Just Make Media!


Thursday, October 04, 2007


the true story of my fathers counterfeit life
based on the memoir by Jennifer Vogel 
script by Jez Butterworth 

One frosty winter morning, Jennifer Vogel's father went on the lam. John Vogel, fifty-two, had been arrested for single-handedly counterfeiting nearly $20 million in U.S. currency, the fourth-largest sum ever seized by federal agents. Unwisely, he was released pending trial. At that same time Jennifer had become one of the city's leading investigative journalists in the weekly tabloid press.

Though Jennifer hadn't spoken to him in four years, police suspected he might turn up at her Minneapolis apartment. They parked outside, watching her every move.  A skeptical crime reporter asking questions or a loving daughter seeking answers, she gives us a breathtaking glimpse into the secret life of the man she thought she knew best.

Jennifer Vogel's engaging and relentless account of her outlaw father is being adapted for film by British playwright and film director Jez Butterworth (MOJO, BIRTHDAY GIRL and THE LAST LEGION) and is adapting the James Brown story for producer/director Spike Lee and the Valerie Plame Story. Vogel and Butterworth will be at the Guthrie along with a local cast including Prairie Home Companion's Sue Scott, City Pages 2007 "Best Actress" Tracey Maloney, an amazing young Children Theater talent Raven Maizy Bellefleur, Emmy and Golden Globes nominated Linda Kelsey known for roles on "Lou Grant", "Detective Fictions" writer/director/actor Patrick Coyle and Stephen Pelinski. This ScriptNight staged script reading is produced/directed by Robb Mitchell with Jez Butterworth. 

Vogel, as depicted in the screenplay being developed for Sidney Kimmel Entertainment (SKE), was a student at the University of Minnesota and started in her field as a reporter for the Minnesota Daily. She continued her career in Minneapolis as an investigative reporter for City Pages uncovering stories of police corruption and the environmental impact of pesticides on toads. Her memoir was a National PEN Center Finalist in 2005 and the winner of the Minnesota Book Award for Creative Non-fiction the same year. Currently, she has accepted a temporary editors assignment with Mother Jones Magazine in San Francisco but maintains her home in Minneapolis.

ScriptNight is sponsored by Fredrikson & Byron, Minnesota Film and TV Board, Minneapolis Community and Technical College, The Rake Magazine, and the Screenwriters' Workshop in partnership with the Guthrie Dowling Studio.

For Tickets call Guthrie Box Office:  612.377.2224
or on the web: guthrietheater.org  --   $10.00 (one hamilton) 


Anonymous said...

Flag Day didn't strike me as a great title. How about "Making Money"?

Melodie said...

Doesn't John Vogel remind you of Sam Bicke in "The Assassination of Richard Nixon" played by Sean Penn?

Bicke had all these ideas (scams) for trying to make money in this kind of fucked up American Dream entrepreneur way and he falls deeper and deeper into the morass of his own delusion. And the more he thinks about it the worse his ideas for solving his problems get. He cannot listen to anyone else who is trying to talk reason to him.

The nice thing about the Film Flam Man story is the a balast that Jennifer brings to the figure of John Vogel. Bicke is almost too intense and we don't get much of a break from his persistent angst spiralling downward into the abyss. However, Jennifer Vogel allows us a respite from John Vogel and she makes the story richer and more interesting.

I think the screenwriter needs to restore more of Jennifer's career, investigative and insightful mind into the story during the time her father is a fugative on the run. Its all there in her book

Anonymous said...

I loved seeing Tracey Maloney as Jennifer, She is an amazing actress here in Minneapolis and it is great to see all the talent ScriptNight brings to the Dowling stage. Sue Scott is the best voice/radio/acting talent in the country. Stephen Pelinski as John Vogel was also excellent and Raven Bellefour was also amazing.

I thought a good title for the film could be "One Beautiful Thing" since John says that "a man can leave one beautiful thing" in his life but there is an ambiguity between whether it is his counterfeiting or his daughter Jennifer. There is a sweet irony to his saying it in the script.