The Way We Were (TV pilot)
During L.A.'s rise and fall of integration two brothers world's collide. Who will survive between blood and culture?
This is a fact-based fictional story based on true events about the coming of age and escapism of urban youth during the 1980's.
Punctuated by the short-lived spread of recently embraced integration efforts with first generation busing (Permits with Transportation) recipients, an ever increasing and unharnessed presence of Black youth beyond the inner-city's borders was felt. The story centers around the growth, survival, rivalry and love between two brothers Val and Cid Ridgeway. They find themselves both lured, engulfed and trapped between two worlds of L.A.’s new and developing alternative music and dance scene, and the incessant spread of the crack-cocaine epidemic and L.A.'s rapidly spreading gangland.
In the West Adams district of west L.A, Val finds escape through alternative music, dance and fellowship among a few like minds. With the sweeping current of British ska, Pop, reggae, hip-hop and punk rock making its debut compounded by an integrated school experience, Val takes notice and see’s this as an alternative to what he’s otherwise known all his life.
The diversity of sound and dance causes some static among some locals but most formidably his older brother, Cid. But among a few, it is seen as an outlet exclusive to those who lend an ear.
Flying by the seat of their pants, Val and his crew play by their own rules, making a way against the grain for themselves.
Val is also drawn to the dancehalls where he meets the love of his life. His heart-throb wonder lust is also caught in the wave of the music scene as a member of one of the many local dance groups (The Good Girls, The Untouchables, The Groovers, The Romeo's, Stoney Boys, etc). Joyceline Marray (Joy) who is not only an exception to the rule, but a rebel against all authority that mimics conformity. She would soon be faced with a decision that will change her life forever.
Cid, the elder brother by 3 years, is a jack of all trades, a natural resource to many and talent in his own right who remains in a state of mourning even after several years following the tragic death of their father. He unfortunately gravitates to the underworld of gangland, territorial rights and deviant behavior.
Cid takes note that the era and the trends around him are rapidly changing the mood, dress and style in which local city kids relate. Cid is often trying to be the replacement father figure of his younger brother and man of the house over his mother resulting in circular conflict with both.
With the advent of President Clinton’s new draconian policies waging war on both drugs, crime and poverty compounded by LAPD's Chief, Darryl Gates “Operation Hammer” as a response to city-wide crime leading up to the Westwood shooting in 1988, his world drives him to a point of engaging in activity that ultimately causes their two worlds to collide.
Rome MubarakWriterThe Introspect
Project Type:Television Script
Number of Pages:51
Country of Origin:United States
Cannes Screenplay CompetitionFrance
July 25, 2019
Peachtree Village International Film FestivalAtlanta
October 26, 2019
Best ScreenPlay Award (2nd Place Winner)
Born and raised in South-central Los Angeles, I being exposed to the world and its different mediums since adolescence. Living abroad and seeing my own country and her people from the outside looking in has provided me a unique advantage at understanding how the world operates. As a Junior high and High school student I was a first-generation busing recipient which was a part of the integration efforts of the late 70’s and 80’s era. This helped me expand my understanding of people cross-culturally. I have been met with the oddest of questions as a result for who I am and what people perceive simply based on my origin and appearance.
As a career, I have 15 years as a social worker for Child Protective Services and following retirement from this agency, I taught political science classes at two local community colleges. Most of my students varied from as far away as Russia, Kazakhstan, Laos, China, Nigeria, South Africa and India. Teaching has been gratifying but telling stories and interweaving my experiences and knowledge into my stories would be the ultimate pastime.
Film, especially photography has always been an integral part of my life since childhood. Conveying life's magic as a member of my high school's yearbook staff to present day as a re-entry graduate student at UCLA's Extension program in film. Presently I am on the Director's track with 2 quarters to complete the program. I also find myself wanting to study cinematography as well since that is my childhood background. To date, with two completed screenplays to my name and 12 other synopsis’ and five treatments, I am eager to learn more and move forward into their development and future career as both a writer and director.
With the five screenplays that I have completed I have received a Quarterfinal Award by Screen Craft last year and with the more recent screenplay a two top ten finalist awards at the Cannes Screenplay competition in 2019. I am in awe at my growth and feel with every form of recognition received it compels me to push on further, harder and with more zeal than ever before. Relying heavily on both my personal library, rare book collection and the information highway, I feel that my creativity is near full bloom. I anticipate continued progress and measurable success as time progresses. I am not genre-specific as I have stories that are four quadrant ranging from inspirational drama’s, dramedy and romance to suspense thrillers and science fiction. A movie addict, I have a few favorite directors from Alejandro Cuaron, Michael Mann, Martin Scorsese, Spike Lee, Wes Anderson and of course Francis Ford Coppola.
“The imitation of life through art is not just entertainment but crafted works to fill the gaping holes of our human development and evolution”.