Eric Berry spends injured time writing

August, 15, 2012
8/15/12
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ST. JOSEPH, Mo. -- Last year, after tearing the ACL in his knee in Week 1 of his second NFL season, Eric Berry had a ton of free time on his hands. He went from a player who played every defensive snap as a star rookie with the Kansas City Chiefs to a 22-year-old with little to do. So when he wasn’t rehabilitating his knee, Berry embarked on a movie script writing expedition.

By the time training camp started late last month, Berry said he finished three full movie scripts.

Berry
“When I wasn’t working out and rehabbing, I was writing,” Berry said. “I was never bored.”

What does Berry plan to do with the scripts?

“I want to get them to somebody and start making movies,” Berry said. “They will be made. I guarantee that. One of them will become an instant classic.”

Berry first got his love for film and dialogue when his mother showed him the Stephen King 1980s classic “Stand By Me” as a child.

“I loved that movie,” Berry said. “I really loved the story-telling aspect of it.”

Berry said he is a natural storyteller and he has often entertained his family by making up stories and telling long, detailed tales on the spot. He said he never took any film writing courses and wrote the scripts at his own pace and in his own style.

While he is a fan of King’s work, Berry said his film-writing inspiration is Quentin Tarantino. The eccentric Tarantino’s signature work “Pulp Fiction” is one of Berry’s favorite movies and he said one of his own scripts is the style of that classic. He said all three movies, which are not in a series, are of the “dramatic thriller” variety. He has a working title for one of the films. It is going to be named “1629 Bragg St.” It is a nod to Knoxville where Berry starred at the University of Tennessee. It also happens to be Tarantino’s birthplace.

Berry said he hasn’t shown the scripts to anyone yet, but he has given a few Kansas City teammates a one-man performance of the scripts.

“I sat there and have acted out the entire script with some of the guys,” Berry said. “I play the characters … They seem to like it.”

Berry credited the writing projects to helping him stay focused during his rehabilitation. After days of hard rehabilitation, Berry said he’d often dream of movie scenes and dialogue and he’d try to wake up and write down scenes from his dreams.

Don’t worry, though, Chiefs’ fans. Berry isn’t planning to trade the NFL film room for Hollywood.

“I’m a football player,” Berry said. “Writing is a part of my life and I want to continue to write movies, but I’m ready to get back on the football field.”

Bill Williamson | email

ESPN San Francisco 49ers reporter

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