Chillmark: Pilot "Jabberwocky"

In the US, one in 5,000 are born deaf. On Martha’s Vineyard, it’s 1 in 250. But in the town of Chillmark, it’s 1 in 25. When the serial killer that took his daughter 15 years ago resurfaces, former detective Jack Sullivan is called in to investigate who is hunting the deaf community. The only problem is, he killed the man 15 years ago.

  • Stephen Nolly
  • Project Type:
    Television Script
  • Number of Pages:
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Language:
  • First-time Screenwriter:
  • Student Project:
  • Sundance Episodic Lab
    Park City, Utah
  • Austin Film Festival
    Austin, Texas
  • Warner Brothers Writers' Workshop
    Burbank, CA
Writer Biography - Stephen Nolly

Stephen Nolly is a bi-racial writer/director specializing in cross-genre and high-concept. When he was a kid, being "ethnically ambiguous" meant that he was assumed to be part of whatever local minority seemed fit. After enduring the countless “What are you?”’ and “Where are you from- really?“ interrogations, it wasn't long before he discovered that the written word doesn’t face the same prejudices, and he found himself to be a writer.

Because his mother wasn’t Jewish, he was not accepted as a Jew. Because his father wasn’t Japanese, he was not accepted as Japanese. Stephen occupied the cultural wasteland known as “Other”. As time went on, the “Other” box was replaced by the “Two or More Races” box, which made surveys more convenient, but Stephen still remained fascinated by the concept of cultural displacement and diaspora. If what we honor and value is passed down through our culture, what is the belief system of the “Other”?

Drawn to The Arts, Stephen earned a scholarship to NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, and upon graduation, became a resident at TriBeCa’s Flea Theater, earning a Drama Desk and an Obie Award.

A fellowship with NYU’s Writer’s Lab for a Webseries he wrote put him in the director’s chair, and he has been making films ever since. Stephen works as a freelance commercial director by trade, as well as Senior Writer for Magic Lantern Shooter, a site dedicated to modifying cameras for film production, and has also authored a book: Shooting RAW in Magic Lantern. Stephen is also the Creator and Lead Designer for Viscous Video, a Color Grading platform that emulates popular film stocks, and is a featured host on the Improve Photography Podcast with over a million followers.

Stephen’s script “What’s in the Box?” placed in the top 15% at the 2015 Austin Film Festival, and he is currently a reader for this year’s festival. His original TV Pilot “Chillmark” has currently advanced at the Sundance Episodic Lab. “Identification” a short he wrote and directed, recently screened at the Highland Park Independent Film Festival in Los Angeles, and he is about to go into production on “A Good Get”, the story of a rogue Rabbi sent to coerce Orthodox Jewish men into granting their wives a “Get” or religious divorce, even after a civil decree is issued. Things become complicated for the rabbi when he becomes trapped in an elevator over the Sabbath with one of these men, and he must choose between following the Holy Law to the letter, or doing what he believes is G-d’s will.

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Writer Statement

I am a Mixed-Race Middle Child of a Jewish Fighter Pilot and a Japanese Fashion Model. I have met exactly two people in my life that share the same ethnic background as me. They also happen to share the same last name, which I suppose makes it easier to identify our demographic in the Census.
As I got older, I met other “Diversity” writers who spoke about Progress, and the “changing landscape”, and how they finally were able to see shows with someone like them on screen. That’s when I realized that for me, it’s never going to happen.
Being born Mixed doesn’t give you access to multiple cultures; it excludes you from both. Only recently has there been a box on Self-Identification forms for “Two or More Races”, acknowledging that for the “Mixed” candidate, there is no indigenous culture. The closest cognate they have is with other Mixed candidates, collectively inhabiting the role of The Other.
As an outsider, I heard the folklore of my peoples, and the lessons in those stories. Underneath it all, we are not the same. We must embrace that plurality of values. It embodies the very foundation of good storytelling, which is a conflict of Greater Goods. In this struggle, it is revealed that in all stories, regardless of culture, the Human Experience is the same.
This is a perspective that I understand, and am uniquely qualified to contribute to the emerging generation of viewers who demand more unique and truthful stories.

My name is Stephen Nolly, and I am The Other.