the short novel with the million-dollar mojo

The “Vedas” are among some of the most ancient texts in the world.  The oldest scriptures of Hinduism, the Vedas are also strongly referenced by Buddhist and Jainist cultures.  The Rig Veda is one of the most powerful Vedas, offering ancient prayers for prosperity, hymns praising the divine, and lyrical accounts on the origins of the world.

In this classic culture, a benevolent gift is referred to as a dana (pronounced “donna”).

In both ancient and much of modern Hindu culture, classes in the caste system are discrete, offering no opportunity for changing position on the hierarchy.  What happens then, if a monumental lay gift – a $14 million dollar dana is presented to an obscure homeless man by a dying millionaire?  In America, class distinctions may root in religion, but are unquestionably a part of its culture.   Can one man’s gift to another transcend socioeconomic stigma and change how we see the world?

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What if the gift, the dana, wasn’t just for one man – but for you, too?

SYNOPSIS:  Collier County, Florida, teems with the homeless.  Who is Rig Veda, and why has the late Max Andalus chosen him for an heir?  As Max’s friends Melvin and Ginny get to know Rig, they soon discover that there are others interested in the homeless man, too.  When Rig Veda is kidnapped, it’s up to the aging Melvin, with his eight year-old daughter in tow, to get him back.  The chase takes Melvin north into the Adirondack Mountains, and draws to a conclusion that Melvin would have never expected, leading to a choice that will change his life.

REVIEWS:

“Max (Andalus) is more than a cookie-cutter ‘eccentric millionaire’; he comes alive to the reader as an enigmatic force of nature, larger than life but uniquely human and interesting…Perfectly woven into the story and perfectly expressed(is) Melvin’s love for Molly.  Not a simple storybook love, but real parental love, as complicated as it is pure, as ever-changing as it is constant…The Millionaire Rig Veda has the strongest conclusion of any of (Brearton’s) works I have read; Surprising, clever, succinct, and complete…love it.”

– Adam Gardam, Multimedia Designer

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Review by Adirondack Center for Writing in the Adirondack Daily Enterprise

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Read the review from David Press, author of The Worst Writer Ever and English Professor at Paul Smiths College.

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the ditch – a film about whitewater rafting, bad corporations, and YOU

A group of people sent through the Grand Canyon on a 21 day, 280 mile trip quickly discover that whitewater is not their only obstacle.”

That’s the logline for The Ditch, a feature film I’m producing and co-writing along with writer-director Ed Huber.

And that’s the first cool thing about The Ditch – that it involves the Grand Canyon, the Colorado River, and whitewater rafting.  The other stuff that’s got me pumped is the way in which this film is ramping up.

We’ve reached a point where filmmaking has been democratized thanks to advances in technology.  It’s no longer a requirement to slave for years on projects you don’t believe in only because they are “commercial” and affect a “lowest common denominator,” playing on screen more like a videogame rather than a film.

You still have to put in your time , though, don’t get me wrong – one of the challenges all creative and industrious types face now comes from the very evolved process which facilitates their entre into the business – just because your youtube video gets a million hits or you pass the tipping point with a lucky first venture doesn’t preclude having to work your butt off.  But by acquiring some great digital cameras and sound gear, it’s now more possible for a filmmaker to get equipped with the tools he or she needs.

Ed Huber has been working his butt off – he’s been a whitewater rafter and guide for at least two decades, and for 16 years has owned a production company which shoots whitewater rafting and kayaking trips.  He’s put in beaucoup time.  And recently Ed’s been cutting his teeth on film sets, working on films like Dancehall and Bully Pulpit and proving indispensable as a crew member and team player.

The Ditch follows a group of rafters as they navigate the treacherous waters of the Colorado River.  We soon learn, though, that the rafters aren’t there purely out of a sense of adventure, but that their hands have been forced.  Ominously governing their situation is a company with a terrifying agenda.  And as with such nefarious organizations puppeteering others to do their bidding, the means justify the ends.  The rafters will have to fight to survive, and hope to carve their whitewater path clear of the perils to confront the evil behind such a deadly experiment.

So, here’s where YOU come in.  You can be a part of this film.  That’s the other really cool thing about a project like The Ditch.  In addition to illustrating the democratization of filmmaking through technology, the effort is fueled by the support of people like you.  You become an “owner” of the film when you donate, a participant in its creation even if your contribution is to “like” it on Facebook, or pass it on to a friend.

Rather than the oligarchic method of big studios owning and controlling a film, we’re now living in a time when filmmakers can access the tools they need, and find support in their community to raise the funds needed to execute the picture.  It’s a socialization of the arts which couldn’t come at a more needed time when the economy has endowments disappearing and funding drying up.  It’s all up to you. From $5 to $500 bucks, with your donation, this vision becomes a reality.

Check out our campaign on the Indiegogo site to see how quick, easy and awesome it is to become a part.

The crew is ready, the actors are packing their whitewater helmets, ready to deploy to the Grand Canyon.  A great movie adventure is about to begin.


Please ignore the dopey look on my face here, but check out this 1 min 45 sec video to get some more insight on how The Ditch is going to be put together…

strong women, dark tales

A review of 2011 and a peek at the movies of 2012

The year “2012” just feels like it has more gravitas than 2011, doesn’t it? 2012 is a much anticipated year, a big number, culturally powerful, almost bellicose. 2011 shrinks in comparison, a sort of middling calendar year without much oompf. That isn’t to say nothing happened in 2011 – we left Iraq, many prominent figures passed away, from Geraldine Ferraro to Steve Jobs, Kim Jong Il, and Jon Bon Jovi (woops, scratch that last one), Greece and Egypt turned a corner, and wacky-weather abounded, with snow in Texas and Mississippi this past fall while temps were balmy in the Northeast. In the movies, things were a bit topsy-turvy as well, the path carving closer towards small pseudo-sci-fi films, and big studio dark sagas.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE in the LAKE CHAMPLAIN WEEKLY