After a series of professional missteps, a driven young filmmaker finally finds fulfillment at a Utah film festival - but not in the way he expected.

As his independent film unspools at a second-rate Utah film festival, Moonie Knightly sits in the projection booth, reflecting over the events that got him there and tries to incorporate them in a new screenplay. "They say it's a sign of poor writing when a screenwriter's gotta resort to using voice-overs," Moonie voice-overs.

Moonie's story begins with his conception and subsequent birth in a run-down movie theater, thanks to a matinee romp between his married mother and the head usher. During his childhood, Moonie escapes his step-father's wrath and his mother's indifference by going to the movies, hoping someday to bump into the head usher, his real dad, but he never does. When he's not going to the movies, Moonie makes Super 8 movies with his friends, Chad and Hunter.

His interest in film continues while attending Edward D. Wood, Jr. Memorial High School, where he receives a Bunny Breckinridge AC/DC Scholarship from the AV Club that enables him to attend film school at SKG Community College. The only problem is that it takes Moonie, as well as Chad, four years to graduate from the two-year college.

After graduation, Moonie and Chad get jobs as production assistants on a movie starring their boyhood friend, Hunter, who has them fired.

Determined to make something of himself, Moonie decides to make his own film, "Casual Ties of War." While casting the film, he meets his soul-mate, Rae Dawn Day, a ravishing redhead, who becomes the lead actress and causes a rift between Chad and himself. Finally, Moonie becomes so obsessed with being a successful director that he also drives Rae Dawn away.

Now, as his film makes its debut, Moonie wonders whether his obsession has all been worth it. Then, in the midst of despair, something unexpected happens to Moonie that redeems everything that has gone before.

Written by:
Starring Roles For:
Freddie Highmore
Emma Stone
Patrick Fugit
In the Vein Of:
Napoleon Dynamite
Author Bio:
An Award-winning screenwriter and playwright. A number of plays produced and several published. Recipient of three scriptwriting fellowships from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. Two screenplays have had options. Also a member of SAG-AFTRA.

WUNDERKIND was one of the Top 3 Scripts of the Month on the American Zoetrope website. It was highly endorsed by the late William Kelley, Oscar-winning screenwriter of "Witness."

Contest Results:
Writers Network Screenplay & Fiction Competition (Quarterfinalist) [2000]