Bright Midnight



A man whose wife left him during a fight picks up a hitchhiker and allows her to stay in his home, despite the threat of impropriety that may endanger his appointment as principal of a small town high school. Threatened by her smothering affection, he kicks her out of his house and the girl disappears. That’s when the local authorities ultimately discover that he actually is keeping a bizarre and twisted secret and is not the man they thought he was.

Status Pre-Production
Genre Dark Psychological Thriller
Director Richard Zelniker
Writer Richard Zelniker
Producers Richard Zelniker, Chris Monte



Bright Midnight is a dramatic suspense thriller in the vein of Blood Simple, driven by an underlying eroticism reminiscent of Lolita and The Last Seduction.

Set in “dying on the vine” small-town America, population 5000, Bright Midnight is a portrait of the secrets and lies of its inhabitants- a simple, heartbroken schoolteacher who misses his beautiful, estranged wife; a seemingly innocent teenage runaway; a sleazy young man who’s seen loitering outside the local high school.

To illustrate Bright Midnight’s dark and lurid elements and unsettling, even sinister tone, I will create lighting combining muted colors and moody compositions in the vein of classic Fincher films, such as Seven and his latest, The Girl With a Dragon Tattoo. Bright Midnight’s erotically charged story also allows me to create hyper-real, exaggerated images with saturated primary colors to fortify the bleak undertow of this decaying town and the erotic power a teenage girl holds over an older man.

Behind its mysterious characters lies something ominous and foreboding. To create this dynamic lurking just beneath the surface between Matt, Shasta, Buckridge and the absent Alison, I will assign distinct and specific colors to each one, re-emphasizing already very strong characters driving the suspense.

Last, because the film is full of very sexy scenes, the dark tones throughout will heighten the viewer’s discovery as we drive to the bizarre and shocking climax.

Bright Midnight Lookbook


Contact us for screenplay, budget, prospectus, and more information.