Creator: Michael W. Orick
Age rating: 17 and older
Two young female runaways swindle their way to fame and fortune, until the gruesome murder of a coworker thrusts them into the dark underworld of orphan trafficking.
Project collaboration: Closed
Synopsis: This is a tale of redemption and the legacy we choose to leave.

Lizzy and Cassie are young rebellious dreamers chained to a lifeless, poor town where "dreams go to die." Both long for fame and fortune, but Lizzy will eventually discover another calling as she and her sidekick venture into the Old West.

We join Lizzy and Cassie on emancipation day. Lizzy relies on her special "storytelling" skills to conjure the escape. But things don't go exactly as planned. Our swindling duo ends up fleeing town with the lumbering Sheriff and a vengeful schoolmistress in pursuit.

Lizzy's and Cassie's harrowing, sometimes comical, journey westward continues when they hop a train and have a brief, but poignant encounter with Eli, a mysterious vagabond who leaves the girls with some wisdom and his tattered copy of "The Odyssey."

Six months and a run-for-your-life brothel stint later, the young runaways eventually make it to San Francisco, where they waste no time setting up shop. But their growing enterprise soon attracts the attention of Inspector McBride, an egomaniacal lawman hell bent on making examples of high profile outlaws to further his political aspirations. Unfortunately for McBride, his first attempt to catch Lizzy and Cassie red-handed, ends in a "fireworks fiasco" that's certain to light up the big screen!

When they're eventually arrested, Lizzy and Cassie use their cunning and charm to beat the wrap and embarrass McBride. Enraged, McBride vows protect his reputation and not let these two "outlaw bitches" ruin his political ambitions.

The girls' celebrity leads to a surprise visit by Ma Parker, the infamous cigar-smoking matriarch of a ruthless gang of outlaws that controls the region's black market. Parker warns Lizzy of McBride, a long-time nemesis, and presents her with a business offer she "can't" refuse.

Still in search of her baby girl, Lizzy locates her sister, but to Lizzy's horror, she discovers that Elaine placed Muriel in an orphanage after her husband skipped town. Lizzy races to the orphanage, only to be sent away by the corrupt caretaker's lying prude of a wife.

Lizzy eventually meets a handsome museum curator, August Virtow, who reveals the horrific history of the orphanage and its dark ties to McBride. More determined than ever, Lizzy and Cassie put their swindling skills to the test in a daring attempt to rescue Muriel.

Lizzy, Cassie and Virtow rescue three year-old Muriel from the orphanage, but their success is short-lived. As they flee, they're confronted by McBride's bounty hunters who kill Virtow and haul Lizzy, Cassie and the child away. But the bounty hunters soon encounter an old enemy, Ma Parker, who has come to save her business partners and send a message to McBride. A nasty shootout ensues. Parker and her outlaw son kill the bounty hunters and take their friends to a remote mountain hideout.

Unfortunately, McBride doesn't give up. He tracks the outlaws to the cabin where Parker and her son meet a tortuous death. Lizzy barely escapes, but McBride captures Cassie and the little girl. It's now up to Lizzy to battle McBride and prevent him from destroying her dreams.

Latest Work

  • Script 10 - Michael W.'s 11th Draft
    Creative Notes:
    MAJOR REHAUL of this script coming soon (missed the Sept, 2011 deadline). There's a new opening three pages, which sets up a much different goal for my protags in Act II. That, and a new edgier, not so melodramatic ending. Stay tuned!

All Work

  • Script 9 - Michael W.'s 9th Draft
    Creative Notes:
    Still polishing, tweaking dialogue and the final showdown. Hopefully, it pays off.
  • Script 8 - Michael W.'s 8th Draft
    Creative Notes:
    Cleaned up some pesky formatting issues in the rtf version, including re-adding page numbers that somehow vanished upon export from MMS to rtf. The screenplay's MMS file is 117 pages, while the rtf version jumps to 134 pages.
  • Script 7 - Michael W.'s 7th Draft
    Creative Notes:
    Continuing to hone and polish to get this adventure back into the semi's (and beyond).

    Revised the early Act 3 "cliffhanger" showdown between Lizzy and McBride, allowing Lizzy to use her cleverness and creativity to escape the seemingly impossible situation.
  • Script 6 - Michael W.'s 6th Draft
    Creative Notes:
    Incorporated more changes per reviewer notes; fixing inconsistencies associated with the period, and tweaking the dialogue to distinguish characters better. I also made the ending a bit more dynamic and, hopefully, dramatic.

    I'll be cutting in some "writer's commentary" to the Writer's Pitch montage soon. Thanks for stopping by!
  • Script 5 - Michael W.'s 5th Draft
    Creative Notes:
    Still trying to get the rtf and the pdf file in sync. I hope (and pray) this will do it.

    Ultimately, this is a tale of redemption and the legacy we leave.
  • Script 4 - Michael W.'s 4th Draft
    Creative Notes:
    Re-uploading the rtf from the previous version, which mistakenly (and mysteriously) contained some of my revision notes embedded within the text.
  • Script 3 - Michael W.'s 3rd Draft
    Creative Notes:
    Another polish based on some very insightful notes from AS reviewers. Goals: Tried to better connect Eli's short-lived character to the emotional spine and theme of the story. Attempted to establish Cassie's background better, make her more of a co-lead. Made the bond stronger between Ben and Cassie, so that the emotion-filled death row and hanging scenes really hit a chord. Thank you!
  • Script 2 - Michael W.'s 2nd Draft
    Creative Notes:
    Tweaked some scenes per feedback received here and elsewhere. It came at the expense of two additional pages, but I believe it was worth it.
  • Script 1 - Michael W.'s Original Draft
    Creative Notes:
    MAJOR REHAUL of this script coming soon (missed the Sept, 2011 deadline). There's a new opening three pages, which sets up a much different goal for my protags in Act II. That, and a new edgier, not so melodramatic ending. Stay tuned!