San Diego Black Film FestivalBacklot Film Festival

The Buzz on
Lady Magdalene's

"Hilarious entertainment!"

"Nichelle Nichols, the original Lt. Uhura from the very first Star Trek television series, was in town for the Backlot festival in Culver City. Her latest feature, entered in the Festival competition, was Lady Magdalene's, which was directed by J. Neil Schulman, who co-produced it with Ms. Nichols. It is a blend of Comedy Sitcoms of the 50’s and 60’s, with a 'Cold War' aura, which has been given a 'terrorist' slant. Its convoluted plotline, combined with outrageous dialogue, results in a hilarious entertainment."
--Robin Rosenzweig,
Beverly Hills Outlook

"An offbeat, sexy comedy!"

"Notable entries [at the Backlot Film Festival] included J. Neil Schulman's Lady Magdalene's, starring the ever-beautiful Nichelle Nichols of Star Trek fame. Schulman's first feature is an offbeat, sexy comedy set in a Nevada brothel that lampoons the IRS, Homeland Security, and Al-Qaeda, among others."
--Lee Michael Cohn,
Santa Monica Mirror

Lady Magdalene's star Nichelle Nichols
with honoree Carl Reiner
and Backlot Film Festival director, Ross Hawkins

A fun, fast-paced action comedy...populated by likable characters ...built like the classic comedies of the 1940s-1960s, complete with a musical number...that deserves a wide audience.

If writers of the modern thrillers could come up with twists and misdirections even a quarter as clever as Schulman does here, I wouldn't find myself wondering if the thriller is a dead genre.

...[T]here are far more instances where the film is equal to counterparts with budgets ten times the size of what this movie was made for. Even at its weakest, the film is far better than most of the product in a similar budget and production-value range.

[Nichelle Nichols] gives a performance that is worthy of an actress of her veteran status. She is delightful in this film ... [Alexander Wraith] shows himself to be a very talented actor ...

Despite the high quality of the film, I fear that Schulman faces an uphill battle when it comes to placing it with a distributor, because no attempt is made to make the film "politically correct" or do anything but call a spade a spade.

By simply portraying Federal law enforcement agencies and American politicians accurately (even to the point of getting details about the Internal Revenue Service's CID correct), he points out the flaws with the domestic "war on terror."

Similarly, Schulman's portrayal of terrorists as primarily moronic dupes or self-centered, hypocritical sociopaths who blame everyone but themselves for their own shortcomings is far closer to the truth that is acceptable to say in the current popular culture.

This is not to say that Lady Magdalene's is overtly political--in fact, I think Schulman takes steps to keep it neutral as far as that goes--but in an age where common sense and even basic facts seem to have been politicized, I'm sure there are those out there who will say that it is a political movie. Unfortunately, it's not the kind of politics that will go ever well with many in the film biz.
--Steve Miller,
Rotten Tomatoes

"Action-humor reminiscent of a Bob Hope movie ..."

The casting is outstanding... The script had all the twists in the right places...powerful and so subtly written... It is purely character driven -- and that's what I loved about it. Definitely one that will etch itself into memory. I like it a lot better than Firefly. It grows on you after you finish seeing it. I was still thinking about it a week later."
--Bestselling Author Jacqueline Lichtenberg,

A Left Turn for the Star Trek Lady
At age 75, actress Nichelle Nichols lands an indie film festival prize by going boldly where Heidi Fleiss and Dennis Hof have gone before.

"The makers of the action-comedy Lady Magdalene's proclaim it to be 'the first Jerry-Bruckheimer-style tentpole made on an Ed-Wood-sized budget.' That's certainly a cutting edge way to put it and it seems to have worked, as the film has now won the Best Cutting Edge Film Award at the recently completed San Diego Black Film Festival (January 31st – February 3rd). Certainly, any award that comes with a complimentary bottle of Tommy Bahama rum gets points for cutting through the awards season bullshit. Ditto for a film that combines into feature film narrative the elements of a Nevada brothel madam (Nichelle Nichols, in the titular role), a disgraced IRS agent, the Hoover Dam and al-Quaeda terrorists. Nichols is of course indelibly associated with the Star Trek films, but unless Lieutenant Uhura or her post-modern echo gets tricked out in Star Trek XI in thigh high galactic leather boots, that will likely pale in comparison to the picture of Nichols' in this nascent film festival darling. The next screening of Lady Magadalene's is scheduled for L.A.'s Backlot Film Festival in early April. The film's writer-director-producer J. Neil Schulman, who entered into a production partnership with Nichols in 2005, has had a varied career prior to making this feature filmmaking debut. He's worked as a journalist, novelist and as a pioneer in the late 1980's of the e-book. Schulman also, intriguingly, has gone from being an atheist to being a firm believer in God. But perhaps the real punchline to all this zaniness is the fact that YouTube darling Tay Zonday ('Chocolate Rain') is being quoted in the press release as a thumbs up review source, with the words, 'I love seeing Nichole in a more textured role.' If Jesulu Productions doesn't plaster that one all over the eventual movie ads, they will have missed a golden goofy PR opportunity."

--Filmstew Staff, Daily News,, February 5, 2008
Also at Yahoo! Movies

Who's Hotter -- Megan Fox or
Lady Magdalene's Susan Smythe?

"Please....sit down"

Please, sit down and enjoy J. Neil Schulman's first feature film, Lady Magdalene's. Keep in mind this is a low budget film...even for an indie film. But this "little film that could" has many wonderful elements. There are some really humorous moments and good musical pieces, many sung by the soulful, cabaret screen presence of Nichelle Nichols. The deadpan humor is carried off, Tom Hanks/Dan Aykroyd style, by Ethan Keogh who plays IRS Agent Goldwater. If the ATF featured special agents as played by lovely Susan Smythe, well I'll fire up that moonshine still in the backyard, smuggle in some Cuban cigars, and buy a full-auto battle rifle sans $200 tax...bring your cuffs, darling. You gotta love scenes that include the ATF and IRS in bed together...literally. This low budget, indie film is plenty fun. But my favorite part was the credits. Now a cynic might say "yeah, it is finally over...", but no, please...sit down and enjoy the credits. The credits feature lots of little outtakes and some really solid and fun original, music selections. All in all, a great first film for novelist J. Neil Schulman. I can't wait to see a film version of his most recent novel, Escape From Heaven. I'll definitely be "going back again."
--Mark Laughlin,
Offshore Living

"Nichelle Nichols Film Successful -
Gets 2nd Screening"

The first April 3rd screening of Nichelle's film Lady Magdalene's at The Backlot Film Festival was successful enough that the organizers of the festival have scheduled a second screening of the movie for this coming Friday, April 11th, at The Old Town Music Hall in El Segundo, CA-- "Home of the Mighty Wurlitzer Organ." The show begins at 8:15 PM with student films, followed by Lady Magdalene's
Screening Venue:
The Old Town Music Hall
140 Richmond St.
El Segundo, CA 90245

By Sam, Slice of SciFi, April 8, 2008

Nichelle Nichols' Lady Magdalene's
Press Junket for the Backlot Film Festival, March 30, 2008

Excerpt from Lady Magdalene's:
Exiled to Pahrump

NRA's Institute for Legislative Action
calls Lady Magdalene's
a "pro-gun comedy"

"The pro-gun comedy Lady Magdalene's will also show at the ...Backlot Film Festival..."
(Note: The late Oscar-winner, Charlton Heston -- a past NRA president -- called Lady Magdalene's Writer/Director J. Neil Schulman's nonfiction book on the gun question, Stopping Power: Why 70 Million Americans Own Guns "the most cogent explanation of the gun issue I have yet read" and praised Schulman's 2002 comic novel, Escape from Heaven, in a private letter. J. Neil Schulman responds, "All you have to do these days to make a comedy the NRA can describe as 'pro-gun' is not show psychotics, incompetents, and idiots as the only people in your movie who are handling guns. As for the magnificent Charlton Heston, he should be remembered for his marching with Dr. King on behalf of universal equality as much as for his later support for the 'great equalizer.'")

Grassroots Alerts, Vol. 15, No. 14 04/04/08

SDBFF photo
Lady Magdalene's wins
"Best Cutting Edge Film" Award
After Film Festival Premiere

News Release
Photo Gallery

Slice of SciFi Podcast
with Nichelle Nichols
and J. Neil Schulman

We are so pleased to be able to talk with the legendary star of stage, television and big screen, the Grand Dame of Scifi, Nichelle Nichols. Joining Nichelle is director J. Neil Schulman. The two worked together on the film “Lady Magdalene's,” the new suspense/comedy film that is part scifi and part contemporary that has Nichelle starring as a modern day Madam of a Nevada brothel who, with a disgraced IRS agent is hot on the trail of a possible terrorist. We had such a great time talking with Nichelle and Neil that we just kept it going right into our Future Talk segment so that part of the show won't be featured in this week's edition. We know you will truly enjoy this fun conversation with one of entertainment's greatest ladies to ever grace the profession.
Web Page at contains all podcast links.
Subscribe to Slice of Scifi on iTunes, catch it on XM Radio's "Sonic Theater" Channel 163, Monday April 7th at 7:00 AM EDT or just Listen!

Additional links:

Trek United: The Grand Dame of Sci-fi - Nichelle Nichols on Slice of SciFi Show #154, Saturday, March 29, 2008

Slice of SciFi: Special Event Showing of Lady Magdalene's

Slice of SciFi: Nichelle Nichols Continues Press Junket
mirrored at

Slice of SciFi: A Final Special Invitation from Nichelle Nichols to all Trekkers of the Universe

"SciFi Professional Fan Films?
With Libertarian Influence?"

Nichelle Nichols is starring in a film by J. Neil Schulman? The same J. Neil Schulman who wrote Stopping Power? When did he start doing film? The universe is indeed weirder than we can know. Star Trek fans probably have no idea who J. Neil Schulman is, but those of us who are reasonably informed in Libertarian circles have become well acquainted with the name, even if we haven't quite gotten around to reading his books. I guess I'll have to make time to watch Nichelle perform in a film by J. Neil schulman. I'm in a quandary though as to whether to invite my Libertarian friends or my SF friends. If I invite both groups and they both show up there could well be a causality inversion.
Try to imagine all life as you know it stopping instantaneously and every molecule in your body exploding at the speed of light. -Egon
Might be interesting.
Anthony Steele, Rant(hony)-ngs, April 3, 2008

Whoopi Goldberg Radio Interview
with Nichelle Nichols on
Wake Up With Whoopi!


Nichelle Nichols at
Dragon*Con 2007
about Lady Magdalene's
Part 1

Watch All 8 Parts

Opening day of the 2008 San Diego Black Film Festival, KGTV 10 Morning News anchor Lisa Lake interviews Lady Magdalene's' writer/director J. Neil Schulman, on the movie's premiere at the festival.

Watch the Channel 41 Pahrump news story on Lady Magdalene's broadcast during production!

Transcript of
Lady Magdalene's
Press Conference

at Dragon*Con 2007

from Blogs

Lady Magdalene's
In the News

Latest News Items

The Trouble With Indie Films

"I love indie films, for many of the reasons that filmmaker J. Neil Schulman (Lady Magdalene's) doesn't. However, Neil makes so many valid observations about indie films, I asked if it were okay for me to reprint them here."

--Thomas M. Sipos,
Hollywood Investigator, March 21, 2008

Black Film Festival Announces Winners
"[At] the San Diego Black Film Festival awards ... J. Neil Schulman's Lady Magdalene's, starring Star Trek veteran Nichelle Nichols, won the award for "best cutting-edge film."
--Lew Irwin, Studio Briefing,
IMDb, February 4, 2008

San Diego Black Film Festival
"Even the Enterprise's communications officer Uhura -- um, I mean Nichelle Nichols -- will beam down for an indie film called Lady Magdalene's, in which she plays the Madam of a Las Vegas brothel that's taken over by the IRS when she fails to pay some back taxes. Nichols, who once sang with Duke Ellington, treats viewers to a bit of singing here and proves there's life after Star Trek."
--Beth Accomando, Movie Reviews,
KPBS Radio, January 30, 2008

Earlier News Items

Lady Magdalene's Will Premiere at the
San Diego Black Film Festival

Lady Magdalene's, the new movie starring Nichelle Nichols, will premiere at the San Diego Black Film Festival. As reported at The Open Press, the first film-festival screening of Lady Magdalene's, will occur at the fifth annual San Diego Black Film Festival, which is to be held from January 31 to February 3, 2008. The 108-minute theatrical cut was completed in November of 2007.
--TrekToday, January 4, 2008

Dragon*Con Report: The Panels,
the Pageantry, the Parties

Another very special guest at Dragon*Con was Nichelle Nichols, who as previously mentioned came for the world premiere of "Lady Magdalene's" as well as to take part in the Saturday morning parade. One of the very first events of the weekend was a press conference held Friday morning by J. Neil Schulman, the writer/director/producer of "Magdalene's," along with Nichols, who also served as executive producer on the film, which had just completed post-production two weeks prior.

Schulman described the Nevada-set film as a "suspense comedy" in the tone of the lighthearted spy fare of the 1950s and '60s, such as "The Pink Panther." He further described it as "a Jerry Bruckheimer-sized tentpole on an Ed Wood budget," having been produced for under a million dollars. Schulman and Nichols are talking to a couple of distributors about a theatrical run, and are also planning to submit the film to several festivals including Sundance.

So why would Nichols want to play the madam of a Nevada brothel? "Are you kidding? That's the ultimate choice for an actor, to play something so far removed from their identity, from who they are. I think the idea and the dream of an actor is to stretch, to stretch their instrument as far as they can go. But it was also well written for me by this one [Schulman] ... It was just so exciting to play this hard-core broad." But she said she also find a lot of complexity and compassion in the character.

Besides acting in the title role, Nichols also performed three of the movie's songs, two of which she wrote herself, and did the choreography on the musical numbers. As producing partner with Schulman, she helped seek out funding and bring in key people to the production. She also helped mold the script, Schulman pointed out. "Through six or seven drafts, Nichelle had constant input to make everything stronger all the way through," he said. Schulman -- whose writing experience includes The Twilight Zone -- also added that Nichols as his star, he made sure to work in a bunch of subtle Star Trek references, "easter eggs throughout the movie" for the fans.

The musical aspect of the film is only a small part of it, but Nichols said she could envision adapting the project for the stage. "It has all the components of a really good Broadway show. The songs are peppy, or they're poignant," and in some cases, raunchy.

During the press conference Nichols also talked a bit about her upcoming stint on Heroes, though she refused to divulge any new plot details that haven't already been announced. She plays "Nana," the grandmother of Monica, and Schulman pointed out that both Nana and Magdalene are from New Orleans. Nichols said her casting on that show proved to Nichols how fast news spreads in fandom circles. "Twenty-four hours after I got the notice that I was going to be joining [the show], someone called me from across the country and said, 'Is it true you're going to be on Heroes, do you have a power, who are you going to be?' And I said, 'How could you possibly know--' which was a stupid question 'cause it was a Trekkie!"

The Sunday morning screening was lightly attended, because, well, it was Sunday morning -- and Dragon*Con is notorious for its all-night partying. Though no doubt the audience was not what the producers had hoped, it was still their first audience, made up of fans delighted to see Nichols displaying her wide range of talent on the big screen.

The movie was an interesting mix of elements from political intrigue to farcical comedy to lighthearted romance to surreal musical. It revolved around the subject matter of terrorism, but dealt with it in an alternately tongue-in-cheek and serious manner. In the Q&A afterwards Schulman commented on his thematic intentions.

"I'm a Libertarian, so I'm suspicious of government and the way they do things, even at times when one has to be on the side of the government," Schulman said. He remarked that while he understood the reasons for the war in Iraq, "I don't think it has accomplished what Mr. Bush thought it was going to accomplish. We still have a big problem with terrorism and I don't see that the government knows how to solve it. What I was trying to do with this film as much as anything was to say, look at Flight 93. On 9/11 the only people who managed to stop an al-Qaida attack were the passengers on Flight 93; the government just totally fell flat on all levels in preventing this. And so I'm going back to the original idea of the framers of our system of government of relying on the people themselves ... If I have any overall message, it's that the American people have to look to themselves for their own security -- they can't count on the government to do it."

Nichols agreed with that statement, though her own political philosophy diverges from his: "I'm a bleeding-heart Democrat, a proud card-carrying member," she confessed. "I believe in all of the freedoms that are inherent in the Constitution that is being destroyed. And I believe that at some point we are going to stand up and take back our Constitution that guarantees all of us inalienable rights." However, she said she felt very strongly that the movie not be a heavy-handed political statement. "I think much was said that needed to be said, [but] it's the kind of film that you can enjoy and take away from it what you see in it, and probably then some."

--Official CBS/Paramount Website,
September 30, 2007

Nichols Loves Being One of Trek's Heroes
...In Lady Magdalene's, the film that premiered at the [Dragon*Con] convention, Nichols plays a role rather different than those for which she is known: a madam. "She's an indomitable figure..she's gone through hell," Nichols explained. Part of the appeal of the role was the chance to sing. "One of the songs was in the role before I got it...I saw an opportunity," she noted. "There's a line at the end of the show where I say that my husband, Cadillac Jack, was right: a woman's got to be ready for anything." That line inspired Nichols to write a song that is featured in the film.
--TrekToday, September 20, 2007

Nichelle Converses with Whoopi
Wednesday morning Nichelle Nichols called up Whoopi Goldberg during her radio show Wake Up with Whoopi and conversed for about five minutes about Star Trek and each other's current endeavors. They reiterated the story about why Goldberg insisted to Gene Roddenberry that she be on The Next Generation -- because she was inspired as a child by Nichols on the original Star Trek, representing that "there were possibly some black people in the future!"

Nichols congratulated Goldberg on her new stint as co-host of ABC's The View, which started Tuesday. "It's a new articulate voice from a new perspective, and I love it," Nichols said on the New York-based syndicated radio talk show.

Goldberg, in turn, congratulated Nichols for her new role on Heroes (related story). Nichols revealed that she has shot two episodes of the popular NBC drama, and will start a third one on Friday (today). She commented on the reaction she got when she announced this news at two recent conventions, Creation in Las Vegas and Dragon*Con in Atlanta: "You would have thought an atom bomb fell and blew — I mean, the response was so incredible."

Goldberg then asked Nichols about Lady Magdalene's, the independent film she starred in and helped produce, which held its world premiere last weekend at Dragon*Con. The film does not have a release date yet, Nichols said, but writer/director/producer J. Neil Schulman is currently negotiating with distributors.
--Official CBS/Paramount Website,
September 7, 2007

Similar story
September 9, 2007 at

Nichols Latest Addition to Heroes
Soon Heroes and Star Trek will be indistinguishable from each other. In the latest casting cross-over between those two franchises, Nichelle Nichols is now on board to guest-star in the popular Monday-night NBC series in its second season. ... In other Nichols news, "Lady Magdalene's," an independent film she stars in and also executive produced, will hold its world premiere at Dragon*Con, the huge science fiction/fantasy convention in Atlanta, Georgia, over Labor Day weekend. Nichols will be present to personally introduce the film, which will screen Sunday, September 2, in the Hyatt Regency Centennial Ballroom. Billed as a suspense-comedy, "Magdalene's" features Nichols as a brothel madam who gets involved in a federal investigation of an al-Qaeda plot against Hoover Dam."
--Official CBS/Paramount Website,
August 16, 2007

Anti-Gun Film Festival Honors Pro-Gun Filmmaker -- Sort Of
Apparently unaware that its producer/writer/director is an outspoken pro-gun advocate, the Moondance International Film Festival, whose stated goal is to "encourage and inspire non-violent conflict resolution," has selected J. Neil Schulman's Lady Magdalene's as a semifinalist in this year's competition. Upon learning of the selection, Schulman congratulated the festival's director "on her openness in placing art before politics, in an age when virtually all film festivals filter out any film not promoting their own narrow prejudices." Informed that Schulman is the webmaster of the World Wide Web Gun Defense Clock, which promotes armed self-defense; is the writer of Stopping Power: Why 70 Million Americans Own Guns; and that his movie reflects his pro-gun views, English said in a statement that the film was selected "based on the film's story of a kind of feminine self-empowerment, but I do not, and Moondance certainly does not, advocate the kind of violence depicted in this film ... which is the reason the film will not be screened at the film festival." The festival is scheduled to take place in Universal City on September 7-9.
--Lew Irwin, Studio Briefing,
June 26, 2007

Politics over art... it's business as usual?
"The film's political leanings were immediately obvious to me from the outset, and the (mild) violence was likewise present. Like the festival organizers, I watched the cold--it wasn't until I went to Schulman's website that I became fully aware of his other activities (or the above-referenced NRA screening of the film). Why could I see it and English or her people could not? And why is she now distancing herself from it? The movie is still the same movie, isn't it? Or does Schulman's other activities suddenly change it? Do movies change just because we learn things about Tom Sizemore, Tom Cruise, Mel Gibson, or any other creator that we don't like? The answer is "no, they don't", and there's no reason to suddenly be apologetic for liking a film because a meth-head, crazy cultist, raging bigot, or Second-Amendment activist is involved with it."
--Steve Miller,
Rotten Tomatoes

"Watch theaters for that film -
it'll likely be a landmark."

--Jacqueline Lichtenberg, author of Star Trek Lives!
"Heinlein on Love"

"Forget Sundance. Forget Cannes.
The writer-director-producer of the
action-comedy Lady Magdalene's,
starring Nichelle Nichols of Star Trek fame,
is auctioning the movie on eBay ..."

--Lew Irwin, Studio Briefing,

Indie Film Lampoons IRS, Homeland Security
"Not content with being an award-winning author published by major New York houses ... and a writer for TV's Twilight Zone ... [when] Hollywood wouldn't make his movie, [J. Neil Schulman] produced it himself."
--Thomas M. Sipos,
California Freedom

"This has GOT to [be] a first.
A production company is selling their movie on eBay!"
--Steve Miller,
Rotten Tomatoes

"Fancy owning a movie?
Reasons you should think about it:
The film stars Nichelle Nichols
(Star Trek's Lt Uhura)."
--Wendy Ide,
The Times, London

"Indie film makers get ever more cunning
in promoting their flicks."

--Vili Maunula,
Vertebrate Silence

"Nichelle Nichols has recently finished filming a movie called Lady Magdalene's. She plays the title character, an owner of a brothel, and the film with all the distribution rights can be yours for a mere $1 Million!"
--Anthony Pascale, "Shatner Wrestles, Doohan Soars, Nichols Auctions, Takei Re-Heroes ...Oh My"
The Trek Movie Report

"Bidding on the film starts at $999,999
for any wannabe Miramax executive."
--Faisal Qureshi, Screengrab

"You have until Monday to own a piece of what
may become film history."
--Kelly Jane Torrance, "Wide World of Small Films,"
The Washington Times

"It stars Nichelle Nichols from Star Trek.
Talk about someone who can open a movie."

--Tom Long, "Tom Long's Mostly Movies"
The Detroit News

"Lady Magdalene's Test Screens at the NRA"
by Thomas M. Sipos, Managing Editor
Hollywood Investigator

"It has achieved a small benchmark in film history..."
"Movie making in Nevada, then and now"

--Dennis Myers, "Against the Grain"
Pahrump Valley Times

Music Video: Rahab the Harlot
"My friend J. Neil Schulman, the science fiction writer, is producing an indie movie entitled Lady Magdalene's, starring Nichelle Nichols (Uhura from Star Trek) and in the course of the movie she sings a song entitled "Rahab the Harlot." Neil wrote the song for the movie and I suspect there is some symbolic linkage between Rahab in the OT and Lady Magdalene in the movie. ... I guess Rahab and Magdalene are appropriate guests on a biblioblog."
--Gary Greenberg, Bible and History, January 8, 2007

A J. Neil Schulman production: Lady Magdalene's
"The author of Alongside Night, The Rainbow Cadenza, Stopping Power and other works is now executive-producing (and writing and directing) a movie starring Nichelle Nichols of Star Trek fame..."
--David M. Brown, Laissez Faire Review, April 18, 2006

Lady Magdalene's is in the Can
"Libertarian novelist, book publisher, screenwriter and now movie producer J. Neil Schulman tells us that he and his crew have wrapped up production on Lady Magdalene's"
--David M. Brown, Laissez Faire Review, October 12, 2006

"Star Trek's Nichelle Nichols to Star in New Indie Comedy
Written & Directed by Twilight Zone Alumnus"

--John Snider, Science Fiction News,

"Al-Qaeda, brothel come to town for new movie

--Mark Waite, "And...Action!",
Pahrump Valley Times

"Nichols Plays Madam in Action-Comedy"
"News RoundUp, 06/16/2006"
StarTrek.Com: Official CBS/Paramount Website

"Nichols' "Lady Magdalene's" Trailer Online"
"Roundup: Stewart, Nichols, Doohan, TV Land, Comic Relief, etc., 11/11/2006"
StarTrek.Com: Official CBS/Paramount Website

"Nichelle Nichols Is a Nevada Brothel Owner in a New Film"
by Thomas M. Sipos, Managing Editor
Hollywood Investigator

"Lady Magdalene's, by J Neil Schulman a screenplay for a movie currently being made. An air marshal spots a likely suspect, arrests him--and gets canned for being wrong. He is banished to an inclement assignment: he has to run a brothel that is in tax default. Lovely ladies galore, of course, who resent his presence and try to seduce him and/or get him in trouble. Then the man he profiled turns up there, having a nefarious plot that surely will be much mischief. He manages to discover and foil the fell ploy and redeem himself. Standard fare, but it will surely be a fun movie to watch. Meanwhile Schulman is embroiled in a fight with the Department of Homeland Security, which forbade him to refer to it in the movie. Nervous about a seeming association with a whorehouse, maybe."
Piers Anthony
The Ogre's Den, April 1, 2006

Dept. of Homeland Security
Shoots Down Movie Script

A Los Angeles screenwriter is claiming that the Department of Homeland Security has informed him that he may not use the agency's name "or any of the Department's official visual identities" in the script for his film, Lady Magdalene, despite the fact that the film presents a positive image of the DHS. The writer, J. Neil Schulman, said Tuesday that he had received a notice from Bobbie Faye Ferguson, director of the NHS's office of multimedia, informing him that his "project does not fit within the DHS mission and that it is not something we can participate in." In response, Schulman wrote to Ferguson that he had already received assistance from a special agent of the NHS's air marshal service while he was preparing his screenplay and that the agency's notice to him now represents a violation of his First Amendment rights. "Merely the claim that you have the power to restrict such official images is chilling to the process of writing and producing a movie -- and certainly to an independent film in pre-production with a start date for principal photography only six weeks away," Schulman wrote.
--Lew Irwin, Studio Briefing, March 22, 2006