Snatching Phantoms



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707.433.7452
P.O. Box 962
Healdsburg CA 95448

 

 

 

 Feature/Television Mini-Series Film Project                

 

 

Kevin at Carl Fisher memorial Bust in Miami Beach September 1978.

 

 

 

Kevin on Track Road near Ashton, Illnois 7/25/12. This is one of the original sections of the Lincoln Highway, the first transcontinental highway in U.S. promoted by Carl Fisher in 1910. Kevin holding photos of Carl's Montauk projects.

Copy of the original architectural rendering for the three Montauk Manors in 1925.

 

Title: Playground 

Type. Three part Television mini-series possible feature film.

Writer and Researcher: Kevin J. McCann

Film Treatment:

Status:

Registration: Kevin J. McCann, Writers Guild of America, June 2010, #1438758 (Revised from 1978)

 

Please read Abbreviated Treatment below. For full 10 page treatment see info and link below.

 

At the turn of the twentieth century a half-blind, poorly educated Midwestern farm boy masterminded the transition of America from the Pillar of the Protestant Ethic to the Playground of the Western World.  An extraordinary promotional genius, he helped transform America's infant automobile industry into the largest, most socially and physically pervasive enterprise the world has ever known.  He built the world's largest racetrack in a cornfield, dropped cars from hot air balloons, drove cars off buildings and once hired the Wright Brothers to race their planes against his automobiles.

Even as a child his ideas were Homeric and flamboyant.  He so admired the lives and successes of Abraham Lincoln and Napoleon that their pictures hung over every bed he slept in for his entire life. He was a visionary whose visions were always colossal, a dreamer willing to gamble the great fortunes he'd accumulated, a master planner who turned his dreams into realities and then happily shared them with everyone else making many of friends millionaires.  Possessed of a stupendous and chaotic energy, even in an energetic age, he helped change the face of a nation.  At thirty-six he was already a multimillionaire and had long been a local idol, especially among young women.In a scandal that includes palimony he married a 14 year-old girl and within 10 years he builtthe "City of Magic" out mangrove swamps. They were the rich and famous of the world and known as the King and Queen of Miami Beach.

The world was their stage until the tragic death of their son and then their divorce. The years to follow became an illusion.  Financially, Carl was a giant but personally he was failing.  Jane was gallivanting around Europe. He became unbearable to deal and socialize with and often had prostitutes secretly delivered by train to his yacht for weeklong cruises.  Eventually, he would remarry for social and business reasons.

In 1929 he was in the middle of his biggest scheme.  In a drunken stupor he made plans to build another city, even bigger than Miami Beach at another desolate location on the eastern tip of Long Island called Montauk Point.  It would be another compound for the super rich and famous, a principality for achievers, "A Millionaire's Paradise".  The Chrysler Building would be its tallest structure.  The project received world recognition and construction was booming when the stock market collapsed.  In spite of that, he was determined to keep his latest dream afloat. While investors withdrew their huge stakes for safety, Carl backed them with his own estimated fortune of $90 million.  But the Depression lasted longer than his millions and he lost everything. He tried to rebuild but was bankrupt in a few years.

Carl Graham Fisher, the man who sold America the automobile, died in 1939 of a severe gastric hemorrhage brought on by alcohol. In the same year America manufactured its 75th million car. He spent the last lonely and unhappy years of his life subsisting on a pension in Miami Beach, the magical city he built, where no one seemed to know him anymore.  He became a local character with his floppy hats and yellow blazer.

Claiming that she was the only woman Carl ever loved, Jane lived for nearly thirty years more as a socialite in Miami Beach. She, too, ended up on welfare living on a houseboat.

Today we still live and play in Carl's Playgrounds.