The script of Taser is about a celebrity therapist known online as The Happiness Angel who is Tasered. She develops a compulsion to attack her lovers mid-act. She sets out to cure her affliction with fatal results. David M Hinds is the writer of Taser. TASER, David's first screenplay won BEST THRILLER SCRIPT at the ONIROS FILM AWARDS IN NEW YORK in December 2021.
David is the author of a series of professional stress management training manuals for industry, Countdown to Love, and The Little Book of Recovery, as well as Beat Depression, published by Hodder and Stoughton, with an Arabic edition by Jarir. He lives with his wife, Tatiana, a mathematician and teacher, in Plymouth, Devon. After recovering from the two major strokes and a sub-clavian bypass operation, David wrote the non-fiction self-help book After Stroke, which was published in the UK in February 2000 by Thorsons, in the USA by HarperCollins, and in Japan by Sun Choh with sales of 20,000 copies in the UK alone.
David & Tatiana Hinds May 2022
After Stroke was also picked up by the media, and David’s story was a full-page feature in the Sunday Express Colour Magazine. He was also interviewed on BBC TV, Channel 5 News, and ITV’s THIS MORNING programme with Richard and Judy. Richard Madeley, live on TV, described the book as “excellent”. We had the pleasure of speaking to David about his script and his work as a writer.
What draws you to writing scripts?
Adversity! The need to work my brain and combat the vascular dementia I have been diagnosed with. There’s no cure but nothing keeps dementia at bay more than exercising your brain and screenwriting is by far the most brain-testing (and brain-teasing) endeavor I have undertaken.
How and when did you start studying screenwriting?
Through adversity decades ago! I suffered two major strokes over one weekend thirty years ago. When I was eventually able to read and write again, I wrote two books AFTER STROKE and BEAT DEPRESSION published by HarperCollins and Hodder & Stoughton. They were a great success because the books are patient-centred, not doctor-generated. Also, the ITV THIS MORNING programme gave me a 25-minute interview live on TV and the Sunday Express national newspaper gave me a whole page of coverage in their colour magazine. Updated editions through Amazon are still in print even today. In 2013, I was inspired to write this screenplay by the horrendous and painful death of a young man in my home town of Plymouth, Devon, who EXPLODED in a police Taser FIREBALL.
What makes screenwriting stand out to you in the language of cinema?
The huge potential audience of the big screen! Crack this market and the message in your movie hits home right across the western world.
Do you ever plan to direct and produce one of your scripts?
No. I’ll leave that to an accomplished expert.
Tell us more about your latest script and the inspiration behind the writing of your script.
After the Taser fireball incident in Plymouth, Devon in 2013, I started researching Taser deaths. Through my research I discovered thousands of Taser-related deaths worldwide and a mystery so bizarre it inspired my 10+ multi-award-winning, darkly comedic, psycho-sexual thriller screenplay TASER and its alternate title, THE HAPPINESS ANGEL that is a fast-moving present-day mental health ERIN BROCKOVICH battle for sanity and justice, set in the UK. The mystery is a rare phenonium called post-Taser behavioral change. Strange things can happen when you’re Tasered. After celebrity therapist Candy Towne – known online as THE HAPPINESS ANGEL – is Tasered, she develops a compulsion to attack her lovers mid-act and sets out to cure her affliction… with fatal results.
My Question: Why should investors and cinema-goers care?
Answer: Mental health is at an all-time low now and is likely to be for the foreseeable future. It’s an issue that resonates with most people. TASER and THE HAPPINESS ANGEL feature mental health in a highly-original, visual, and entertaining way. It’s the high-concept exposure story for tomorrow’s box office. This is a genre-mashing feature screenplay that is the outright winner of over ten awards across three continents so far this year. Should be a winning film then!
What were some of the challenges of writing your script and the research that went into it?
The near-impossibility of making a mental health screenplay like mine graphic enough to captivate an audience at the cinema. I had to create a completely new technique for what is going on inside my lead character’s brain so that an audience CAN ACTUALLY SEE WHAT SHE’S EXPERIENCING. Fortunately, by profession, I’m a stress management consultant specializing in problems of the subconscious mind, so I’m accustomed to solving other peoples’ problems. Never in my wildest dreams, did I think I would have to solve a fictitious character’s problem of how to demonstrate her internal conflict on-screen!
As regards the extensive research for TASER and its alternate title THE HAPPINESS ANGEL – which, combined with my screenplay associated out-of-pocket expenses, has so far cost me £50,000 – you Canadians come out as real-life heroes… The 2007 case of Robert Dziekanski received national attention in Canada. It placed a spotlight on the police use of Tasers and the diagnosis of EXCITED DELIRIUM, which my protagonist, Candy Towne, suffers from… with devastating consequences for her and her lover. In real life, police psychologist Mike Webster testified at a British Columbia Inquiry into Taser deaths that “Police have been brainwashed by Taser International to justify ridiculously inappropriate use of the electronic weapon.”
What is your cinematic goal in life and what would you like to achieve as a writer?
I have only one cinematic goal in life. To see this screenplay screened and be rewarded for my efforts before I drop down dead! I’ll be seventy-seven next month with more health problems than I’ve touched on in this article. I’m already happy with my achievements as a writer. My greatest writing achievement will not be TASER or THE HAPPINESS ANGEL… My greatest writing achievement has already been accomplished. It is the succession of persuasive love letters and love cards I wrote to my lovely wife Tatiana in my after-stroke recovery days that persuaded her to settle in England and marry me. Take a look on my website –
www.davidmhinds.com Look for a pair of happy bunnies… But, I admit, we will be even happier when we set off for the grand premiere of my movie and see it up there on the big screen. For that to happen, I shall first need to find a non-ageist agent and the right production house to film my screenplay. Thank you for the opportunity to contribute to the magazine. Please feel free to illustrate this article with any pictures or further info from my website.
David M Hinds International Film Festival Screenplay Awards OUTRIGHT WINS
SCREENPLAY AWARDS FOR “TASER”:
Oniros Film Awards New York WINNER – BEST THRILLER SCRIPT Dec. 2021
WorldFest Houston PLATINUM WINNER – BEST THRILLER 2022
Golden Sparrow IFF WINNER - BEST FEATURE SCRIPT May 2022
Košice IFF WINNER – BEST THRILLER SCREENPLAY May 2022
Prague IFF WINNER – BEST ACTION SCREENPLAY Spring ‘22
SCREENPLAY AWARDS FOR TASER’S ALTERNATE TITLE: “THE HAPPINESS ANGEL”:
Oniros Film Awards New York WINNER – BEST ORIGINAL SCRIPT Apr. 2022
WINNER – BEST THRILLER SCRIPT
WINNER – BEST 1ST TIME SCREENWRITER
Golden Eagle Film Festival WINNER - BEST FEATURE SCRIPT May 2022
8 & HalFilm Fellini Festival WINNER - BEST INT. FEATURE SCRIPT Jun 2022
WorldFest Houston SILVER WINNER – BEST COMEDY 2022