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As promised, today I want to focus a bit on the history of The Agora Files. Now, I’ve talked in the past about how it was inspired, in part, by a series of dreams I have had over the years, dreams, which, interestingly enough, stopped occurring shortly after I began writing the series.
But what I haven’t really discussed is how those dreams were actually inspired by a different story I had intended to tell.
Heading back to the golden year of 2007, I had just finished editing the ill-fated Jack and Jill film which I spent the majority of a year writing, filming, acting, editing, and crying over. To be completely fair, it’s probably not quite as bad as I felt it was when completed, but the technical issues alone, caused by my lack of preparation for things like wind and light and all sorts of other problems with the massive on-location shoot this film was, means that there are a lot of things to look past to be able to see the fantastic on screen talent doing their very best at making my sub-par script sound amazing.
However, I didn’t want to allow my perceived failure to stop me, so I immediately jumped into working on a new project, using a couple characters from the film (and one of the other films I had developed) which was intended to be something of a comedy. The basic premise is similar in some ways to The Hangover, I suppose. Two hapless dummies end up under House Arrest due to a night they don’t remember because of an excess of drinking.
The idea would be that these two would slowly work to figure out what had happened, over a series of rather short webisodes, all within the confines of their house.
I actually got rather far in the development of this project, working with a frequent collaborator, we actually even shot most of the footage for the first episode…but it just didn’t seem to work. And then life got in the way, meaning that the project fizzled.
But I couldn’t get this idea of that forgotten night out of my head.
And then one night I had a dream about these two happening upon a DeLorean, which led them off into a crazed adventure.
And that dream was the first of the series of dreams which would plague me until I finally began writing Agora Files (which was initially titled, simply, Run).
Those dreams mostly involved the pair running from some unknown evil throughout the most outrageous of locations. Undersea laboratories, enormous greenhouses, and, well, just a ton of random places.
So, obviously I couldn’t get this very vague concept out of my head, and I began developing a film idea called Jack to the Future (one of these two idiots just happened to be named Jack), which would begin with the idea of them finding the DeLorean and took off in some pretty crazy ways from there.
But I just couldn’t come up with a way for me to actually film this. And by this point, I was starting to feel rather broken down about my ability to even put together a film by myself. Not to mention the sheer scale of this project. So it was put on the back burner.
Around this time is when I actually began writing The Legend of Buddy Hero. But the dreams kept coming the whole time I was writing it.
When I finished Buddy and was in the period between writing it and officially publishing it where I was feeling really down on myself, I determined I should try writing something completely different, something to get me away from that project which I had been working on for two years already.
So, while I was sitting in the shower one day, I was remembering the dream I had had that night involving the two running and I came up with the idea of putting together something which had very little background given to the reader at the start, simply that this guy was running. I lost the entire Back to the Future plot (a lot of the ideas from that concept actually found their way into my later book The Long Chron) and began developing something which very quickly became what you know as The Agora Files today.
Simply put, a Han Solo-type kid runs away from some unknown evil. I picked Han Solo as my template simply because I wanted this cocky figure in the center of it all who simply didn’t know what was going on, but followed through with his promises because somewhere within his seemingly selfish self, he really does want to do something real, something better, something stronger.
And the rest of the story fell into place rather easily. I brought in the concept of The Geek from an earlier film I had produced, called Deadline, introduced a pseudo love interest who was really there to serve as a female who could show Cyrus he wasn’t as amazing as he thought he could be, and then got to Google Earth and scoped out a path for these characters to traverse the country.
A lot of the back story came together, then, as I was working on the rest of it.
And that’s how The Agora Files came to be.
Next I’ll talk about the world of The Agora Files…a world that feels like it’s becoming more and more of a reality as the years tick by…