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MarketDecember 17, 2012 AgentDoug Maclaren (ICM)
While driving his regular interstate bus route, an emotionally fractured ex-convict finds himself acting as a father figure to a forsaken young boy from the Philadelphia ghetto, even though he knows that the boy is smuggling drugs.
A precocious young black street kid and an apathetic greyhound driver with a sordid past are brought together inadvertently and come to develop an unlikely relationship that will change their lives forever.
A lonely bus driver and a young boy with similar backgrounds form an unlikely bond as they travel together on the open road.
Drama, Crime, Coming of Age, Drugs, Film, Gangs, Road Movies, Social Commentary, Travel, Troubled Youth
“The Wire,” "The Corner", "Changing Lanes", "A Perfect World"
Present. A few days.
40% Philadelphia which includes apartments, a street corner and a school. 30% in Lexington, 10% Charleston (VA) and 10% Rest stops along the route between Philadeplhia and Lexington. Locations in Lexington and Charleston include bus terminals, strip clubs, motels and homes. Remaining 10% takes place in a Greyhound bus.
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At a Philadelphia Greyhound bus terminal, TERRY FULKER (40s, white, bus driver, ex-con) drives his bus full of passengers to Northern Philadelphia. Just another day in the life of Terry Fulker.
Not so far away, JASPER (10, black, look-out kid) stands on a street corner with his friends CINCH (20s, "corner boss", drug dealer) and RIFT (19, Cinch's #2). There, the group sells drugs to customers. However, today the cops bust them. Jasper escapes, but Cinch and Rift are taken into custody.
The State Troopers pull Terry's bus aside for routine investigation. The passengers file out and in walks ROPINSKI (40s, hard-bitten Sergeant). Ropinski and Terry say their hellos before Terry reveals that one of his passengers is holding drugs. He identifies the drug dealer as SHAMIS (19, pretty black girl) and gets paid 200 dollars by Ropinski. Outside the bus, Ropinski searches Shamis's belongings and finds a teddy bear filled with cocaine. She is arrested. Terry has an obvious eye for drug traffickers. Jasper returns to his small apartment home. There, he meets DESIREE (29, Jasper's mom, pothead) and falls asleep on the couch. He goes to school the next day, receiving an "A" on a test.
A gripping urban drama that follows the intersection of two very different lives in present day Philadelphia and the impact each comes to have on the other. A precocious little boy with a head for mathematics, he becomes a drug smuggler in the hope of protecting his financially destitute mother. Terry, a solitary and apathetic character with an ignominious past, drives a greyhound bus and drowns his sorrows away with liquor. Introduced to each other as Jasper rides the greyhound out of state, an unlikely relationship fosters between these two loners. The bond results in character arcs that gives life to a coming of age journey which runs concurrently with a through line of redemption. With a fluidity tracking both youth and middle-age, it results in a message that sheds enormous light on the plight of modern Americans. Explored with a masterful touch, it stresses the importance of family and friendship in the complex world of the 21st Century....
“Out of Town” is very well written with lovable characters and a human message. It follows the growing bond between an ex-con bus driver and his passenger, a young drug runner. The characters’ arcs are strong and progress with a nearly perfect pacing. The dialogue is fresh and believable and creates a great sympathy for the characters. Despite the setting, the world is depicted realistically as opposed to the cliché “dark and gritty.” The conflict is ever-present with strong internal and external attributes....
Part road movie and part crime drama, “Out of State” is a powerful story concerning two protagonists, Terry, an ex-con trying to make amends with his family, and Jasper, a young boy turned criminal working hard to keep his home. Jasper’s growth from child to adult is immediate and powerful and, due to his age, is a unique story. Terry’s character arc and story is not as powerful as Jasper’s and needs some work to be just as unique and strong. In other words, Terry’s story, for numerous reasons, feels lifeless and generic. It is structurally sound and well crafted, with some moments of great characterization and dialogue. But, again, Terry’s journey needs to be re-structured and re-evaluated....
“Out of State” is heart-wrenching and compelling. In it, two damaged souls: an ex-convict turned bus driver named Terry, and Jasper, a ten year-old boy forced to work for local drug dealers, find redemption through an unlikely friendship. This premise is explored well overall, and is itself a rich starting point for drama and character growth. The plot primarily revolves around these two characters and how they are changed. They are well-supported with a colorful cast of minor characters, all of whom feel real. Dialogue is appropriate for each character and is used well throughout. The structure and pacing are mostly effective. There are a few grammatical/formatting errors within the text. However, these are few and minor. It could also use some tweaking in the structure, specifically the ending, which leaves unanswered questions and in some of the minor characters which could use a bit more fleshing out. Finally, the conflict needs to be more clearly defined....
Terry is a washed up bus driver with a criminal past. Jasper is a ten year old boy from a bad neighborhood with a drug addicted mother. The two meet when Jasper is sent on an out of state drug deal on Terrys bus. Terry and Jasper form a strong relationship as they learn there pasts are quite similar. The premise is a dramatic and engaging one with much potential. The characters have their own unique personalities that shape the way they view the world. There is conflict at every turn, both externally, and internally with the characters own inner personal struggles. The ending is bleak and lacks resolution, but the strong points balance it out and make the read worth while....