The Gifted Photographer by Ian J. Courter | Script Revolution

The Gifted Photographer

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8pp

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A photographer pays a housecall to shoot a family portrait where his true talent becomes apparent.
Synopsis/Details: 

At the twilight of the 19th century, New Yorkers Herbert and Margaret Jaffe request the services of Michael Houtman, a renown photographer, for a family portrait with their daughter, Linda. As he sets up his equipment, Michael talks with Linda and she reveals that she fell on the ice a few months ago and was left paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair. She expresses her hopes to continue with her dreams in spite of her condition and increasingly fragile health. However, this morning she feels better than she has in a long time, but is still not wanting to have her picture taken. He convinces her to let him take her picture, but this is no ordinary portrait and he is no ordinary photographer.

This Script Has Been Reviewed By Shootin' The Shorts

THE GIFTED PHOTOGRAPHER

A photographer pays a house-call to shoot a family portrait where his true talent becomes apparent.

Photographs, those treasured mementos of our lives – they can chart a life from birth through to adulthood, and beyond. We keep photos in our wallets, in lockets around our necks, in photo-frames by our bedside tables. Photographs allow us to freeze moments – to travel back in time.

The Gifted Photographer is set towards the end of the Victorian era. At first glance it conjures Great Britain, but America had its own Gilded Age, most notably in the regions of New England and the Deep South. Think Gothic Architecture, the Women’s Suffragette Movement, Republican domination, and literary greats such as Harriet Beecher Stowe and Mark Twain. This was also a period characterized by high society and strict morality.

Ian J. Courter manages beautifully to evoke the images of the time – the cobblestone streets, horse drawn carriages and top-hats.

Photography at this time was in its infancy – there was no such thing as the ‘Selfie’ and no such thing as Instagram or Snapchat. The taking of photographs, in particular portraits, was only ever done for special occasions.

The story opens on Michael Houtman, the titular photographer of the piece. Herbert and Margaret Jaffe have requested his services for a very special family portrait with their daughter, Linda. Michael strikes up a conversation with Linda and discovers this sweet young woman suffered a nasty spill on the ice a few months ago. The accident has left her sickly and confined to a wheelchair, but this morning she wakes to a perfect Spring day feeling better than she has in a long time – and she’s ready for her close-up.

But this is no ordinary day, no ordinary photo-shoot, and no ordinary photographer…

Far be it for me to shed too much light, or bring into focus the darker themes and rich cultural history explored in The Gifted Photographer, suffice to say the Latin phrases Ars moriendi and Memento mori both give clues into a not so well known practice explored in this unique tale.

Of course, all you have to do to find out more is read the script. You’ll not only discover the secret talent The Gifted Photographer possesses, but will also uncover the talent of writer Ian J. Courter.  

With an ending that will stay with you long after the lights come up (we recommend reading it at night) and a final sting in the tail you won’t see coming, we advise you to get The Gifted Photographer in the can quick as a flash, before somebody else snaps it up.

Review by L. Chambers

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Gold Star

The Writer: Ian J. Courter

I have been a technical writer for nearly fifteen years and published two academic articles, but my true desire has been screenwriting. So far, I have written fifteen shorts and six feature-length scripts, one of which earned a first round finalist in a screenwriting contest. I draw inspiration from a wide range of sources to include: - Graduate degree in international relations and comparative government - Fifteen years of military experience, including overseas combat tours - Extensive time spent in foreign countries with immersion in foreign cultures and language - Wide range of reading interests (classic science fiction, politics, science, economics, and governmental systems) - The... Go to bio

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