Another Review From a Very Special Friend

As I mentioned, I have put the scripts out to a few close friends, and asked for their candid feedback. We’ve been writing in a vacuum for quite some time. The feedback has been constructive, and often flattering. I received this today from a friend of several decades:

* Note – with her permission, I edited (cut) pieces of her review that I felt revealed critical plot-points (spoilers).

Masterful storytelling.

Understanding that it can happen to anyone is such a relevant and critical message. it’s brilliant to take this ride with the characters – almost to the point of hoping his wife doesn’t find the needle on the car floor or getting caught in the bathroom stall. You’ve  positioned the viewer in an unthinkable position – feeling sympathy for the drug addict.

It truly shifts your thinking and creates an understanding on such a deep level.

Feeling his anxiety and shame over his addiction,  showing the reality of getting caught up in the addiction… depicting the drug users and dealers as the sympathetic characters, victims to some degree.

The show expertly raises awareness in the most sympathetic way.  And the last two episodes (accompanied by goosebumps and tears) give you that hope that as much as addicts are victims, there are still choices that they have to made every day. Showing that he loses everything, struggles, fails, comes back, and he’s always just one choice away from falling back/death.

Just so powerful, moving and relevant. And it really sticks with you. As I read these episodes over the past two weeks, I spend many moments throughout the day thinking about these characters and the story. It will draw in the viewer and hold onto them tightly until the final minute.

I’ve told you how passionate I am about learning more and raising awareness about this epidemic. I’ve seen many documentaries, read many studies, but this story that you’ve told has the potential to shift thinking, to raise awareness, and have an extremely powerful impact.

Thank you again for sharing it with me. It will stick with me for a long time.

Reader Reactions to “Transition” the Series

“I cried. A lot. It’s so sad, because it is so real. I fell in love with the characters, and then they broke my heart. I have so many people in my life – family and friends – who have been through many of the things that the people in Transition go through. It’s a difficult story, but it’s an important and timely story. People need to understand the epidemic that we are facing. Perhaps this will start a long-overdue conversation about the nature of opioid addiction and treatment. I think this is an important piece of work, and I know it is going to help a lot of people.”

Transition made me very uncomfortable. I think it is a remarkable accomplishment of what television is becoming, and much like The Sopranos or Breaking Bad, it will certainly raise the bar for everything that comes after. So much of what we have previously seen about the opioid epidemic in the U.S. has been documentary-style. This series represents an overdue Transition to narrative fiction. It is fully immersive, and gripping storytelling, all the while never losing its strong basis in reality. It emotionally guides us through a very uncomfortable and unsettling experience. I can’t wait to watch this series.”

“All my life, I have judged drug and alcohol abuse. I am a college educated, sober, and sane person who would never choose to put those things in my body. Transition has made me rethink some of the assumptions that I have always made about these chemicals, and the people who use them. It made me feel a level of compassion that I didn’t know existed within me. I look forward to seeing this series. I have known the filmmaker for many years, and I know what a powerful story he can tell. He knows how to move people. Good luck and God bless!”

Transition makes you feel things that you may not want to feel. But if we are ever going to take steps to heal the opioid epidemic, we must first find a way for people to relate to the problem, in order to better understand the problem. Transition not only makes you think, but more importantly, it makes you feel.”

“Despite what many may feel about the dark subject of addiction, I found Transition to be uplifting and hopeful. It is, ultimately, a story of redemption. But redemption sometimes comes at a great cost. Unfortunately, in the real world, we don’t always get a happily ever after. Even so, for some, life goes on. Transition is sad, but the story left me feeling hopeful, and very satisfied.”

A Little Inspiration for the New Year

Some days I have my own words. Sometimes eloquent, sometimes immature nonsense, processing through my consciousness.

Some days I rely on the words of others. Today is one of those days, so I will share three quotes that inspire me today. Apologies if the quotes are mis-attributed, or not attributed at all. The internet is a funny place.

“It’s so much easier than you have ever believed it to be.” (just came across this scribbled on a note to myself)

“People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.” (my production go-to)

“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing
and rightdoing there is a field.
I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass
the world is too full to talk about.”

– Rumi  (my all-time fave, and thematically, this has always been the core of “Transition”)


“Transition” – A Television Show – #1

I wrote a TV series. 10 Episodes of an Hour-Long Drama entitled “Transition.” It’s a heart-wrenching, deeply emotional tear-jerker that goes deep into the opioid crisis under which we find ourselves currently submerged. It takes the audience on an emotional journey through the harrowing experience of opioid addiction. It forces us to talk about things that we would rather not talk about, to deal with issues that are not comfortable to talk about.

It forces us to ask the question, “What if this happened to me?”

I did not write this alone. The series is based loosely on a screenplay I wrote over a decade ago. In order to create a television series on the subject of the opioid crisis, I enlisted the help of a remarkable young writer, Jake Mays, whom I’ve met in person just twice. He grew up in West Virginia, but he currently resides across the country, somewhere in California. The writing of this series would not be complete without his unique ability to pound out the pages – often ten to twenty per day. Jake was particularly skillful when delving into the darker areas of the story, where it was necessary to go to places in consciousness and imagination that most of us couldn’t even begin to understand.

Jake also had the remarkable ability to reel me in, and keep me on track with this project every time I felt like I was drowning, being pulled down by the heaviness of the subject, and by the trappings of my own small-town life. I am forever grateful for his collaboration on this project. Jake has stuck by me through several artistic misfires over the past four years. I know now that all of those misfires were leading us to this place – we needed to walk through that together in order to get “Transition” to this place today.

Scripts are done, and I’m ready to get to work, shooting this thing. I don’t have a deal for it yet. I know what you are saying – “JW, you don’t do things this way in television.” But if you are really saying that, you don’t know me very well. I’m an independent filmmaker. That’s the way I roll. I put the cart before the horse, I suppose. For me, it starts with the script. When I get my hooks into something I’m passionate about, there is one thing I have consistently proven to be true in my artistic endeavors.

Doubt me, praise me, disclaim me, or support me. I’m a hundred miles beyond caring. Get on board, or get out of my way. I’m making this thing.

I’m looking for the right distribution fit, and a very modest production budget – $7M for ten episodes. I have some ideas about who I want to talk to for the marquee roles. I’m an actor’s director, and it has to be someone who is going to commit to the role of their career. It’s the most emotionally, psychologically, and physically demanding role I could ever imagine. As a performer, I know I couldn’t do it. But as a director, I am salivating at the opportunity to direct it, and I will walk through the fire with the right performer(s).

That’s enough for today. Thanks for reading. More….soon.


Namaste, y’all – JW Myers

Tuesday, January 2nd, 2018

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