Meet the Director

Directing is an art. Art is created through commitment and applied scheduling. Every shooting day from pre-production, until the last day of post-production is a battle for quality. It is intense. You have to keep your sense of humor. You have to be victorious. There is no other way. It’s both mind boggling and exhilarating. When you think about it, you go into a meeting and you talk to a potential producer, ‘I see this, and I need this much money so that I can go make this film that I see in my head.’ And then they do, sometimes (like 1% of the time), and it’s the best virtual game imaginable. It’s all nuts.

There is an element of vitality and energy that fascinates me in directing a movie. When I direct, It is a reflection that stems from the fabric of the lives and moments I have lived. To bring personal experiences that have touched, inspired, saddened, and made me happy, usually plays a part in making any film. I find this true when I get married to making my films. The writing is no different. I find myself privileged that I can write screenplays and witness the greatest expression of freedom – transposing the literal medium into a visual medium – when it comes to life, it is magical. It is in my blood to make films that portray strong emotions, strong characters and make them controversial with intriguing stories. I want characters to show humanity, empathy, intellectual strength, and transform themselves with chilling perfection. I live by these rules. I breathe them.

I come from the independent world. This means I had to ‘suffer’ to make feature films. Perhaps ‘suffer’ is even an understatement. But with pain there is reward, and mine is known as ‘experience.’ With experience came the key element every director must possess, INSTINCT. Doing everything you can to make the film work in the most economical and timely manner. Capturing the right moments to make it interesting enough to keep the audience intrigued. The visual style and production design at any budget makes any film no less special. It is difficult. But that is what I am used to doing. FRACTURED, was made in 12 days, Paid In Full in 14 days. The cost of making a film without losing its integrity in a very limited time is always in the back of my mind. So from experience, I have become sharper, smarter, and refined to make features without wasting time. The best experience for a director in this is that I know exactly what I want when I shoot a film. Improvisation becomes an end in itself. Everything has been made, every story has been told, so what is it that I bring that is different? Style is key. I get involved in everything and in that I know not only about writing, but also, cinematography, editing, music composition, color correction, sound, and sound design, all the way to distribution. This is what I bring to the table. This is the life I have lived.

I look forward to reading my next film, meeting the right group, or person to work with, from cast, to crew, to the producers. It is all a privilege. It is all wonderful. It is filmmaking.

Thank you for visiting my web page.

Lance Kawas

BBA Banking & Finance, minor in English – University of Michigan Associates Degree in Arts

Since 2005 – Lance Directed 9 feature films, including Paid In Full, Fractured, Restitution, The Deported, Street Boss, Silent Scream, and Golden Shoes. With actors like James Russo, Jonathan Bennett, Mena Suvari, Eric Roberts, Tom Arnold, Vivica A. Fox, Montel Williams, John Rhys Davies, Dina Meyer, David DeLuise, Jake Busey, Talia Shire, Michael Rapaport, C Thomas Howell, Richard Lawson, Debbie Morgan, Techina Arnold and more.

Lance has written 32 screenplays and earned 19 national screenplay competition awards. He also has another 15 awards for directing, and film related nominations for his movies.

Written Features

The Golden ShoesCompletedStarz Worldwide
Paid In FullCompletedNipa Shah Productions
FracturedReleased 2015Gravitas Ventures
A Bouquet Of VagabondsIn DevelopmentIndependent
RestitutionReleased 2011Bierlein Entertainment / Monterrey
Silent ScreamReleased 12 / 2006Lions Gate (Distributor)
Street BossReleased 7 / 2010Bierlein Entertainment / Maverick
The DeportedReleased 2009701 Productions / Green Apple

Directed Features

Royal Family ThanksgivingReleased 2015TV ONE
Royal Family ChristmasReleased 2015TV ONE
The Golden ShoesCompletedStarz Worldwide
Paid In FullCompletedNipa Shah Productions
FracturedReleased 2015Gravitas Ventures
RestitutionReleased 2011Bierlein Entertainment / Monterrey
Street BossReleased 7 / 2010Bierlein Entertainment / Maverick
The DeportedReleased 2009701 Productions / Green Apple
Silent ScreamReleased 12 / 2006Lions Gate

Produced Features

RestitutionReleased 2011Bierlein Entertainment / Monterrey
Street BossReleased 7 / 2010Bierlein Entertainment / Maverick
The DeportedReleased 2009701 Productions
The ViolinistIn DevelopmentIndependent / Scott Rosenfelt Producing
A Bouquet Of VagabondsIn DevelopmentIndependent

Screenplay Honors & Awards

35 National Competition Awards (19 for writing scripts, 16 for films).

2015

Indiefest
  • Winner Best Feature – Paid In Full

2014

Richmond Film Festival
  • Nominated best music video (Ila Mata)

2013

Uptown Film Festival
  • Winner best editing (Fractured)
  • Winner best director (Fractured)

2012

Uptown Film Festival
  • Nominated for 9 awards
  • Nominated Best Feature Film – Restitution
  • Nominated Best Director – Restitution

2010

Detroit Independent Film Festival
  • Nominated Best Feature Film – Street Boss
  • Nominated Best Director – Street Boss

2009

Detroit Windsor International Film Festival
  • Winner Best Feature Film – Street Boss
Thrillspy International Film Festival (DC)
  • Winner Best Feature Film – Street Boss

2004

American Zoetrope Screenplay Contest
  • Semifinalist, Top 3% of 2186

2002

Cinestory Screenplay Competition
  • Quarterfinalist, Out of 800
Hollywood’s Next Sucess Screenplay Competition
  • Quarterfinalist
Scriprep.com Screenplay Competition
  • Semifinalist

2001

Academy of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences (Nicholl)
  • Top 10% of 5,500
Red Carpet Productions Screenplay Competition
  • 5th Place
Dolphin Bay Films Screenplay Competition
  • Quarterfinalist
Practical Paradox Screenplay Competition
  • Finalist
Screenplayrep.com Screenplay Competition
  • 4th Place
Telluride Indie Fest Screenplay Competition
  • Winner
Produce Me 2002 Competition
  • Semifinalist, Top 2% of 4,000
Hollywood 27 Productions Screenplay Competition
  • Runner-Up

2000

Telluride Indie Fest Screenplay Competition
  • Winner Best Screenplay
Igottascreenplay.com
  • Finalist Best Screenplay
AngelCiti Screenplay Forum
  • 3rd Place Best Screenplay

1999

Sundance Producer’s Forum
  • Semifinalist
Sundance Screenplay Competition
  • 2nd Round Finalist

To Whom It May Concern:

Lance Kawas is a very talented writer/director who I’ve had the pleasure of working with on numerous projects. As a writer he has a unique voice for characters and strong, emotional connections. As a director he has the ability to illuminate the human condition and show compassion for people across the spectrum.

Lance works well with people on set, and is a good collaborator as well. I enjoy my own collaboration with him on every project that we’ve worked on together.

I recommend Lance on any film to direct and trust his instinct without any reservation.

Please feel free to call me should you have any questions.

Scott Rosenfelt

(Producer of Home Alone, Mystic Pizza, Teen Wolf)

To Whom It May Concern:

It has been my pleasure to work with Lance on the four films we have done together and I look forward to continuing that.

I have found that Lance is professional and diligent in all that he does. His pre-production skills give me great comfort in knowing that the films will be on time and on budget.

I can easily give my whole-hearted recommendation of Lance as a writer, or director. Any production he is on is in good hands.

Please feel free to call me for any more information.

Best,

Jerry Wolff

Gerald I Wolff & Associates (Casting agent/Producer)

To Whom It may Concern:

It has been my pleasure for the past twelve years to be a professional associate, business partner, and friend of Lance Kawas. This friendship developed through a mutual interest in screenwriting and production. This collaboration eventually led to the finalization of a screenplay which was then made into a feature film entitled ‘Street Boss’ based from my book ‘With Honor And Purpose’. We collaborated on several other projects, including the recent production of Restitution staring Mena Suvari and Tom Arnold. Other projects are proceeding to fruition at the present time.

Those familiar with the movie industry know, that unfortunately this art is also a business. While working with Lance, we brought in talent, raised significant sums of money, and took projects to the screen. His actions in all of this were ethical, reasonable, and patient. Believe me I know ethics having spent twenty six years in the FBI as an agent and a supervisor, and ten years as a certified fraud examiner.

Based on the foregoing, I heartily recommend Mr. Kawas for involvement in any aspect of a theatrical production from either the artistic and/or business perspective.

Sincerely,

Philip R Kerby

To Whom it may concern,

I’ve hired Lance to direct two feature films (Street Boss and Restitution). I can think of no better person to handle the pressures and personalities of making feature films. Lance learns the story from top to bottom, so he can adapt quickly to the delays, changes and challenges of filmmaking. Lance has a great eye, and a calm easy going personality that keeps everyone happy and working hard. He works harder than anybody I’ve meet in the business. He loves movies, and it shows in his work.

Through the years of making films together, Lance and I became friends. He is a giving, patient, and trustworthy man. Those are hard traits to find in this business. I would not hesitate to use Lance on any aspect of filmmaking.

Mark Bierlein

President

Bierlein Entertainment LLC

The Miracle

by Lance K.R. Kawas

Property of KQ Motion Pictures

Copyright(c) 2007 by Lance Kawas. No part of this work including title may be copied, used or reproduced without the written permission from author.

Download PDF

FADE IN:
EXT. ROOM – DAY
The smooth brush-strokes of a PAINT BRUSH leaves a brilliant
river of colors…Then another brush-stroke with a different
color and so on. We pull up on the hand to see a WOMAN.
Pretty. Young…Sitting behind her looking with intrigue is…
JANE, a 16 year old girl. Innocent. Warm as summer. The Woman
is done with her painting. She sits next to Jane. They watch
her creation as she lights up a CIGARETTE and hands it to
Jane. The Woman lights up one for herself.
JANE
Beautiful.
WOMAN
Absolutely.
They lean back their heads in sequence and exhale smoke…We
close on the Woman’s creation. It is a RAINBOW…
Their laughter echoes and continues as we CUT TO:
The bright MOON illuminates the darkness of the night
as…Snow is FALLING, inspiring awe at the…
Limitless scope of nature…exquisite, silent, hypnotic…
DISSOVE TO:
SUPER THE LEGEND: TWO YEARS LATER
EXT. STATE YOUTH HOUSE – NIGHT
An old building in the middle of nowhere…
We pull up on the sign, it reads:
STATE YOUTH HOUSE
INT. STATE YOUTH HOUSE – NIGHT
A dimly lit hallway leading to many doors on both
sides…There is an eerie silence…The wind WHISTLES from
outside…
At the end of the hallway…A large closed door. On it is a
sign that reads:
‘PSYCHIATRIC UNIT’
THROUGH THE DOOR, we enter to…

INT. STATE YOUTH HOUSE – PSYCHIATRIC UNIT – NIGHT
A dozen BUNK BEDS with YOUTHS quietly sleeping. To the corner
of the room is a CAGED WINDOW.
There are MINIATURE FIGURES on the window sill all lined up
as soldiers, looking outside. The Hulk, Spider-man, Batman,
Superman, however, leading the pack is the figure of an
ordinary man wearing a LONG OVERCOAT. Unlike the others, this
action figure is not from a toy store. It is home-made,
created by Jane. On the walls are several drawn pictures of
RAINBOWS.
The frosty window is above an ancient steam radiator. A HISS
of steam escapes as we pull up to the top bunk bed leading us
to…
Eighteen year old JANE. Her eyes are wide open: motionless
and with no expression. She is covered in a white sheet up to
his shoulders. There is a sense of urgency about her. She
does not want to be here. Her hand reaches under the bed
leading to a small HOLE inside the mattress. She pulls out a
POUCH and opens it. There are several TWENTY DOLLAR BILLS and
a PICTURE of her mother (The Woman from the opening scene).
She looks at it longingly. She quickly places the pouch back
into it’s secret place.
JANE (O.S.)
I miss you.
Jane stares at us, closes her eyes and sleeps.
INT. STATE YOUTH HOUSE – DAY
Jane sits alone in an office. It is full of shelves with
books. A desk full of files. Messy. Across from her is an old
wall clock.
INSERT – 2:03PM
Next to the clock is a nicely framed college DEGREE. It reads:
YALE – SCHOOL OF PSYCHIATRY – Dr. Edward Gross. 1970
A fifty year old male enters the room. His tweed coat is from
the seventies. In fact he is still in the seventies. Doctor
EDWARD GROSS wears a gray beard and is portly. There is a
quickness about his eyes, a tendency to sharpness of manner
that he works carefully against.
DR. GROSS
Jane.

Dr. Gross sits behind his desk. He thumbs through the stack
of folders until he finds the right one. He pulls it open and
arms himself with an old college pen. Initially one can say
there’s sexual tension between them as Dr. Gross looks at her
low revealing shirt.
DR. GROSS
(continuing)
Cover yourself properly Jane.
Jane slowly does so as she lifts her eyes to him. She also
has no idea that her shirt revealed her cleavage. She even
sits up straight and fixes her skirt.
DR. GROSS
(continuing)
So, what’re we going to cover
today?
JANE
You are late again.
DR. GROSS
What?
JANE
You’re always three minutes and
twenty eight seconds late Dr.
Gross. Edward.
Edward looks at the time.
DR. GROSS
That’s one of the qualities I like
about you. You have developed
perceptiveness here Jane.
JANE
It’s not perceptiveness Ed.
DR. GROSS
Okay. What then?
JANE
Meticulous. You should know about
that. But I doubt that’s what you
write in your report. I’ve been
seeing you for 2 years and I’m
still in this shit hole of a
place. Like you, I meticulously
analyze. But it’s obvious your
reports on my progress are
negative. From my point of view,
my progress is inconsequential.

DR. GROSS
Meticulous, inconsequential? Nice
to know the library here has been
put to good use.
JANE
I don’t know how you do it.
Working in this place…Anyway, I
wouldn’t be late again if I were
you.
DR. GROSS
Yeah?
JANE
One day you may come in here for
one of our regular meetings and
find an empty seat. Being three
minutes and twenty eight seconds
late may catch up with you.
DR. GROSS
You will just vanish?
JANE
No. No one can just vanish Dr.
Gross. You may one day reach
inside that human spirit of yours
and release me.
DR. GROSS
No one can be released until the
age of 21. Time is passing let’s
proceed.
JANE
The piss that you take before
seeing me can hold for the thirty
minutes that you and this State
owe me.
DR. GROSS
Meticulous?
Edward writes as Jane smiles.
JANE
God do I need a smoke. Can you
light me up a cigarette?
DR. GROSS
You know the rules. No smoking in
this building.

JANE
Can’t wait to take in that first
drag. I can just, taste it.
DR. GROSS
I didn’t know you smoked.
JANE
I did all the time with my mom.
Especially when she painted. She
was a great artist. After
finishing a piece, we’d sit back,
light up, and enjoy her work. Just
staring at the colors and the view.
DR. GROSS
Oh yeah? What did she paint?
JANE
Rainbows. She always said if I
follow the rainbow I’ll find my
miracle.
DR. GROSS
Let’s not digress Jane. Choose a
topic today that’s not related to
your late mom.
JANE
How about my miracle.
DR. GROSS
Miracles seldom happen if at all.
And you can’t find them if you
follow the rainbow.
JANE
You’re such a pessimist Dr. Gross.
Edward cracks a smile.
DR. GROSS
I am a realist. Trust me I know.
A beat.
DR. GROSS
(continuing; serious)
I would know Jane.
JANE
Just like you Ed, I need a miracle.
Edward picks up his pen only to put it back down.

DR. GROSS
What would make you think I need
a miracle?
JANE
Over the 2 years I’ve known you,
I’ve asked myself this question:
why would a Yale graduate as
yourself work in this hell hole of
a place?
Flashcuts of Ed going in and out of his house at different
seasons. Also of Ed eating alone in the house.
JANE
(continuing)
Why would a man walk out of his
house at six in the morning only
to return at nine in the evening
each day, seven days a week for
more than twenty years? A single
man who does not date, who does
not have friends, missing out on
a wife and children for that long
tells me something Ed. Hell,
you’re oblivious to me…You Dr.
Gross, you’re like me. Looking for
a miracle.
Edward is contemplating the truth. His eyes deceive him.
DR. GROSS
Did you finish the piece you were
working on, the miniature super
hero?
JANE
He’s no super hero.
DR. GROSS
Why is he like that? So human…
WE CUT TO:
The miniature figure on the window sill by Jane’s bed. We don
not see what the face looks like, yet.
DR. GROSS (O.S.)
He’s someone close to you?
JANE (O.S.)
Yes.

DR. GROSS (O.S.)
Is he going to help you find your
miracle?
WE CUT BACK TO:
Jane is looking sad as she stares into oblivion. Edward
writes away his report…
DR. GROSS
Jane?
Jane snaps out of it and focuses.
DR. GROSS
(continuing)
How will he help you?
Jane looks up at the time.
INSERT – 2:30PM
Edward knows time is up. Jane gets up and walks to the door
to leave.
DR. GROSS
(continuing)
He’s not your father is he?
JANE
(At the door)
No. He’s closer to me than you
think.
Edward contemplates and writes. On the report we see:
‘DEPRESSED…DISILLUSIONED…PARANOID’
There are other reports with previous dates on them. They all
have the same three words written. Page after page, we see:
DEPRESSED, DISILLUSIONED, PARANOID.
JANE
(continuing)
Ed.
DR. GROSS
Yes Jane.
JANE
Out of all the kids here, why do
you see me the most?

DR. GROSS
You constantly surprise me. You
have often, made me wonder.
JANE
The males in this shit hole desire
me you know. Even the females. Do
you not desire me Dr. Gross?
That long look between Doctor and patient that can go either
way. Who would not desire Jane. But Dr. Gross has hidden
secrets that makes him oblivious to human nature.
DR. GROSS
Would there be anything else Jane
that I can help you with?
JANE
This is exactly why I know.
DR. GROSS
Know?
JANE
I want you to know that the human
spirit can do miracles.
DR. GROSS
You are talking about miracles
again Jane.
JANE
I think you are running away from
your home…Here with kids you
free yourself from it. The madness
of it all makes sense to you. I
guess your miracle is utter
patience. Yes, your miracle is
absolute patience. But you don’t
see that Ed. You never have. I
want you to know you have that
spirit.
A pause. Edward stares with fixed intensity at Jane.
JANE
(continuing)
My life was stolen from me. I want
to find who killed my mom. The
guide will help me find the
rainbow.

DR. GROSS
Even if you were to find the one
who killed your mom, what would
you do to him? What would you say?
JANE
I will hold his hands firmly, look
into his eyes and, thank him.
DR. GROSS
Thank him?
Jane walks to Dr. Gross and takes her hands into his. She
looks innocently into Dr. Gross’ eyes.
JANE
Yes, I will say ‘Thank you. Thank
you for taking away my mom. Thank
you for letting me grow without
comfort. Thank you for
(Tears)
For taking away everything I hold
dear in my heart. For the rest of
my life, I will not know what it
feels like to be precious. I never
wanted to be an adult at 16.’
Jane exits as we CU on Dr. Gross staring in troubled
contemplation. Something struck a cord.
Edward holds his pen. He looks at the reports. His pen gets
close to the paper to write, then stops. He pulls out a fresh
Report Sheet and begins to write as we pull back leaving him
writing…
INT. DR. EDWARD GROSS’ HOUSE – NIGHT
Edward enters his lower middle class home. The house is dimly
lit. There is no sign of life. This is a man who has pared
his life down to very little. He walks towards a room with
cupboards. He opens one cupboard to reveal shelves and
shelves of:
HOME I.V. UNITS.
We can now hear the faint sound of a Machine Operated
Breathing Devise. He stops as he tries to reach for an I.V.
He nods. The person is still breathing. He picks up the unit
and turns to see…
An OLD WOMAN laying on a bed. Like a hospital room, this room
is the living quarters for this woman. She breaths with the
help of the Machine.

The Old Woman is filled with TUBES in her nose, mouth, and
one to release body fluids. She is a vegetable.
Edward looks at her tolerantly, the long-suffering look of a
nurse to a patient. He proceeds to change her I.V. Taking the
near empty one off and throwing it into a bin. The bin has
MANY EMPTY I.VS in it. Then he changes a PAN on the floor
below the bed. This is a daily thing. He changes her sleeping
position and stands above her.
DR. GROSS
‘Utter patience.
(Swallows)
Absolute patience.’
He kisses her on the forehead.
DR. GROSS
(continuing)
See you in the morning mom.
He walks away to his bedroom. A look of sadness is plastered
on his face. He sits on the edge of his bed, lowers his head,
and breaks down, sobbing endlessly as we pull back slowly…
CUT TO:
INT. STATE YOUTH HOUSE – DAY
Jane is looking out of her window sill. An obscure figure
moves into frame behind him. She is a NURSE.
NURSE (O.S.)
This is so sudden Jane.
Jane smiles sadly as she faces the camera.
SLOW MOTION:
— Jane is packing her superheroes away.
— Jane’s bunk bed is bare with no sheets.
— Jane is carrying a suitcase down the hallway. Other
kids look on, wishing. Some waving.
— Jane passes by Edward’s office. On the door we see: Dr.
Edward Gross. The door is closed.
END SLOW MOTION

EXT. STATE YOUTH HOUSE – DAY
Jane is about to enter a TAXI CAB. The driver is placing
Jane’s suitcase in the trunk. Most of the kids are LOOKING
OUT from their windows. Jane looks up toward Edward’s office
window. She sees Edward looking at her. Jane pulls out the
miniature figure – The Guardian Angel/guide – and raises it
high above her head so Edward can see it. Edward nods as he
swallows his emotions. Jane nods back. Jane enters the taxi
and it drives off. The kids CHEER Jane on like a
celebrity…Some chase the cab till it disappears…Jane
keeps looking back toward Dr. Gross.
INT. STATE YOUTH HOUSE – DAY
Edward is sitting behind his desk holding a report sheet. He
looks up at the time. It is exactly 2:00PM
He looks at the seat in front of him. It is empty. Jane would
be sitting there. Edward picks up a LARGE STAMP. He presses
it on a red INK SLAB. He raises the stamp as he places the
report on his desk and then SLAMS the stamp down. He raises
the stamp to show us:
RELEASED
DR. GROSS (O.S.)
For your sake and mine, find your
miracle.
INT. BUS – LIGHT RAINY DAY
Jane enters the bus to see a DRIVER wearing a LONG COAT. It
resembles the coat on her miniature hero. Jane contemplates
this and sits at the very end of the bus. Next to her is a
WOMAN rolling a CIGARETTE. The woman can tell Jane wants to
try one.
Imitating what the woman did, Jane licks the paper and rolls
it into a pretty good cigarette. Maybe a little too fat. The
woman hands her a Zippo lighter. She triumphantly brings the
flame to her fat smoke, lighting it up, then loudly snapping
the Zippo shut.
WOMAN
Lost someone too?
JANE
Yes.
WOMAN
Well you’re in the right bus.

They both stare ahead of them. Something catches their
attention.
Jane brings up her cigarette to her lips. She takes a LONG
cool drag. I have been waiting for this! The woman smiles and
nods. In sequence, Jane and the woman inhale smoke, lean back
their heads and exhale…
WOMAN
(continuing)
Beautiful view.
JANE
Absolutely.
EXT. BUS – LIGHT RAINY DAY
On the front of the bus the sign reads:
TO: MIRACLE
The bus drives toward a rainbow in the distance…
FADE OUT:
THE END
A LANCE K.R. KAWAS FILM