Date of Award

Spring 2020

Access Restriction

Campus Access only Theses

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts



School or College

School of Film and Television

First Advisor

Paul S. Chitlik


This is a letter to all the fatherless children in the world. This story captures the essence of time as it pertains to human nature. Oftentimes we’re busy letting time pass us by without taking in the beauty of life’s moments. The Day the Clouds Stood Still follows Claire James , a struggling New York journalist, who lands an opportunity of a lifetime to do a story on the world famous author, Eugene Daniels. Familiar with Eugene’s work, Claire’s beyond excited to accept the opportunity because it could lead to a promotion at her job but it all becomes too familiar when she finds out he lives in her deceased mother’s racist childhood town; Stony Creek, VA. After her roommate moves out without notice, and receiving several eviction letters on her apartment door she decides to take the journey to Stony Creek, Virginia to do the story. Upon arrival to the small town she’s not well received by the townsfolk or Eugene’s staff. She quickly realizes something is off about Eugene but doesn’t shed much light onto the situation because he treats her like the father she never had. The finest dinners, clothes, and soirees; Life couldn’t get any better than this. The closer Eugene and Claire became, the more and more the tension grew amongst Eugene’s staff, especially Hilary Freeman, Eugene’s assistant. Things start to uncover themselves, Claire finds out Eugene knew his mother from Highschool and that he’s gravely ill to the point where he’s losing his memory of who she is. It turns out Eugene's sickness only draws him and Claire closer; This is the last straw for Hilary. Out of impulse she sells the story of Eugene and Claire being actual father and daughter to the media. Eugene admits it’s true and it sends Claire over the edge. She returns home to New York with the finished manuscript of Eugene’s story. Every top publishing company in New York wants the story from her but she doesn’t budge, not even from her own job. Once Eugene becomes hospitalized, Claire has a change of heart and returns back to Stony Creek. She promises him on his deathbed that she will release the story independently and it will be the start of her own publishing company in Stony Creek, VA.; E & C Publishing.