Crimes of Opportunity (with Sylvia Peto) – The story about the relationship between a convict named Eddie Malick with literary aspirations and local television personality Anne Hamilton.

Heaven Before I DieA rite-of-passage story about a young trumpet player in New Orleans at Black Mardi Gras (St. Joseph’s Day.)

On the Eighth Day(with Silvia Peto) – A comedy from Silvia’s original idea, about a left-wing, anarchistic night-watchman at a very right wing sperm bank whose perverse revenge on right-wingers goes bizarrely awry when his daughter falls in love with what might be one of them.

Harvest of Rage (with Joel Dyer) A story of a New York newspaper editor who resigns because he’s forced to kill a story, and buys a small-town newspaper in Idaho hoping to do nothing but “write about jam” for the rest of his life. He is soon deeply entangled in a plot where a major agri-business company is buying up land for mysterious reasons, and right-wing militias are trying to take over the local judiciary.

Eat My Lips – The comedic story of a drugged out, overweight, Hollywood idol who decides to rescue his career by doing a “people’s” movie. In Detroit, researching out-of-work auto-workers, he spies his “double” and arranges to “change lives” with him for three months. Of course the working class guy is a good-worker, on time, production problems etc. disappear. When he’s ‘found out’, the star’s lawyer conspires to make the switch permament. Unfortunately, the auto-worker’s Achille’s heel is his jealousy over his wife which the star plays on to reinstate himself. The grass is not always greener, and both return to their “reality”, changed by the experience.

The Baritones (Several steps below Soprano) A comedy about rival low-rent Mafia families banished to France for being such terminal pains in the butt. The daughter of one marries the half-wit son of the other after she’s impregnated by him and in a spat on the honeymoon kills him. In order to get back home they have to find a double to carry his passport through customs so the father won’t find out. They find a hapless American boy who wants to be a French chef. Of course, he falls in love with the beautiful younger daughter of the murdering older sister who is passionate about Arab cooking. It gets more and more complicated, but all the knots eventually get untied.

The Friday Night Bank Robber (with Joe Slobodzian) – The true story of the Nation’s most succesful bank robber, a Philadelphia man with three Phd’s who robbed more banks than John Dillinger, Bonnie and Clyde, and WIllie Sutton combined. Tracked and finally caught by an equally brilliant FBI man who became his friend and turned him to make anti-bank-robbery videos for the FBI, it is co-written with the Philadelphia Enquirer reporter who broke the story.

Sleeping Where I FallBased on Coyote’s book by the same name, it is slightly fictionalized tale of the radical anarchist edge of the 1960’s with its high-ideals and low behaviors, comic pratfalls,and deadly mistakes.

5150 – A TV Pilot originally sold to CBS-TV about a team of emergency psychiatric social workers. A 5150 is a 48hour hold that a psychiatrist, judge or policeman can slap on someone for behavior that suggests they are a threat to self or others. The “team” of works are all people with problems of their own -ex-junkies, vets, nurses, people who’ve turned their lives around to make a difference. They go out into a major city and confront the rich and the poor, the truly crazy and the fakers.

Live Feed (with Silvia Peto) – A story about a CNN type roving video unit and their relationships with the home station and their producer. Pulling stories from the headlines, and weaving a conspiracy theory through its on-going episodes, it features a “team’ of a videographer, on-air reporter, driver and sound-man as they rove the streets, and halls of justice in pursuit of “the truth” as they see it…and are allowed, or not allowed to report it.

Pale, Thumper and Bump – A young white man, in repentance for an overdose that killed his pregnant, African-American wife, volunteers at an all-black, Harlem high school, trying to ‘give back’ what his foolishness has taken from him. He meets Thumper, a brilliant young hip-hop artist he champions, and Bump, the local crack king-pin. In the ensuing struggle for Thumper’s soul, we learn the value of stepping up.


Excerpt from The New York Times (March ’96) called “Where Screenwriters Can Get a Hearing” written by Diana Jean Schemo:

“Peter Coyote had his own idea for a film. Over four years, the actor has written nine drafts of a screenplay, “Crimes of Opportunity,” with a co-author, Sylvia Peto. But it was not until the lights dimmed in a narrow cafe downtown last Tuesday night that human voice met written word, stirring imagination to life.

It was then that Mr. Coyote heard 14 actors speaking the lines and stage directions of his work at one of the script-reading sessions held weekly at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe. As the reading went on, Mr. Coyote could envision the male lead in his script, an ex-convict who vies for the attention of a confessional talk-show host, as an updated early Brando, thanks to the raspy efforts of Jared Harris to hide his British accent. He could consider questions from an audience of friends and industry professionals, who asked about the screenplay’s structure and techniques, like the use of black-and-white flashbacks to convey different versions of a crucial moment…

‘It was very thrilling,’ Mr. Coyote said afterward… ‘I’d never heard this dialogue in the mouth of anyone else before.’

The drama Mr. Coyote wrote with Ms. Peto, a Seattle-based author who was not present for the reading, involves a character called Eddie Malick, modeled loosely on Jack Henry Abbott, the convicted murderer and would-be writer whose case was championed by Norman Mailer. Less than six weeks after Mr. Abbott’s 1981 release from a Utah prison, while on a parole partly sponsored by Mr. Mailer, Mr. Abbott killed an actor and playwright working as a waiter at an East Village restaurant. ‘Crimes of Opportunity’ links the convict and his literary aspirations to an equally ambitious local television personality, adding a love story to the mix.”