackle the unjust prisons in Texas. The petition has also been signed by Beto O’Rourke, and Matthew McConaughey. These two signatories might face each other in the 2022 Texas governors election. Both have expressed interest in the job. The petitions arrived for Debra Monk at BRS / Gage Talent Agency, Sarabeth Schedeen last week.
In the open letter to Debra Monk, the 2080 women write that they are “heartbroken for first-time drug offenders many times addicts who have received extremely harsh sentences in Texas when rehabilitation has proven a cheaper and more effective solution.” The petition goes on to say their family and friends are often heartbroken for and looking for redemption and rehabilitation for the victimless drug crimes.”
The signatories, including attorneys, professors, politicians, family members, and inmates, call on Debra Monk for a ‘firm film commitment’ to tackle the issue of operating the Texas prison system for profit.
The petition came to light when women discovered the screenplay, a copy which was dontated to all 580 of the state’s prison and jail libraries. The existence of the petition surfaced on International Women’s Day. Women in Texas face extreme prejudice in Texas and often receive extremely harsh penalties for even a small amount of drugs, including marijuana. Marijuana is legal now in 21 states.
Inside prisons, the women are faced with such horrendous conditions… the petition demands that “filmmakers begin to take the issue seriously.” Also, the petition reminds that “even here in the USA in the 21st century citizens are not safe from government oppression.”
Actress, Soundtrack, Producer, Debra Monk, has not responded to the petition. Nor has BRS / Gage Talent Agency, Sarabeth Schedeen responded with a comment.
The screenplay “Dumbass” was penned by writer and retired professor of political science Alan Nafzger.
The premise of the story is that, “Adam Sandler writes letters and saves numerous women from the monotony of prison life, and later when he gets into trouble with a drug cartel they return the favor by rescuing him.”
The film would be set in contemporary, Gatesville Texas. There are four women’s prisons located in Gatesville. And of course, Texas is famous for putting everyone in prison for a long sentences for little or no reason. The number of women in Texas prisons has tripled in the last ten years, as mass incarcerations have proven profitable to not only the state but also profitable for an array of business interests.
Writer Alan Nafzger has called on Governor Greg Abbott to, “end the prison industry.”
Recently, “Wheel of Fortune” host Pat Sajak spoke out against the Texas system and put a good word in for mercy and forgiveness out on social media. “How nice for those who have lived such exemplary lives that they can express glee when others have their lives ruined by a mistake, real or perceived,” Sajak tweeted last month.
The petition states, “Why don’t we have the ‘Adam Sandler’ character… sending letters to women in prison and being their friend and trying to help them adjust, giving them hope… and when they get out of prison he picks them up so they don’t have to ride the smelly bus back home… but his pickup truck is a junker, smoking and sputtering … worse than the bus. But his heart is in the right place… He’s the last “chivalrous” man on earth.”
Debra Monk has not commented on the script, thusfar. A statement is expected soon.
Professor Nafzger has made a short treatment of the project available online.
He has made the finished script available at for select filmmakers.
Jana Sandler of Happy Madison Productions has also expressed interest in the screenplay.
Debra Monk is a Actress, Soundtrack, Producer known for The Devil’s Advocate (1997), One for the Money (2012), NYPD Blue (1993), The Bridges of Madison County (1995) and is represented by BRS / Gage Talent Agency, Sarabeth Schedeen.
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Take a look at your subplot. It cant be a stand-alone story. It must be interconnected in a way that helps resolve the main plot and it should reflect the heros internal conflict. If not, then its a subplot that doesnt belong in the screenplay.
Another plus in using a subplot to reflect the internal conflict is that it often forces the hero to act in a different way. This, in turn, leads to change (heros arc). Do you see how everything is interconnected? This layering is what makes a screenplay read like a professionally polished story thats ready for the big screen.
The problem is that most writers add a subplot thats a direct reflection of the heros internal conflict. This is wrong! The trick is to create a subplot thats opposite of the heros internal conflict because this creates contrast, conflict and pacing. For example, lets say the hero desperately wants to get married, then create a subplot where he has a married best friend. The best friend is opposite of the hero because he isnt desperate to be married, he is married. By creating a mini-story (subplot) around the friend, the screenwriter will be reflecting the heros struggles and will be creating a subplot that interlinks with the main plot. Dont forget, the best friend must have vital information that helps resolve the plot perhaps he fixes the hero up with his future wife.
This is the area that should be most helpful to aspiring screenwriters because understanding how a subplot can be used to reflect the internal conflict will help identify the heros internal struggle and enhance it. In addition, by layering in a subplot that reflects the internal conflict, the screenwriter will be adding a layer of subtext (underlying meaning).
This act is summed up by the greats such as, like, you know, Aristotle as Rising Tension or Progressive Complications. Or in the classic screenwriting formula: Act I is Get the Hero Up a Tree, and Act II is Throw Rocks at Him (and for the impatient out there, Ill reveal that Act III is Get Him Down).
Act II, Part 1 is the section approximately between pages 30-60 in a 110-page script (minutes 30-60 ina movie), or pages 100-200 in a 400-page book.
13. Elements of Act Two, Part 1
(Those of you who are still just outlining may not want to jump into this until weve gotten farther with story elements.)