EDWARDS AFB – For some, a visit to the dentist feels like a nightmare. But, for Capt. Eric Koenig, 412th Aerospace Medicine Squadron, dental flight commander, he hopes that it’s his after-hours hobby that really keeps people awake at night.
For the last three years, the 13-year veteran has spent his nights and weekends writing screenplays. On this past Veterans Day, he accepted an offer from Paramount Pictures to purchase one of his scripts, “Matriarch,” a story that revolves around two powerful, female characters, sold for an amount in the mid six-figure range.
“You hear ‘matriarch’ and you might think 17th Century England; it has nothing to do with that. It’s a current serial killer movie. The definition of matriarch is a powerful woman, head of the house, which goes for both of these women in this screenplay,” said Koenig.
The plot follows a female serial killer on death row and her prison psychologist. There is one undisclosed piece of information left that would reveal the location of the killer’s final victim. The psychologist finds herself working to find that information prior to her patient’s impending execution.
“I like dark stuff; this is definitely a dark, violent thriller in the vein of “Silence of the Lambs.” I like to see those kind of movies so naturally that’s what I’m going to write,” said Koenig.
Without any formal training, Koenig learned to write screenplays by reading books on the subject.
The week before his screenplay was bought, “Matriarch” was entered in a Launch Pad contest on a Hollywood insider information website. His piece made it into the top 25, attracting the attention of a marketing team made up of a manager, an agent and an entertainment lawyer.
“Hearing the play had been purchased – completely surreal. It was a big deal. The night prior I was getting phone calls from my team, saying we’ve got this offer and let’s consider it.”
While the purchase does not guarantee that a movie will be made, Koenig is hopeful that he will see his work on the big screen within the next few years.
“I would love for [people watching the movie premiere] to be absolutely terrified. I’d love for them to not be able to fall asleep that night. It’s not about the money. I love writing, it’s what I’m passionate about. I’m a dentist here during the week and that’s my number one job, but evenings and weekends, I write.”
You can read more about Koenig’s Hollywood experience at http://deadline.com/2014/11/matriarch-air-force-dentist-veterans-day-paramount-1201282435/.