The Writer's Desk: Harbor Moon (Part Two)

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From Ryan Colucci—While at USC's grad school for film producing, I was determined to graduate and not have to be an assistant. So I aggressively pursued a wealth of material: books, comics, web comics, etc. I must have read over 500 scripts in two years before one caught my eye. Titled “Bloodkin,” it was an X-Men-type story about a man without a past who finds out he is from a town in Maine that the government has its eye on because the inhabitants are werewolves.

I took the script to Dikran Ornekian, my co-writer and a classmate, and we immediately sparked to the core idea (by Brian Anderson) about a man that's half werewolf coming home to his “family.” I optioned that script and Dikran and I began a long journey taking the story down many paths before we came to what is now Harbor Moon. So what started off as a military action thing with political components became a smaller, isolated horror piece.

It took me a while to find [artist Pawel Sambor], but once I did everything fell into place. He penciled, inked, painted, and lettered everything. Nikodem Cabala did six pages in the middle. But everything else was Pawel.  He and Karol Wisniewski would layout each page, then he would sketch the page and I’d follow with my notes, which were pretty extensive sometimes. Then once we locked those, Pawel would ink and paint it and I would give notes on that. I was technically the final word on each panel, but to be honest, it was more about me finding the right artist and letting him do what he does rather than trying to fit that artist into my neat little box.

Here’s a sample of the script that led to the final product:


The beam of Tim’s flashlight shows us the paintings on the walls.  They are eerie. Dark tones. Gothic.  Straight from Medieval Times. No personal touches in this room or any other.

LETTER: Somewhere outside, the stray dog barks loudly.


Tim leads himself up the SQUEAKY staircase.


Tim looks out through the LARGE WINDOW, overlooking Harbor Moon.  We can clearly see his Jeep, then the town’s few lights in the distance.


Tim enters. The room is Spartan, except for a bed and the LARGE FAMILY PORTRAIT that hangs above it.

The flashlight illuminates the canvas’ life-like scene.

A FIFTY-ISH MAN (John O’Callaghan) stands next to his WIFE. Their TEENAGED SON sits in front of them. The son is clearly a young Andrew, the same smiling face from the yearbook.

TIM: John.


Tim sits at a mahogany desk; sits toward the back. He pulls on the desk drawer.  It’s locked -- until finally, Tim tears it out of the desk.

The fallen items are all useless office supplies. However, hanging from the underside of the drawer is a UNIQUELY-SHAPED, ANTIQUE KEY.

Tim pulls it off and begins ripping PAINTINGS off the walls looking for a safe. Nothing.

TIM: Come on... Where are you?



Tim’s standing in front of the family portrait.

Tim’s captivated by the portrait. As if his family’s calling out to him...trying to tell him something.

Tim removes it from the wall -- revealing an old-fashioned WALL SAFE.

The key fits like a glove. The lock turns with a CLICK... Inside is a CIGAR BOX. It overflows with press clippings and old letters. Tim grabs a clipping.

A recent news-photo of Tim, in military fatigues, stands in front of a tank in Afghanistan. A hero shot. The headline reads:

Port Lucie High Alum Saves Platoon from Taliban Ambush. The byline: Lt. Timothy Vance: “I just heard ‘em coming.”

Tim flips to the next clipping -- a much younger Tim (10 years old) in his Little League baseball days.

Tim stuffs the box back into the safe and pockets the key. LETTER: From outside - A loud crash! Windows shattering.  Metal denting. Then an even bigger crash!


Tim runs toward the staircase, then stops suddenly--

Outside the large window - his jeep is... GONE.

TIM: My jeep!?

Something big is bounding up the steps. It’s moving fast and getting closer -- Nowhere to run --


The window SHATTERS as Tim crashes through it. He sails through the air and finally hits the ground with a roll.

A searing HOWL from somewhere in the night rings out.

TIM: What the--

Tim doesn’t bother looking back, he just up and runs.

Behind him, a MONSTROUS DARK FORM crashes through the entire window frame Tim just came out of it - taking a chunk of the house with it.

(NOTE TO ARTIST: In this sequence, the werewolves should be dark forms, and we shouldn’t be able to really see what they are - just bits and pieces and them in shadow)



Tim SCRAMBLES around thick Pine Trees... JUMPING bushes and twisted vines... Never missing a single stride.

BEHIND HIM, SOMETHING is crashing wildly through the forest.  And it is more than one! And they’re gaining...

Tim tries to see who -- or what -- is chasing him, but it’s too dark and he’s moving too fast.


Tim runs alongside the creek at breakneck pace. Branches around him SHATTER as Tim’s PURSUERS get closer.

TIM: Shit!

Tim veers left and sails into the water of the rushing creek, but lands on a ROCK, then hops onto the next one.

BEHIND HIM, the water SPLASHES as his Pursuer narrows the gap... But Tim stays focused, and never looks back...

Suddenly, he winces in pain -- as if he’s just been struck! But Tim jumps out of the creek and onto the road, where--


Tim’s blinded by HEADLIGHTS. But he doesn’t slow down. He dashes straight into the moving POLICE TRUCK--

--As Daniels SLAMS on the brakes, Tim has already run over the SUV’s hood and off into the night.


Read Steven Surman's Broken Frontier review of Harbor Moon.

To purchase Harbor Moon, find it on Amazon.

To learn more about Harbor Moon, visit the official website.

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