July 24, 2021

Mark Proksch asked to read prison screenplay

Petition asks Mark Proksch to read prison screenplay

More than 2000 women sign petition demanding a firm commitment from  Mark Proksch (film producer) to read screenplay addressing Texas judicial system

Mark Proksch

Mark Proksch – Talent Agents
– Actor, Producer, Writer – The Office (2005), Better Call Saul (2015), Drunk History (2013), What We Do in the Shadows (2019) – United Talent Agency (UTA), Josh Katz – Odenkirk Provissiero Entertainment, Naomi Odenkirk


Mark Proksch & Adam Sandler’s film company targeted by Texas petition

Will Hollywood just rollover and let prisoner’s suffer?


Mark Proksch
Mark Proksch
More than 2000 women have signed an open letter to Jana Sandler calling on Mark Proksch 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 Mark Proksch at United Talent Agency (UTA), Josh Katz last week.

In the open letter to Mark Proksch, 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 Mark Proksch 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.”

Actor, Producer, Writer, Mark Proksch, has not responded to the petition. Nor has United Talent Agency (UTA), Josh Katz responded with a comment.

Alan Nafzger Alan Nafzger/caption]

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.”

Mark Proksch 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.

Mark Proksch is a Actor, Producer, Writer known for The Office (2005), Better Call Saul (2015), Drunk History (2013), What We Do in the Shadows (2019) and is represented by United Talent Agency (UTA), Josh Katz.

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Introduce the theme (or strongly hint at it)

Make sure the external conflict challenges the hero’s internal conflict

Introduce the external conflict

Setup or hint at anything relevant that happens in Act II or Act III

And my friend, author Allison Brennan, makes the excellent suggestion that you must be just as aware of the villain’s journey as the hero’s. A favorite story question of the late author/ producer Stephen Cannell is “What’s the bad guy up to?” I agree with both Allison and Mr. Cannell. If you don’t know that at each point of your story, you’re probably not doing the story justice.

I can easily go on about all this for another chapter at least, but let me just end with two things. A villain is often essentially a shape-shifter, who plays multiple roles in a story: lover, mentor, ally. I strongly encourage everyone to read Christopher Vogler’s The Writer’s Journey — based on Joseph Campbell’s classic and much more intricate Hero With a Thousand Faces, if you’re up for more of a challenge. But for an easier overview, Vogler does a great job of defining the different story roles of various characters in classic mythic structure.

Making a list and taking a good look at how other storytellers have handled the problem is always going to give you creative ideas about how to solve the problem for yourself, in your own story.

You should know my prescription for this kind of story problem by now. Right — make a list. What are ten of the best movies and books you know that have no external villain in the mix? So what is keeping the hero and heroine apart in each story?