Exceptionals

Exceptionals is an original series produced by Full Brain Films, LLC in Portland, Oregon. It was created by award-winning screenwriter and FBF member Greg Kerr and is produced by Full Brain Films’ members Nan Avant and Greg Kerr.

Levy Tran stars as Rachel LaTour

Levy Tran stars as the Olympian and covert operative Rachel LaTour. She is introduced in Episode 4 of the new, original series, Exceptionals.

The series follows the lives of a group of people who have unusual genetic traits that confer advantages on them that are much like super powers. The series is drama and includes high concept science fiction and thought-provoking dialogue and situations. The first four episodes are being produced and will be released after a marketing and promotion period soon.

The first four episodes (the pilot episodes) are self-funded by Full Brain Films, with a goal of production company or studio partnership to pitch to a network. Agents and managers who have experience with production company or studio pitches are welcome to contact us as well.

Exceptionals falls into the genres of narrative fiction, drama, science fiction, thriller and super-hero realism. The first four episodes (the complete Part 1: Future Certain) are being self-funded by Full Brain Films, with a goal of receiving investment to continue the series.

Future plot arcs move the series into a more science fiction and action-oriented direction, while still maintaining the drama and character relationship stories, thus the genre of super-hero realism: normal people who discover they have special abilities and their struggles to integrate these into their normal lives. The  abilities are often difficult to control or have very dire consequences for the characters. Strong women are the core of the principal characters in this series.

Among the other important and unique aspects of this project are:

  • The target audiences are women and men in their 20s and 30s, particularly those who enjoy super-hero stories, relationship stories, realistic dramas, science fiction, and some action elements.
  • This script passes and exceeds all Bechdel test requirements.

Form

Original series, SAG-AFTRA New Media

Budget

Self-funded by FBF: $185,000.

Genres (general to specific)

Narrative Fiction, Drama, Thriller, Super-hero Realism

Context

Currently in Post-Production (Episodes 1 through 4)

Rating

Exceptionals pilot episodes contains adult situations and adult language.

Synopsis (short)

Episode 1: Future Certain

Brynne Vaness can see the future, or so she says. And those that believe and those that do not believe will go to any lengths to prove it. What begins as a spiritual quest to understand her ability, quickly turns into a struggle for her life, pitting Brynne against organized criminals, terrorists and even Homeland Security.

As she learns more about her visions, both their power and limits become increasingly apparent, and Brynne finds that her own future – her own survival – is anything but certain.

Characters in Exceptionals, Episode 1: Future Certain

Lead

Brynne Dianna Vaness

A woman of small stature, youthful looking, could be mistaken for being much younger, until she speaks. She is a kind and generous person, not prone to anger or impatience. She is also curious and open to new possibilities. She isn’t quick to believe in the supernatural, which may explain why her power has only manifested recently and why she hasn’t attempted to find the limits of this power. This is a primary character in the series and the point-of-view in the first four episodes is on her.

Support

Lauren Canella

A very devoted and deeply loving friend to Brynne and views Brynne as a sister. They have the same circle of friends. Although not explicitly mentioned in the script, implied about Lauren is that she does not live with Brynne, although she does live with other people, presumably her own family. She believes Brynne. This is a recurring character in the series.

Assistant Director (A.D.) Cathy Grant

All work and no play. A very serious woman who takes her job seriously and believes it is her role to stamp out any perceived threat to the U.S. Far from being “evil” she is a key antagonist to Brynne due in large part to her single (narrow) mindedness. She simply does not believe that Brynne can see the future and believes other motives are at play. Her first name, Cathy, is never referenced in this script, nor does anyone she knows call her that. She would be a Myers-Briggs ISTJ. This is a recurring character in the series.

Sandesh

He is having his own spiritual awakening late in life. Everything he tells Brynne when they meet is true – he never lies to Brynne. He is from Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India. He believes Brynne.

Radha (Misra) Mahmood

She works more directly with the Mahmood Family and the thugs, killers and terrorists they employ. It is likely and implied in the script that she is mentally ill and some of this may be due to the abuse suffered at the hands of her former husband, Kabir, who she eventually stabbed to death. She is a primary antagonist in the script. She believes Brynne.

Billy

An aging hippie and Libertarian, the easy-going Billy is a man living outside the larger culture and legal system. He makes his livelihood from producing false documents and the occasional grift. He has a free-spirited world-view and he is a guy who knows how to avoid trouble and the law. This is a recurring character in the series.

Mardav Misra (Marty Alvarado)

Radha’s half-brother and the black sheep of this family, simply because he wants nothing to do with their criminal organization. He likely has had a hand in helping them, but after he met Tessa in Philadelphia, the two of them kept moving around the country to stay out of the reach of his family.

Tessa Alvarado

Marty’s wife and probably grew up somewhere outside the United States in a Spanish speaking country. She is devoted to Marty and their son Jared as much as Marty is in return.

Dr. Jean Speerel

A scientist and consultant to the N.S.A. She is extraordinarily insightful  and in a rare position of power for a scientist.

Mahmood Family and Associates

Fahad Mahmood – Radha’s brother-in-law killed in Germany

Kabir Mahmood – Radha’s deceased husband

Tauseef Jalali – Pakistani terrorist in DC. Worked with Kabir Mahmood.

Other

Narrator

For the purposes of the reading, the Narrator is a critical role. The dialogue does not tell the complete story, so it’s vital to have the Narrator read the action lines and sluglines. Timing and a careful reading of this part is important.

Background and Minor Roles

There are a few other minor speaking roles and a few roles for background performers. These roles are for people of all different ages, genders, ethnicities, shapes and sizes.

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Screenwriter and Illustrator Collaboration

Full Brain Films is looking for screenwriters and illustrators to join an informal meet and greet on November 14, 2014 to discuss the possibility of a professional collaboration on our new web series, Exceptionals, http://exceptionalsseries.com

We’re looking for experienced screenwriters who write in the genres of drama, super-hero, science fiction, friend-relationship stories and thrillers. Strong female characters are the core of this series, so women writers are our priority here. We are also looking for illustrators for paid work creating black and white graphic novel versions of a few of the screenplays.

During this gathering, you’ll be able to meet some of the lead actors and crew in the series and a few of the other local writers with whom we’ve been fortunate to connect. Food will be provided and you can bring your favorite beverage.

This will be by invitation only – space is limited. Please let me know about your experience and any connection to or interest in our series concept. Don’t worry — this isn’t an interview! We’re just looking for experienced screenwriters who like the topic and would be interested in collaborating with a great cast and crew. For now, this gathering is just to discuss the idea in a casual, informal setting.

Exceptionals, a new web series by Full Brain Films

More about Exceptionals

Exceptionals is a web series about normal people who learn they have extraordinary powers and the complications those powers bring to their lives. This genre is super-hero realism, which is drama and it includes sci-fi and action elements.

The super powers aren’t supernatural. They are often subtle and have biological and/or physical explanations, albeit extreme biology and physics. Most of the characters have mental powers, like telepathy, some have physical powers. There is a downside to all the powers, and much of the drama revolves around how the characters attempt to minimize the deficits and maximize the benefits of the abilities. Many of the abilities are life-threatening.

Vivienne Hayley, one of the Exceptionals in the new web series by Full Brain Films. Follow the series on Facebook.We independently produced the first four episodes, collectively called Part 1: Future Certain, which are about the first Exceptional, Brynne Vaness. We are in the process of editing these. We are also producing Sneak Previews (like trailers) for Parts 2, 3 and 4 — we’re filming “moments” in those that will give people a sense of where the series is going. Our goal is to get investment or distribution to continue the series.

“Up to this point, I’ve been the primary writer and I’ve written all the characters and plot ideas. Moving forward, and considering the length of each episode, and the likelihood we’d have to produce up to 16 episodes each season, I’ll need a team to help me.

Dr. Jean Speerel, one of the villains in ExceptionalsThis is why I’m reaching out to Portland writers, particularly women writers — you may have read that part of our goal with this series is to highlight women in front of the camera and behind. Other than this making us different than most super-hero shows, this just makes good business sense. There are amazing women actors in Portland and they are under-utilized — I have worked with many and we have some incredible talent in this show already — and having women pen their dialogue is vital.

There’s also an untapped market for shows that follow the non-romantic stories of women. For example, there is no discussion in the first four episodes about Brynne’s love interests. The dialogue revolves around ethical and moral dilemmas Brynne faces. I’m not opposed to including love-relationship stories as the series continues, but I find that the friendship-relationship and work-relationship stories are extremely compelling and not explored as much in women-centric shows.

So, my goal now is to find a compatible team of writers in the Portland area who can brainstorm some ideas within the limits of the broad outlines I’ve established (which I’ll explain when we meet). There will be a need to create more characters and new plot ideas. I have an outline for 7 seasons, but the specifics will have to be figured out.”

– Greg Kerr, Member of Full Brain Films and Creator of Exceptionals

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Wrong Room, a new short film

A ten minute long, chance encounter between a woman and a man profoundly alters their lives as they share their darkest secrets. This is a new, short film by Full Brain Films. It stars Karla Mason, and was written and directed by Greg Kerr with production design and assistant direction by Wendy Peyton. Nan Avant provided the score for this film. More information will be posted soon about venues the film will show in.

Behind the Scenes

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