About the Movie and Director’s Statement

Weeks after his wife  Sandra commits suicide for reasons that he seems unable to cope with, troubled screenwriter Ray Burk becomes obsessed with writing “a rock and roll Chinatown” about the death of one-hit wonder Bobby Fuller, who was found dead in his garage with gasoline poured down his throat a week after his song “I Fought the Law” became a national sensation in July 1966. When Ray takes it upon himself to actually solve the murder, he is contacted by Alice McMillan, a lost member of the Manson family who has resurfaced five years after the Manson murders. When she offers to take him to Death Valley where there are 16mm snuff films buried that may link Fuller’s death to the infamous Manson crimes, Ray is plunged into the nightmare legacy of Charlie Manson.


With The Dead Circus, I’m looking to create the first rock noir and a rock myth that blurs history and fiction in a way that will generate a compelling examination of the events examined more so than if it had been a conventional biopic. I’m also inspired by the paranoia films of the 70s, movies like Alan Pakula’s Klute, Parallax View and All the President’s Men that were as thrilling as they were socially relevant and lingered with one long after leaving the theater. In that regard, I also see the film as a portrait of corruption and indifference in Hollywood, where the city itself is just as culpable for the crimes perpetrated therein. And if this film inspires people to create rather than to destroy, I feel strongly that we could potentially create an experience that will prevent other artists from going down paths similar to Manson, whose failure as an artist ultimately led to the Tate-Labianca murders.


3 Responses to “About the Movie and Director’s Statement”

  1. I must say. This sounds COOL.

  2. Wow…this is thrilling…can’t wait…I’m biting my nails already…

  3. Casting Academy Award winner Melissa Leo as “Alice McMillan”, a Manson family matriarch, in “The Dead Circus”, guarantees the success of the film and guarantees another Oscar for Melissa. As Melissa’s unpaid press agent who would like to see the media discussing Melissa and “The Dead Circus” 24/7 for the next year, I would advise Melissa to call an immediate press conference to announce that she is inviting the real Charles Manson to be her “Oscar Date” next year. The studio would then petition Governor Brown to release Manson from prison for the one night. The media will go nuts! They will talk of nothing else. Larry King will come out of retirement to interview Melissa and Manson in Manson’s prison cell. The Academy, fearful that Manson might show up, will announce in advance that Melissa Leo has unanimously won her Oscar, that “The Dead Circus” has unanimously been selected as Best Picture and that Adam Davenport has been unanimously selected as “Best Director. Charlie Sheen will proclaim that: “Melissa Leo has tiger blood.” Joan Rivers, Ryan Seacrest and “The Fashion Police” will spend hours comparing Manson’s prison uniforms to current fashion trends. People will flock to the theaters to see “The Dead Circus.” The ratings for the “oscar Telecast will Soar! As Charlie Sheen would say: “DUH, WINNING!”

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