You would die for your land - would you kill for it?

 

LOGLINE

In a town selling to the highest bidder, a farm owned for generations still stands firm but when pressure is applied to sell, the family discovers to how far they will go to keep from being bullied in to getting rid of the only thing they’ve ever known.

 

SYNOPSIS

Bill Chambers is a third generation farmer that has given blood, sweat and tears for a land he has grown to love. Even years after the tragic death of his wife, Bill continues to throw himself into the overwhelming work of maintaining the land and the animals. Bill does everything he can to ensure his children, Marcus and Owen, grow happily and can one day carry on the legacy.

The years have passed and the times have changed and the small town they live in

changed with them. Their friends and family have sold out to Thomas Strickland, a up and coming developer and investor. Trying to keep up with the times but also hold on to the past the Chambers battle the struggles of watching loved ones move away.

One day Owen, the youngest son, gets into a bar brawl forcing his older brother, Marcus to set an example. They confront a pair of bullies that turn out to be Thomas’ two sons.

Not only does that example solve one problem, it raises the stakes of another.

In the process of buying up all the land due to the discovery of a massive oil reserve,

Thomas finds himself face to face with the family that is refusing to sell. With investors breathing down his neck to retain the deed to the property and now with the family bringing an issue to his doorstep, he will do the same in return.

The Chambers have refused and ignored the multiple offers proposed to them as

farming life never stops. They continue to work hard and play hard until Bill is involved in an unfortunate accident, bringing them face to face with a grudge from the past, the sister that left unannounced. Meanwhile, Thomas Strickland works to keep his investors on board to prevent him from losing everything, by any means necessary.

When a family friend from the only other remaining farm steps in to help the family, things start to fall apart for the Chambers.

With family issues boiling, the family tries to continue on with the unexpected shift in responsibility to Marcus. Owen still admires Marcus, but Vanessa is losing patience hoping that he will forgive her for the decision she made years ago. After several more issues, Marcus takes matters into his own hands, hoping it will force the offers to cease.

His actions threaten to compel Thomas Strickland to make a demand that could give him the leverage he needs to accomplish his goal.

The Chambers are forced to come to terms with the reality of what is happening. They come up with a plan but it comes at a cost. Marcus must realize his own vulnerability.

Vanessa must endure her conscience. Owen must decide what kind of man he will become.  A victory will leave them with moral dilemmas, and deadly secrets.

Will they be able to make the right choices?

Will they be able to stop Thomas before he stops them?

And further for the Chambers, will they be able to overcome the personal challenges they face?

 

THEMES

Killing Mercy explores the dilemma of doing what is right and what is easy. The

Chambers family has always done what was expected of them even when faced with

adversity, with the land, with the animals, with the loss of a mother and a wife.

Farm life is never easy. Hard work and hard choices are a part of that life everyday. The Chambers family is willing to make those choices - they are definitely willing to do it for land and the animals but can they make those calls against other humans when backed into a corner.

In addition there are the elements of standing up against those that wish to pursue

harm, coping with loss, accepting responsibility, and finding a way to forgiveness. Life is unforgiving and bad things happen, but how can it be managed? What decisions need to be made to survive against it?

 

 

CHARACTERS

 

Bill Chambers

Three kids, a farm, and no wife is a lot for one man to endure. Bill has a hard time balancing between being an attentive father and concentrating on the farm. Most of the time his attention falls on the latter. His dependence on Marcus quickly brings about dysfunction within the family. Vanessa feels ignored, and Owen is struggling to keep up but with so much to do, he never found the time to resolve the issues and his demands cause a rift that he hopes to repair in the future.

The actor for this role needs to be engrossed in the farm. He is present but absent minded. The work always comes first. He tries to cut loose and joke around but the heavy focus on the farm leaves him distant and cold. The actor needs to be 52-55 years old.

 

Marcus Chambers

When push comes to shove, some people would rather lay down and take it. Not

Marcus Chambers. Marcus has spent his life doing hard labor, not only for the land, but to help his father with many overwhelming tasks it takes to keep a farm alive. He tries to live up to the expectations he places on Owen, showing him what it takes to be not only a grown up but a man. He knows to do things right the first time and to never quit even when the task seems impossible. However, the constant work ethic comes at the cost of exhaustion. He will do what ever needs to be done, putting everyone before himself.

The actor for this role needs to persevering individual with a mentoring side. The actor should be a blue-collar country boy but also just another guy in the crowd. In addition, because of the plot detail, the actor must be believable as someone who is between 33-35 years old.

 

Owen Chambers

Growing up on a farm is hard, and growing up without a mother is harder. Owen

Chambers knows what is expected of him but also wants to live his own life. Growing up in the shadow of his brother, he feels he will never live up to those expectations. He knows he will always be ‘Marcus’ baby brother which leaves him with a sense of self doubt and sensitivity. He knows his brother will always be there to pick him back and to handle any mess. Since Marcus is the more physical of the two, Owen finds himself more focused on intellectual avenues.

Owen is the opposite of Marcus. The actor for this role needs possess all qualities opposite to Marcus’s. A young man with the ability to strive to live up to expectations but also questions that way of life. In additions, because of the plot detail, the actor must be believable as someone who is between 18-20 years old.

 

Dr. Vanessa Jordan

The black sheep of the family, Vanessa Jordan (Chambers), left unannounced to pursue her goals that conflicted with family expectations. Goal oriented and stubborn she returned to her hometown caring for those she once left behind due to a guilty conscience. An overwhelming sense of frustration for her family kept her at bay but when she learns of all the things she missed and how her actions affected the family, she is determined to make things right.

This actress needs to exude pride and dominance. Vanessa is just that- proud of what she accomplished but also stands firm to her beliefs. She needs to portray a gentle side with Owen but also a stubborn side with Marcus. In addition, because of the plot detail, the actress must be believable as someone between 30-32 years old.

 

Thomas Strickland

A small town realtor with big city dreams, Thomas strives for nothing more than wealth. When stumbling upon the potential of the next oil boom for the U.S. he sees the dollar signs in the dirt. The lust quickly transforms into obsession seeing this as his only chance for financial success. With investors in his pocket, and his future possible career on the line there is no limit to what he will do to achieve his dream.

The actor for this role needs to be capable of showing action through fear. He must maintain a domineering hand due to chasing his desires and makes choices that put others at risk. He understands what it takes to be a businessman but never on this large of a scale.

The actor for this role needs to be 55 years old.

 

Rob Hurley

Farming was the perfect getaway. After his tours in Vietnam, Rob wanted nothing more than a simple, quiet life. He returned to marry his high school sweetheart and now with his children grown and gone, there is nothing else he knows how to do. Still haunted by his actions in the Army, he is no stranger to the bottle but through the years became functional under the influence. A long time friend to Bill, the Chambers family became a second family to him and there is nothing he wouldn’t do to support them.

The actor for this role needs to portray the moral compass. He knows that sometimes hard choices need to be made he also knows this choices come at a cost. The actor needs to be friendly and heartwarming but can also take matters into his own hands. In addition, due to the plot detail, the actor must be believable as someone that served in Vietnam and 65-75 years old.

 

 

PRINCIPAL LOCATION

At this point, Killing Mercy is set in a small town in Tennessee, preferably the Appalachian Highlands. (Sullivan County, Greene County, Unicoi County)

 

 

THE APPEAL OF KILLING MERCY

Life is hard and it’s harder when you are just trying to survive. Imagine pouring all your attention, love, and hard work into something that has been handed down through generations. It becomes your life and your identity. It is a part of who you are as a person. Now imagine someone is trying to take that from you. Will you roll over and give in or fight to keep it?

One key goal of Killing Mercy is to show the tough yet beautiful side of small town living.

A place where everyone knows everyone and they all look out for each other. People step up to help those in need and do whatever they can to support their friends and family. It also shows the everyday concerns of farm life and the hard work it takes to successfully maintain a farm.

Another key goal of a movie is to have an audience that can identify their own struggles in the character. A large section of views watch movies with that in mind. They want to see triumph over struggles that can give them hope to do the same. They watch the character overcome personal struggles and being to think, “I can overcome my problems too,” from emotional issues to simple issues such as bullying.

Each character is not without flaws identifiable by most: Marcus is struggling with anger over the disconnect with his sister. Owen’s battle is internal encompassing what is best for him versus what is best for his family. Vanessa is coming to terms with her guilt and frustration toward her older brother and father.