FULL TITLE: TESLA – The Poet of Electricity
LOGLINE: He electrified a world that was not yet ready for his brilliance.
223 W. Lancaster Avenue.
Devon, PA 19333
bio at www.mecfilms.com/jrjbio.htm
- James Jaeger (provisional)
- Ridley Scott (provisional)
- Carol Snyder, Matrix Productions
- Nikola Lonchar, Tesla Science Foundation
- Elias Alias, Lionsgate
SUPPORTING ACTORS (provisional)
- Sarah Jessica Parker, Part of Sarah Bernhardt
- Sam Elliott, Part of Mark Twain
- Beau Bridges, Part of George Westinghouse
- Emilio Estevez, Part of Thomas Edison
- Natascha McElhone, Part of Anne Morgan
- Gweneth Paltrow, Part of Marguritte Marrington
- Marisa Tomei, Part of Flora Dodge
- Naomi Watts, Part of Kathren Johnson
- Diane Lane, Part of Ava Astor
NIKOLA TESLA arrives in New York in 1886 and gains employment with THOMAS EDISON as an electrical engineer. His dream is to bring to fruition a system of clean, inexpensive electrical energy. Edison, failing to share the dream, quickly falls out of favor with the Serbian engineer and there results a serious parting of the ways.
Fortunately for Tesla, his reputation gains him investors who quickly see in him the potential to earn a small fortune. In short order, Tesla is riding high in New York society from various inventions, among which is alternating current (AC). But things are not so pleasant for Edison and his most famous investor, J.P. MORGAN, for these two titans of industry had placed their bets — and significant sums — into an alternative electrical system known as direct current (DC). Predictably, a “war of currents” ensues after which Tesla’s AC emerges victorious thanks to GEORGE WESTINGHOUSE, who backed Tesla and installed his AC generators at Niagara Falls. Soon after, AC proves to be the electricity of choice. Tesla’s invention not only lights up Albany, Buffalo and New York City, but opens the door for the aluminum and aviation industries due to the immense amounts of electrical power that can, for the first time, be sent long distances.
As Tesla’s fame and fortune grow, so do advances from attractive and wealthy women, such as the actress, SARAH BERNHARDT and FLORA DODGE of Dodge City. Eventually, almost every high-society woman in New York wants to date the good-looking genius. Nevertheless, Tesla prefers to abstain, putting his life’s work first and hanging out with his buddies, MARK TWAIN and STANFORD WHITE. “Marriage is not for the inventor” he says in a news article, an article which catches the eye of ANN MORGAN, the beautiful and influential daughter of J.P.
Almost oblivious to his personal life, Tesla decides to focus in on his life-long dream: extracting electrical power from the core of the Earth and transmitting it through the air without wires. But the powers that be are now more cautious. Leery of the millions Tesla had previously cost them (when J.P. lead them into investments in DC), they are in no mood for Tesla’s scheme to give the world cheap, or free, electricity. Heading the list of disgruntled investors is J.P. Morgan. But money is the last thing on his mind as he watches his daughter fall deeply in love with the “poet of electricity,” yet the poet fails to reciprocate.
If the definition of a tragic figure is one that holds within themselves the seeds of their own demise, Nikola Tesla is one of America’s true tragic figures. A genius in the ways of science, yet challenged in the ways of romance, Tesla’s memory is but a footnote in history, yet his legacy makes possible much of the modern industrial world.
When one considers Tesla lived for 86 years, it’s easy to see how TESLA – The Poet of Electricity could be a 3-hour movie. An excerpt from the Screenplay can be read by going to www.PoetOfElectricity.com/excerpt.pdf. Please email Carol Snyder at firstname.lastname@example.org for the full Screenplay.
PROPOSED PACKAGING METHODOLOGY:
Since today Tesla is relatively unknown, this part may best be played by a relatively unknown actor. This could be a talented TV actor looking to work in features or a non-U.S. actor not (yet) familiar to American audiences.
Because this is a bio-picture, we feel it needs a strong director, but most importantly, a director that is sincerely interested in Tesla and understands his circumstances.
Unlike the part of Tesla, the cast could be comprised of supporting roles which would require about one to twelve days each, therefore, name talents could be scheduled between other projects. Names would be appropriate because many of the parts in TESLA are influential people of the time. Some of these parts are: Mark Twain, Sarah Bernhardt, Thomas Edison, J.P. Morgan, George Westinghouse, Marguerite Merington and Rudyard Kipling.
The only major supporting role we would suggest be finalize after the part of Tesla is cast is the part of Marguerite Merrington. According to our research, Marguerite was the only woman Tesla seemed to really have had feelings for. Thus, we feel this part shouldn’t be cast until after it’s known who will play the part of Tesla (so the on-screen chemistry will be right).
WHY TESLA MUST BE MADE:
A film about a brilliant electrician who invented, not only alternating current — but florescent lighting, radar, the bladeless turbine, laser and radio — would be boring. Even a film about a mad scientist or another conspiracy theory is old. In TESLA – The Poet of Electricity, we tried to fully understand who Tesla was and what motivated his quirky ways. We sought to understand his love-life, the women who pursued him and most of all, why he rose so high and was ultimately turned into a non-person by the powers that be. Here are some specific reasons why TESLA must be made.
New York City at the turn of the century, “the age of innocence,” has to be one of the most moving and cinematic settings possible. The horse-drawn carriages, the busy streets, muddy ditches, sweatshops and labs; the elegant and stately attire of high society; the posh restaurants, hotels and mansions where Tesla occasioned; the twisted maze of dangerous electrical wiring strung all over the city by twenty competing, incompatible electric companies. Go to www.mecfilms.com/tesla for photographs of setting.
Do you get more dramatic characters? Tesla, a handsome, eccentric Serbian genius who, though not gay, thwarts the passion of endless women literally throwing themselves at him. Mark Twain, Tesla’s best friend, stays up all night in the lab drinking and joking around with his “mad scientist” buddy. The famous actress, Sarah Bernhardt, who flirts with Tesla while he’s hard at work. J.P. Morgan, thought to be the richest man alive, whose mere word on Wall Street can make or break any man. Anne Morgan, J.P.’s beloved daughter who adored Nikola Tesla only to be amongst those thwarted by the “genius.” Thomas Edison, America’s greatest inventor, complete with his quirks and flaws, was ultimately so intimidated by Tesla’s genius, he allowed himself to participate in some drastic measures. Ava Astor, John Astor’s sexy, cheating wife doesn’t get very far with Tesla either. Stanford White, built the new wing on the White House as well as Tesla’s new lab — but couldn’t keep his hands off married women between projects. Sara Dodge, rich and beautiful beyond belief, but did Tesla even notice? Benjamin Harrison, President of the United States, but, as a bachelor, made time to party with Tesla and Twain. Go to www.mecfilms.com/tesla for photographs of characters.
TESLA is a picture that contains heavy conflict — about as heavy as it gets in the business and social worlds. The conflict between the large corporation vs. the lone inventor; the conflict between marriage and bachelorhood; the contest between AC and DC; the conflict between love and career dedication; between making money and giving back to Society. In our version of this story, Nikola Tesla is the protagonist whereas Thomas Edison and J.P. Morgan are the antagonists. Recognizing the great accomplishments of both Edison and Morgan, we have made every effort to avoid disparaging these two American icons by showing that they acted like anyone in their position would have acted. Edison and Morgan were as much victims of the competitive industrial machine of their time as was Tesla, but because most of us know only of the conflicts told from the mainstream victors’ point of view, we felt it was time to take a chance and tell this story from the point of view of the lone inventor, Nikola Tesla.
Rich in Special Fxs
Modern digital technology makes it possible to produce this picture in a way Orson Wells (the last person to tackle a Tesla movie) would be proud: one hundred and thirty-five foot sparks flying from Tesla’s high frequency coils; Wardenclyffe Tower sending and receiving bolts of lightning from the stratosphere; static electricity pervading and gapping every metal object in town; ball lightning floating around and exploding; buildings and entire city blocks vibrating from standing waves; a 12-megaton blast in the Tunguska forest.
The story of Nikola Tesla transcends the American Dream and is currently topical. A poor immigrant rising to the top of his profession, Tesla gains massive fame and fortune; is endlessly on the cover of prestigious magazines and is worshiped by his peers in the engineering and scientific establishment. So important are Tesla’s accomplishments, modern, industrialized civilization would not have been possible without him. Tesla’s invention of the polyphase generator and AC alone made possible the long-range transmission of electrical power without which New York City would not exist as we know it today. Further, because of the ability to transmit electricity long distances, the aluminum industry was made possible, thus opening the door to aviation. Unfortunately, today, few in the general public are aware of any of this. What happened?
Inspiration for Future Generations
In a time when our country is in need of energy independence and greater sources of energy, we would like to remember what happened to Tesla, the poet of electricity. A dreamer and loner, Nikola Tesla dared to buck the system and go after new sources of energy, no matter what the cost to his personal and professional life. As such he was a tragic figure who could emerge as an inspiration to a new generation of inventors and creative thinkers — if only they knew more about him.
Wide Audience Appeal
The above cinematic elements will combine to make TESLA – The Poet of Electricity visually exciting, tragic and potentially a “best picture” with wide international audience appeal. To millions of scientists around the world, Tesla is not only remembered, he’s a serious, bone fide engineer. Like Watt, Volta, Ampere and Newton, Tesla had a unit of scientific measurement named after him — an honor less than ten men in history have shared. But Tesla also has an inestimable audience of fans, many of which worship him as an almost occult figure. In this screenplay, we have done our best to satisfy both audiences, yet remain true to who Tesla was.
TESLA – The Poet of Electricity distinguishes itself because it emphasizes the element of unrequited romance in Tesla’s life as well as the dynamics of the little-understood power relationships that influenced, and eventually crashed, his career.
The Tesla Science Foundation estimates that there are about 100 million Tesla fans world wide — 200 million in all, when their wives and girlfriends are factored into the market. This market includes electrical engineers, scientists, inventors, entrepreneurs, sci-fi buffs, mystics, historians, Tesla Motors enthusiasts. At $10 per ticket, we feel that the potential revenue for TESLA – The Poet of Electricity could exceed $1.5 billion.
For information on this project contact James Jaeger or Nikola Lonchar at 800-576-2001.