The opening scene …

The image of the severed head still haunts me, though maybe ‘haunt’ isn’t the right word. I find it comforting, in a strange sort of way. Even now I can hear the raucous belly-laugh, mirrored in Medb’s smiling face. A face forever frozen in time.

Everything happened so quickly. I don’t remember how long I lay unconscious.

What I do remember is crawling to safety and the shock of seeing Medb’s eyes staring at me. Medb’s blood was everywhere. Her blessed, rose-coloured blood covered me like a liquid shroud. I could even taste it on my lips, and feel it running down my beard. I felt so alive! But soon her blood was the smell of death. Death mingled with car oil.

Although my eyes were a blur, some of my other senses were working overtime, trying to make sense of my new environment:

Creaking metal.

Burnt rubber.

The wind in the trees.

Then silence.

And in the silence, three drops of blood fell on my forehead in slow motion …

Abbess Medb …

Medb’s Epiphany

Medb was not part of my original story, which goes back many a decade. When she did appear, it wasn’t to be later on in Guy’s adventure, as I had planned, when she would travel with him to the denouement. Her epiphany would be at the very beginning, when she would be decapitated after a few minutes of appearing on screen!

I was devastated.

I didn’t want her to be killed off at the start, and ‘fought’ the idea for about a year.

Then I realized that writing the story of the fugitive stag was more that ‘just a story.’

It was an initiation. A shamanic journey into the mystery of Goddess, the Eternal Feminine. After her decapitation Medb became my Muse, the creative life-blood, and, consequently, the Patroness of my Screenplay PLUS project. She is the ‘golden string’, or is it a ‘blood-red string’, that flows throughout the story from beginning to end.

Apocalypse … How?

Unlike Coppola’s ‘Apocalypse Now’, which ends with the horrific scenes of a ‘god-monster’, violence and primitive sacrifice, ‘The Fugitive Stag’ opens with an apocalypse, the horror of a bloody decapitation  and the death of an all too real, (yet mythical)   ‘Edvard Munch’s-Madonna-cum-Medusa-like’ figure … Medb – an ex-Irish Abbess.

Unlike Dante’s ‘Inferno’, to gaze at this Medusa (or to have her look at you) is to be transformed. Guy’s horrific encounter with monstrosity and dazzling beauty does not paralyze him. On the contrary, the horror, in alienating him from all that was ‘familiar’ in his life, becomes an act of grace which leads to his eventual redemption.

‘Stag’s’ main influences …

1 The brutal realism and ethos of F. F. Coppola’s Apocalypse Now (1978)

2 John Boorman’s Excalibur (1981): although ‘Stag’ is rooted in our modern world, as a Celt, I have always been fascinated by the mythical, and the intimate proximity of the ‘Otherworld’.

3 In addition to Tarkovsky’s protagonists always undergoing a spiritual crisis, his films are not only a ‘seamless weaving of time, dream and memory’, but are also full of images of great beauty.

4 The UK, BBC TV’s Peaky Blinders (2013-19) is an important contemporary influence, not least because of its strong characters and story-line as well as its original blend of ‘historical drama’ and contemporary music.

Peaky Blinder’s ‘darkness’ is too one-sided, because ‘Stag’ isn’t just about the high contrast between light and dark. ‘Stag’ is about the interplay and balance between opposites, especially beauty and violence, compassion and barbarity, patriarchal religion and the goddess. In ‘Stag’ light is used to ‘soften the edges’ and thus, at times, reduce the contrast between opposites, in order to introduce a sense of calmness to a scene.  In a violent and ugly world, the presence of this calmness, or ‘beauty allied with grace’, is an important element in ‘The Fugitive Stag’.

An Epic/Historical/Fantasy Film … The Fugitive Stag

He lost a rare carving but found an even rarer beauty!

In a world gripped by apocalyptic ‘Goddess Mania’, a maverick priest on a personal quest, is drawn into the world of high fashion and celebrity, and a religious cabal ‘hell-bent’ on preventing a global beauty icon  from fulfilling her destiny to re-fashion the world  and save it from a dystopian future.

An epic story of love, beauty, religious fanaticism and a secret for which even the most pious would kill, to prevent the world from discovering.

Goddess Apocalypse Unveiled: Beauty will save the World

Follow the fugitive stag …?

My hope is to link up with people who are not only interested in films but also curious enough to follow my quest to find an innovative director or producer … and much more!

An adventure that honours my Celtic native shamanism.

I suppose The Fugitive Stag could be sub-titled ‘The Adventures of a modern day Shaman’ …

Cernunnos
David Iona’s sculpture of Taliesin – he adorned our sacred space at Pennal for a while …

Introduction

I am a screenwriter, author and radical theologian. I live ‘near Cardiff’ with Ann and our ‘silver hound’ Bendigeidfran (Bran the Blessed). The quest of the fugitive stag lies at the heart of my spirituality, which can best be described as ‘shamanic’. In addition to writing, I tend my ‘sacred space’ or garden (with its shrine to the fugitive stag), walk with my dog, keep in touch with close family and friends, read poetry and watch films.

The Fugitive Stag (TFS) isn’t a screenplay … it is a ScreenplayPLUS!

“What started off as a spiritual quest many decades ago – exploring social, cultural, theological and philosophical ideas within my European cultural heritage – ended up, not as a prose poem but a screenplay. My personal story emerged, in fact, as a series of dramatic pictures and scenes based on modern and classical art and poetry. Every ‘still’, if you like, became ‘a movie’ of my shamanic journey.

I’ve ended up with a creative piece of work that is more than a screenplay. It is a ScreenplayPLUS! My next quest, and challenge, is to find a director or producer to have a chat with about my ScreenplayPLUS …

… because my story has transformed itself into an epic film, flirting with the world of arthouse and high concept films, in the process – and a tagline supplied by Dostoevsky himself: “Beauty will save the world.”

I know that this isn’t the way things are normally done in the film industry, but once a maverick always a maverick – as with my protagonists! Leaving my ScreenplayPLUS on the shelf to gather dust is not an option.To paraphrase a favourite Western TV series of mine from the late fifties. “Have Screenplay – Will Travel.”

Someone, somewhere, knows someone, who knows someone … who has a personal link to a director or producer …