A True Hollywood Horror Story: The Sequel


In part one of this tragedy, I explained how my friend Steve and I had begun working on a screenplay in 1998 that recast Snow White as an action heroine. Unlike Snow White and the Huntsmen, our story was set in the present.

We were showing it around and getting some good feedback on it...in early September of 2001. And of course I mentioned that Steve lived on South End Ave, directly in the shadow of the World Trade Center.

The story didn't end there, though. Even though Steven initiated the project as a kind of Matrix-type sci-fi mindgame thriller, I suggested we incorporate those mind-control elements into a more conventional action thriller based on films like La Femme Nikita, which we were both fans of at the time. I felt the best way to pursue the project was to do it as a graphic novel and take that to the studios and so started looking for artists.

I finally met one I liked at San Diego in 2003 and started getting things together to pitch. Unfortunately the artist didn't work out and I was back where I had started. I decided to lay the story out myself (meaning do all the basic drawings and panel arrangements) while I looked for another artist.*

Finding a good artist to work on spec is a lot harder than you might think. Given the choice, artists would much rather work on their own projects. But I did write up a pitch for a Snow graphic novel based on the treatment and a major reworking of my first graphic novel, which I was very unhappy with. I thought the best thing to do to find an artist was to get a deal, so I set out to pitch some publishers. And then I did something really god-damned stupid.


I put the Snow treatment online.

Not for long, only long enough to send to a guy named Jamie Rich, who was running Oni Press (later home of Scott Pilgrim). I don't remember why I put it online- it might have been just a courtesy, since clicking on a link was easier than dealing with an attachment. Or maybe he asked me to, I don't remember. I don't even remember exactly why I was pitching him (this was eight years ago**) and I didn't think enough of it to keep track of any of this when I shut down my old email account.


I spent the past couple days trying to track this all down. I emailed Jamie, I called Oni; they were very friendly and helpful but neither keep records going that far back. I seemed to keep records of everything but the email in which I sent Jamie the link to the Snow treatment.

Why should I? It was just a failed pitch to an indie publisher who were hardly on the map back then. I didn't realize that nothing flies under the radar in the Age of Google. Unfortunately, it flew under the radar of the Internet Archive, along with 80% of my old website.

But it was while I was wracking my brains trying to figure out how all of the main plot points from Snow showed up in Hanna then I remembered what I thought at the time was a nonevent. How long it stayed archived on Google after I took it off my server (which I did after Jamie shot me down) is anyone's guess, but maybe it stayed up just long enough.

The timeline here is perfect- Hanna's writer (Seth Lochhead) was in Vancouver Film School apparently working on his script at the same time I was pitching Snow to Oni.

Either way, I read the spec script and the shooting script for Hanna (both of which are easily found online) and rented the movie. The following are the similarities between the Snow treatment (I've posted it online again- read it here) and Hanna- I think you'll agree they're pretty substantial.

Like pretty god-damned, kick-me-in-the-side-of-the-head substantial.

Do I think that this writer stumbled on our treatment and consciously or unconsciously took the basic architecture of the story (Hanna plays like a budgeted-down version of Snow, which we intentionally made as over-the-top as we could), grafted his travel diaries onto it and sold it?

I'll tell you what- I'll keep my own counsel on that matter. In the meantime, you can judge for yourself....

Snow is about a teenaged girl who who was raised from birth to be the perfect intelligence agent and eventually comes into conflict with the woman who made her the supersoldier that she is.

Hanna is about a teenaged girl who was raised from birth to be a master assassin and eventually comes into conflict with the woman who made her the supersoldier that she is.

Snow has a genius IQ and is master in the arts of killing. Her skills are a combination of science and relentless training.

Hanna has a genius IQ and is master in the arts of killing. Her skills are a combination of science and relentless training.

The first scene of Snow pictures the heroine running through the forest in archaic clothes.

The first scene of Hanna pictures the heroine running through the forest in archaic clothes (plus, snow).


Snow is an action thriller that makes extensive use of imagery and themes from Grimm's Fairy Tales, which we learn have personal importance to the heroine.

Hanna is an action thriller that makes extensive use of imagery and themes from Grimm's Fairy Tales, which we learn have personal importance to the heroine.


Snow
draws repeated parallels to fairy tales, arguing that stories like La Femme Nikita and Alias were our modern fairy tales.

Hanna draws repeated parallels to fairy tales, arguing ...?


The original pitch for Snow called for a Techno soundtrack, citing British artists Underworld and Fatboy Slim, who were popular in the late 90s when the script was originally written.

Hanna features a Techno soundtrack by British artists Chemical Brothers, who were popular in the late 90s when Snow was originally written.

Snow is a super-intelligent killing machine who has been engineered to be the perfect human since birth.

Hanna is a super-intelligent killing machine who has been engineered to be the perfect human since birth.

Snow's nemesis, Ubela Konigen was cited as an agent for East German intelligence before launching the supersoldier program.

Hanna's nemesis, Marissa Wiegler (a German name) is an intelligence agent who had extensive links to East Germany before launching the supersoldier program.


In Snow, the supersoldier program operates in a grey area and could get Ubela in serious trouble with Washington.

In Hanna, the supersoldier program operates in a grey area and could get Ubela in serious trouble with Washington.

In Snow, Ubela was married to Snow's father, which we based on the "evil stepmother" trope from fairy tales.

In Hanna, Marissa was Hanna's father's handler, and tells Hanna she's the closest thing the girl has to a mother.


The main plot of Snow deals with the heroine's quest to rendezvous with a intelligence agent of European extraction while being pursued by her Evil Queen/Wicked Witch nemesis.

The main plot of Hanna deals with the heroine's quest to rendezvous with a intelligence agent of European extraction while being pursued by her Evil Queen/Wicked Witch nemesis.


The heroic European agent in Snow is named Harrison ("Prince", roughly).

The heroic European agent in Hanna is named Erik ("Prince", roughly).


Snow is imprisoned in a underground intelligence facility where she is closely monitored and which she escapes by snapping the neck of a captor (following intimate contact) and killing a large number of security personnel.

Hanna is imprisoned in a underground intelligence facility where she is closely monitored and which she escapes by snapping the neck of a captor (following intimate contact) and killing a large number of security personnel.


Snow's escape features a long slide down the side of a dam.

In the spec script, Hanna's escape features a long slide down an air vent.


Following her escape, Snow wanders through the Arizona desert, dodging her pursuers.

Following her escape, Hanna wanders through the Moroccan desert, dodging her pursuers.


Ubela personally assigns Hunter, an unpleasant agent of European extraction, the task of tracking down Snow.

Marissa personally assigns Isaacs, an unpleasant agent of European extraction, the task of tracking down Hanna.


After wandering through the desert, Snow encounters a strange band of fugitive Bohemians living in a beat-up Winnebago camper.

After wandering through the desert, Hanna encounters a strange family of vacationing Bohemians living out of a beat-up Volkswagen camper.

While being pursued by Hunter and his men, Snow stows away in the Winnebago, in a storage compartment beneath the floor.

While being pursued by Issacs and his men, Hanna stows away in the VW bus, in a storage compartment beneath the floor.

Snow eventually befriends the Bohemians and earns their trust.

Hanna eventually befriends the Bohemians and earns their trust.


Just how deadly Snow is is shown when she puts a friendly character in a sophisticated martial arts grapple following a misunderstanding.

Just how deadly Hanna is is shown when she puts a friendly character in a sophisticated martial arts grapple following a misunderstanding.

In Snow, the Winnebago is pulled over to the side of the road by Snow's pursuers. She leaps out and kills two of the pursuers with her bare hands, horrifying her new friends.

In Hanna, the Volkswagen is pulled over to the side of the road by Hanna's pursuers. She leaps out and kills one of the pursuers with her bare hands, horrifying her new friends.


Outnumbered, Snow drives into a river to escape her enemies.

Outnumbered, Hanna dives into a river to escape her enemies.

Even after Snow reaches her objective and reunites with Harrison, her troubles with Ubela are not over.

Even after Hanna reaches her objective and reunites with Erik, her troubles with Marissa are not over.


Snow
ends with a battle between Snow and Ubela.

Hanna ends with a battle between Hanna and Marissa.

Snow, still in recovery from being poisoned by Ubela, runs up the stairs to confront her nemesis on the roof.

Hanna, who's been wounded by Marissa, runs up a ladder and a stairway to confront her nemesis as she tries to escape to the roof.


That's all I could pick out for now. I was going to rewatch
Hanna but I literally felt physically ill when I tried to do so. A shame, it seems like it would be a very nice movie if I didn't feel like I was being ass-raped while watching it.

Allegedly.

More on this as the situation develops.

UPDATE 6/11: Have a lead on the posting of the Snow treatment and some background information. Will keep you guys posted as the situation develops.


* I have most of it laid out in some level of finish, but kept having to abandon the project when freelance work came in. After a while I couldn't hold on. It was heartbreaking, really. I actually put up a sample from Snow here back in 2010, since I kept working on the project even after I gave up trying to find an artist, but couldn't get my style to work with the story.

**
Note: 2005 was when archive CD with file was burned. Treatment was actually posted in 2003, I now realize.

17 comments:

  1. Chris,
    I don't know how to break this to you,
    but
    "YOU'VE BEEN RIPPED OFF,BIG TIME.
    SUE THE B#%+@%&$ !!!"
    and forget about coincidences,because the only way these guys had the idea come to them was because their eyes have made contact with your script.

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  2. Hi Chris

    Your story resembles a situation my Dad found himself in, here in Britain back in the 1970s .

    A singer had three massive hits (million sellers each one) and he was convinced they had been stolen from him . He played his originals to us and whilst the lyrics were different, the melodies were identical .

    He then became embroiled in a long running battle for 'justice' which involved lawyers and a major record company . You can guess which side won . It effected his health quite badly, unfortunately .

    You have to do what you think is best for you and your family but if you do take 'them' on, it is not an easy path .

    Sent, with the best of intentions .

    Frank

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  3. Darren, I appreciate the support but I can't really agree quite yet. For the usual reasons.

    Frank- Very much appreciated.

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  4. Wow... I check into your blog only every now and then - today I felt the need to see what you were up to. It just happened to be after spending some time reading up on how Lady Antebellum's 'Need You Now' sounds like Alan Parson Project's 'Eye in the Sky', as well as doing some other light research on how some songs may be a rip off of others (Dani California by RHCP being another example).

    It was a pretty amazing coincidence to see your latest blog entry covered the exact same theme.

    If it's any consolation (which it probably isn't) you can take heart in knowing your good ideas got to see the light of day. Other than that, we can all appreciate the truth of what we are leaving behind when we are finally done here. In other words, we're better than this.

    David

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  5. Hey Chris,

    If this turns out to be what it seems to be, then I'm very sorry that this happened to you. I loved the Hanna movie and have seen it quite a few times, but now knowing what I know it's gonna feel strange watching it again.

    I felt quite a strong connection to the story and themes of that movie, being so interested in fairy tales and all the themes you cover in your Snow treatment - I really would've loved to see Snow on the big screen.

    You must feel awful, dude. Words can't convey how unsettling it must be to see work that you slaved over suddenly appear on a screen without your permission or knowledge. A serious kick in the teeth. I'm sure you can figure out my opinion on the whole matter. If it's any consolation, Hanna was one of my favourite movies, and I realize now just exactly why that is.

    And while I can't prove it, believe me when I say that your work and The Secret Sun in general is a conduit for some very powerful, mysterious forces. I have first-hand experience with some of these forces, and never underestimate the importance of the work you do, Chris.

    Secret Sun, Eternal

    Peace

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  6. I absolutely LOVE the last two comments. Really can't say much better Christopher, Chris, Mr. Knowles.

    I agree also to the "no wonder I liked that movie!" realization. You DO move psychic mountains and then some. With an audience like us how could we all NOT be involved in that matter with a beautifully manifested soul such as you Chris.

    I will add as well, that on top of all the love and support you will get from us, do not lose sight of the larger and most precious picture. *** Y o u ***

    Where you stand in first, second, and third person to this. You have options and I hope you can see them clearly should that be your choice.

    I also support you in NOT reliving the down aide to this, every day. Reliving something that is in the past, can create diseases and illnesses. As the previous comment did note.

    You have learned from an invaluable experience and still are learning from it. There is a lot of information to see and feel and hear. I am also coming from a background where "everything coming at you is coming from within you" type of mentality. Which for me simply means, "You create your own reality." I just love this about life for me. It gives me so much to look forward to and I find so much appreciation in it.

    I very much so think that you have a tremendous positive intention in helping to create what has already occurred. What a better way to show you just how fabulous and important you truly are!

    They had to copy you.

    A flip side IS that this is a very well noted compliment. I wonder what their positive intention was and maybe is with this? It was so profound Chris....... truly a wonderful movie. Only a genius could produce such art.

    And that my cyber friend *W* speaks volumes.

    And you, being of such a higher calibrated consciousness level, can hopefully choose to see what a master you really are.

    Many probabilities are still available to you as to its exact intention coming from you and of its outcome. I say pick one you really feel is a win-win situation, and go for it.

    Rock the world my brother!

    Much love,
    -sky-

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  7. All comments here are spot on, Chris. Especially liked it where David said, "we're better than this". Just so. This situation could just be some sort of karmic loop forcing you to continue to perform in an insidious twilight circus, feeling that awful feeling of being 'snowed' forever and trying to right a wrong ad infinitum (to who-knows-what avail) OR you could just say 'no' to the nightmare, take the cue from Franks' comment and run with it. After all, we need you here to champion all that needs championning. Hey, in the final analysis, you don't even need to think about championning anything or anyone anymore but your own soul growth, come to think about it. You could even stop this crazy train today, pull a Salinger on us all and no matter what we'd know you were still out there doing the right thing by your own Self, which is what counts in the end. Remember those fairy tales now and the adage that matters most - the ending where the protagonist is sane and safe!(riches would be nice, but..). Oh, and BTW, for the record, I liked 'Hanna' o.k, the magic was there (and we know why..) but I KNOW that if your script had been the one calling the shots, with you standing firmly behind it, somehow it would have been a finer, cleaner, even groovier film. Chris Knowles, never mind the script thing. Everything about you and everything you do is keenly made and valuable beyond all imagining. Stay fly. Let us hold the energy of this crappy outcome for you, and collectively maybe we can render it void and null. You are made for a completely 'other' kind of success - fortunately or unfortunately, such is the way it is for soulster dudes such as yourself. Sail on, we're right behind you! FLOW.

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  8. Hey Chris,
    At least we know Hollywood like your stuff,so now you just have to write another story,but get the recognition this time.
    Don't forget that there is a big community here at the "Secret Sun"
    who would be more than willing to get a project by you off and running through something like Kickstarter.

    And just a reminder that
    "It's Not Night,It's Space"
    need a measly $497 in 3 days to get their album recorded.

    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/innis/its-not-night-its-space-and-their-first-lp

    Grab a "SYNC Book" for a $15 donation
    (It's a steal at that price)
    It's a great book...I've read it and loved it,and one of the band members is an author in it.

    http://thesyncbook.com/

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  9. I really, really appreciate your feedback here-- beautiful, amazing stuff-- as well as the feedback on the Faceback page. This has been doing my head in all weekend- it's been physically painful.

    The funny thing is that I didn't want to get involved with this at first- I was going to follow the Alan Moore plan- put my stories on paper and let Hollywood come to me if it chose to do so. My experience with my first script was just too crazy for me- I couldn't deal with people who treat professionals like that.

    But Steven is one of my best friends and we have this amazing creative chemistry so I couldn't say no. The funny thing is that over the years I took over the project and was working on it as a graphic novel and was darkening it up considerably- the story became about mind control and child abuse more explicitly, and the violence was more shocking, less Hollywood. It would never sell as a screenplay- note how Hanna doesn't really pass moral judgment on the idea of turning children into weapons- I definitely was.

    And then of course Destiny intervened with 9/11 and changed everything forever. As I said before this story was born literally in the shadow of the World Trade Center- literally a block away.

    This all seems like another lifetime, it's weird -and rather unpleasant- having it all intrude on my life today. I'm wondering what it all means. I read a great quote from a screenwriting teacher- he said being a screenwriter is about giving birth and handing your baby over to people who will stomp it to death. I could never work like that, especially after the autonomy of blogging. I don't believe in the movies anymore- I hardly watch them anymore. The magic was broken some time ago- maybe I spent too much time analyzing them and realized they're basically all playing the same tune.

    So again- thank you guys very much- hopefully that awful sick feeling in the pit of my stomach will go away soon and I can stop spending my time go through CDs and files and the rest of it...

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  10. The blatant similarities between your project Snow and the film Hanna are startling to say the least. We all get inspired by others but this is just straight up plagiarism. I'm dealing with another blogger who has based most of their content off of my old BlogSpot account and now they are literally profiting off of my old research thanks to Google AdSense, (which they only added a month after I added the ads on my new site) so I can only imagine how you must feel. This will turn out to be a valuable lesson, not only for you, but for those of us who read your blog religiously and are also writers/thinkers who want to share our ideas with others. We all need to start protecting our projects with the new availability of tools like Legal Zoom and whatnot. To be perfectly honest though, I'm getting sick of all of the mind control themes. It used to be that the imagery was saved for film and TV but now it's everywhere like a bad outbreak of herpes. Very disarming.

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  11. Again, I can't say whether it is or not--there are very weird coincidences-- but I appreciate your moral support- all of you.

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  12. Chris,

    I've never seen Hanna, but the comparisons you present between it and your Snow treatment here are highly convincing. I don't want to gloss over what happened here, but I'm (personally) much more interested in the idea that Disney also wanted to rip off your idea (as you said in Part 1).

    I'm sure it can't have escaped your notice that the basic plotline you present here (i.e. female child is mind-controlled via fantasy-dissociative MPD to become super-assassin/sex slave) is pretty much an orgy of "MK-Ultra" symbolism for guys like Vigilant Citizen/Pseudoccult Media etc. (The same conspiracy theorists who believe the Disney corporation actually uses said mind-control methods on their own child star employees). I mean, had Disney actually gone ahead and made this movie, it would have been like Vigilant Citizen's wet dream.

    Now, I'm currently preparing a post for my upcoming blog about Disney/Pixar's Monster's Inc. which delves into the little-known fact that Stanley "Mouse" Miller actually won a court case against Pixar over Monster's Inc. (See: http://people.bethel.edu/~socsco/MediaLaw/302decisions.html for more info. Also see the comments at: http://animationguildblog.blogspot.com.au/2011/08/plagiarism.html).

    Stanley Miller (A.K.A. Stanley Mouse) was the son of a Disney animator (according to his website) . Perhaps most well-known for his Grateful Dead cover art, he also created the original anti-Mickey (which was allegedly plaigarised by Ed "Big Daddy" Roth as "Rat Fink". In fact, most of Mouse's imagery e.g. monsters in hot rods, anti-Mickey, winged eyes etc. were "appropriated" and popularised by Roth who was much better at marketing than creating new things). His work was filled with the kind of occult imagery we're all familiar with now (i.e. winged all-seeing eyes). His "winged eye" eventually became a character named "Wise G'Eye", generally depicted as an eye with arms and legs who later morphs into an eye with wings. This character, along with his larger monster character "Fred Flypogger", were allegedly stolen by Pixar and became Monster's Inc.'s "Mike" and "Sully". (could be seen as Disney's revenge for creating the anti-Mickey?).

    I'm probably not making much sense here as it’s hard to show how everything is linked without posting images, but let's just say that Monster's Inc. is another orgy of the same type of occult imagery and "Illuminati" themes that generally gets Vigilant Citizen’s panties moist. Whether it's because Disney telling them they have to put that stuff in or if there's a deeper meaning/reason to it, I can't say (I suspect the abundance of All-seeing eye imagery has something to do with the fact that Pixar seems to employ a rather high percentage of Mormons, and pretty much all of Mormon symbolism is based on Masonic symbolsim... which again leads us down the possibly dangerous road of Disney/Mormon/"Illuminati" connections via Fritz Springmeier, the "spiritual father" of Vigilant Citizen/Pseudoccult Media at al.)

    (continued...)

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  13. All of these connections (Disney/anti-Mickey/All-seeing eye) came to a head after reading the first two volumes of Grant Morrison's Seaguy, which featured a Disney/"Illuminati"-esque corporation ruling the world and brainwashing the populace via cartoons and amusement parks featuring the character "Mickey Eye", who is basically a Wise G'Eye/Mike Wazowski/Mickey Mouse/anti-Mickey analogue. In the second volume, it is hinted that history and religion have been altered to the point that the populace is now taught that Mickey Eye "created the world out of bubblegum and flame".

    Also I've noticed "Mickey Eye" analogues popping up in modern street art (See Askew One's "Pyramid Dude" [http://blog.askew1.com/2010/01/all-seeing-eyes-trangles-and-pyramid-dudes-part1/] and The New Apostle's "Crucified Mickey" [http://thenewapostle.com/2011/09/crucified-mickey-metropolitan-ave-williamsburg/] for two excellent examples)

    I'm going to stop now, as I suspect I'm starting to blabber like a crazy person, and all of this will (probably) make a lot more sense when I post it in full in a blog format. However, here's a (mostly) unrelated aside: The other day I bought this Batman graphic novel called Batman: Death by Design which had a quote on the back extolling its virtues, a quote by none other than Micheal Chabon (who you mentioned as the screenwriter for Snow and The Seven). In my opinion, the story isn't very well written, but the art by Dave Taylor is fantastic (and my main reason for purchasing). Anyway, the story revolves around the demolition and reconstruction of Wayne Central Station in Gotham City. At the end (SPOILERS) Bruce Wayne commissions the original architect's son to redesign the building, and the last panel shows him drawing up the plans, surrounded by scraps of paper depicting images from sacred geometry, along with notes saying "19.5" and "582 HZ". The 19.5 is clearly a reference to Richard Hoagland's Hyperdimensional theories (it's even written next to an image of two interlaced tetrahedra), while 582 Hz. refers to something called "Solfeggio frequencies" (of which I know nothing about but could be an interesting avenue for synchromystic research). Anyway, just thought it was interesting, seeing this stuff showing up in (relatively) mainstream pop culture.

    Anyway...

    Keep up the good work.

    Hobus

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  14. Re:
    "The New Apostle's "Crucified Mickey" "

    It's hardly a new idea either,if we are talking about the subject of plagiarism:

    http://pulpfactor.com/art/1699/marilyn-with-mickeys-and-other-paintings-by-ron-english-60-pics/

    I know that there are no new ideas under the sun,but at least he could make it look like a new one.

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  15. Maybe you could go to Cafe Press or Zazzle and make a t-shirt to start a small viral campaign to show the "synchronicities" between your "Snow" outline and the plot of "Hanna".
    And you could sell them to us "Secret Sunner's",make a few bucks while venting some steam and win a little credit for your efforts in making Hanna the movie it was...that is unless it was the biggest series of coincidences to occur in Hollywood history.

    Put a panel of "Snow" on the back of the shirt,with the words on the front in bold letters -
    Say
    s(NO)w
    to
    Hanna

    ...or something to that effect.
    Or maybe-
    HANNA????
    sNOw WAY!


    Just an idea,that's all.

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  16. I finally got Hanna out on DVD and thought it was a pretty good movie...
    not that it would be any consolation to you Chris,but at least most of the reader's at this blog know now who's idea it really was.

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  17. When I watch Hanna soon, I will view it as your work, with satisfaction and vicarious pride -- perhaps a lot better feeling than what you feel watching it, even though you obviously wrote this story and deserve to feel that. I would argue that feeling has, or would have had, monetary value -- and so should your lawyer. Though the other lawyer might argue for less value, since a successful plagiarism is more valuable, potentially, than an unsuccessful one, but I digress.

    Though it seems unlikely, what are chances that calculus would be invented by two different people? Looking at it now, it doesn't seem all that implausible that two individuals might both discover it, independently, in the same epoch. But you've got a smoking gun, whereas there's none to implicate Leibniz versus Newton. Neither was a spy plus no internet then, and they were nerdy introverts with a scant regard for other people's trends and trivia.

    These days to be a research scientist is to invent data, successfully. I know of someone that graduated summa cum laude from Yale using stolen test results based on dozens of undetected breakins, modified lab data from a housemate written up and cooked by a couple of brilliant girlfriends, and using a small team of well-paid geniuses to research and and write papers on topics of his choosing. All plagiarized work was carefully vetted and edited by him for style, but saved a lot of time -- and all 'money' was paid in the form of blotter acid and Maui Zowie (or equivalent superbud of the late 70's).

    Said individual has an MBA and lots of land on Maui these days. Suspect intelligence community connections in that family, naturally, growing up in D.C. and all. Those connections help an awful lot in Hollywood too. Now more than ever, unfortunately. The rest of us have dossiers stamped with large red letters: CHOPPED LIVER. LOGOHAZARD. DO NOT BURN OR EMPLOY. This at any rate is part of my excuse for not writing screenplays: I can't afford an agent or lawyer, and even if I could, my long tree of dissent-related metadata must sum up to a rather high "CHOPPED LIVER" quotient, as far as working in meta-state-controlled media is concerned, such as a cheap lawyer or commission-based agent can't work around. Which is partly bullshit of course so don't give up yet.

    I hope you have snow.html saved as an (online, web- or remote server-based) email attachment, since (unless you've had, perhaps, some long-running backup software or possibly HFS+ and BSD advanced filesystem features enabled) the timestamp on your file can be altered easily with command line e.g. 'touch -t 20030216110300 snow.html' sets the "modified" flag to Feb. 16, 2003. But an email and attachment, each of which should have a unique UUIDs or other unique identifiers related to server and routing times, on a remote server, especially if server logs have been archived, is strong (and with backup logs recording mail transactions securely) more or less incontrovertible evidence of authorship date. Which doesn't disprove any (more controvertible) claims of authorship of similar material, unneeded in a civil suit anyway.

    A close friend of mine went into a Hollywood producer's office in the summer of 2002 and pitched a reality show based on straight men competing in a drag competition. Additional producers were called into the meeting and they were all very excited. "We'll get back to you," they said...which is Losangelese for, "fuck off. I have what I want now." After that, the studio never returned his calls. Those of us with lawyers for fathers just shook our heads, knowing how easy it is (as a creative person) to blurt out brilliance as though it were obvious, when in fact, it isn't obvious to the producers (with money) who exploit people with great new ideas and relatively less "social skills" (i.e., who are not pathologically dishonest Machiavellians).

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