The world of DOG is set in London’s East End, where some of the UK’s most notorious criminals have emerged. From Jack the Ripper, to the Krays Brothers, Londoner’s in the East End have seen it all. This is the world that Adam Reed and Donnie Charles live and work in. A world filled with dilapidated Victorian homes, cramped flats, dark alleys, and broken dreams.
As an imaginative child Michael Leavy suffered. It wasn’t that he had a bad upbringing, far from it a hard working class East End dad who worked all hours to provide for his family and a doting mother who dedicated her self to educating Michael in his infant years and making sure “The gift” she was convinced he had was nurtured for all it was worth.
Yet even as a toddler Michael’s little mind was full of thoughts, ever racing ever asking questions and always searching, constantly feeling like his head would burst and a million thoughts would come bursting out. It was all very well in the day time, that imagination was an asset, Michael and mother would live out exciting journeys and adventures together, but as night fell, the night terrors were to much! Not that Michael was exposed to anything scary the T.V programs were PG and the bedtime was normal for a child of three, the images that tormented Michael came from within,. Somewhere within that over active imagination that was his best ally a terrible sense of worry and danger plagued his young mind. His imagination became so great that Michaels parents began to worry.
It wasn’t just the nightmares that worried them it was the way Michael would pretend to be someone else, frequently playing roles of other people or pretending he was a different little boy. His mother would play along and eventually became “Café Lady” Who he would visit and talk his problems through with as they (Michael and Mother) were strangers. Eventually the “active imagination” became too much and when Michael’s mum lost a child suffering an entopic pregnancy Michael believed his mother had indeed given birth and that mom and dad were hiding the baby, (his brother or sister) in the attic! He could even hear it crying! Dad showed him the empty attic whilst he cried and screamed but the worries were too much for him to handle.
At their wits end Michaels parents took him to a child psychologist who suggested that if Michael had negative thoughts, worries or nightmares he should try to draw what he saw then he, mom and dad would take a match and burn the nasty image together. A break through! The images went away for good. It was at this early stage that Michael realized he needed a release. A way to open the floodgates when things got to crowded in there! Michael has never had much of a talent for drawing but to describe what he see’s In his head with the written word was the perfect outlet and a crucial one to his sanity. And so it began, He had to write, first poems, then short stories, then eventually plays and screen plays.
In fact it was whilst sleeping that Michael had the idea for “Debt of Gratitude” well kind of, He like most creative people makes a point of keeping a pad by him at all times so to jot down any ideas. One morning after a restless nights sleep Michael discovered a pad at the end of his bed, upon inspection he found 60 pages of a handwritten screenplay entitled “Debt of Gratitude”! Tired and really freaked out Michael read through the mystery pages in his own handwriting seemingly for the first time, with no recollection of ever having written it! Hard to believe I know, but it’s true, the following days he made notes right through to the end then set about writing it in it’s entirety as a first draft. Obviously Michael and Daniel J. Pico have worked on the script since and have established a version that has evolved but the core of the story came from those night time scribbling!
After many years of depression Michaels girlfriend gave him a needed push into taking a chance on his writing talents. Michael had around twenty complete scripts just sitting in a drawer but was too self conscious to show anyone. Eventually after some encouragement Michael sent one of his random scripts off to Leo media and Entertainment who loved it and offered Michael representation immediately.
In the last two years alongside Leo Media and mentor Alex Sullivan Michael has developed his skills as a writer and has even made the transition to producer ever learning and enjoying the ride.
Finally Michael’s imagination was a help and not a hindrance and he hopes to one day see his vision up on the big screen and enjoy a successful career in writing.
“Debt of Gratitude” marks Michael’s first produced feature screenplay, and he considers all the avenues in his life that have brought him to this point, and finds the journey worth every moment of hardship to see something he created enjoyed by others.
When Adam Reed begins working for the notorious gangster Donnie Charles of London’s East End, he thinks he has hit the jackpot, money, respect, purpose. All these things come to Adam as he goes day by day collecting other people’s debts, until he himself must repay Donnie Charles. Adam must then become a killer to protect all that he’s worked for, or run away and risk becoming a victim himself of an unpaid debt. There’s only one problem… Adam owes Donnie more than money.