Thursday, April 6, 2017

Robert Ellis: Access to Power, Part 1 Revisited

Robert Ellis
I was living in Los Angeles writing spec scripts and producing a lot of TV ads. I had worked with a friend of mine for the better part of a year producing a film for National Geographic on the Great Lakes that won gold at the New York Film Festival. I had also been the last ghostwriter to work on NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 4 before it went into production three weeks later. And that's when I got a seemingly innocent call from another friend of mine who ran a political consulting firm. He had a problem, a small race for county sheriff in New Jersey. Because the two candidates were virtually unknown, he needed someone to shoot surveillance footage of the acting sheriff for a negative ad. The problem was that there were rumors the sheriff had mob connections, and the city was essentially a ghetto, the poorest, most rundown city in New Jersey.

I agreed to help and spoke with a shadowy political operative who seemed to know everything about the sheriff's schedule. He told me that the man owned a black Lincoln, parked it on the side of the building, and walked out the front door everyday at exactly 3:00 p.m. Even better, there was a parking garage directly across the lot where we could hide with a camera.

The man winked and snickered. Warning shots were beginning to go off in my mind. Everything about everything seemed dangerous and wrong ...



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