Over A Whiskey Bottle

Created by Alexander Vanegas Sus, The Pitch 2023

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Set in the mid-1800s, in a ghost town near the Mexican border, "Over A Whiskey Bottle" tells the story of two diametrically opposed siblings, Joe, a stoic bounty hunter, and Bill, a scruffy outlaw, facing each other at a life-changing game of Mexican quarters. For their entire lives, the two brothers have practised entirely different lifestyles. The more mild-tempered Joe has devoted his life to serving the law by turning in criminals and abiding by even the smallest rules, on the other hand, Bill's life has been one of excess, theft, deceit, and perhaps... even murder. The rumours of Bill's ultimate evil attract Joe's attention who, up until now, avoided clashing with his brother. Knowing that Bill is not the type to confess to dirty deeds, Joe challenges him to a coin-tossing drinking game, studying his brother's moves, looking for small tell-tale signs that might reveal more than meets the eye. But it's when a frustrated Joe decides to trick Bill with a double-sided coin, that the tables turn on him, teaching him a valuable lesson on trust and brotherly love.

Biblical Connection

LUKE 16:10 "Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much". I decided to adapt this passage for a few interesting reasons. First off, this is a universal concept of trust that can be experienced in both mundane and extraordinary situations. This means that everyone will be able to relate to the story, whether they experienced what Luke describes through a Monopoly game or a more serious matter. This is why I decided to tie a mundane occurrence (the drinking game) together with an extraordinary situation (the western setting with life-changing stakes) to display in a literal way how whoever can be trusted with little (not cheating at a game), can be with much (not deceiving a person). Joe and Bill are two brothers whose lives are a reflection of Luke's passage, however, more often than not, similar situations aren't as black and white, as aren't people. So what happens when someone who is considered trustworthy such as Joe, ends up cheating? Bill might not be trusted with material goods, but Joe might not be with something even more valuable... unconditional love.