Petition asks Torri Higginson to read prison screenplay
More than 2000 women sign petition demanding a firm commitment from Torri Higginson (film producer) to read screenplay addressing Texas judicial system
Torri Higginson – Talent Agents
– Actress, Producer – Stargate: Atlantis (2004), Deep in the City (1999), Turning Paige (2001), The English Patient (1996) – The Characters Talent Agency, Paul Christie –
Dumbass, Always Another Mountain
Torri Higginson & 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 Torri Higginson 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 Torri Higginson at The Characters Talent Agency, Paul Christie last week.
In the open letter to Torri Higginson, 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 Torri Higginson 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, Producer, Torri Higginson, has not responded to the petition. Nor has The Characters Talent Agency, Paul Christie 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.”
Torri Higginson 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.
Torri Higginson is a Actress, Producer known for Stargate: Atlantis (2004), Deep in the City (1999), Turning Paige (2001), The English Patient (1996) and is represented by The Characters Talent Agency, Paul Christie.
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Ive taught the writer how to see each Act as its own story and Ive taught the writer a few techniques to develop the Acts individually, while maintaining the integrity of the entire story. Next, Id like to take this opportunity to mention failures in pacing. Seeing the Acts as three separate stories will help, but many writers dont understand how to pace the Acts. Lets take a look at the individual Acts so the writer will understand how to correctly pace the story as a whole:
4) Act IIIs story is about a hero taking out the bad guy! Unlike the other stories, Act I and Act II, the hero is finally the hero in this story (Act III)! Hes learned and grown into a strong-enough character (because hes overcome his flaw) whos ready and able to take on the bad guy and win. Careful! This doesnt mean he just walks up, knocks out the bad guy and wins! Remember, this is its own story and we need to see the hero get knocked on his butt a few times. Make it appear hes lost! Then in a twist of fate he is somehow able to overcome the nemesis. By thinking of Act III as its own story, the writer wont be tempted to write a quickie end where the hero just walks in and wins because this doesnt work. Also, by thinking of Act III as its own story, the writer will be less tempted to finalize the story with the heros arc because this doesnt work. A hero cant win against a nemesis if he hasnt overcome his own flaw and this should happen at the end of another story (end of Act II).
3) Make Act II a story about the heros arc. No, I dont mean to make it an internally-driven story. I mean to make every single scene contribute to the heros arc, whether the heros in the scene or not! A scene might only involve the audience seeing a bomber planting a bomb, but itll still contribute to the heros arc because the hero must confront his own flaw in order to eventually defeat the bomber. This is what happens in Act II in the classic movie Speed. The hero is a follower who must learn to be a leader-cop if he hopes to win out against the mad bomber. Like the beginning, middle of end of any story, Act II should start with the hero being put in a position where hes forced to take action and forced to confront a flaw. Then at the end of the story, technically the end of Act II, the hero has overcome his flaw. Beginning of Act IIs story = Hero forced to confront flaw. Middle of Act IIs story = Hero slowly changes. End of Act IIs story = Hero overcomes the flaw.
2) Literally create a new beginning at the start of Act II. Maybe the heros been a firefighter all of his life, but a devastating fall from a roof has left him paralyzed and he has to find a new occupation. Act II opens with the wheelchair-bound, former firefighter seeking a new career. This in itself is a story!
Brodys revised PLAN is to talk the mayor into closing the beaches, but the mayor refuses again and goes on with his plan to reopen the beaches (and highly publicize the capture of the killer shark).
The bounty brings on a regatta of fishermen from up and down the eastern seaboard. One of these crews captures a tiger shark, which the mayor is quick to declare is the killer shark. Case closed, problem solved, and the beaches can be reopened. Hooper is adamant that the shark is far too small to have caused the damage done to the first victim, and wants to cut the shark open to prove it. The mayor refuses, and is equally adamant that there is no more need for Hooper. We see that Brody secretly agrees with Hooper, but wants to believe that the nightmare is over. However, when the dead boys mother slaps Brody and accuses him of causing her sons death (by not closing the beaches), Brody agrees to investigate further with Hooper (PLAN), and they sneak into cold storage to cut the shark open themselves to check for body parts. Of course, they discover its the wrong shark.
Meanwhile a new antagonist, the grieving mother of the slain little boy, announces a PLAN of her own: she offers a bounty for any fisherman who kills the shark that killed her son.
In response, Brody develops a new PLAN, one we see often in stories: he contacts an Expert From Afar, oceanographer Matt Hooper, a shark specialist, to come in and give expert advice.