Sunday, November 6, 2011

"Fireside" created by Matthew Phillip Lazin

Television Series, in development.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

A Phoenix from the Ashes

In December of 2001, I visited the site of the World Trade center in order to pay my respects.  What I remember most vividly was the smell and the wreckage, the closed businesses.  That year, I had been working for the Racine Center for the arts and one of the artists I represented was George Pocheptsov, but better known to me as "Georgie."  Above is the cover of the book I have been working on about him for all of these years since.  He has since gone on to study medicine at Harvard.  The photo is a partial view of his painting titled "Towers of Mercy" which was inspired by the events of 9/11/2001.  He said, "The world was split in two, with both a light side and a dark side.  From the light side there is a Phoenix rising from the Ashes."  This is my first public posting ever about this book.  It seemed a suitable time to publish it, to remind people about the beauty of the world.  One of my favorite things about selling art in working for Mike and Cynthia Golonka, was that every day, I got to be surrounded by both beautiful and breath-taking pieces of art.  I dedicate this post to George's mother Dubrava.  We sure are proud of your son, and I thank you so much for all the fun times we had together!  I still have that silly Russian Blue cat that you gave to me, Gracy, among all the other gifts that you shared with me in our wonderful friendship together.  Perhaps the publishing world is ready to publish such a book.  I hope so, it has been a long time in the making, a pure endeavor of the heart.  Thank you,

Matthew Phillip Lazin

Thursday, April 7, 2011

"Douchbags and dating, they're everywhere!" © 2011 Matthew P. Lazin

The title of this book is dedicated to Jen Koskela and Jamie Latorra who originally came up with the title as it exists today.  I had been kicking around the idea of writing a dating book for years.  Eventually, as the stories accumulated and accumulated, it gradually became both an anecdotal story and cautionary tale.  Gradually, I will be publishing portions of this book and excerpts onto this blog.  The idea came about from a few female friends who kept coming to me asking me why they kept meeting "douchbags."  Everybody has a different definition of exactly who douchbags are, how they operate, and who can be considered to be one.
For the purposes of my book, they can simply be classified loosely as someone that you have either an unusual or unpleasant experience with while dating.  As I set out to find some honest and sincere answers to the questions of my female friends, I soon found story after story of almost utter chaos and destruction.  They were quite literally everywhere!  If you have a story about a particular Douchbag that you know or have known, please feel free to get it off your chest.  Anything goes!  However, please no curse words or at least edit them with symbols like so:  f@#$!  I know that these words can sometimes be key to illustrating the point of a story so feel free to include them, but I would like to keep the page semi-clean as your story could contain valuable information for younger generations.  If you really feel like you have to get something out there raw or un-edited, please feel free to email it to me directly for help.  Every story in the book has been edited to protect the actual identities of individual involved, because let's face it, people can and will change.  It's not so much about taking other people down, as it is more about building yourself up from what you have experienced.  Have you dated a douchbag?  Please tell us your story.  Thanks and much love,

Matthew P. Lazin

Note to publishers:  This book is a completed work, ready for publishing and open to optioning, for sale or distribution.  Please email with any inquiries.  Thanks!

April 29th 2010 9pm
Within a few minutes of meeting Stephy, I could tell that I already liked her.  She has a kind of witty sarcasm that she can deliver with a deadpan sincerity that keeps you going for a couple of moments before she lets you off the hook with a laugh.  I asked her if I could write about her here and surprisingly she gave me permission to write about her using her real first name.  The particular reason I chose to write about her is that she is very unique.  She uses the word douchbag as a term of endearment.  Not that she doesn't use it in other ways, but that she is more strongly capable in herself and others that she uses this and other not usually nice words also as terms of endearment.  So there you have it, a new discovery.  When ever I mention this particular book/writing project to women, I am instantly told without fail, "Oh, I could tell you a bunch of stories about douchbags I know."  That is what compelled me to write it.  The more and more I dig into it, the more startling and surprising stories I discover.  So if you ever meet Stephy, don't be alarmed if she happens to call you a douchbag.  She is strongly capable in her use of the word, and as another man or woman, so should you be too.  Sure many other women may in fact do this same thing too, but in so far as I know she is the only one I have met who uses the word in such a playful and carefree way.  More stories to come. Please tell me yours.  - Matthew

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

"The Wisdom Tree" - Blurb (Screenplay and Novel)

"The very word "secrecy" is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths and to secret proceedings. We decided long ago that the dangers of excessive and unwarranted concealment of pertinent facts far outweighed the dangers which are cited to justify it. Even today, there is little value in opposing the threat of a closed society by imitating its arbitrary restrictions. Even today, there is little value in insuring the survival of our nation if our traditions do not survive with it. And there is very grave danger that an announced need for increased security will be seized upon by those anxious to expand its meaning to the very limits of official censorship and concealment. That I do not intend to permit to the extent that it is in my control. And no official of my Administration, whether his rank is high or low, civilian or military, should interpret my words here tonight as an excuse to censor the news, to stifle dissent, to cover up our mistakes or to withhold from the press and the public the facts they deserve to know." -  President John F. Kennedy

Waldorf-Astoria Hotel
New York City, April 27, 1961

Numbers flash on a screen 0, 1, 3, 6, 7, 8, 10, 13

0- Origin
1 – Creation
3- Divine Perfection
6- Human imperfection
7- Spiritual perfection
8- Infinity
10- Ordinal perfection
13- The Outer Boundary

This story is about a group of people who work in a security lab beneath the Pentagon. They have a computer system attached to a device that allows them to access and control any computer system in the world. They are off the official budget because they can "take money" from criminals worldwide, which gives them unlimited funding. MJ, the team leader begins to question the origins of the program, which soon takes him around the globe in a hunt for answers that leads to something sitting in front of him the whole time. When the US Military broke the ground for building the Pentagon, on Sept 11th, 1941; the OSS created a new division of government, that would secure American interests permanently worldwide until on Sept 11th, 2001 when an attack came from within the program itself and threatened to tear the nation apart. MJ and his team are in a race against time and their own superiors to find out the truth about "The God Cell" that powers the system. Could it have answers about unlimited renewable energy? Does it's genetic code have answers about the origins of life itself? Love is waiting for all of the answers, under the Wisdom Tree. Will MJ choose true love, or will he choose to throw it all away for God and country?

This Screenplay is a completed work, however, the novel is still being written for optioning first.  Please email with any inquiries.  More information will be published as soon as it becomes properly formatted. 

Historical Data on Robert Smalls and information on "The Planter Seed" screenplay

 This script and story is artistically based on the life of Robert Smalls.  The script is a completed work available in Final Draft format as well as text for optioning, reviewing, and/or purchase.  Please email with any inquiries.  I implore you to take a glimpse into the life of this great man.  There are a wealth of stories within his life which should be told and re-told in multiple media formats, as well as passed down through the generations.  For adequate historical reference beyond the world-wide web, I suggest that you pick up a copy of Gullah Statesman - Robert Smalls from Slavery to Congress - 1839-1915 by Ed Miller in paperback.  Available for purchase here:

His story will take you on an adventure off the beaten path of more well-known history.  While this work is a speculative fiction, I have taken great pains to highlight the historical truth by adding story-lines to heighten the experience and dramatize actual events.  I hope it inspires you!  It certainly is an inspiring story to me!  Thank you!

Matthew Phillip Lazin

Excerpts From "The Planter Seed" (The Robert Smalls Story) Screenplay

The Planter Seed

© June 22nd, 2008

Matthew P. Lazin

Opening scene-Naval Battle Monitor and Merrimack(Duration-15 min.)

9 March 1862

Image of Ironclad ship CSS Virginia

(men preparing for battle just before dawn)

Image of Ironclad ship USS Monitor

(silently moving through the water)

Images of CSS Virginia preparing to attack Minnesota.

(Confederate naval officers shouting and pointing as the USS monitor comes into view)

(Two eleven-inch guns of the Monitor drop in to range and the first shots are fired)

Cannons fire back and forth between the Ironclad ships. Cannonballs ring from metal hitting metal as huge splashes, smoke, fire, and scurrying men on ships are shown.

Lieutenant John L. Worden Commander of the USS Monitor urges his men to continue the ensuing battle.

A man from below deck shouts that they cannot get enough ammunition into the cannons fast enough

The commander shouts: “Take us into shallower water!”

The Monitor hulks and churns away from the Virginia as the Virginia gives up it's prey to focus it's attention on the original intended target, the Minnesota. Cannons square their aim on the sights of the ship. A shot is fired. Fade to black.

Cut to: Growing up on plantation

Small African-American boy in the middle of a lush green plantation field.

Begin Opening Credits

(Overlaying music)

Credits run as small boy hears a shout in the distance and gets up to run through the fields back home.

End Opening Credits

It's breakfast time in a slave quarters, we see this small boy eating breakfast as prepared by his mother.

Young Robert Smalls: “One day I am going to be as rich as the master! I am going to have my own fields. I am going to have my own equipment. I am going to have my own plantation just like the master...”

Robert Smalls' Mother: ( She quickly cuts him off, mid-sentence) “And are you going to have slaves just like the Master?”

The boy silently returns to finishing breakfast, bowing his head in embarrassment.

Mother: (Speaking Gullah) “Robert when are you going to learn that owning a plantation does not make a man rich? The lord says the we shall not store up for ourselves treasures on earth. You need to become rich in the heart and store up your treasures in Heaven. Thieves and robbers can take all that you own on earth and destroy it. Keep your dreams in your heart and soul, and one day you'll see, God will grant you all the riches and honor you seek.”

Robert: “Yes Ma'ama”

Mother: “Now finish your breakfast and go get cleaned up. We got a lot of chores to do today and I am going to take you into town to see the market today.”

Robert (A big smile comes over his face) “Will I get to see the ships in port?!”

Mother: “Yes, Robert” (Slapping him in the behind to get him moving)

Close-up Mother's face (We see concern in her eyes as she looks of to somewhere in the distance.)

Fade to sounds of the bustling Marketplace.
Slave-market with mother
Charleston, SC 13 April 1850
Robert and his mother are walking through the crowded market place.

He runs to pick out an apple but just as he reaches for it his mother grabs his other arm and pulls him away. He closes his hand as the apple was just within grasp.

Mother: “Robert. I want to show you something.” (She says with a stern voice.)

She picks him up and places him on an apple crate.

He looks and sees all of the slaves. White men are beating men, women, and children mercilessly. Blood is spilling to the ground. From the scene one can tell that much blood is spilled here and none to much of it, is ever cleaned up.

Robert closes his eyes in horror and goes to turn away. But his mother quickly grabs his head with her hands and makes him face.

Mother: “Open your eyes Robert!” (She shouts in a trembling voice, choking back tears) “You have to face it.”

He opens his eyes and visibly shakes as each blow is delivered to a person. Tears begin to stream down his face.

Robert: “But Ma'ama,...”
Mother: “Is this what you want? Is this what you'll do to get your plantation like the master's?”
Robert: “Why won't somebody stop them?” he cries.
Mother: “Well, son. That's just the way it is.”
She turns his head and looks him right in the eyes.
That is, unless you are going to do something about it.”

He looks at her and we see his face turn to anger. He turns his body as if he is going to do something about it.

Mother: “Not now Robert. Not now.”
You have to become stronger. You have to become smarter. You have a lot to learn about the world. There is a lot out there that is going to break your heart.”

Let's go home Robert. Ma'ama's going to make you something to eat.”

Robert puts his head into his mother's shoulder and sobs. They walk together leaving the slave market. In the background we see finely dressed socialites lining up to bid in front of the slave platform. The blood filled street is out of their sight and out of there minds.

Next Scene: Growing up on plantation

Robert and a young white boy are playing with a Bilbo catcher outside. The white boy tires of it and hands it to Robert.]

John Jr.: “Here, you play with it. This is boring. Let's go steal some molasses from the kitchen again. I'm hungry.”

Robert: “The last time we did that I got in trouble.” We can see from this scene that Robert is a little bit older now. Perhaps 13 or 14.

John Jr.: “C'mon now Robert. You know you are hungry. We can't possibly get caught this time. You watch by the door and I'll sneak in. This way you can tell if anybody's coming and I'll be inside if we get caught.”

Robert: “I don't know Jay...Let's keep playing with the bilbo catcher. It's fun see!” We can see from look on Robert's face that clearly it is not.

John Jr.: “You have to do what I say.”

Robert: “What!?”

John Jr.: “My father owns you, so you have to do what I say.”

This makes Robert visibly angry. He goes to grab John Jr.'s arm.

John Jr.: “If you don't, your Ma'ama will get in trouble. You know what Terry will do to her if you don't.”

Robert: “Fine! Just watch we don't get caught. Or I'm gonna be doin' the hurtin' to you.”

When they go into the house John Jr. sneaks in the kitchen. Robert keeps watch from the door. As he turns his head he sees John McKee (The Master) in another part of the house. McKee is making sexual advances to one of the slave girls. Robert pauses to look but as he does a lot is bang is heard.

Servant woman: V.O. “John Jr.! You get out of my molasses.”

John Jr. quickly runs out and grabs Robert. McKee looks up and sees the boys. Robert and John Jr. make for the door.

John Jr.: “Thanks Robert. I think we got away.”

Robert: “Easy for you to say. You can get away with anything.”

End of scene.

Robert returns home and sits down for dinner.

Mother (Lydia): “Robert. The master wants to see you. You have to go up to the main house before dinner.”

Robert: “But Ma'ama, I'm hungry. I think I know what he wants but I didn't do anything wrong.”

Lydia: “Who said anything about that. I told you to go up to the house before you eat. That's that. I don't want to hear any lip.”

Robert goes up to the main house and enters. McKee is sitting by the fireplace petting one of the dogs.

McKee: “Robert. Have a seat.”

Robert: “Mister I didn't do anything wrong.”

McKee: “What you saw, or what you think you saw today is another matter. I want to talk to you about something else. It's time that you went into town for work. Summer is here and I don't want you working in the fields. I am going to let you go there on your own. I'm going to give you the papers you need so's nobody will be asking you any questions. You'll keep 30% of what you make to spend as you like. The other 70% comes back to me. To pay for upkeep of the house and your mother. Came back here in the morning and I'll tell you where you need to go.”


McKee: Raising his voice loudly. “Go home Robert. I'll see you in the morning.”

End of Scene

Morning the next day. Going to work in Downtown Charleston

Robert walks into the house. McKee hands him papers and talks to him. No dialogue is heard.

Robert walks into town. Downtown Charleston, 1853. He enters the Ansley-Cooper Inn. He goes to the front desk and rings the bell. A young beautiful African-American woman comes out. (Note to casting, the most beautiful you can find)

Hannah: “Hello, I'm Hannah. Welcome to the Ansley-Cooper Inn. How can I help you?” Smiling broadly.

Robert: “I'm here about a job. John McKee sent me.”

She checks him out head to foot. Robert is dressed very nicely for a slave-hand.
Hannah: “Hold on one moment I'll be right back.”

Robert smiles at her and nods okay.

She goes through a door speaks to someone and returns.

Hannah: “Go down this hallway and make a left. Room 137. We need a lamplighter here during the nights, but during the day you are going to help guests with their luggage and assist the grounds keeper.”

Robert: “Ma'am. I must say. It certainly is a beautiful day, now.”

Hannah: “But it's been like this all morning.” Thinking he is talking about the weather.”

Robert: “It's beautiful, now. Because, I just met you.” He turns in a polite manner and goes down the hall.

Romancing Hannah