Easter, an opera by Link Starbureiy

solving Parkinson's

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imaging α-synuclein, parkin, huntingtin, and LRRK2 using ml


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Easter

overview, storyline
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An opera by lnq. Its subject is Parkinson's/Huntington's diseases, which underlay the tragic saga of our eponym whose lifetime of impulsive choices have manifested in damaging health effects. I personally think that the ideal drama for telling it non-generically may be The Detective (TD) canon, and the best vehicle (because of scaling) is via telepresence.
UUe

'Joe vs. John'*

The prelude of its five-chord arc~, Die, Detective!™, focuses on the stigma of mental health challenges within the culture of law enforcement in contemporary Philadelphia, where the reactions of a framed sleuth, Pascha, pit him against his most formidable foe - himself.Easter arc: Die, Detective!ChordNChordOChordAChordH Tagline

Note (+): The dramaturgy of Easter has Pascha (Joseph/John) policing a synthetic storyline set in a hyper-modern world. It has commonalities with its spiritual predecessors, but is not of proper continuity, per se; instead, it's a standalone arrangement.


The Detective (1966, 1979) anthology is one of the most popular and best-critiqued[1] franchises in history. The series has a non-linear storyline centered around detective, Joseph Pascha "Joe" Leland, his sometimes alliances, frequent mishaps, and steady heroics. They mostly follow a standard formula:
- our protagonist typically starts out wearing a clean shirt that gets progressively dirtier throughout a timeframe of no more than 12 hours until it is noticeably filthy
- some antagony introduces itself that constricts a situation, usually forcing the hero to react (thereby getting his shirt dirty in the process)
- a spectacular climatic distress sequence ensues. 

In bringing it to requiem, I propose a few things, two (2) of which are: the exploration of a backstory for the sake of character development, and the introduction of substantive dramatic elementsLogic dictates that, if either of those things is missing from a closure🔒 piece like this, an opportunity to tie up loose ends in the narrative would have been forfeited.

His first name is simply 'Joseph' or 'John'. The names come from traditional figures in the first and last books of the Holy Bible, Genesis (Joseph) and Revelation (John). The insertion of the word 'Pascha' was my doing, thus giving him a middle name (which can also be substituted for a generic surname, as would be the case here) that was absent in the literature and did not exist anywhere in the canon. If at any point a family name is needed, let it be 'Ire', because, well, he's Irish🍀.* Linguistically, 'Pascha' is the Greek equivalent of/to 'Easter'. I also gave him a birthdate of April 10, 1955 (an Easter Sunday). Now we have a point of reference as to why the opera is called what it is.Specifically, the names are 'Joseph Pascha' and 'John Ire', which can be transliterated as 'Joe Leland' and 'John McClane'.

There were some clues left by Thorp that spoke about Leland's military career and delved into his personal relationships.

-- In Easter, Pascha was never a cop (ie. an officer on the force within a police department); he joined the U.S. Coast Guard immediately after high school graduation, and then was a self-employed private eye after his tenure. --

The drama delicately navigated around the detective's issues he was having with his wife (Karen Leland who was an infidel and went on to leave him) and later daughter (Stephanie Gennaro with whom he had a strained relationship).

When we first bud the romance via flashback, she (Palm) is a thirty year-old single (unmarried, no children) lady being courted by an even (7 years) younger Pascha. As a couple, they are on the cusp of wedding, but Pascha needs more convincing, as he is very early into his career in a new city (Big Apple). She desires the commitment a traditional band💍 represents so that her offspring won't be out-of-wedlock bastards, as to maintain her Ecclesia Catholica covenant. I think that the difference in age between the two forces her to pressure Pascha into doing something he is not wholeheartedly interested in at the moment, and this is a source of resentment on his part.


In the opera we have an overarching plot with a lot of smaller substories. And in those substories are front-facing characters with tie-ins to real-world happenings. Basically, what this amounts to is me trying to say that I couldn't tell the story of Easter without a ritornello.

What may be confusing to some people is that the prelude, Die, Detective!, is in itself a backstory, so to speak (sort of like a roman à clef), that sets up the remaining four (4) chords (you'll see). But, as it stands, this actual first chord features a number of times where the protagonist must revisit his past in order (for the audience) to piece together present-day clues. Take, for instance, August 1978, where we find a young West Catholic-grown Joseph, full of hope+aspirations, caught between his childhood friend's personal strife, and his own ambitions of perhaps someday becoming a renown comedian.

Note (+): The comedian angle for Pascha is reminiscent of me. Part of my own biography is that I was a touring stand-up comic during my teenage years. I retired from the craft February 14, 2009 (at the Missoula Public Library of all places), but I *think* I still have some funnies left. In this chord, pretty much all of the jokes spoken are mine. I consider it a natural extension of the wisecracks made throughout the series. Also, Philadelphians (particularly folks from West Philly) have a special kind of humor that I'm excited to showcase here.🤪

black and white photo of the Uptown Theater


That Summer (Labor Day weekend), Philadelphia's famed Uptown Theater is closing its doors due to increasing blight in the north part of town*; the neighborhood is no longer as safe and vibrant as it was just a decade prior. The African-American community is still feeling the effects of the Civil Rights Movement, compounded with first Chief of Police and then-Mayor Frank Rizzo's antics and policies frozen in place during that decade. Turning inward, the Community becomes increasingly activist, self-destructive, and simulataneously self-expressive [in my opinion, some of the most beautiful music from that era came directly out of Philly]. In the middle of all this we have some blue-eyed soul, a young Pascha who is also struggling to find his place in the world as he chases his dreams, follows his heart, and succumbs to destiny. This part of the story (fictitiously what transpires in the aftermath of the Amateur Night held on Saturday August 5, 1978) is the most pivotal in telling because the events define who and what our eponym is (to become).The venue's closure🔒 part is factual, but the date(s) may not be accurate.

The significance of the Uptown Theater cannot be understated here (it was added to the National Registry of Historic Places in 1982). Factually, Georgie Woods ceased to produce shows in/by 1972, not 1978. I, of course, am using artistic license with many facets of this history - dates, names, etc.. I'll artifact some interesting tidbits of information about that period of time in Philadelphia's history in this footnote.

The venue is located at 2240 N. Broad Street, near the campus of Temple University. It was erected between 1927 - 1929. For many years afterward, as North Philadelphia became a bright spot and entertainment destination for fresh immigrants to the city, the middle and upperclass residents frequented the area (section of town) for its nightlife, which complemented the blue collar vibe of the neighborhood. In its heyday, Uptown Theater was a rival to the Apollo Theater in Harlem, NYC in terms of acts brought in, community tradition, and popularity.

In its later years, namely those from the 1960s and early 1970s, it was a hub for civil rights activism in the forms of spoken word and music, as the Black demographic was somewhat under siege from law and order. The area was riddled with high crime, causing the neighborhood to, well .. change. A lot of prominent and high-profile African-Americans from that era, such as Malcolm X and those from the NAACP, would visit (the area, radio stations, and the venue itself), thereby re-energizing the Community. Additionally, Woods would hold what he called 'freedom shows' to further make this point.

In Die, Detective!, we go as far back as June-July 1978, and explore the ongoings of MOVE (particularly the buildup to August 8, 1978). This is crucial as presented inside (metaphorically-speaking) the Uptown Theater.


Rock Hefner posesAgain, in bringing this flashback to life, there was a lot of second-hand study done during my research, but I had a few allies here. There are people still around who can vividly recall the days when acts such as The Supremes were booked to perform at the venue on the cheap (relatively speaking, $400 for a 10-day residency!!!🤯). Uptown Theater was also a staple on the so-called Chitlin' Circuit. Many of the acts (colored or otherwise) over a period of time were brought in courtesy of Georgie Woods, himself a voice (literally, he worked in radio🎙️📻) instrumental in getting other voices in the Community heard at a time when the work to do so was still greater than the payoff. As they say, old habits die hard. In Die, Detective!, Woods is portrayed (an indirect representation) by native Philadelphia personality, Rock Hefner, who - as Bobbe Penn (the name was his pick) - brings his own individuality to the role.

Note (+): At first, I had Bobbe Penn as part of a duo that was supposedly modeled after the music production team, Gamble & Huff, from that era. They were called 'GO' from 'Todd G' and 'Warren O'. There was a scheduling error with the would-be partner of one of the actors, so I went ahead with just making the producer solo. I then decided that music production (having to create 1970s-style R&B tunes) just for a solo act would be too costly, and wouldn't really add anything outside of a soundtrack.

Penn's story was always going to be attached to the Uptown Theater. After further review, the solo act became synonymous with the tellings of those years through the lens of Georgie Woods. Now with that character being a disc jockey, I have a perfect excuse to introduce one of my all-time favorite songs, 'Blame It On the Boogie', which was something I was going to do, anyway.😅

In real life, Rock Hefner has a fantastic sense of humor. Considering that this chord is ultra-serious in its content, having him onboard to convey this backstory is quite the treat in an otherwise pseudo-depressing piece.


I don't envision just collating subplot points from prior entries, but to look altogether retroactively at Thorp's literary interpretation of The Detective [some time around which Leland retires, hence, the events of Die, Detective! would hypothetically take place before and leading up to Nothing Lasts Forever (NLF*) -- this threnody (which spans Lent through the Octave of Easter) opens on Ash Wednesday and is set seven (7) weeks (approximately fifty days) prior to the Pentecost (or, in our case, chords N-H). From there, I have interwoven those minor elements into the major tapestry that is this opera.NLF=DH=TD2

Note (+): The novel, The Detective (1966), was translated onto screen as a movie of the same title in 1968. It starred Frank Sinatra as Joe Leland. Later (1979), a sequel was written for it called Nothing Lasts Forever. That was made into the movie 'Die Hard™'(DH:=NLF). Sinatra rejected reprising the role because he felt that he was too old to play the part again (1988), so the studio eventually chose Bruce Willis. In doing so, they edited parts of the book's storyline around in an effort to modernize it. One of those changes was Leland being renamed 'John McClane', and the character portrayed as more youthful (arguably more in-line with the original literature, where "Leland is thirty-six, five feet ten, and weighed one-hundred and forty pounds. His hair was dark brown, thick and cut short.". But for all intents and purposes, 'Pascha' and 'John Ire' are the same person in the 'Die, Detective' universe.


The hardnose behavior and sardonic temperament of our maverick detective is risque, to say the least, and has been valued as an asset among fans.  He has been used to represent the everyman who perhaps could not say and do things that were otherwise unfashionable.  His exploits and adventures throughout the series have touched on sensitive topics, such as homophobia (TD), racism (TD4), xenophobia (TD6), and large-scale domestic terrorism (TD5).  The audience knows what they are getting with Pascha; it revels in vicariously helping him sort through the predicaments he faces with the expected outcome of disaster being averted because he just surmounted the odds.

... and that is where we find Pascha today, an elderly man with one (1) more trick up his sleeve on the brink of receiving his due pension, but genuinely unsure of whether the odds are still in his favor.  Losing his religion, his insecurities stem from years, .. decades of having rubbed people the wrong way in order to answer the calls of duty that may never add up to anything more than a thankless job. A miserable alcoholic, he drinks* away personal demons which are the result of posttraumatic stress disorder, thus becoming his own worst enemy in geriatric anger, and now, in an effort to salvage his sanity, is pitted against the most formidable foe - himself.His personal favorite is a brand of DIY rum called Brown Hue😉. (Drink responsibly.🥃)

"I'm back in Philly and on my worst behavior!" - Pascha


To put it bluntly, in addition to being a heavy chain smoker🚬, he is a bonafide flush (a true 'drunken sailor') and it shows. -- Don't get him wrong, his public demeanor is relatable when it has to be. -- Lack of self-discipline in regards to drinking and its damaging effects has ruined his relationship over the years with his children. Factor-in that his pride, has, in the past, refused to let him get the professional help he could so use, Pascha is not making long-term plans because he secretly and instinctively knows that the poison will consume and ultimately get the best of him in his already downward spiral. He is borderline suicidal at this point in time; some days he finds his lonesome actually trying to drink himself to death, perhaps as a coping mechanism for dealing with the onset of Parkinson's disease.

With extreme reticence, he's returned to Philadelphia (where he was born and enrolled in the U.S. Coast Guard [@Penn's Landing] through 1978 before accepting an offer to become a private detective in the fictional place of Elsewhere*) from his extended sabbatical in the Rocky Mountains so that he can "rebuild some semblance of a social life". In truth, he's looking for redemption. We are to believe that the only thing keeping him 'going' is the practice of pseudo-parenting he gets by hosting his grandchildren while hoping for reconciliation with his estranged family, although he is enjoying his new toy jukebox😇.A stand-in for small town life.
Since becoming a sexagenarian, he's done plenty of self-examination, and has grown sick of the life that he has lived as an adult. After filing his resignation, he immediately moved to Butte, Montana for a refresher. This included setting up business continuity+security protocols (ie. threat detection, penetration blocking, etc.) on a part-time basis for his old employer, Lindros, on her phosphate mining camp in the area. While there (for roughly three years), his alcoholism grew stronger (he would blow his 'easy money' on the bottle), and he discovered that he no longer has any desire to protect anybody outside of his own interests; he wants little more than to free himself from the burden of representing the law. But, over the years, Montana grew on him, and he calls it home🏠.

Back in Philadelphia -- other than the decent pay (saved up from the CGIS job, he hopes to use his earned pension ($$) to purchase a large huckleberry farm in Western Montana and plant a family business, but this may be a pipe dream, health diversion, or both), he despises everything that the security industry stands for, and is starting to side with those who have been historically oppressed in this country, especially at the hands of what his chosen profession represents. Self-inflicted incredulity has him feeling almost ashamed to have ever been involved in the capacity that he was. At this stage, he is an über-seasoned veteran at the end of his journey anxious to tip the fedora.

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The bit about him losing his religion is the crux of the first chord. Humans have extreme capacities for deluding themselves into believing or following some thing, or whatever thing brings them comfort. For many, organized religion can lead to many unanswered questions that lend themselves to faith by default. Pascha over the years has been tested in many different ways. Part of the reason he's still standing is because he just can't bring himself to die without first paying off his debts. Only he knows what those tallies are, but we find him here by rote thinking that because the likelihood of him ever being ordained a saint is extremely low - Simon Peter may never call his name, the least he can do to help himself and others is to spread the truth.

He was once anonymously forwarded some literature with a cover page that read quite simply: →→"JESUS IS SATAN"←←. In it was doctrine containing some hacked together biblical scholarship about how Jesus Christ explicitly called himself the 'Morning Star' in the last book (Revelation 22:16: 📯"I am the root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star."), a title usually attributed to the planet Venus and reserved for Lucifer himself. It then went on to make the argument that because God intentionally withheld knowledge from mankind, that He was unworthy of worship, and that Satan has always been known as the 'Great Deceiver'. Hence, the Bible is the Devil's work of deception starring himself as the savior (false prophet) who claims to be able to save others but could not muster up the power to do so for himself.

This was a quick read, but it's impact made an indelible impression on him. So much so that his substance abuse, which used to only affect his physicality, was beginning to noticeably interfere with his mental health. Now, all he can think about when it comes to his Catholicism is how much of a sham it is/was, and concludes that tribal instincts are what make people come+stay together, not imposed (upon) literary falsehoods. After reading this, he felt a strong sense of betrayal; as if his entire life had been a series of one big lie after another. He proceeded to start asking himself questions that had been bothering him for decades: Did Palm ever really love him? Who are his kids? Why does he feel so uncomfortable in his own skin?

Some might conjecture that he suffers from White guilt, but that isn't my aim with Pascha. It would be easy to deduce this because of the relationships Joe Leland has had throughout the series. Pointedly, his crime scene partner was a Black fellow named Robbie Loughlin (replacing Petrakis) in the TD flick. Alven (now his seasonal fishing buddy on the Clark Fork since the turn of the century) and the driver, Argyle, were two Black guys who befriended him in the first sequel. Also, in the forth movie, there was a pronounced buddy-cop vibe between his character and Zeus Carver (trivia: that storyline was originally shopped to Warner Bros. studio executives as a Lethal Weapon sequel, where the leads were a White [Martin Riggs] and Black [Roger Murtaugh] male duo. It was backburned, later acquired by Fox studios, and rewritten as TD4), so we can assume that the detective has at least a soft spot for working alongside Black people.


In today's current social climate, pockets of once-latent animus are spreading across the globe - be it from shifting politics, stances on immigration, bigotry, or what have you - engendering bunches of armchair heroes and keyboard⌨️ warriors; cowards in need of a figurehead they can galvanize behind until their version of order is restored or parturitated.

antagony

Easter:Die, Detective! takes place in Philadelphia

"All things being equal, I'd rather be in Philadelphia."* - John


The quote comes directly from John McClane's character in DH. It is adapted from W.C. Fields' epitaph, "I would rather be living in Philadelphia.". Unless things are under control, then things are out of control. What we have here is a major city (Philadelphia) on the brink of chaos. There has been yet another incidence of fatal violence committed toward an unarmed and presumed innocent minority at the hands of law enforcement, this time, they belong to Pascha's own partner, Bunny (Petrakis). This miscarriage has put the whole town - already fragile from previous similar occurrences across the country - on-edge. Unfortunately for said law enforcement, the difference between other jurisdictions and the City of Brotherly Love is that she lives up to her reputation as being the most blue-collar, no-nonsense town in America, totally intolerant of brutality towards its citizens by those who have taken an oath to protect them. They have social media and a backlog of public case studies replete with examples of no justice being brought to officers in the courts of law. Now, where there was hope and maybe even expectation of a drawn out trial that could potentially result in an acquittal, certain neighborhoods - exhausted from fighting for very limited resources, have other plans for dealing with the perpetrators and the interrelated corrupt justice system.

Bunny is an ambitious petty officer (second class) who is fresh off of a murder case she just helped solve.
Harkening back to Thorp's original The Detective plot somewhat, Bunny has just deciphered clue codes that allow the cold case of Tesla to begin to thaw in the Auxiliary unit's ongoing three (3)-month investigation of his brutal murder (victim's head crushed, mutilated genitalia, beating, etc.). In this version of the storyline, it turns out that the victim was dating the grandson of the DA. There are suspicions that Bunny had been involved in the crime from the start, and was protected by the District Attorney herself as a favor. Hence, we can see why she is rising in the ranks rather quickly.

I envision her in the mold of Mark Fuhrman, the notorious detective from the infamous O.J. Simpson murder case. -- a sleaze with a personal vendetta who was willing to plant and tamper with evidence that could have damaged an investigation -- she was also drawn from the Tulsa-based officer, Betty Shelby, who was arrested and tried for manslaughter in her case for murdering Terence Crutcher🙏 (watch her run from the courthouse after the verdict). Tulsa has a history of profound acts of violence against Black civilians, dating at least back to the Black Wall Street massacre (1921). What struck my chord was the fact that Shelby and her partners (ground assist and helicopter pilot husband) had the cameras turned off leading up to the execution, and then the coroner compounded that by testifying that the victim (Crutcher) had narcotics in his system.

As an aside - a word about character development -- for a short while when I was a teenager, I had gotten to know a classmate of mine who was super-prejudice. I was more ignorant to and fascinated by that stuff back then to the extent that I am now, and she let me essentially document her (I had so many questions). It turned out that before she became a vitrioled person, she was romantically involved with a Black fellow (not me or anyone I knew) and their relationship went sour. She had a "redneck" (her words) boyfriend that "would spit on interracial couples" (he also "drove a big truck") and was really proud of that. My documentary of her stuck with me, and this is how I imagine someone like her could turn out to be. -- Except that this gal (Bunny) is on the clock (she has political bosses), and that makes her extremely dangerous.

Her characteristics also loosely implicate the psychology that a person secretly hates the people that they help / secretly loves the people that they oppress (both angles are valid). In the opera, Roscoe fits the complementary profile (Roscoe was a police academy graduate and actually recruited, but never accepted an offer); he and Bunny at some point were lovers.

"It's never enough to be one step ahead; you have to stay in-stride. Do the math. I'm the theta in the equation; they weren't expecting me." - Roscoe


There is a new assignment for the talented young officer who is being quickly promoted through the ranks of the Coast Guard Investigative Service (CGIS): a dragnet is on for Roscoe Curran, the mid-Atlantic's most dangerous gangster. Bringing him to justice could lead to great rewards and coveted recognition that comes along with it. With the assistance of her connections to the city government and dubious ties to the criminal underworld, this shouldn't be a problem, and wouldn't be if she can just do things her way. Having been recently partnered with retired lieutenant Pascha (who is supervising as part of his exit interview requirements so that he can expunge his prior dishonorable discharge and thereby receive his full pension and health benefits that include copay treatment💊 for his Parkinson's) for port security, Bunny surmises that the most opportune time to test the limits of her authority will and has come while under the tutelage of one of the most controversial officers in this country's history. On a routine traffic stop, and doubtedly 'fearing for her life', she opens fire on a seatbelted father and his young daughter, killing them both⚱️. With no witnesses other than an unwitting Pascha, the precincts and city are left with the difficult task of explaining and defending this tragedy to the public. Questions arise: is there innocence in this case, and where to place the blame? -- and are answered quickly: blame is placed squarely on Pascha, framing him. Furthermore, because of what appears to be a curtailing of a kingpin's business dealings, a hit is put out on the detective's life, endangering him.

"Curran" was a minor/low-activity character in the original The Detective novel. In Easter, Derby "Roscoe" Curran is a major headache. His actual name is 'Derby Curran'. His chosen nickname, "Roscoe" - which doubles as his street name, comes from the fact that 'Derby' and 'Roscoe' both have identical meaning - "deer forest". Darby (the correct pronunciation) is the name of a town in both Pennsylvania and Montana (the opera bounces back-and-forth between both states). Informally, 'roscoe' was slang for a pistol gun.

For the past thirty-six months, Roscoe has been launching biological warfare against the regional police force, having already successfully annihilated upwards of ninety-seven percent (97%) - sans SWAT teams - of the personnel via weaponized airborne microbial cultures. His crew is armed with a large stash of phosphate binders that it has cleverly used to sicken said staffs with by disrupting the urinary tract with an over-abundance of calcium (stones), resulting in widespread kidney failure. Obviously, the depletion has left the Philadelphia Police Department in a state of crisis (crime has skyrocketed) and low morale. The frightened citizenry screams "endtimes". It is also a big reason that the City Council has pointed to the incompetence of the current mayor and is calling for his immediate removal+replacement (hence the special political election).

At the same time, Roscoe is also out to destroy all of his competitors and would-be competition. The gang has introduced a new kind of narcotic to the market. They are offering an extremely potent liquid drug that can be consumed orally (ie. swallowed). It is almost like a clear fruit or energy drink (very popular in the Allegheny-Delaware-Lehigh Valleys) that resembles water and may taste like fruit punch. Many of its ingredients have already been FDA-approved. For that reason alone, it is extremely difficult for customs to detect, physicians to medicate, and for the law to criminalize. Roscoe and his band have been making money hand-over-fist selling the chemical for dirt cheap, but at the cost of population stability and inanition. One of the major side effects of the toxin is progressive neurological disorder and contamination, namely a defection of chromosome 4 (:a cause of Huntington's disease).

Fortunately for everybody else, him leaving forensic clues amateurishly around town magnetizes the masterful pastiche of our exceptional detective.


Pascha had little idea that his assigned mentee was a slimy, fledgling bigot, nor did he understand how deep corruption ran throughout the city's major players from top-to-bottom. Nonetheless, this episode has triggered an intense flashback to the MOVE standoff and shootout event that shaped him during his stint in 1978 as an ensign from Paschall, Philadelphia, and an unresolved issue involving him during that time period (he was a dishonorably discharged helicopter pilot in the U.S. Coast Guard before becoming a private eye). Now, with a special political election underway, the town's entrenched power elite are out to protect themselves from this rising menace (potential civil enmity) at considerable cost. Their tentacles run deep. Pascha's entire flotilla [spearheaded by Admiral Lent Goode (Tom Farrell)] turns against him (forcing him into absolute fugitivity), leaving him embroiled in a search for the truth about his colleagues, the city, and own future.

"Ultimately, strength prevails. -- There is no balance of power. Equality is just a stranger's myth." - Marty Abrams

An old rivalry is rekindled as the mysterious Mr. Alphabet and his conglomerate, Nile LLC, steadily move into town from Portland, Oregon in search of a second headquarters. The local magnate, Maundy, feels that her business dealings may be threatened by the arrival of the new enterprise, and looks to act quickly. In opposition to her, the city's emerita district attorney, Marty Abrams, seeks to oblige the requests of Mr. Alphabet, which entails cleaning up the streets of crime, poverty, and foul activity. Maundy, who has puppeteered thugs and drug lords to do her bidding in the past, once again encounters her legal nemesis, except that this time - in the midst of an important political election - the stakes are much higher. Meanwhile, Roscoe is on the hunt for city personnel who could thwart him. The DA's office responds to the very serious potential challenges posed by the kingpin by placing Marty in the care of Pascha for the time being.

If there is such a person who would be the main character in the opera, it's Maundy Lindros. She comes from privilege, and that's not something that she sheds lightly. She is the head of a shipping (freight+cargo) company that operates out of the Eastern seaboard, and this is the largest source of her wealth.

"I'm a competitor. Winning adds value to Life. Losing is a choice, and a poor one. You deserve what you let happen to you." - Maundy

What was demanded was an instant declaration of character. When we meet Maundy in Die, Detective!, we immediately know who sets the tone. An aristocrat instilled with a sense of noblesse oblige (although you wouldn't at first guess this from her affection for cowgirl boots), she runs things without titles. Untouchable, she's deignly mastered the secret to being in two (2) places at once - by having your DNA all over the place. We're not afraid of her, we just would rather not deal with her if we don't have to.

Possessing a genius IQ, she has applied it masterfully to naval architecture. Her enterprise (to which she was a legatee), Lindros FlyerCast & Irons, Ltd., was instrumental in building and bringing the first fleet of slave ships to Rhode Island's wharves*, and today controls the regional (Philadelphia-Newport News) seaport for all maritime cargo. By proxy, her company is also the de facto operator of the Philadelphia Water Authority, holder of the Philadelphia Gas Company, and mutual owner of SPEC (Southeastern Pennsylvania Electric Company). She doesn't know it yet, but her heavy investment in Securitas AB is about to look more prudent (and dangerous at the same time), thanks to the hiring of Pinkerton consultant Gunyo Gruber. Like with any control freak, she's grounded in materialism, because to them, possessions are tangible realism. That's what's scary about her; she's bureaucratic, not political.I made that up, there's no real historical significance. Wink😉 to the Swedish surname.
She really is untouchable. A diabolical recluse who seldom docks for anyone, Maundy (in the vicinity of her bodyguard/captain, Lef'fut) resides on a cruising oceanliner🛥, the Isambard, that often floats somewhere nearby in the Atlantic Ocean, probably in a bay off the coast of New Jersey. -- Heck, I wrote her and I can't even pinpoint her location.🤷‍♂️ -- This is to give a sense of how little she thinks of both the limelight and people on land, along with the baggage each brings. Allergic to stress (her philosophy for living a long life), she takes great precautions to ensure her well-being.

On the business side, she runs Lindros with encrypted videotelephony communications software (á la Skype or FaceTime). The corporate office occupies the top floor (penthouse) of Two Liberty Place, and is managed by her assistant, Lambsimon.

Lindros is the largest importer of phosphate from Morocco in the Americas. A subplot is that Philadelphia's Islamic demographic (spearheaded by its North African Muslim community) wants her company to pay retribution for unfair trade practices between the two countries, and a sizable number of Moroccan mobsters have sprouted inside the City and around the Delaware Valley for this very purpose. To protect her wharf from local mob threats, she employs the Camden-based kingpin, Roscoe.

"The only thing a person can genuinely make is a decision." - Maundy

Basically, the whole story centers around her, as told from interactions with our eponym. To some degree - and on a very high-level, the entire piece purveys the rivalry between Maundy and her adversary, Marty Abrams. For the better part of forty years, these two power brokers have formulated an ongoing mutual disdain for each other; engaging in a soft war of money versus clout. It has taken an outsider and an incredible event to align their singular objectives. The tricky part about this character is that she brings no intentional antagony to the narrative; (other than her younger self's direct involvement with Pascha's reformation, ie. Joseph becoming John) she is not the sworn enemy of our protagonist. Yet, the ebb+flow of her executive decisions pretty much entangles everyone in her web.
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Mr. Alphabet (aka Canaan Dusk) is a younger, hungrier, wealthier (as the world's richest person), but more progressive tycoon, and he demands that the utility companies that Maundy owns be returned to the democratic jurisdiction in advance of his cheque-writing. This places major strain on Ms. Lindros, to the point that she is forced to improvise, which is akin to the awakening of a sleeping giant.

In the political arena, Marty Abrams - now District Attorney Emerita - who has been pursuing legal avenues to incriminate Maundy for four decades (since Frank Rizzo's tenure), feels obligated to comply with Mr. Alphabet because everything that he promises aligns with her politics, and, as mayor (once oathed), she would have the means (she's always had the authority but not the opportunity) to finally prosecute+usurp her nemesis.

Now in her eighth decade of life, she sees this special election in which she is running as the culmination of all of her works and possibly her last chance at holding office. It's a credible longshot, but being the Mayor of Philadelphia would cap the efforts of a distinguished legal career and satisfy her public ambition. Abrams seeks to re-assert the 'natural order of things' throughout and around the town. Her campaign is based on adjectives such as reform, gentrification, safety, and progress. She is definitely "in it to win it".

Make no mistake, neither of these women are angels. Each has an air of desperation to get the other 'out of the way'. Whereas, Lindros has the money to buy her power, Abrams controls the rulebook (but not the impulse to abuse it). This may very well prove to be a situation where the pen and sword are fair in might.

I actually couldn't tell this story without Abrams. One, the incumbent mayor, Tyrone, needs a worthy challenger in the runoff election that's taking place, and two, in order to keep things from spiraling out-of-control, Maundy's overbearing authority has to be challenged by an adversary from the political sphere. It just does. This situation (the distribution of Mr. Alphabet's intra-city investment) lends itself perfectly to a winner-takes-all 'Battle for Philadelphia' that nobody can actually win. The ever-so-sharp Abrams shows us that people's migrant behavior is recycled from patterns of economic health [ie. roughly every two (2) decades or every other generation, the wealthier class relocates back into the city for jobs+employment before saving their money and moving to the suburbs]. This is an important note and plot point, as we see that residential stagnation is a detriment and impossibility where there exists youth.


Precautious, Maundy initiates the 'Ark Project' [NOAH]. Since 1978 when she strong-willed the then-city council to turn over the utilities into her private hands, she's made a vast fortune, acquired extraordinary influence, and become a menace to the jurisdiction, especially the District Attorney's office. Now things are coming full circle for her, but, she is composed, insightful, and equally as resourceful. We'll see how this plays out.

The five-fold arc of the opera begins with its first chord, Die, Detective!. The other four (4) chords, in order, are N, O, A, and H. Coupled with the fact that she is in shipbuilding and cargo freight, you are invited to assume that the remainder of the work has something to do with that element of religiosity. By ChordN (the start of Pentecost), her mettle is tested, and we'll see just what she is all about.


"Welcome home, John. They may not know who you are, but I do, and haven't forgotten that favor you still owe me. It's time to collect." - Maundy


As a countermeasure to the volatile political atmosphere, Maundy employs a German mercenary-turned-lawyer named Gunyo "Little Gun" Gruber to tend to her 'troubles'. Pascha's government operative son, Egg (Joey), seems overwhelmed by his new assignment, while his daughter, Lily (Stefania Lucia), is bothered by personal choices that compound her own professional struggles. Somewhere in West Philly, a neighborhood preacher feels vindicated by the city's self-inflicted wound.

There is an impending multi-year, very large monetary foreign investment🤑 that is due to the City of Philadelphia over the span of the next five years with the first installment due at the end of the upcoming first quarter (March 31, nearly coincidental with Easter holiday), and the investor(s) (an alias known as "Mr. Alphabet") is adamant about moving their people and business assets into a "cleaned-up" (faux key phrase: green thumb) town [Philadelphia is desirable because it geographically sits at a port between the world's political capital, Washington, D.C., and also its financial capital, New York City, which goes along with theirs and Maundy's trans-Atlantic freight plans (it's also where I was born😜)]. The sooner this can be done, the better. To them - in opposition to the incumbent administration - this means ridding (or at least substantially thinning) Philadelphia of its Black demographic, to which they attribute disproportionate crime statistics, over-reliance on government assistance, non-shrinking poverty, and hastened artificial decay ...just a drain on society. While this may or may not be correct, these transactions have been under the watchful eye of a few influential persons who support the 'live and let live' philosophy; especially a 'citizens-first over foreigners' mentality. Ironically, all of this is being sold to the public in the name of 'diversity'[i]. That in itself causes a rift amongst the city council [board members], and ethnic crime bosses - themselves promised favors - pounce to capitalize on the discord.

None of this sits well with Pascha, who, in tandem with a slough of other personal dealings, is finding it surprisingly difficult to cope with being the witness to this murder. Blackmailed, he is given a tough choice by the higher-ups: cooperate with authorities and help them push-through these very lucrative contracts in return for the assurance of a peaceful and rewarding retirement (which is active), or die under not-so-mysterious circumstances. Not that he would mind, to be honest - considering his current bill of health, but there's no honor in that.

----------

Attribution: in the sense of it encompassing a 1970s procedural, this brand of 'go looking for trouble and you will find it' corruption is a slight nod to the Philly-styled dramatic narratives presented in the Badge of Honor novels by W.E.B. Griffin. --- At the time of all these wicked police shootings between 2012-2016, my cousin wanted to join the PPD. He's got a good heart but poor eyesight (an automatic disqualifier). I personally thought he would make an outstanding officer (depending on where he was placed), so he and I would do separate case studies analyzing each nationally sensationalized homicide, wondering what would be different if any had occurred in the Delaware Valley (the Freddie Gray [Baltimore] and the Eric Garner [Staten Island] cases were close, but no cigar). Parts of our hypotheses came from watching the television show, Cold Case (which is set in Philadelphia), as well as familiarizing ourselves with Griffin's books.


Note (+): The Shootout of 1978 at Powelton Village house at 311 N 33rd Street in Philadelphia was factual. Putting Pascha in that time period is due to Fer (my character actor = me wanting to put myself in an opera, especially one that has Philadelphia ties) being conceived in June 1978 and thus would have been born in March 1979 (just like me🤪). I'm awesome!

Thorp's depiction of Joe Leland being a military pilot (in this case, a helicopter Revenue Marine pilot) is found in both The Detective and Nothing Lasts Forever, where he comes back home from the service as a heavily decorated veteran in the "Distinguished Flying Cross" unit. I characterized him being part of the United States Coast Guard (itself an intra-military maritime law enforcement agency) due to the fact that a patrolman of his caliber may have had 'search+rescue' instincts before working full-time as a sleuth.



Enter Fer.

In the wake of this, we have a disgruntled engineer, a civilian named Fergus, who, having been disillusioned with authority after his own recent encounter with the legal system moved him beyond reproach, devises a plan to carry-out what he sees is the only logical solution to stop and prevent any further foul play against his community - the extermination of all police officers, and the dismemberment of local officials (eg. those elected, ombuds, prosecutors, etc.) for whom they serve. To make matters worse, he is even willing and competent enough to take his cause further - orchestrate an all-out war against anybody who is in disagreement with his self-reliance/self-preservation, protectionist philosophy. Inevitably, random persons are made at fault and no one is a safe target, but by billing himself as the "crown of light", this 'manifestation of abuse' can rationalize being his own judge+jury (however sadistic) by using the survival of the fittest evolutionary tactic so that he can 'bring a new dawn'.

"... and where has being nice gotten us?" - Fer

Before being sentenced to the penitentiary for a non-violent crime for which he was convicted, Fer was a civil engineer employed at the Philaldelphia Water Authority, which is a subsidiary of Lindros FlyerCast & Irons, Ltd.. He was working specifically under a federal grant (a weeks-long hackathon sponsored by the U.S. State Department) to build+research urban watersheds for a statewide 'green' ("healthy") initiative. His findings were that somebody was 'poisoning the well', so to speak; for decades there has been foreign particulates (neurological agents) deliberately placed into the drinking water of targeted African-American neighborhoods in Philadelphia and Bucks County. His investigation led him to discover that this had been done perhaps intentionally by an intra-organizational coalition.

When he went to report his findings to his superiors, his project was quickly shutdown and its spec dismantled. He was later timely laid-off, and then framed for three (3) counts of computer fraud and tampering with federal equipment. Each count held up to one year in jail. Because of the seriousness of his trespasses, he would have been sentenced to the facilities at State Correctional Institution - Phoenix, but since the cell blocks were already booked to capacity and the housing unit for non-violent offenders still under construction, the authorities decided to ship him interstate to Deer Lodge, Montana for his sentence.

On the inside, with his freedoms gone, he did plenty of introspection. He may have tried to find religion to some degree, or at least what it means to be 'religious' in the midst of hell, by sampling the unit's library. But then decided that he's actually not a coward; that it's actually against his best interests to seek false protection from others who were legitimate criminals (you typically see hardcore thugs find a religion while in prison as a way to form a safety net). Whatever happens, happens, and for a reason. That mode of thinking catapulted him into the depths of anguish and back again. With all of his learning and understanding, he found some things about the Holy Bible to be astonishingly peculiar to him. After reading the good book from cover-to-cover, he began to believe that he was blessed, not cursed. His psychosis became more potent over the course of his sentence, and had gotten to a point in schizophrenia where he totally converted to his own belief system.

And like all people on the journey seeking mental resolve, he found a distant source, and then nit-picked that source to get closer to it, selecting what sounded most interesting to him and in-line with his feelings. What he found came directly from three books in the Bible: Genesis, Deuteronomy, and Revelation (ie. the first, the fifth, and the last):
from Genesis 15:13, he learned that the People (Hebrews) were cursed by God: 📯"And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be sojourners in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years;"
from Deuteronomy 28:15-68, but especially verse 68, he noted that They came over to the New World cast in irons on slave ships, are generally considered to be "of confused mind" (ie. lacking high intelligence), called bywords (eg. 'nigger'), etc.: 📯"And the Lord will bring you back in ships to Egypt, a journey that I promised that you should never make again; and there you shall offer yourselves for sale to your enemies as male and female slaves, but there will be no buyer."

From those two books alone, he accepted that the Bible speaks in code, and deduced that Black Americans are the true Hebrews.* He used Revelation to further make his case:
Revelation 3:7-13: 📯"To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write:
These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open. 8 I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name. 9 I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews though they are not, but are liars—I will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you. 10 Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth.
11 I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown. 12 The one who is victorious I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will they leave it. I will write on them the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on them my new name. 13 Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches."
This would be a distinct group, separate from the Black Hebrew Israelites or Beta Israel.
Those Revelation chapter+verses convinced him of the City of Philadelphia (his hometown) (as) being the last remaining of the Seven Churches, and that the true Hebrews would come from her when called. Figuring that the first slaves were brought to American shores[a] in 1619, that time is now (2019), he thinks.

So, when we get introduced to Fer in the church scene alongside Dominique, we know that he's at the tail-end of his spiritual journey. From his personal failings, he has arrived at the inevitable delusion: that because the Negro (Hebrew) cannot thrive under oppression, it should not co-exist with its oppressor(s).* This is the thesis of H. Rap Brown's autobiography.
Back in Philly, he returns home to find his wife making drastic lifestyle changes, his young children having lost respect for him, and he himself an extremely bitter person. With little to lose, no time to waste, and realizing that he must act quickly if he is to self-fulfill a prophesy (of Armageddon and thus ending the curse), his plot for revenge begins. He goes on the hunt for Roscoe (it was the kingpin himself who helped frame him; giving the police the planted evidence that sent him away), Maundy (his former employer whom he holds responsible for oppressing his 'Hebrew' people), and every active law enforcer. Accomplishing this is no small feat, as he sees enemies in Black street thugs (à la Roscoe's comrades) as well as the corporations (viewing America itself as a corporation) -- all shareholders in corruption, and which are equally as guilty in oppressing Hebrews over time. Certain targets are harder to hit for reasons that are out of his area of expertise, but that's not going to stop him from trying.


"It's simple economics: you pay for everything you do and don't do. ... If they were already dealt with, then this wouldn't keep happening. -- No regressions. Life is Death's clock. I died a long time ago; today, I'm a soul collector." - Fer


I wrote Fer to be perhaps the nastiest, most vicious antihero ever. Even though the character is definitely the antagonist, I refuse to label him outright villainous because he is reactionary; had the others not done what they did, there would be no cause for him to take action. He views himself in prophetic taste like Moses; wanting to manumit his followers from the stronghold of socio-economic oppression and is completely sold on the movement.

"Marching won't help. ..Perhaps I'm right. Maybe you secretly like being slaves. What is a slave without its master? I offer no mercy. The only way to fix this is to face your fears." - Fer

I decided to make him a Black male because, since he bears sole responsibility for instigating the war on 'Good Friday' (ironically, it's actually not the Good Friday, but an acute Friday during Lent), black matches the preferred color of the ecumenical liturgy. In creating him, I referenced source material from Hubert Brown's autobiography, experimenting with what the fervor from a die hard (pun intended) political activist could have been like in 1960s America. Also examined were some third-party peripheral studies of John Africa's MOVE ideologies ("The Guidelines"). In a different ilk, I borrowed some traits from characters in movies and television shows dealing with inner-city gangsters and the drug game (I especially was influenced here by Jamie Hector's characterization of Marlo Stanfield in The Wire and Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson's psychotic 'out-for-revenge' portrayal of Kanan Starks in seasons one and two of Power), Dumas' The Count of Monte Cristo (hence the oft-repeated "I have a Black friend, his name is George." line), elements of spaghetti westerns (particularly the 'lonesome dove' act of Clint Eastwood as Man with No Name in the "Dollars Trilogy"), along with the swagger of Roy Rogers, certain characteristics of Sam McCloud, Magneto's pragmatism, also the slaughterhaus of Nat Turner, and the rage of Jason Voorhees.
👁️


"Pallas: I thought you eliminated all of the cops?
Fer: I did ... well, accept for one.
Pallas: Who's left?
Fer: John."


Every so often a wildcard (in this case, Fer) is drawn that comes along and turns the game on its heels; completely changing the status quo, more often than not for the better/best. This is why it's so difficult to pin labels on these characters when you can clearly see from where they are coming, and to some degree, going. However, the mastermind behind all of the drama won't be revealed until the epilogue (per usual).

protagony

To reiterate, it's impossible to point to a person and say "they are without blame" in this piece, for both sides have selfish interests. I'll toss my hubris into the hat here and say that the opera explores the facets of personality so well that it's futile to identify the concepts of 'good' or 'evil'; everybody is a spectrum of behaviors conducive to circumstance.

As we dig more into the detective's biography, we learn that perhaps because he's been working in a private capacity for most of his career that he's become used to having an air of privilege and faux immunity. Even though he may think that he is just in 'lending a helping hand', his inclination for careless destructive behavior (massive property damage, etc.) and homicidal tendencies show that he is really no better than the other side of the coin, figuratively speaking.

What we do get to see, though, are the real detective skills of Pascha. Dramatically, his character is fully developed here. There is clear and present danger that, for the most part, only he can address, and if he does his job, he ultimately becomes a protagonist. If he fails, then we are left to ask what constitutes a 'good guy' anyway(?), and moreso, are task forces really necessary in today's world where cognitive technologies are so prominent?

How to present our detective doing detective-like🕵️‍♂️ things was tricky to accomplish. On one hand, The Detective was written at the tail-end of the film noir age (the screen adaptation looked it), and that style is something I wanted to mimic in this picture (for purposes of continuity). On the other hand, that style looked 'classic' precisely because it didn't emphasize technology, which is taboo here. So, the decision was made to just let Pascha be as comfortable as he wanted with his toys. Otherwise, you risk having him rely on Columbo-type detective work (where clues come out of nowhere), leaving the audience to do too much thinking on their own. The telepresence route is better because the audience gets to see exactly what he sees. Of course, it wouldn't matter if he didn't actually have a case to solve in the first place.😎


The real hero is actually the jukebox, UUe. As an appliance, it presents workable solutions to poverty problems that are so rampant and counterproductive. It also gives a roundabout answer to the awful political system that has hijacked the city government (which has been under a hostile takeover ever since foreign investors successfully bribed leadership).

drama

In Die, Detective!, Pascha faces easily his greatest test yet as he seems to be getting it from a myriad of angles; he is under siege from a number of threats: Fer, Roscoe+Bunny, Maundy+Marty (who embody the municipality's perfidy), his own family, past haunts, the uphill battle against substance abuse, and, sadly, the debilitating effects of aging (specifically his deterioration from Parkinson's). I (and this may be just me) liken it to a Batman storyline where the so-called 'Caped Crusader' must square-off against foes from his rogues gallery in the same paneling. Something like Batman (also a vigilante detective) versus a concerted Joker, Penguin, Riddler, Catwoman, Bruce Wayne, and even Robin + Alfred all at once. This is serious.

On the flipside, Pascha gets extraordinary support that he so desperately needs from his old pal, Alven, and the assistance of his new favorite toy.

"This guy, Fer, is extreme, John. You're going to need my help, even if you don't want it." - Alven


There is a slight chance that some people may make it through the opera and not know what's going on. For them, I want to state that the story (its arc) centers around re-birth or renaissance after dealing with the repercussions of careless vice. In this first chord, the detective is in a fight with himself ("Joseph" versus "John"). His challenge is to remove the mental and emotional shackles (ie. the evils of alcohol) that have been holding him back from being a healthy person since he was a young man. To accomplish this, he has to accept that his choices made him who he is - for better or worse - and then he can get off the road to perdition. As a hint, Fer and Pascha have a definite connection🔗. They both want the same thing for themselves, to remove the weak link that is keeping each of them from reaching their full potential.

This concept of 'J vs. J' (an internal struggle) is partly due to listening to Usher's song, Monstar, off of his Raymond vs. Raymond album (the dopest track on there, in my opinion👍🏿). Although his circumstances and reasons for creating that music are completely different from what I'm doing here, the germ is identical: there's a monster in all of us that needs to be addressed and destroyed, if possible. Additionally, I've been rocking Lalah Hathaway's 'Separate Ways' since 1995 (right after I saw TD4, I had visions of making something like this), and that song and its lyrics (Keith Crouch produced a gem👌) kind of underline my thinking process.

🎼Lyrics of interest:
[Usher - Monstar] 🎵"She said she wanna bring out the beast / but she can't tame it ... I'm going to be your nightmare and worst dream all in one night / I'm back / celebrate life"

[Lalah Hathaway - Separate Ways] 🎵"Since the tables have turned and there's nothing more to say / should we go our separate ways and pretend it was not meant to be? / Should we seek our own endeavors / though it won't replace you and me?"

🎧/👁️



This is the "Battle for Philadelphia" (that's what I'm labeling it). Here we have a civil war in effect. Even though operatically it (urban guerrilla warfare) takes place over the span of a single Good Friday, the causes of it have been brewing for at least some years. All of these sensitivities are brought to the surface in this piece where over a million people (~2/3 of the current population of Philadelphia) perish, and the audience will have to choose a side.

When The Detective and Die Nigger Die! were published in their respective years (1966 and 1969), the country was in a tumultuous period fraught with political assassinations, coping with extreme racial tension, at war overseas, and a number of other evils beyond the scope of this footnote. Die, Detective! is a loose continuation of that era (albeit brought into circa 2018-2019). It is with reservation that I offer admission of this story devolving into a civil war [I do not advocate hate or hate speech]. I had to write it so that such a conflict would be inevitable.

People have been harboring these sentiments for however long. Even if you think you're better than what meets the eye in Easter, this story will take you there, so to speak. I made sure that there was a lesson (to be) learned here, though, which is that poverty breeds crime, and crime unleashes ill-will, and that none of it is good. My ultimate hope is that we come to understand that these are problems that need technological and economic solutions; you can't exactly legislate your way out of stubborn social destructs. Mental health and physical wellness matters.⚕️


libretto

My outline (eight-act structure*) for the first chord is as follows:
A prologue+epilogue, and a dyadic three-act structure.
- Act 1: The Four Horseman [prologue]
- Act 2: ballad for a thug
- Act 3: hallucinating from hallucinogens leads to hallucination [crescendo]
- Act 4: calvary of Hades or whatever you call it
- Act 5: Good Friday is very bad~ [denouement]This is where the opera derives its title. Alcohol is arguably the main character in this part, and it's the detective's abuse of it (his "elixir" as he calls it) that has to die in order for him to finally be able to accept his reality (one must and will kill the other). Easter🐰🐣 (a synonym of "Pascha", his middle name) represents the theme of a rebirth/renaissance (which is prevalent throughout the entire opera), so to speak. There is an incidental religious (Christianity) undertone here, considering that his name is Joseph/John, and these events happen near Easter (actually on Good Friday) in Philadelphia, but that's unintentional and certainly not stressed.
- Act 6: dirty shirt
- Act 7: the phoenix rises from its own ashes
- Act 8: Pillowsoft [epilogue]

business

how we plan to make money
industry competition and analysis
historical perspective

COMPANY HIGHLIGHTS

The cast+crew for Die, Detective! have either won or been nominated for a considerable number of industry-related accolades over the course of their careers. For instance, the opera's thespians have received 10+ Academy Award nominations, 40+ Golden Globe Award nominations, 30+ Emmy Award nominations, and 4 Tony Award nominations.


SUMMARY
Opportunity
Solutions to protein folding problems are largely computational. Engineering+maintaining a supercomputer is expensive, but the payoff is near-immediate and widely useful. We've boiled the needs down to just financing (as a function of underwriting). I figure that a big box office can raise funds much quicker than traditional grassroots campaigning.

This is your chance to help rejuvenate 'The Detective' series. The screen adaptation to its first sequel, NLF, has been called the 'greatest action film of all-time'[i] and was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry in 2018.

My ambition here is twofold: (1) use this popular storyline to bring widescale awareness to neurodegenerative diseases and their disorderly effects, and (2) simultaneously have those derivative revenues pipelined for therapeutic development.

Activation

use of proceeds, marketing

All funds raised from this offering will be used to further project to completion. Casting for Die, Detective! should be completed by Winter 2019. Again, the budget is conducive to funds raised, with an estimated ceiling of $60million. To save on expenses, there may be deferment of costs (eg. talent might opt for backend compensation en lieu of salary). Tax credits will also be applied whenever possible. There are no dealings with commercial banks; all financing comes directly from crowdfunds, themselves raised in rounds as necessary+feasible.Subject to change by the Producer and/or the talent themselves.

Initial seed funds are sought to complete pre-production, and then progress to the next stage - principal photography (current state). Pre-production is the stage where all concept art is illustrated for cinematography, pre-visualization is set for the actors, the script is squeaked for final preparation, and the cast is officially contracted. While large portions of the script can be performed without pre-visualization (just using direction, for instance), there are still a great many scenes that need to be fleshed out with 2D renderings and rough 3D animations.

Photography commences Q4 2018. Filming will take place on locations split between Butte, MT and Philadelphia, PA. A scheduled five-month shoot is allotted (with an additional three months for any necessary re-shoots included in this timeframe). Rounds A+B raises are likely to finance photography.

Post-production is the penultimate stage. During this stage, most if not all of the editing will happen. Visual/special effects are added to the picture. Sound, music, and audio effects are arranged+implemented. This is the most laborious stage in the entire process, and thus, typically takes the longest and is the most expensive. Funding is likely to come from additional rounds (C, D, ..etc.).

The marketing campaign is as follows: Pro wrestling legend, Ric Flair, will feature in eight (8) adverts (a series called 'Easter eggs') to be distributed intermittently. Each advert will drop hints of Pascha's origin story. -- Mr. Flair was selected because of his own backstory (which conveniently ties-in), and because of his popularity with a specific target (male) of our demographic.

All talent (cast+crew) who have available social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.), are asked to utilize them throughout the opera's development. This is done so as to keep the community abreast on internal (but not spoiling) ongoings. Major print and multimedia outlets will also be contacted for news flashes.


TRACTION

proof of an audience

The franchise has a die hard (pun intended) built-in fanbase. Its social media presence on Facebook sits at ~2.7million likes/fans, more than that of superheroes (and box office draws) Wonder Woman ($412.6million US/$821.9 worldwide), Black Panther ($700million US/$1.35billion worldwide), and Justice League ($229million US/$657.9 worldwide).

📊📈Spread Observation

valuation$567million
spread109+ (~1.8¢/impression)


+ Ad traffic (for uuelco.me)
Page RPM [floor - ceiling, with daily fluctuation]: $0.00 - 37.49 (average is 1.8 cents/impression)

Note (+): This graphic only shows the start of a new cycle, that's why the 'Clicks', 'Page views', and 'Impressions' values are so low. What is important are the 'Page RPM' and 'CPC' values, which emphasize what advertisers are willing to pay and the rate at clickthrough.







Post count: ~11,200
Average page views/day: 23.5k
Unique site visitors/month: ~635k+

What I do for a living is play with a jukebox all day long (I also compose operas😉). My threads (posts) get monetized with, among other things, ads. These revenue numbers are included here as prima facie evidence of a source of income to further investor confidence; with enough output, I should be able to at least cover the interest per subscription, where needed. The cinematic for this opera is expected to generate a very large number (upwards of 107) of frames/threads, all monetized. We also note that UUe is a main character in the opera, Easter.
UUelcome is currently the top-rated gameshow over internet relay chats. --something to smile😀 about-- Although that's not saying much since there aren't too many web-based gameshows in syndication, it's worth noting that Nielsen's rating system determined UUelcome to be in the top-ten overall (television and radio included), behind only Family Feud, Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy!, Price Is Right, and Let's Make A Deal (as of Spring 2018). That is extraordinary considering that my work has been streamed entirely on a blog platform.

Technically, the metric I'm using to determine performance ranking/rating are the self-records from so-called paper diaries. Nielsen (from survey conduction) historically only measured television viewership, but has, since the last decade, counted all platforms (web, mobile, tv, radio, etc.). It only helps that I have a website, versus just a single slot on one television station. It also helps that I can 'play'/stream at all hours of the day and night instead of just at a specific time. So, on my end, I track the online activities of competing properties' social network presence, and compare those to my subscriber base over a set time.




INDUSTRY+MARKET ANALYSIS

The global film industry is projected to reach nearly $50 billion in 2020.[i] In the year 2016, the global box office reached $38.6 billion in ticket sales, up 1% from 2015. The North American (U.S./Canada/Mexico) box office ($11.4 billion) grew 2% while the international box office ($27.2 billion) was flat-year-over year. Over 1.3 billion tickets were sold during this period in the North American market alone, with more than two-thirds (71%) of the U.S./Canada population – or 246 million people – going to see a movie at least once in 2016.[ii] The United States is the leading film market worldwide with over $10.14 billion in gross box office revenue (2016). China is the second largest film market with over $7.46 billion in gross box office revenue (2016). In terms of ticket sales, however, the U.S. is the third largest film market, selling about 1.2 billion tickets in the year 2016, trailing China (1.25 billion) and India (2.3 billion).

Digital home entertainment (ie. streaming services, video on-demand, digital downloads, etc.) has recently surpassed theater revenue. In the year 2015, U.S. electronic home video revenue was approximately $11 billion, whereas U.S. theater revenue was about $10 billion.[iii] This gap is expected to widen in the next few years as U.S. electronic home video market grows to $17.19 billion by the year 2020. China will see the strongest growth, with a 31.3% compound annual growth to reach revenues of $3.11 billion in 2020.[iv] [Discussion: debut and post premiere plans]


COMPETITORS/COMPARABLES

other franchises with similar themes

The Detective: The first screen adaptation of Thorp's novel with the same name. Some things were changed in the flick, like his age (he's considerably older), occupation (he's a cop), and location (Port Smith became New York City). It was released May 28, 1968 to critical acclaim and box office success. [watch movie🎬]
Platoon: The classic American film based on a screenplay by director Oliver Stone about his time in the infantry while serving during the Vietnam War. This picture follows a small platoon of soldiers on a ground assignment as they fight their enemies and each other. The film went on to win Academy Awards (1986) for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Sound Mixing, and Best Film Editing. [watch trailer footage🎬]
John Wick (franchise): About a retired hitman forced to deal with adversaries who have stolen his property and disrupted his pursuit of a calm lifestyle. As the chapters progress, he is brought back into the world of underground contract killing. The films are very high-octane, and play like a first-person shooter video game as viewed by the audience in second-person. [watch trailer footage🎬]
Power: Set in present-day New York City, the drama follows James Saint Patrick as he simultaneously masquerades as a drug lord and night club owner. As both the protagonist and antagonist of the show, he must balance volatile elements of his personal life that include a longtime friendship, a stable wife and family in addition to his mistress, and a menacing past that threatens to topple all of it. To date, the show's second season has been lauded as its most successful, garnering a 'fresh' 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes (.com). [watch trailer footage🎬]
The Wire: A crime drama series (five seasons, sixty episodes) set in Baltimore, Maryland that explores the relationships intertwining law enforcement, illicit+illegal drug activity, city government and its bureaucracy, as well as print news media. Since its syndication, it has been hailed by fans and critics as one of the greatest television shows of all-time. [watch trailer footage🎬]
--#TeamEaster--

📄Gazette

concise information for members of the media

crowdfunded · freemium · opensource


/Factsheet
Title: Easter
Composer+Librettist: Link Starbureiy
© ISMN: 979-0-800136-00-9
Conductor: lnq
Genre: War
Studio: LES
Language: English
Draft: August 3, 2017&
Release date: April 19, 2019
Platform: mobile (virtual reality)
Hashtag: #Easteropera [log], #TeamEaster


/About
- Easter is an opera by Link Starbureiy. The exploitation of PD+HD is its subject. Spiritually succeeding The Detective series by Roderick Thorp, it is composed in an arc of five chords, and aims to conjoin both ends [prelude-postlude].

/Blurb
The reactions of a framed sleuth cause civil war.

/Tagline
Joe versus John


/Description
Roderick Thorp's bestselling novels were first adapted to screen in 1968 with a fine performance[i] from Frank Sinatra as Joe Leland, and then twenty years later in 1988 (Die Hard) with Bruce Willis' career-topping role as John McClane. Here, Pascha (Joseph/John) returns in this epic saga-concluding tragedy about redemption. +More

/Snippets
- the tale resumes with Pascha (+all accustomed problems in tow) having moved from Elsewhere to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania [now volunteering (his mandate for a healthy pension and medical benefits) with the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary]
- Pascha is of advanced age, diseased (alcoholism, Parkinson's), and retired
- Pascha serves as a mentor to a trainee petty officer
- the series/franchise gets its first (main) female coloratura (Maundy)
- Die, Detective! is approximately 220 minutes⏲️ long, parallel to the pacing of The Detective novel
- this is classified as a war drama (not as an 'action flick') that features a large-scale ethnic conflict stemming from modern-day issues (eg. oppressive police brutality, rise of ideological pluralities, etc.)
- after getting arrested, Pascha situationally finds himself as the last responder amidst chaos where he must use his considerable detective skills and military background to piece together clues in a game of survival
- Pascha re-teams with Alven (reprised deuteragonist) for stretches
- the overall story jumps back-and-forth between Philadelphia and Silver Bow County, Montana
- 1 million [106] casualties⚰️ as a result of the civil war, including major franchise characters (hint: check the title)
- our introduction to Gruber
- we get an in-depth look at the protagonist' backstory (especially military and early career+marriage tidbits) from stitching together flashbacks. >> In doing so, we learn how "Joe" became "John", and, thus, are left with a proffered ritornello
- a much darker, layered, mature, incredibly deep, and considerably more realistic prose in the vein of a procedural, contrasting the 'shoot em-ups' of previous entries
- the cinematic style is telepresence (VR)


/Keywords
proteinopathy, opera, crowd computing, Easter, jukebox, mental health, hallucination, disease, substance abuse, versus, identity theft, déjà vu, death, war, Philadelphia, renaissance, virtual reality, maritime, mystery/whodunit, plot twist

/Quotes
RESEARCH STATEMENT
[view Abstract]
"Parkinson's and by extension, Huntington's diseases, are major unresolved biochemistry problems. Wisdom points us in the direction of alpha synuclein+LRRK2+parkin+huntingtin, macromolecules that are abundant in the brain, and (to a lesser extent) other organs like the heart and muscle tissues. Posturing that the Pascha character would have sustained some serious physical injuries over the course of his storytelling, it is reasonable to hypothesize that the trauma he endured could manifest itself as one or both of those diseases, and this lends itself perfectly to research. More interestingly, α-synuclein and dopamines (which find their way into the .DD storyline via huckleberries) are at the crossroads of understanding this neuropathology. One of the foundation driven studies by the MJFF seeks to model (and eventually solve) the protein and its pharmacology. From my point-of-view, this is a juking problem.😋" - Link Starbureiy

CONDUCTOR'S STATEMENT (a)
"I wanted to compose something that spoke or speaks to the social turmoil in the world of today, and at the same time provides a potential solution. Piggybacking on some of the most popular Americana provides just the experience for me to do that. Joe Leland/John McClane has been portrayed by two of the most iconic film actors of all-time, Frank Sinatra and Bruce Willis, respectively. That said, they're more well-known than he is. The only way to know who he really is is to explore him. -- His journey deserves a proper destination. -- The challenge was to modernize a timeless relic. So, beginning with Die, Detective!, we've done just that." - Link Starbureiy
CONDUCTOR'S STATEMENT (b)
"We had to accept that moving on from Pascha's saga was an eventuality. His substance abuse, state of mind, and instability ultimately and inevitably forced the drama to naturally - organically even - transition around a different character, his son, Egg. There's smart continuity in the storytelling here, with so many tie-ins to real-world happenings, that it makes sense that a younger person - especially one who is a government liaison - would be energetic enough to tackle them head-on." - Link Starbureiy
CONDUCTOR'S STATEMENT (c)
"Operatically, the decision to stereoscope telepresently came about from the narrative's point-of-view as told in the novel, where the majority of the events take place in Leland's mind. The idea is to have the performer parallel someone who shows hallucinatory symptoms of Parkinson's. Giving the audience a 'place' of their own within the set/scene design was something that I wanted to achieve since its conception. There are too many characters, subplots, and angles to simply focus on one perspective; the viewer should feel as if they're connected to different actors in realtime. This wasn't an innovation that could be accomplished with rhetoric alone, it had to be done with the camera+effects, which is the reason it was photographed on mobile." - Link Starbureiy
PRODUCER'S STATEMENT
"Easter was always going to be crowdfunded. Because we're ultimately making a public utility, this project should be publicly produced (financed) and remain independent, wherever possible. It doesn't seem right to double-charge people; if they support the cause with a purchase or donation upfront, they should not get ticketed🎟️ for admission later. Plus, the technology trend these days is 'free and opensource' (as opposed to commercial), so there's a challenge to make high-quality stuff at low-cost. I realize that this magic could only be pulled-off with advertising revenue, and the trick is how to do it without sticky banners and other obtrusive gimmicks, which is why embedded ad rolls (ears) were invented." - Link Starbureiy

/Announcements

curated articles written by me

- Glenn Close as 'Maundy' in Easter
- 'The Detective' reboot greenlit
- Reginald VelJohnson will reprise role of 'Al Powell' in Easter.Die, Detective!
- Ric Flair to be featured in Easter.Die, Detective!
- Marc John Jefferies to play 'Roscoe' in Easter
- Dianne Wiest as 'Marty Abrams' in Easter
- Laura Stetman cast as 'Ethel Porst' in Easter
- Rauol Gore cast as 'Socks' in Easter.Die, Detective!
- Rock Hefner to portray 'Bobbe Penn' in Easter.Die, Detective!
- Brock Vickers as 'Gunyo Gruber' in Easter


/Third-party reporting

selected press releases from around the Internet

- Bruce Willis Says He's 'Very Happy About Story for Next 'Die Hard' Movie! [Entertainment Tonight]

👁️


- Carl Weathers - Stars Turning 70 in 2018 [Wonderwall.com]
- Ric Flair: Movie Star [Cageside Seats]
- WWE News: Ric Flair Lands Another Movie Role, The Rock Celebrates International Women’s Day [411 Mania]
- Ric Flair Lands Another Movie Role, Why WWE Events In Canada Were Cancelled [eWrestling News]
- Ric Flair Booked to Star in Multiple Films [Pop Culture]
- Lesnar Attacks a Referee, News on Austin Aries at ROH, Ric Flair [AllWrestling]
- WWE Symphony Of Destruction Bonus Footage, Another Ric Flair Film, Killian Dain On The WWE NXT Title [Wrestling Inc]
- Latest Titles With Glenn Close [IMDb]
- WHERE IN THE WORLD IS DAVE BAUTISTA, FLAIR MOVIE ROLE, PATRON VS. SWAGGER IN CHICAGO AND MORE NEWS [PWInsider]
- Glenn Close opens up about her disturbing childhood and how it shaped her as a mom [AmoMama (August 16, 2018)]

/Homework
The audience is encouraged to, if they have not already, familiarize themselves with the following works of Roderick Thorp: The Detective [ISBN: 0-8488-0375-2], and Nothing Lasts Forever [ISBN-13: 978-0393012491]. Both of these novels have been adapted to film; The Detective (The Detective) and Nothing Lasts Forever (Die Hard[i][ii][iii][iv][v]). Additionally, themes and material for Die, Detective! are sourced from the autobiography, Die Nigger Die! [ISBN-13: 978-1556524523], by H. Rap Brown.



👁️ Running time: 1 hour 54 minutes


/Trivia
- frequent nightmares may be induced by REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD), a condition that causes patients to physically act out their violent dreams. More than eighty percent (80%) of sufferers eventually (usually within a decade) develop some neurological pathology (eg. Parkinson's, dementia/Alzheimer's)
- Samuel L. Jackson, who played Zeus Carver, was an acquaintance of civil rights activist H. Rap Brown
- Glenn Close and Bruce Willis share a March 19th birthday, were neighbors in Bedford Hills, New York, have both owned separate properties in Montana, and each have a daughter (Annie Starke and Rumer Willis, respectively) the same age
- thirty-year anniversary of Die Hard (movie), forty-year anniversary of Nothing Lasts Forever (1978/9 novel), and fifty-year anniversary of The Detective (1968 film)+Die Nigger Die! (1968/9 book)
- Leland was given the middle name 'Pascha' by Starbureiy as part of the character's profile
- SPOILER: Sgt. Alven drops the bomb on Fer's bunker from a helicopter. In the actual 1985 event, Lt. Frank Powell of the Philadelphia Police Department was the one who dropped two (2) one pound bombs on the MOVE compound
- Carl Weathers (Dominique) and Bruce Willis (Pascha) both starred in action movies (Action Jackson, Die Hard) where they played a police lieutenant that same year (1988)
- this project is, in part, underwritten with crowdfunding, in addition to being peer produced
- some of Fer's lines are rapped in argot as a tribute to the cognomen of 'H. Rap Brown'
- SPOILER: The song 'Blame It On The Boogie' (played in the Magh Slécht bar scene) was originally released on August 23, 1978, the same month as the MOVE incident
- Frank Sinatra and Bruce Willis can be seen briefly together in the film, The First Deadly Sin[u] (1980), which was Sinatra's last role, and Willis' first, a 'passing of the torch', if you will
- SPOILER: some of the action sequences take place in the Comcast Technology Center skyscraper, which, at the time of recording, was still under construction during its parent corporation's bidding war[i] with Disney for 21st Century Fox's assets. These scenes pay homage to the original 'Die Hard' movie, which was set around the fictional Nakatomi Plaza (the actual headquarters of Fox film studio lot)
- according to internal Google Analytics, the team from the production, McClane, steadily tracked progress of Die, Detective! since 2017, which resulted in, at some point, their hiring of new writers[i] and multiple drafts of their script[ii][iii]
- in actuality, huckleberries are an alpine nightshade despite being presented in the opera as a low-hanging/sea-level fruit
- real gangsters (past or present) were used for certain scenes
- hallucination is a symptom of Parkinson's disease
- Kathleen Quinlan (Palm) and Bruce Willis (Joe/John) co-starred in the 1988 mystery movie, Sunset[a], playing an on-screen couple
- at the time of this writing, Butte, Montana has the largest concentrated population of Irish-Americans per capita of any city in the United States
- the Stetson (cowboy hat Western Americana) was manufactured in Philadelphia
- the surname 'Lindros' (and the related business) pays tribute to hockey player Eric Lindros who captained the Philadelphia Flyers
- males are twice as likely than females to be affected by Parkinson's
- as of 2018, Philadelphia was the poorest big city in the United States[i]
- Dianne Wiest (Marty Abrams) was born on Easter Sunday, 1948
- the books from which Die, Detective! is drawn, The Detective (1966) and Die Nigger Die! (1969), were both on the roster of the Dial Press imprint
- SPOILER: Pascha mentions that he served under Rear Admiral Rod Thorp. Roderick Thorp wrote two of the three novels which inspired the opera
- the given name 'Fergus' (or 'Feargus'), derived from *wiros ("man") and *gustus ("vigor", "force"), means 'virility' in the Scottish Gaelic language
- Brown Hue rum is a fictional brand that I named after, you guessed it, Hubert Brown
- two-thirds of the People perishing is a nod to Zechariah 13:8-9 in the Holy Bible
- at fifty-plus (50+) hours in duration, Easter set the record for the longest opera
- SPOILER: Pallas mentions that he wants to design "something epic, like the work of Helmet Jahn". Helmut Jahn was the architect of the towers at Liberty Place (One+Two - where Lindros is headquartered)


Recognition
- 2018 nominee (Conductor, Director, New Production), International Opera Awards[i], 2019 Pulitzer Prize entrée (Drama), 2019 Peabody Award entrée (Interactive: digital [VR])


/Friends
The organizations - The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research, National Parkinson's Foundation, and Huntington's Disease Society of America - are informally hotlisted to get a restricted stingy portion (ie. donation) of receipts (sans any prize bounty), insofar as there exists research cooperation+understanding between us.


.DD hopes to bring widespread awareness on behalf of persons with mental health issues, whether they be suffering or coping. In helping us advocate this initiative, we would like to direct real-world inquiries to the npo of choice, Bring Change to Mind.


If you or someone you know can use professional treatment and rehabilitation services in their fight against substance abuse, don't hesitate to contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) within the United States Department of Health and Human Services (available to American citizens).


/Imagery
{Right-click → Save}

(poster, 184 kb)


----------
/Flash
Officer Pascha may be terminally ill
A hero to many, Ensign Pascha is sadly now sick with Parkinson's disease.

For the past forty (40) years, Officer Pascha has put himself out there in the line of duty and saved many lives. Now he needs your help. We're not sure how much time he has left, but this doesn't look good.

On a positive note, an artificial intelligence is being developed to find a cure or therapies for Parkinson's and similar pathologies.

We'll keep all those who are afflicted in our prayers.
#BlueLivesMatter #CheersToVeterans We are happy to take you on a conclusive journey in bidding adieu to our favorite detective.  Here, you get a first-hand account of my thinking into the development of this masterpiece.  Performance-wise, I want Easter to be(come) one of the most highly acclaimed operas ever, that's what I'm going for. Enjoy.🤠
Link Starbureiy
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/Legal stuff
Copyright = United States Library of Congress under ISMN: 979-0-800136-00-9
Tax ID = Link Egglepple Starbureiy [State of Pennsylvania, City of Philadelphia Department of Revenue]
Permits = on file with the Greater Film Office of Philadelphia (08/18 - )

fundraising vehicle
ways you can contribute

Easter is crowdfunded + opensource = crowdsourced.
Thank you.
--------------------
SECURE🔒

🎅+ pledge


+ $1+/subscription - Go behind-the-scenes with the creators of Easter for exclusive production insight +++ 🎨concept art. [available TODAY]
Paid per post
- preview deleted and extended scenes/prints with commentary from Link Starbureiy
- walkthrough with selected cast+crew members
- explore some of the technological breakthroughs, live builds as they happen
- all the open files
- tutorials
- updated content (ie. dailies)


Become a Patron!


+ $107/signed branded jersey (autographed by Link Starbureiy) [shipping NOW]

Item description: You'll look good in this new jersey. The UUe jukebox logo (UUelcome Home) prominently featured on the front, to go with lnq's motif printed on back, will have you styling wherever, whenever. -- Who knows, a signed shirt by me might become an item of collector's memorabilia and be worth lots of money someday.😊
- quality long-sleeve, plain white (get it?), crew neck top is 100% cotton (pre-shrunk), soft+durable to keep you warm (roll up sleeves to cool off)
- fit is unisex standard
- machine wash cold inside-out with like colors. Tumble low dry

Please allow 4-6 weeks for delivery (I doubt it will take that long, but I'm obligated to say it😇).

Buy

+ $191/underwriter credit - Credited as an 'Underwriter' of the opera. Be part of history! Your name (first plus last) will appear in the end scroll credits and on this webpage. You'll also get a signed jersey. [shipping NOW]
Buy

If you have ideas and energy to spare, I'm offering these

+Jobs


short-term opportunities to be on the payroll

The following opportunities are non-unionized negotiable contracts available to contractors* [1099] and volunteers. All positions seen here are active; if the gig is not in this space, it is not active. Jobs, their descriptions, and any related information is always subject to change, and may remain posted at the discretion of the poster for purposes of posterity. Equal Opportunity Employer.Contractors must independently draft their own contracts (as to what salary, working conditions, etc. is acceptable).
To begin (an) application, open the lines of communication directly with to our very own Shannon Morris on Linkedin. Messages may be considered responsive, but only insofar as mutual interest exists. I'm also a firm believer that everyone should have Discord handy.

Also, since this is a community-driven project, you can volunteer to help with its development. It is acceptable to view volunteering as an audition for a potential contract (the bigger the contribution, the more likely you are to be noticed by me or other prospective employers). Essentially, the difference between a volunteer and a contractor is/are the benefits.

location, location, location

+ This is our destination. Both Philly and Montana are vibrant spots (each in their own way). We'll be busy for the better part of eighteen (18) months with this startup known as Easter, but after work (and sometimes during), there are lots of other fun things to enjoy.

View more from the Visit Philadelphia® and Visit Montana websites
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"they don't make quality stuff anymore."
let's change that.


work because you want to do something fun with your life. tweak the narrative. win the game.


gigs

** All contracts are negotiable. Compensation starts at base wage. **

- Android SDK programmer
- automation engineer
- concept artist
- special/visual effects
- military consultant
- actors
- crew
- network administrator
- construction worker
- set artisan
- operations intern
- music

getting work done

+Android SDK programmer [$45/hr, full-time] - going off the jukebox API and assets to develop enhancements to the Google Daydream (Android, Unity, Unreal, web) sdk for Easter. For the most part, our motion software consists of intelligent isometries applied to the camera (mixed reality/augmented reality elements super-imposed on locations). -- do you think your team can ship a monetizable app (beta) with continuous predictable updates throughout production? Show me your codebase. [## Python seems to be the way to go, these days. ##]

+automation engineer [$50/hr, full-time] - somebody who can prototype interfaces for self-driving vehicles (think of scenarios with lots of traffic). You will need to be a full-stack developer who is comfortable+proficient with machine learning and data science. Tensorflow/PyTorch expertise is a must. MATLAB/GNU Octave is your friend.

Note (+): Provided is a list of engineering departments from which talent is aggressively recruited by me for this project: University of Washington, Stanford, CalTech, CMU









+concept artist [$30/hr, full-time] - draw, draw, draw, and draw some more! -- proficiency with variety of vector graphics programs (Corel, Adobe/GIMP, MS Paints, etc. w/ brushes: watercolor, camel hair, airbrush, crayon/oil pastel, grease pencil), strong 2D/3D modeling and CAD. Skills in character animation (/animatics) with said tools is a plus! Fine artists will spend their time building assets and creating mockups. You will work directly alongside me illustrating whatever I dream up (eg. the libretto, etc.), as well as interfacing with the actors and engineers when they need sketchwork. --- can you do stuff like this?

+special/visual effects [$35/hr, full-time] - develop believable digital assets that are seamlessly placed into real-world settings and environments (in this case, outdoors Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, circa 1978 - 1980, and today). I'd rather you use an opensource modeler, like Blender (.blend), rather than the commercial products like the Autodesk family (eg. Maya, 3D Max) wherever possible. Ability to duplicate visuals from still photos is a must. Your animations should be A+. Trust me when I say that this is something that you will be doing ALL DAY and that it will consume you.

Note (+): Educational programs whose alumni I respect include those from CalArts, Academy of Art University (San Francisco), California State Universities, CCAD (Columbus), Blender workshops. I'll also admit that there are some very talented high schoolers out there.











+military consultant [negotiable, part-time] - help draft* schematics for wargaming in an urban landscape. An ideal candidate will have experience in actual combat (deployed), ROTC, and/or be a solid player in real-time tactics video games such as Call of Duty, Medal of Honor, Sniper Elite, and Battlefield -- in these scenarios, we need to know - given certain time constraints - what is feasible versus infeasible in urban guerrilla warfare. Considering that Philadelpia, PA is a relatively large layout with many rowhouses, sidestreets, a trolley/elevated transit system, and on two rivers ([a]+[b]), how would battalions attack each other with limited munitions in that setting? --- if you're a gamer, demo your vids on YouTube with the hashtag: #wargamingforEasterOperaData trained on UUe.i.

Note (+): Gamers, whose efforts are appreciated😉, are not going to be compensated.🙁 You should, however, be signed-up for AdSense so that you can enjoy the revenue you get from playing games on your channel. If your strategies are used in the final cut, you will receive credit (as your screenname).













+actors [$12.50/hr, full-time] - both dry and wet. A dry actor (rehearsal aid) is someone who helps with fleshing out a scene, particularly assisting the concept artists to better communicate+illustrate their renderings (for the wets). These individuals are not expected to have screen time. On the otherhand, a wet actor will audition for a role to be seen by a wide audience. --- dry actors might be selected from local talent; wet actors should frequent the film office bulletin in Philly (film.org), and elsewhere online (eg. Backstage.com). All hired actors must be non-union [SAG/AFTRA/AEA=no].* ---- actors please demo your reel on YouTube (at your discretion, make selection public, or unlisted if you only want someone like me to be able to view it) with the hashtag: #actingforEasterOperaOr, at least commit to being de-unionized while on set. The reason no SAG/AFTRA/AEA (scam alert!) is preferred is because I don't want a union trying to bully me or getting in the way of what I'm trying to accomplish. I can't have actors or crew or anybody for that matter, slowing down production with a list of demands for working terms; if I have to work a certain style (long hours, etc.), then you have to work that same way. // En lieu of this, offered to hirees is an exceptional benefits package.

Note (+): All acting assignments are paid gigs that will receive credit.


Note (+): Provided is a list of drama/theater departments from which talent is aggressively recruited by me for this project: The Ohio State University, College of William and Mary, Yale, Juilliard, NYU













+crew [negotiable, full-time] - if you don't know what 'crew' is, then don't bother. Needed are cinematographers, lighting, grips, drone operators, costume/wardrobe/makeup, and technicians.
- drone tech(nician)s can expect to travel a lot in the field. Needed are aerial shots of Philadelphia's cityscape (from Cityline Avenue up into the Lower and Upper Darbys, in and around Germantown/Mount Airy/West Oak Lane/Olney, and some hangouts in the North side/Montgomery County - pretty much the whole thing), with lots of tight shots in and around downtown (horizontal+vertical) - Philadelphia's tallest point is about 1,121ft (342 meters), so the drone must capture at a minimum 1,250ft. We're using a mobile (cell phone) camera and a Jump rig unless you have a better idea.
- with today's software, I find lights to be better handled in post (editing suite), plus, we're using lots of outdoor shots with natural lighting.
- costume/wardrobe will be given a credit card and told to go shop for fabrics. You will be stitching together clothing items that are as close to the concept artists' illustrations as possible, that concept artist may even be you.
- whoever photograph's this thing has to have extensive experience/expertise with mobile (Pixel, iPhone, Samsung, etc.), including the peripherals for those phones. I am NOT interested in lugging around large, overpriced cameras, nor am I interested in 'film', so spare me the artiste nonsense. You will have a bunch of high-end phones at your disposal, so you have to think in terms of how each shot will look in VR (360 degrees) from various angles.
- the sound unit should be experts. Audio is not something that you can fake. Your job is to make sure that our sonics are audible but not deafening. I don't want a whole lot of boom mics or lapels. It's tricky but also your job to figure it out.

+network administrator [$25/hr, full-time] - be familiar with cloud computing (GCP, Azure, AWS) since we're uploading terabytes of backup data to the cloud. Our internet has to stay up and remain secure🔐. We'll run a very small intranet that will need monitoring. Most of your work probably won't happen until the latter part of the day, so I guess you can do some ctfs in the meantime to stay sharp.😅 Be certified, please.

+construction worker [$15/hr, full-time] - build/construct physical sets according to specification, and under the supervision of a foreman. Must be able to work on-site (Philadelphia or Montana) with varying hours. -- laborers should hold industrial trade certification and pass a background check. English and Spanish speakers OK.

+set artisan [$15/hr, part-time] - design and dress virtual and/or physical sets to specifications that suit your flair (within the context of the story, of course). Attention to detail and a willingness to stay within a fixed budget are a must.

+operations intern* [$20/hr, full-time] - a perfect opportunity to run a small business from the trenches. Your duties include managing the office, people, and payroll (either Gusto or an in-house system). You should know your favorite spreadsheet application like the back of your hand. As the point-of-contact, you will be responsible for public outreach. It is also your job to make sure that our metrics (ie. views, ad buys) are growing(!). -- this is probably suited for an MBA-type or an entrepreneurial JD.You should already have your degree. It's an internship because it has set start+stop dates.

+music [negotiable, part-time] - besides myself and a mixer, instrumentalists will be conducted by a classical conductor with experience in film, television, or (the cinematic elements of) video game scoring. Soft notes from Jerry Goldsmith's incidentals, as well as themes from Michael Kamen's original Die Hard score may be incorporated, so the department will need to conduct a full orchestra for additional new music (3+ hours) around that. -- applicants should hold a bachelor's degree in music.

Also wanted are neo soul/contemporary R&B songwriters and beatmakers for a series of forty-five (45) second advertisements featuring Ric Flair[i] of a fictional (in the sense that it was created for this opera) brand of DIY huckleberry-flavored rum called Brown Hue (from 'Hubert Brown', the birth name of H. Rap Brown/Jamil Abdullah al-Amin). These are marketing gimmicks that tie into the production (look for these around the Web and in the opera) because that's the distilled spirit our alcoholic detective prefers to drink. (Drink responsibly.🥃) The songs themselves don't have to be that short (and probably shouldn't be), but a full song must lend itself to being sampled.

If you need more information to help you with your composition, Ric Flair is a professional wrestler and personality (it's best that you know who he is. Pretend that he loves R&B and that you are making music just for him.) who will narrate the overture in snippets in the company of a 'friend'. Although he is reputably 'loud' (flashy) in real life, your music should not be. We're easy listening for melodies that compliment/complement the ambience of man wanting relaxation and telling a story to whoever's paying attention.


My way (rather, the Black American style to which I'm accustomed) of doing this is to put a bunch of professional musicians (whether they've worked together before or not) in a room and let them have jam sessions. We're bound to have a ton of new music and sounds, some things of which are destined to make the cut.
btw, aren't these great?:


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culture

Highly-collaborative with a premium placed on helping each other succeed. Projects are deadline-driven and time-focused. We move fast and are audience-obsessed. You're working with A-listers, so bring your A-game. With a lot at stake, this is a very competitive space. We are here to win! -- A typical approach would be the team gathering around whiteboards discussing the dailies, then, after ideas/concerns are fleshed-out, making it so. // Share my vision of a smart+able world. // I try to make things as relaxed, fair, and enjoyable as possible (I design toys for a living, go figure!). {I reckon that the IQ around here is insane.🤢} Hard work better pay off. Gigs also come with these neat
--------

benefits

The hiring process is straight-forward: can you do the job, and will you do it here? If the answer is 'yes', then my response is to make you comfortable doing that, with:
+competitive pay (compensation is scaled at some multiple of market base rates)
+healthcare+wellness (spot-paid general examinations, dental/oral, eyes/vision, prescriptions, gym membership)
+food🍲 (cafeteria loaded with eats, snacks, and beverages)
+gear (I might bless you with some in-house articles)


Cast🎭+Crew
@Attention: casting call announcement📣

who's in this?
characters
cast, crew roster

(Legend: CONFIRMED)
/[ensemble]
- Pascha&, a notorious retired ensign[description:= α White male, 60-65 years /// character:= a first-rate detective of extraordinary ability with an irascible militant itch, aged+diseased, grossly flawed and deeply insecure, drunk, funny, improvisational, instinctive, experienced, seasoned, now at the stage where he is remorseful, relocated/switched cities (Elsewhere→Philly) for professional purposes, a severely skeptical Irish Catholic]Conveyed with ventriloquy from both a voice actor and computer graphics, as necessary.
- Glenn Close as Maundy, coloratura[description:= ε White female, 70-ish years, Swedish heritage /// character:= genius who views few as intellectual peers, a not-so-well-known public figure who works behind-the-scenes (doesn't get hands dirty), hates repeating herself, territorial, competitive, proud, immediate, urbane, regal, minimalist, eye on the big picture, she's committed to her business (moonlights as a shipping magnate) and lives by the pericope 'You deserve what you let happen to you.'] (see also young Maundy Lindros)
- Link Egglepple Starbureiy's signature motifLink Starbureiy[i] as Fer(gus), the antagonist[description:= Δ Black male, 30-40 years, this guy's resemblance to Link Starbureiy is uncanny😉 /// character:= a civil engineer by trade who is raw, seething, extreme, schizophrenic, ruthless, bellicose, not easily fooled, fearless, and on a crusade for freedom] and lnq, voice+avatar of the jukebox, UUe
- Dianne Wiest as Marty Abrams, District Attorney Emerita[description:= ζ White female, 70s years /// character:= a charming but deadly prosecutor (nicknamed the 'Queen of Death' because she frequently seeks the death penalty for the convicted) who convincingly masks a brutal sociopathic personality, running for mayor in this special election which she is campaigning for "redevelopment", obsessed with destiny, a greedy IJ Syndicate holdover from the Frank Rizzo era, modeled after Lynne Abraham]
- Marc John Jefferies as Derby "Roscoe" Curran, kingpin[description:= θ Black male, 25-30 years /// character:= former police academy graduate+recruit, now a wanted criminal (for murder and narcotics dealing) who is the subject of a joint CGSI+DEA hunt (and has been for three years), the biggest drug dealer in Philly and feared leader of an extremely violent criminal network arisen from Camden slums, seeks absolute control over the game]

/[supporting cast]
- Reginald VelJohnson as Alven, deuteroganist[description:= β Black male, 65-70 years /// character:= retired police sergeant having a decades-long friendship with Pascha, a happy-go-lucky retiree who is always there when you need him🙂, his only real concern these days is for his nephew, Albert, who is following in his footsteps and joining the TPD, enjoys his hobbies and spending time with his grandchildren, resides in Babson Park, FL but is arriving in Philadelphia for Pascha's badge honoring party, bothered by a nagging spider🕷️ bite that is restricting his ambulation, probably the sole person with insight into Fer's playbook]
- Egg (Joseph "Joey", Junior.), freelance intelligence operative (=computer hacker and government associate) and only son of Pascha[description:= λ White male, 30-35 years, fit /// character:= a dues-paid public servant who's worked on important cyber missions over the past decade, author of the 'fabl3' payload, travels frequently in search of more than just tech-installing for his job assignments, fallen out-of-favor with his mother and wary of his dad because of doubts of paternity, yet can't ignore evidence of similar behavioral patterns, a boy scout/G.I. Joe-type]📣
- Bunny, trainee of Pascha[description:= White female, 20s years, thickish build (5'7'', 140lbs.-- must really be able to "squeeze in them jeans"), strong features of her Greek/Mediterranean heritage (dark hair/eyes) /// character := she looks nice but she's not nice, sly, bold, opportunistic, a cold and conniving dyke]📣
- Eógan Tyrone, mayor of township[description:= Black male, 60-65 years, must be able to nail the Philadelphia accent /// character:= privileged, seasoned, aggressive, and power thirsty, a typical two-faced political bullshitter, a hypochondriac]📣
- Lily, only daughter of Pascha and older sister of Egg[description:= λ White female, 30-39 years /// character:= single mother of two preschoolers, Judy and Mark, on the cusp of 'finding' herself, 'employed' as a clandestine agent (and that's all we know), stressed, sides with her mother in despising her dad but would be unsure why if she did some self-introspection, clinically diagnosed with anxiety disorder and manic depression]📣offered to Rumer Willis
- Sinqua Walls as Pallas (Red* Horseman), one of Fer's henchmen[description:= Black male, 30-ish years /// character:= an architect apprentice, professional student-type, humble and milquetoast, takes orders well, is afraid that maybe both sides of the fight are equally wrong, brother of Hebe]
- Carl Weathers as Reverend Dominique Ire, neighborhood deacon[description:= Black male, 70-ish years /// character:= he can preach until the moon turns blue, but is deep-down tired of the choir itself, lately finds himself babysitting Tharbis' kids, he's been waiting for someone like Fer - who he views as a prophet - to come along .. perhaps as a means to hide his own dark past]
- Iggy Veracruz, Green SEAL special ops commander (20th Special Forces Group, Baltimore)[description:= Latino/Hispanic male, 40-45 years, Central American heritage /// character:= a Texas-bred, tough-as-nails/'hard ass' field general]📣

/[auxillary cast]
- Wendy Roberts, civil servant and in-house Doctor of Psychiatry[description:= White female, 50-55 years, heavyset build /// character:= a lonely hopeless romantic (who is just now starting to accept that men never cared about her credentials), by-the-book and professional to a fault]
- Annie Starke as young Maundy Lindros, heiress to the Lindros FlyerCast & Irons, Ltd. company (1978 flashback)[description:= White female, 30-ish years /// character:= a classically trained physicist, accomplished (Brown PhD in Physics at age 16 -- research on extraterrestrial viscosity dynamics // thesis: "Quantum Leaps in the Material Science of Alloys" -- she remains the youngest person ever elected to the American Academy of Engineering[w]), privileged pedigree (New England high society), ambitious entrepreneur with a knack for being in the right place at the right time, has carefully crafted her public persona in order to avoid suspicion, perceptive, callous, willing to do whatever it takes so that the rules are bent in her favor]📣
- Rock Hefner as Bobbe Penn, WUUE radio personality and talent manager (1978 flashback)[description:= Black male, late-40s years /// character:= produces shows at the Uptown Theater (modeled after Georgie Woods) looking for Philadelphia-area talent to perform in his final amateur night showcase]
- Jim Meskimen as Lent Goode, Pascha's admiral[description:= White male, 50-55 years, Eastern European heritage, clean-cut /// character:= lenient but vindictive, really harbors ill-will towards criminals, a brown-noser]
- Kofi Siriboe as Colin "Ramp" MacIver, petty officer in the maritime forces (1978 flashback)[description:= Black male, 20-25 years /// character:= fiscally conservative, hardworking and dutiful, a friend and fellow troupe member of young Pascha]
- Amrapali Ambegaokar as Agent Ritcha "Florence" Ramja, City-wide liaison for the Drug Enforcement Administration[description:= Indian female, 40 years /// character:= blunt, low-key mouthpiece who acts as the interface between the intra-flotilla corruption and the general public, representation for the regional branch/office of the DEA (on the case specifically in pursuit of Roscoe)]📣
- Brock Vickers as Gunyo "Little Gun" Gruber, a member of Lambsimon's pod[description:= White male, early-30s years, tall at 6'3'' /// character:= cunning staff counsel, meticulous, diligent, dutiful, and sacrificial in the sense that he's willing to work long hours, a hired Pinkerton possessing latent military skills]
- "Lollipop" Sylvia, connect[description:= Latina/Hispanic female, 15-20 years, Puerto Rican heritage /// character:= the unsuspecting distributor for both an offshore drug lord and Roscoe's minions, a candy-loving, cold-blooded assassin, a young girl who is making good money being exploited]📣
- Hephaestus (Blue* Horseman), one of Fer's henchmen[description:= Mixed male, 15-18 years /// character:= a mulatto boy - hated by his mother - caught up in a race war, a crafty+clever natural mechanic and otherwise city-slick/street-smart punk kid who is infatuated with the manliness and father figurehood that Fer exudes, participated because he admires the leadership and wholeheartedly believed in its cause, now he must make a decision]📣
- Hebe (Purple* Horsewoman), one of Fer's henchmen[description:= Black female, 40-ish years /// character:= sister of Pallas, something was amiss in her personal life that she thinks she's found by following Fer]📣
- Lambsimon, a close business associate of Maundy[description:= White female, 30-ish years /// character:= cutthroat, face-paced MBA-type who is just as invested as her boss in making sure the company is in a secure position]📣
- Murray Kaminsky, concerned citizen and husband to Betty[description:= Eastern Bloc male, 25-35 years, large build (6'6''+, 240+) /// character:= an imposing no-nonsense family guy, prejudice at his core yet affable, intelligent]📣
A Horseman is identified by the color of their held Beretta handgun🔫.

/[bits]
- Kathleen Quinlan as Palm, ex-spouse of Pascha[description:= White female, 65-70 years /// character:= sick/ill (dying from Huntington's disease), re-married, settled in Fairfax County, Virginia to be closer to her kids (daughter+grandchildren in Chester, PA and son in Falls Church[f]) 'just in case', frequently at odds with Pascha because of her past dalliances; what's left of their relationship these days is estranged and apoplectic, but both still honor "the deal"]
- Efret, distressed child, only sibling of Gershom, and daughter of Tharbis[description:= Black girl, 8-10 years, dark-skinned]📣
- Gershom, distressed child, younger brother of Efret, and son of Tharbis[description:= Black boy, 6-7 years, lighter-skinned]📣
- Bisserat Tseggai as Tharbis, distressed mother of Efret and Gershom[description:= Black female of Abyssinian descent, 30-35 years, thin build (body type reflects her struggles with drug addiction) /// character:= a thot]📣
- young Palm Lucia (1979-1980 flashback)[description:= White female of North Italian descent, 28-32 years, small frame (~5'6'', 115lbs) /// character:= an abundantly hopeful person with an air of class (read: 'old vibe') to her]📣
- Dorsel, concerned citizen[description:= White male, 20-30 years /// character:= red-blooded American dude competent with a variety of firearms, pissed-off at the uprising, sees this as the perfect time to go and kill himself some 'niggers']📣
- Norma Stefany "Norma" MacIver, wife of/widow to Ramp and sister to Dominique, (1978 flashback)[description:= Black female, 20-25 years /// character:= an eager militant youth who is obsessed with the political and social climate of her time, a talented singer otherwise]📣
- Albert, freelance private investigator[description:= Black male, 21 years /// character:= nephew of Alven who wants to 'fight the good fight', aspires to be like his "legendary" uncle]📣
- George Coon, concerned citizen[description:= Black male, 20-25 years /// character:= token conservative Black guy, well-read, unctuous, wears his opinions on his sleeve, thinks that everybody should get along with everybody as long as it benefits him]📣
- Patel, concerned citizen[description:= Indian male, 20-25 years /// character:= a passer-by whose bad luck put him in the path of danger]📣
- Lisa Gore as Stuart "Art" Ire, aunt to Norma and Dominique, and auntie in-law to Ramp (1978 flashback)[description:= Black female, mid-30ish years /// character:= a tiresome maintenance worker for the Philadelphia Zoo, tomboyish, tough and stern in her strive to be a stable motherly figure, distrust of Mayor Ralph Russo's administration stresses her about the safety of her family]📣
- Ling-Lang, concerned citizen[description:= East Asian male, 25-30 years /// character:= restaurant employee out to defend his turf, not the nicest person, but decent and minds his own business]📣
- d0x, Roscoe's BI[description:= Black male of Somali descent, 30-35 years /// character:= tech and business savvy, helps with the logistics of the kingpin's operation(s)]📣
- Lef'fut, Maundy's personal bodyguard and sea captain[description:= White male, 35-45 years /// character:= burly guy who doesn't say much, speaks when spoken to, does what is asked of him, the boss' right-hand man and muscle]📣
- Jennifer Lim as Mang, battalion leader for Zone 4/Asian community[description:= Asian (Chinese/Vietnamese) female, 30-40 years, small frame (shorter than 5'5'', 110lbs. or less) /// character:= a feisty survivalist whose risky poor life choices happens to get her caught up in a war, a mother with secrets]📣
- Ralph Russo, Mayor of Philadelphia (1978 flashback)[description:= White male, 55-60 years, burly frame /// character:= boisterous and brutish, his relationship with the African-American community is afoul, modeled after Frank Rizzo]📣
- Rauol Gore as Socks, Roscoe's understudy[description:= Black male, mid-20s years /// character:= a reliable but untrustworthy second-in-command to a kingpin, desperately wants out of the game]
- Galina, concerned citizen[description:= Russian female, late 30s years /// character:= single mom, immigrant, fed up with the 'others' not appreciating their opportunities, fighting for her race]📣
- Ben Schoenstein, City Council Chairman of township[description:= White male, 55-60 years /// character:= second in-command, always en garde, of IJ Syndicate heritage]
- Laura Stetman as Ethel, Egg's girlfriend[description:= White female, 25-30 years /// character:= her relationship is tricky, as she is romantically involved with an always on-call operative, but it's relatively new and she is patient, an actuary by trade]
- Bird, Navy SEAL under Iggy[description:= White male, early 30-ish years, medium frame (~6'0, 175-180lbs.) /// character:= a ginger, never bothered, contemplative/mysterious, gets the job done]📣
- Michael T. Weiss as Mr. Alphabet (Canaan Dusk), mysterious leader of the conglomerate, Nile LLC[description:= White male, 50-ish years /// character:= incredibly smart technologist who heads the world's most valuable company, of Ivy League (Princeton+Wharton) pedigree, modeled after Jeff Bezos[i] and Elon Musk[ii]]
- De'voreaux White as Argyle, a long-time friend of Pascha[description:= Black male, early 50s years /// character:= silly and loyal, he and Pascha met under inauspicious circumstances but have remained friends, a traveling DJ these days]
- Ric Flair, world champion wrestling legend with a strange connection to Pascha[description:= White male, late 60s years /// character:= athletic, brash, family man]
- Theo Lake, businessman[description:= Black male, 30-35 years /// character:= an insurance broker whose wrong bet changes the course of his dealings]📣
- Joan, Bunny's girlfriend[description:= White female, 20-25 years /// character:= lazy and in love]📣
- Billy Gibbs, a troupemate of young Pascha and Ramp (1978 flashback)[description:= Black male, 20-25 years /// character:= an outstanding dramateur with a great smile]📣
- Betty Kaminski, wife of Murray Kaminski[description:= White female, 20-25 years /// character:= traditional and loyal to her husband]📣
- Felix Tesla, public accountant and office mate of Theodore Lake[description:= White male, 35 years /// character:= meticulous, suspicious, an ultra-liberal closet homosexual]📣
- Bruce Wagner, spouse of Palm[description:= White male, 80-ish years /// character:= a soft-spoken and dutiful husband to his ailing wife]📣

Note (+): Any and all confirmations strictly means that talent has opted to work on piece in some capacity relative to what has been proposed, and thus would qualify to be on the payroll. Names associated with roles are negotiating procurement. This more-or-less means that, as often is the case with independent projects such as this one, talent will attach themselves as to allow for securing🔒 early-stage fundraising and future compensation.


Note (+): Because of the speed at which I plan to move (on schedule), the antagonist in the story has been written so that the actor would really need to have a close relationship with the writer himself (me), so I've penciled myself (Link Starbureiy) in the role of Fer.  And since I know exactly what I want, I doubt that will change.






/[crew]
- conduction+editing+writing = Link Starbureiy (composer [opera+libretto], characters, conductor, editor)
- producing = Link Starbureiy (impresario), Marc John Jefferies (associate)
- visual/special effects = Digital Dimension[i], Pixel Magic[ii], Luma Pictures[iii][iv], Eight VFX[v], Gloria FX[vi]offered
- costume+wardrobe = Link Starbureiy (ideation)
- makeup = Han Ly?📣
- sound+music = Jerry Goldsmith[i] (incidentals), Michael Kamen[ii] (theme), Jimmy Jam + Terry Lewis (coordination)
- electrical = ?
- set decoration = Link Starbureiy (staging)
- stunt coordination = ?📣
- art direction = ?📣
- line production/business operation = ?📣
- grip = Hai Nguyen
- casting = Link Starbureiy
- cinematography [camera, lighting, photog direction] = Link Starbureiy (ideation)
- transportation department = ?
- military science = ROTC at The University of Montana
- miscellaneous companies = The Philadelphia Police Department (template), UUe (jukebox) Temple University (archive), City of Philadelphia (appreciation), City of Butte (thanks), Greater Film Office of Philadelphia (extras casting), Gusto (human resources services), Twentieth Century Fox (acknowledgment), The Apprentice School (consultation), Philly Shipyard (consultation), Penn's Landing (appreciation), United States Coast Guard Station Philadelphia (thanks), Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center (community)
- underwriting = [your name here]

Acknowledgment:
This project is an enormous undertaking for me, and I would like to make sure that those involved indirectly get their due recognition. For starters, a special thanks goes to The Michael J. Fox Foundation for suggesting such a great puzzle (the imaging of α-synuclein) for me to solve.

Also, I appreciate all of the back-and-forth Michio Kaku and I had in the 1990s regarding string field theory, it's what activated me in the first place. Staying on a physics bent, thanks goes to Edward Witten on further clarification of Khovanov homology and 5-branes, namely the paper, "Fivebranes and Knots".

Ms. Glenn Close' non-profit, Bring Change to Mind, was an important ingredient in deciding which direction I wanted to take some of the major characters, storywise -- people suffering from mental illness should know that they are not alone.

Although I take the opera as an original work - especially when considering its overall arc - parts of it (namely the first chord, Die, Detective!) are both undeniably+deliberately influenced by the writings of H. Rap Brown's[ii] autobiography, as well as Roderick Thorp's[iii] The Detective series (most heavily the base novel), from which is draws characters and some dramatic elements. On that note, this work is dedicated to those two authors.

And but not least, a 'thank you' goes to Carl+Debbie Stewart who were a big help with consultation on what events, street life + night life were like in 1970s Philadelphia, and, as such, were a tremendous resource.



Technology targets

what we are building
quick study of the science of molecular dynamics
a novel approach to applying crowd computing to biochemistry


Michael J. Fox issued a challenge: image α-synuclein.

My solution: (1) preimage the protein, (2a) construct a deep learning distributed supercomputer, (2b) juke the polymer, and (3) solve the structure.

Current popular molecular dynamics programs on the market are strictly brute-forcing chemical force fields, and not accounting for twistor spaces, thus missing a more potent subset of mathematics. Plus, on the hardware-side, their approach - although crowdsourced - is limited to a set number of desktops only (~250,000).

The best structural predictor may be artificial intelligence.

Think of it this way, if you wanted to teach a car how to drive itself, the instinct may be to program its 'eyes' (camera+radar) to adhere to maps. A smarter way is to just let the car follow patterns it has learned from other drivers. In other words, the best way to train the system to drive is to simply show it what driving looks like.

That's how computers are trained; give them big data sets of what is correct and incorrect, and then write a classifier.

Which is precisely what we are going to do here; take live strategies of jukers and apply them to known protein structures. Over time, we'll get tighter bounds on errors that will eventually only produce optimized images.

Right now, the API is public and the math works, but it needs substantial computing power for implementation.

UUe.i, is designed as a distributed framework that uses the idle processing resources of mobile devices (eg. phones, tablets, VR goggles, watches, etc.) to power the compute. Today's machines tend to be more game-centric, so the GPU is a premium, which is good since the ai will be performing specialized 3D renderings.

It will augment opensource libraries (OpenMM, +GROMACS, and BOINC) in addition to the Stewdio.

In theory, this will be the largest and most powerful supercomputer ever constructed.

Once ready, it will be freely available for uses similar to this one en perpetuity.

With the opera's first chord, Die, Detective!, the hope is to produce some novel and original research pertaining to the biochemistry of the proteins alpha synuclein, huntingtin, and parkin. Particularly, we wish to understand how those polypeptides fold and are distributed in the brain. A technological corollary would be a walkable model of synuclein.

Human α-synuclein is a modestly-sized (140 amino acid residues) unstable protein, and so modeling its isoform(s) could prove to be vastly computationally intensive.

UUe.i is an artificially intelligent preimage-image compositor native to distributed computing. The ai will do two (2) things here: (1) be a background embed that pulls+loads idle compute resources for processing, and (2) provide visual ventriloquy [+training] for image classification+mapping onto an actor in the capture pipeline.

+ Parkinson's disease research
In cooperation with The Michael J. Fox Foundation, we are involved in the study of better understanding Parkinson's disease, a debilitating degenerative neuropathology. Also of interest are potential therapies to relax symptoms.

One of the things I wanted to do in this first chord was bring attention to neurogenerative diseases in a big way. In the Die Hard stories, which demand that we suspend our beliefs, John McClane has been rather physical throughout the series, bumping bodies and heads with both moving and static objects that would seriously harm a normal person over a movie timespan of thirty-plus years. In reality, as evidenced by replete cases of pro football players left with concussions and brain damage, the kind of beating that McClane has taken would likely leave an old man with some serious (physical) health side effects. Suffice all that to just a well-known resultant, Parkinson's.


All are welcome to contribute (volunteer) to the Easter opera by helping out with sourcecode, documentation, and user support wherever applicable.


Discussion

The following is a question (Q) / comment (C) and answer (A) format organized by topic, many of which may be anticipatory.

//general (23+1) //production (16) //financial (16) //technology (23)
talk💬 | 🐛bugs

section for community+developer activity
public queries submitted and (possibly) responded to

Q: Is this a take on the biblical story of the resurrection of Jesus Christ?
A: No. While there is a certain level of religiosity teasing the storyline+nomenclature, this work has little if anything to do with that holiday.
Q: Is this a 'Die Hard' gaiden?
A: Since this spiritually falls under 'The Detective' categorization, thematically it could be. Technically, it (the first part of the operatic arc) is (and only purports to be) 'Die, Detective!'.

Note (+): This project, a creative experiment of mine, is not sponsored by an outside studio or media conglomerate. The 'Die Hard' trademark is only used here courtesy of the respective owner(s) as a point of reference with no infringement intended.


..an aside, per verbatim [theatre], I subtitled the prelude 'Die, Detective!' as an amalgamation of the 📖books from which it was taken: 'Die Nigger Die!' and 'The Detective'. #TeamEaster
Q: Who is the leader in-charge of this project?
A: Me, Link Starbureiy. [impresario = manager of push-pull requests]
Q: Is this the official webpage for said project?
A: Yes. This is the official central page for the opera, Easter, by Link Starbureiy. Other sites may ping back here as a point of reference [wiki]. This is written as stated because there did exist two (2) supplemental title pages on IMDb [/tt7486340,/tt8499656] and also the Internet Archive that were scrubbed by said staffers to my disappointment. I don't know exactly who interfered, but considering that we're able to move forward, it doesn't matter. #TeamEaster
Q: Will there be sequels?
A: To the opera itself, no. The first chord, DD, is intended to conclude the 'John' saga. It is immediately followed by chords N, O, A, and H. By the end of the fifth chord, H, the Pascha Family drama is completed as was insinuated. Chronology-wise, I split the opera into two parts (Opus Lent, Opus Pentecost), where Die, Detective! happens during Lent - highlighting Parkinson's, and the remaining four chords happen during Pentecost - highlighting Huntington's.
Q: Is this a motion picture?
A: It's technically an opera, albeit one that is recorded using a virtual camera system.
Q: How is this an opera?
A: We define (an) 'opera' to be: a program that maps* some preimagery to its image. Similar to its musical counterpart, this means that a bunch of smaller pieces were conducted on set and outputted a cinematic from its libretto.A form of frame arrangement.

Note (+): To assuage any concerns, no one breaks out into song in this. Still, Easter doesn't deviate far from the traditional artform.





This format exists because the challenge of using an artificial intelligence (ai) to bear on the molecular dynamics of protein folding requires that we first break the molecule down into lots of smaller pieces (preimages) before or so that we can compute its structure in relation to other chemicals. Being that doing so is an enormous computational undertaking, gathering the necessary processor power from a distributed framework (ie. 'crowd') is crucial to performing said tasks. With today's virtual reality devices (typically binocular rendering on phone+eyeset) available, it's easy to get people to pay attention to one thing (entertainment) while simultaneously allowing another (data processing) in the background. Pulling this off means that we would need to have the viewer lend us their computing resources for a substantial amount of time. Voila!, (streaming) the opera rewards quantity (length).

When we stereoscope (3D in 360 degrees) something, we are essentially viewing it in truespace. The difference between a movie and an opera is how each is projected. While both contain theatrics, a movie is literally a projection to a (2D-3D) screen, whereas an opera may be totally immersive. -- It's also how we can get away with not being unionized.😉 -- I bet that the opera was the past, and will again be the future of entertainment showcasing, where once retired cine works will get the so-called 'opera' treatment.
Q: This comes across like a multitude of projects. Please clarify.
A: Easter is an ambitious large-scale hash opera that is told in five expansive parts (each part gets expanded upon inductively) called chords. The first chord (prelude) of this opera is, 'Die, Detective!'. Since we are doing one thing at a time, Die, Detective! is what is currently underway for recording. The plan is to have the other four (4) chords (N, O, A, H) successively released in similar fashion.

In terms of the amount of activity in this opera, there are a few intra-opera technology targets🎯 that we aim to hit, but these are supportive (supplemental) and not extracurricular. First and foremost, this is a technology project; we a constructing a distributed supercomputer for calculating twistor spaces and relative molecular dynamics. In computer-talk, the jukebox, UUe, itself is the server and processor units from users mobile devices are the clients. On the server-end, it costs lots of money to keep the electricity/power running. In order to help pay for those costs, a cinematic is being made that acts, in part, as a simulacrum for the research (the idea is to draw attention to the medical science by showcasing a subject suffering from the symptoms, which hopefully gives reason to sponsor the technology ... we're also putting the jukebox on display). This is expected to do big business upon and after its release [lifecycle]. To reiterate, those funds will then be used to pay for server upkeep.
Q: What does the opera's logo mean?
A: It is an illustration of a cracked Easter eggshell, which supposedly represents the oncoming of a new beginning or an awakening.
Q: Why jump into The Detective universe?
A: One reason is availability. The Detective, although not public domain, is still trading hands, so to speak.

The challenge to image alpha-synuclein came from the MJFF. It's cumbersome nowadays to try and raise lots money from grants and donations; I'd rather stick to my roots and pursue prize (/bug) bounties. To me, this is a grand ctf. In order to successfully pull off the feat of protein folding prediction, one is going to need substantial computing resources. Gathering that kind of money from a blockbuster to pay for it just made sense to me.

My thinking behind the drama stemmed from answering the question of what a beat-up police officer with a tough spirit would look like in today's America. Leland's personal plotline in Easter closely follows some of what I have lived through in the past decade-plus being in Montana (the huckleberry hint, angling on the river, solitude / isolation / small town life, bouts of probable insanity), and it comes across in the writing. I think the audience can relate to somebody who is genuine, hurting, but really trying. H. Rap Brown's sedimentary layer on top of Roderick Thorp's foundation just fits the bill here.
Q: So, basically, what you've done is answer the call of Michael J. Fox to solve the folding structure of a class of proteins, and, because this takes ridiculous amounts of computing power, you're constructing an opensource supercomputer from a network of mobile phones to leverage this... and in the meantime, to cover operational expenses, you've written a terrific topically congruent opera (/cinematic) to be viewed at no charge that you hope will pleasantly distract people as the software your team built quietly calculates all of the techno-babble, bio-fizzy stuff in the background... and because you have high confidence that this will work as prescribed, you anticipate it being effective on similar classes of diseases, such as Alzheimer's and diabetes, as well as for computational drug design?
A: Correct✔️.
C: Establish permissions.
A: Because this is a transformative phonorecord, the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976[i] supersedes and supplements permission from Dial Press, the publishing imprint for the books, The Detective and Die Nigger Die!, to use those works as I see fit, however faithful.  That is my legal authority to move forward with this piece.  I have qualifications (via [a], [b], [c]) to prepare a derivative work from a musical angle. And even if the permit were to be rescinded (it won't), this is - according to fair use doctrine - pursuant of an original work (intermezzi: chords 2-5). Standard stuff.

More concretely, I am granted definite statutory custodianship from the estate of Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin to reuse the book, Die Nigger Die!.
Q: What is the ISMN with the Library of Congress?
A: ISMN: 979-0-800136-00-9
Q: Explain this operatic phylum.
A: Easter is an opera predicated on hashes [hash opera]. Much like how you can have a movie based on a book, the prelude chord (Die, Detective!) centers around characters and a synthesized plot spiritually connected to the books, The Detective (1966, Roderick Thorp ISBN: 0-8488-0375-2), and Die Nigger Die! (1969, H. Rap Brown ISBN:978-1-55652-452-3).
Q: 🗓️When does the opera debut?
A: April 1, 2018🐣🐰 [libretto📘] (online @this parlor as a stream of frames in its non-cinematic entirety = chords 1-5). The preliminary technology portion is due April 19, 2019 -- Easter holiday weekend [domestic🇺🇸]. The cinematic premiere of chord 1 (at the least) is scheduled for 2019.
Q: Discuss premiere and distribution plans.
A: This will be a metered embed served from this jukebox page -- any further theatrical releasing will be played by ear. -- To start, a series of extended 2D trailers (mini-movies) called 'Easter eggs' will be released (to theaters and posted on video sharing sites) that touch on important plot points which can further be explored when experienced in their true form, immersively. The opera itself has a lot of replay value, so it will be available for streaming. Supposedly, this practice keeps advertising costs down; ensuring that distribution fees will only have to be paid once.[ii] -- and even though the notion of record-breaking is an abstract pursuit when it comes to streaming media, I realize that the format rewards quantity, so I'm game.
Q: If you cannot obtain a distribution agreement from a major distributor, is this a hindrance?
A: No. This is my own work, a project created by me to be exhibited/delivered to the public (subject to licensing). A lack of a distributing partner would not be an impediment; as exorbitant as such costs[iii] are, it may actually be welcomed (such a deal for a 'deliverable' actually wouldn't make any sense at all here because the format is an instant install on your mobile device, as required. That said, it still gets 'distributed' over your mobile phone's wi-fi plan; promoted examples: Xfinity Mobile for iPhone vs. Project Fi[g] for Android, iOS). An organic development mandates that it actually has to be streamed in VR (vendor: Google Cardboard[w]) - across mobile devices - because we need processors (CPU+GPU) on a network to do the heavy lifting.

Pushing this to a theater or opera house first is risky in that consumers may not revisit it again, which defeats the whole purpose. Besides, I'm not at all interested in the motion picture ratings game; Die, Detective! is (ahem, it's actually NOT RATED) an R+ (for intense sequences) piece, and I won't allow a distributor/studio dictating with scissors what they think is appropriate for me to attain.
C: Wait a minute, I thought you were publishing this at no cost to the consumer!
A: We are, and can get away with it because the opera is supported with ads. This is freemium ware, so if you want to remove/hide the advertisements, you'll have to pay for that. If there are add-ons or upgrades that become available, you may have to pay for those, as well. When it comes to making money beforehand, shop our Easter Basket.
Q: If you have a buttercup with no butter, what's in the cup?
A: {shrugs shoulders}😉
Q: Why have such a relatively short/limited episodic engagement?
A: Mainly because of the habits people have in consuming media nowadays. I think an opera of this caliber deserves the very best delivery [sound (audio) and visual]. So as to maximize revenue and minimize costs, unless its drop-off won't affect business, the plan is to prepare for releasing the next chord. I certainly will entertain keeping the print promoted until the nut hits the floor if it is breaking records. Plus, the whole opera is very long, so I am splitting the parts up and then release them consecutively (back-to-back).
Q: Where will this be screening roomed*?
A: For something to be 'screening roomed' means that it is presented exclusively to journalists and professional critics so that they can do their job. Die, Detective! will be played at a public theater somewhere in Los Angeles, California. This is solely to meet the requirements as stated by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to qualify for Oscar consideration. ← That's just something I have to say. I'm likely going to have dozens of screenings of this all over the place, hopefully at least one at the re-opened Uptown Theater in Philadelphia if they can make their schedule.
Q: Under what genre is this classified?
A: It is of the war genre (with Western elements). While still 'NLF'-styled (ie. constricted action and so forth), the overall setting is moreso placed in 'The Detective' realm. In that sense, it is also a crime drama. {I really want to emphasize this being a 'crime drama', because it will feel at points like a drawn-out episode of your favorite police procedural before its war crescendo. There is so much intrigue here that people who love gangster flicks could go for this.}
Q: What is the duration of this piece?
A: Running time for Die, Detective! (the first chord of a pentachordal arc) is ~220 minutes. The whole opera (all five chords) is approximately fifty-four hours.
C: The duration of this is very long. It better be exceptionally good for me to sit through it.
A: It is, but don't take my word for it. And, you don't 'sit' through it, per se; you experience it immersively.
C: Share a little info about yourself.
A: Link Starbureiy is the host of UUelcome. He started his career designing puzzles (namely Egglepple). As his work evolved, he invented the jukebox, UUe, and pioneered the craft of juking.
UUe
Starbureiy considers Life to be a game of puzzles Nature has for him to solve. He usually finds a reason to smile everyday.

Scouting report:
GRE Chemistry (990/990)
GRE Mathematics(990/990)
GRE Physics(990/990)
Q: Are you and/or this project involved with the academic community at-large?
A: The 'community' exists insofar as what others and I can directly respond to in the talk/bugs sections. Food for thought, industry typically works way faster - orders of magnitude more quickly - than academia. So, by design, there is perpendicular contact with universities, think tanks, and so forth regarding conferencing. Let's leave conferences to people who like conferences. I'm trying to get stuff done.
//production

internal communications, externalized
how to join, what to expect once onboard, and so forth

Q: Is this a self-organized, mass-collaborative, opensource project, also known as a peer production?
A: Yes, it is, and arguably the largest of its kind. You are more than welcome to contribute. Be mindful that although we believe in 'openness', you still have to keep some secrets; this is to say that there shall remain limited bureaucracy - I am in charge. Functionally, what this means is that while there does exist a democratic plugin architecture where freedom of speech is valued, consensus is under the hierarchy of my autonomy, and non-payroll participants work more-or-less for credit/attribution rather than cash.

Note (+): We'll use opensource tools (eg. Blender, GNU Octave, GIMP, Audacity, etc.) wherever possible, although I'm still a fan of Windows.😀







Q: Do all of the project developers know each other?
A: Unlikely. This is being worked on by a hired crew and thousands of volunteers worldwide, each with varying levels of ability. To a certain extent, we may be familiar with one another's work by word of mouth, but are mostly meeting for the first time in new territory.
Q: Using this method(ology), are you worried about the quality of output?
A: To be honest, I am apprehensive, but the only way to really know if something is going to work is to just do it. The way I look at it is that if the technology functions as advertised, then the rationale is valid. A polymath-styled project such as this is bound to create+expose flaws along the way, and this is a good thing. An eventuality is that mass collaboration will rise the creme to the top, as only the most devoted (and knowledgeable) persons will forge ahead. In our technocracy (almost by definition), we have in place enough checkpoints (reputable advisory board members overseeing this) to knock any sour threads awry, thus balancing volunteer efforts with their paid counterparts.
Q: How can I audition for a role?🎭
A: There are a number of roles for actors to audition. Not every role is open; some are (already) hand-picked by staff and thus not open for reasons that are out of your control. We try to pick from the local (Philadelphia, Montana) talent pool as much as possible. Before applying, you should know what role(s) you are wanting. Although there isn't too much information available regarding the character, a short description has been provided as a rubric. That said, most importantly, all the staff is looking for is your ability to act and take direction.

For those interested in graduating from volunteer to paid staffer, I suggest that you continue to add weight by contributing with thoughtful and helpful commits. I have top-level say on development, so, if I like what I see, you may be offered a slot on the payroll*.Payment may be spotted cash or some other kind of gift.
Q: How long⏳ should my demo reel be?
A: Ideally, a demo reel will not exceed one-hundred seconds (100 seconds [~1.5 minutes]).
Q: Why are you only shortlisting schools/theater departments? Stop being such a snob.
A: lol. I'm not picking favorites. The top schools are the top programs for a reason. They offer the most thorough (maybe not the 'best') training. We want talent that is ready to 'go' from Day 1. When a production of this caliber is even mentioned, the bigger the applicant pool is not always merrier, so imposing a lower limit on a bucket draw tends to work favorably for the casting director. Still, drama departments across the country aren't differentiated by too much, and so any graduate (even a minor in theatre/drama studies will suffice) is welcomed to apply. (psst! I also consider alumni of avant-garde theater groups/experimental theater companies.)

Our thespians need to have awareness of their set/stage surroundings at all times during performance. Actors must be able to hit their marks, just like they would in a traditional live theater setting. Unlike a typical movie, where the performer can coast off of unlimited takes, in VR (a 360° stage), the camera is the most important set prop, so things like timing and knowing your cues are of a premium. Sought are people with ample experience in this.
Q: What camera is used?
A:
Pixel* [handset] plus (depending on the perspective and what information/data needs are) device enhancements (ie. Moment, Xenvo Pro, and/or Google Jump lens).Camera rated the highest in its class.[x][y][z]

Yeah, we're shooting it with a phone📱! The choice was made early on to go with a handset instead of a camcorder, like (considered) RED MONSTRO 8K VV or Arri Alexa. The latter cameras offer a great range of abilities, but I want this to have a real-time strategic feel and look of emergent telepresence (ie. the camera just happened to be there), which in some regard meant photographing on mobile. This all comes somewhat courtesy of Thorp's note on stoytelling for Nothing Lasts Forever:

"Just as there are no flashbacks, there are no shifts in point of view. Everything is told - discovered - from Leland's interior."

++The Pixel family (or rather, its built-in software, especially Google Daydream) is astonishing in that it can compute loads of similar information (eg. image sensor processing) in all types of light settings (outside/natural, indoor/artificial, dark, and graded) on par (in my opinion) with the big rigs. Plus, it plays well with Tensorflow - which is great for applying machine learning to facial recognition in 360° photography.

As an illustrator/editor, I do a lot of the heavy lifting in post [tools: Blender (effects), DaVinci Resolve (correcting/mastering), Catalyst (preparation)], anyway. Toss in the fact that the workflow pipeline utilizes Google Cloud, it makes a lot of sense to stick with a single supplier (preferred technology vendor) whenever possible.


Q:Which text editor do you use?
A: I prefer Notepad. Apps Script (GAppS) is pretty cool, too.
Q: When does recording commence?
A: Immediately after pre-production [along with rehearsals] - estimated to last through mid-to-late Spring (wrap = whenever if all of the chords are filmed back-to-back), can be extended for reshoots as necessary.

Note (+): It is important to note that filming is commensurate with funding. Non-principal photography begins in the Summer with a series of mixtapes as well as adverts featuring Ric Flair, which are to be disbursed over the course of a year.


Q: Where does recording take place?
A: Principal photography (+second unit photography) will be shot on location in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania and maybe in-and-around Butte, Montana. Butte can serve as a backdrop for Philadelphia since it has residential neighborhoods that share similar architecture to those in southeastern Pennsylvania. And also - in addition to some of the tax incentives the State of Montana offers filmmakers - because it has a large Irish community (which itself plays a substantial role in this piece).

These locales aren't coincidences. Montana is home, and it's easier to some degree for me to stay close to it. Not thinking about myself for a second, when putting this together, my mind was on a particular family member who lives in Philadelphia and was going through some stuff. An extended stay in Philly gave me an excellent excuse to be with them.

Q: Is this a unionized production?
A: Absolutely not.
Q: If I am part of (have membership in) a worker's union, am I allowed to participate?
A: Possibly.

... though, for your own safety and peace of mind, you are warned that any so-called union that requires membership dues with no guaranteed path to employment is a pyramid scheme.

SAG-AFTRA is a SCAM!!

Labor unions are democratic relics of the New Deal and exist to regulate some thing. They can be beneficial to the 'little guy' who is just starting out (by guaranteeing a livable wage), but are a pest to larger organizations. You've got to eat, I get it. I can work with the contract that you have drawn up [maybe even honoring/matching sheet rates supplied by SAG or AEA ("Equity")], but don't count on me unionizing my whole production* (a requirement of the union) just to feed you. The legal way around that is to treat you as a temporary employee, and have you NOT REPORT those earnings to your guild, only to the IRS. Both parties (even the AFL-CIO) have to report this information to Uncle Sam, anyway. Basically, you become an independent contractor [1099]. Standard stuff.Which is compliant with provisions of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees.
The other tidbit is for me, the employer, to have insurance, which most jurisdictions insist on, anyhow, because they're taking a calculated risk hosting an endeavor (ie. a big budget production will likely spend those funds, meaning that the locality or parts therein will need to be underwritten somehow). Think about it like this (hypothetical): I have a planned project. Two performers come to me looking for work. One is a freelancer with no experience, but loaded with natural talent. The other is a talentless unionized hack with a pretty face. She can obviously help sell the project in her own way, but the freelancer can also help, and all he wants is the chance to work on set for some pizza🍕 slices. There's no way I'm unionizing the production just because of her, when I could just hire some other babe who understands the deal. A box of pizza and some cheap insurance policy, or the extra expense of dealing with bloated collective bargaining agreements? You do the math. (see also benefits package, inactivating your status[SAG][AEA])
C: Help! This is a fantastic opportunity, but my union is bullying me into not working.
A: If you are interested in inactivating your status (ie. putting yourself on temporary hiatus) with your theatrical union, namely SAG and/or AEA, follow these otherwise hard-to-find steps (as written in their fine print):
- Screen Actors Guild → https://www.sagaftra.org/maintaining-your-membership
- Actors' Equity Association → https://actorsequity.org/join/TW-SP/
Q: Are children allowed on set?
A: Unless a child is part of the production (eg. as an actor), they, like anyone else not on payroll, should not be on set. Children - especially small children - are considered hazardous/a safety risk and not welcomed on set at any time during production.
Q: Are drugs and/or alcohol allowed on set?
A: No. My set is a substance-free workplace. Employees are prohibited from possessing, using, or being under the influence of controlled substances in the workplace. Violating this policy subjects the employee to termination of employment. Manufacturing and/or distributing illegal drugs (anywhere) can result in that person being reported to authorities. Say "No" to drugs.
Q: Are pets allowed on set? Can I bring my pet to work?
A: No. Please keep your pet(s) at home. If any animal is on set, it is likely that they are being handled by a hired professional handler.
Q: Does the script call for any nudity?
A: Nope. Proudly, no one's physical privacy will be compromised during this production.

//financial

money-related stuff
if you contribute with your wallet, what is likely to come of it

Q: Must I be sophisticated to participate?
A: This general solicitation is open to everyone. Professional investor credentials (self-reported) are not required.
Q: How is the raise legitimate?
A: This praenumeration is a debenture rewards model), and, as such, is not actively seeking any qualifications under SEC rules. We note that provisions of the JOBS Act (particularly Title III) applied here would not necessarily be asymmetrical. [Assurance: all such underwriting activities adhere to and are compliant with federal rules+regulations of the United States of America.]
Q: Are you selling equity?
A: Not at this time, no. Our crowdfunding is entirely pledge-rewards-based.
Q: Is this a non-profit venture?
A: Umm.. it's public benefit. We are definitely in this to make money, but the bulk of those monies are promised to maintaining the technology that supports the healthcare+medical ecosystem. As far as the IRS is concerned, this project is not chartered as 501(c); there is no organization to speak of in which to exempt tax (however, a voluntary Form 990 will be published to demonstrate earnings). I, personally, will pay my fair share of taxes (from revenues gained via my sole proprietorship [LES]), but again, the intention is to spread some of the wealth to friendly foundations and their relatives that are actively advancing the cause.
Q: Is the purchase of goods a secure🔐 transaction?
A: Yes. This webpage and parent website are PCI-compliant, so your business is safe. The payment processing is handled on the frontend by Cash App and/or Celery, which utilizes the Stripe API on its backend.
Q:Monies raised go where exactly?
A: Into financing and supporting the project and salaries at all stages. Foremost, we are building a distributed supercomputer mostly from the ground up. All of that information (which grows exponentially) from clients must be fed back to the jukebox which serves it, so there is a need for server upkeep+reliability. Also used are cloud computing vendors for data backup+preservation, their services are an expense.
Q: If I make more than one (1) purchase, will I receive multiple rewards?
A: Yes. Every perk you pay for, you'll get.
Q: Do you accept bitcoin as payment?
A: No. Even though cryptocurrencies (bitcoin, ethereum, etc.) are tech stocks in and of themselves, the hassle of brokering them on my end isn't worth the effort at this point. Please sell-off your holdings in legal negotiable tender before dealing here.
Q: Is my investment sound?
A: Yes. As required by law, transactions are audited by an independent certified public accountant (probably this guy). Now, scroll back up to the picture of the pretty lady with the great smile and shop.
Q: When do you plan on disclosing tax returns and audited financials?
A: Filed Form 990 - Schedule L (stating revenue accrued for at least one quarter) will be posted approximately December 1, 2019 or as due.
Q: If you insist on giving the product away (for free), then how do you expect to make money?
A: The short answer is with ads. The longer answer is a little more complicated. -- This will be a freemium product - its core is chargeless (libre), but premium features (eg. add-ons, versatile streaming capabilities) will be priced. Because streaming something in VR lends itself to nearly unlimited replay, there is a ton of incremental financial value (pay as you go) in that when you consider the viewer may want to experience a scene from different angles. Smart (artificially intelligent) ads will be embedded throughout.
Q: Can I get a refund?
A: No refunds allowed. Funds are gathered and used immediately on production. A subtraction of financing could halt production (ie. equity withdrawal would be detrimental to credit), and so abrogation is not allowed. It is my duty/responsibility to make as much information and terms available to you before you make your choice so that you can do your due diligence in making the best decision (which will never result in rescindment).
Q: If the project were to disband, would my investment be returned or lost?
A: Unfortunately, your investment would not be returned in the case of this project succumbing to an unexpected event. Fortunately, everybody on-board is committed to seeing Easter through to completion; there's a lot at $take.
Q: What is the budget for this project?
A: The budget is tight, that's what it is. Our budget is entirely based on raised funds. Post-seed growth, the budget comes directly from ad revenue derived from juking the four proteins: alpha-synuclein, parkin, huntingtin, and LRRK2. That ad revenue is projected/estimated to be between $55-65million, but is not set. This number (whatever it comes to) is a ceiling; the actual amount used may well be substantially lower. Keep in mind that budgeting covers pre-production+production+post-production+marketing (from idea-to-viewing).
Q: For how long does the raise last?
A: In stages (ie. seeds in a continuum of follow-on rounds) until enough capital is acquired to cover all costs/expenses throughout the entire production. This means that active fundraising can theoretically run into Q3 2019 and beyond.
Q: I would like to make a no-strings attached donation (ie. pledge without a perk) to this project. How do I do this?
A: Thank you. Please use the DONATE button here [PayPal].

Note (+): This is not a charitable transaction. You are contributing to a commercial venture, albeit for public benefit. Do not expect your contribution to be or become tax deductible.







//tech

technical development
discussion of technologies found within

Q: Are you shipping a (tangible) hardware product as a result of this work?
A: No. The embed and all specs will be released as a bundle for DIY/opensource. Ideally, we want something that is neither unavailable for recall or unobtrusive to regulation.
Q: Should I expect an over-the-counter drug upon completion?
A: This project will just create and support a computer program for modeling and simulating molecular dynamics. It will be freely available for biopharma companies and research labs alike to exploit upon its release. Easter (specifically UUe.i) is not a pharmaceutical. We are not making medicines (ie. medical synthesis, gene therapies, etc.) or mixing chemicals on a tangible level; there is nothing for the FDA to regulate. This exercise is a numerical analysis that hopefully can be used to assist in rational drug design [pharmacology], at best.
Q: Since this is opensource, what is its licensure?
A: Licensed under the UUelcome License [copyleft]. Certain movable parts (underlying softwares, etc.) may be subject to GNU and/or MIT, Creative Commons licensure, or just straight public domain.
Q: Has this project been integrated into the Open Source Initiative?
A: No. The opera shall remain independent at my discretion. If and when the OSI approves of the UUelcome License as being OSD/OSI-conformant, then I accept (as should everyone) its authority as organized.
Q: Why get involved in something like this, are you trying to save the world??
A: Saving the world really isn't my thing. I'd like to place emphasis on this not being some sort of altruistic project. At my core, I'm a problem solver; a puzzler by trade. MJFF put forth a reasonable challenge with a bounty💰 at a nice price. Again, though, this is for public benefit, and I'm proud of that.
Q: ... and no one's done anything like this before?
A: Doubtful. If something like this had been on the market already, we would have known about it. I'm sure people have wanted to do something like this, but there's a big difference between ideation and delivery. As was already stated, there are labs at universities that are attempting to do distributed computing at scale on macromolecular computation, but their approach is drastically different from what is being accomplished here. For starters, they/we are calculating different physics (ie. the physics engine used to run those programs is not compensating for twistor spaces and/or animation modifiers), and none of them are using crowdsourced data to train ai on machine learning; only for direct responses.
Q:What's the difference between UUe.i and other major molecular dynamic initiatives?
A: There are some minor differences, but they matter. Again, each piece of software is tackling separate physics. UUe.i is the first-to-market molecular dynamics software that incorporates deep learning algorithms. Also, UUe.i is widely opensource, almost completely so (to the point where it must not stop running). The API is available to be fiddled with at any time. Lastly, the softwares have different licenses. Most 'opensource' stuff out there today is licensed through MIT or GPL. UUe.i, UUe, and Egglepple rely on the UUelcome License.
Q: Where can I learn more about methods and methodologies of urban agriculture?
A: Just use Google/Bing and watch videos about the topic online (eg. YouTube), for starters. I got a taste of 'urban farming' by getting my hands dirty at Garden City Harvest in Missoula, Montana. I recommend a book by Will Allen called, The Good Food Revolution (ISBN-13: 978-1592407606), which helped sharpen my understanding for composing portions of this opera. Basically, my education on the topic came from reading literature, watching videos, and working on sites, and yours can, too.
Q: Where can I buy some Brown Hue rum?
A: It's not for sale. And if it is on sale, it's not being sold by me. The spirit was created just for the first chord of the arc, and is a fictional brand. That said, you can make yourself some by following the instructions. (Drink responsibly.🥃)
Q: When can I use the ai?
A: It will be done when it's done.
C: I would like to report a bug or make a request.
A: Go here. Thanks.
Q: What is/are Deepfakes?
A: Deepfakes Club (see also 📓How I got Bruce Willis to be in my movie, for free)
Q: Why not use multiple service providers for big computing?
A: The short answer is because since they all do the same thing at roughly the same cost, and each offer enough bandwidth to cover all of our compute needs, it's easier to stick with one (1) vendor (in this case, Google). GCP - even though it is behind in marketshare - has undoubtedly the best services at scale. Think about it, Google (which is responsible for 25% of all Internet traffic[i]) serves GMail, AdWords, the search engine, and other apps (eg. YouTube and Apple's iCloud services[z]) to billions of people at trillions of instances every day. No other provider can claim to scale those kinds of numbers at this time. Also, since engineering is of the essence here, the 2Gbps/CPU (superior to the market leader) throughput matters. .. Alright, fine! The Microsoft cloud [Azure, Github] may be used for certain services, as well (it's really robust).
Q: Why is computing necessary to solve this problem?
A: Assuming that the mathematics works, then you would have to model the molecular processes (all stochastic = computationally complex) in computational time. The best, most sensible way to go about completing that is with a Turing machine.
Q:Define distributed supercomputing.
A: Supercomputing is more of a notion than anything. It implies that there are hard limits on normal (single processor) computing needs, as would be the case on usual personal computers. To compensate, technicians typically expand the capabilities of the machines to include more processing power, storage management, and so forth. The 'distributed' part implies that the information loads of a single machine can be partitioned and/or conjoined in a network to handle the compute. Putting it all together, a distributed supercomputer is a multinodal system with no theoretical hard compute limits. The keyword behind distributed computing is cost efficiency.
Q:Why base the servers in Montana?
A: A good reason is because of the state's relatively low cost of electricity; average power consumption bills for residential and commercial customers are perennially ranked in the bottom tier. Another good reason is because I reside there.
Q:What is a protein?
A: The long-short is that a protein is a biomechanical machine (yes, a real machine!) whose function is to work within a cell. The molecule is encoded from a set number of chemical elements called amino acids that give it instruction(s) as to how to perform its function. There's a quality in-depth wiki article (math/sci/music = fair) about this.
Q:How accurate is juking?
A: Pretty accurate. We always assume in juking that P = BQP, so there is the stochastic element built-in. We rely on string theory (a theory), and as more and more of its predictions become validated, so will our results. Juking tests for twistor spaces, which is key to making strings fold/animate quickly. The stronger our understanding of the math is, the tighter our bounds will be. Juking is the only way I know to go about doing that.
Q:How/Why did you start juking?
A: I started with puzzle design and kids stuff like yarn play back in the early 1990s. In the late 1990s, I read an expository book on string theory, took a stab at solving it, and ended up with the EGP keynote. Organically, the math brought me to create UUe. Now it all fits together.
Q:Location of project's protocol stack?
A: #Easteropera [archive]
Q:Where are your peer-reviewed publications?
A:I self-publish under UUhistlegrass (journal formerly known as UUelcome Editions). ISSN: 2165 - 6738.
Q:What are your ultimate goals with UUe/UUe.i?
A: Double U economics.
Q:I have privacy and/or security concerns.
A: In an effort to assuage your concerns, just know that the embed is NOT keeping tabs on your browsing history or online behaviors beyond what is necessary to run the software (you can review the source code if you wish). The only thing it is designed to do is let jukers play, and report those call functions back to the server (jukebox). Nor is it collecting personal information. As far as it being installed on your system, this is a secure🔐 process that won't expose itself to other hubbed data without your permission. Lastly, the ai won't ship without ISO 27001 and SSAE-18 certifications. --------

2 comments:

  1. This would be a good example of how to get the application process rolling:

    #Eastergigs Hello, my name is John/Jane Doe. I am interested in applying for ________. Here is a safe+secure link to my LinkedinIn résumé/CV and/or IMDb page. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yes, YOU can just jump in here and start participating!

    ReplyDelete

Use Docs for file-sharing, Apps Script to code. ++Juke notation guide🙂