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"The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears or the sea."

- Isak Dinesen


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"The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears or the sea."

- Isak Dinesen




Adventure returns to the sea…

when Mike Fischman, a retired and broken ex-military diver and his rogue team of salvage-treasure hunters are enlisted to recover the Navy’s top secret A.I. weapon.  



FISCH is a summer blockbuster style, action adventure feature, scripted around the sea.

Inspired by the great action-suspense franchises, the film navigates a world above and below the ocean, exploring a paradigm where high-stakes clandestine military operations converge with high-seas swashbuckling thrills. 

The heart pounding excitement of Jason Bourne fighting off Black Op assassins in the Bourne Supremacy…  The heart stopping fear of Hooper’s eery mid-night dive to Ben Gardner’s boat wreck in JAWS…  The  nail biting grit of Indy sliding beneath a moving military truck in Raiders…  Mixed with the fun banter of Ethan Hunt’s team in the Mission Impossible franchise…  The raw realism of the Somali Pirates in Captain Phillips…  and the emotion of Love and life tested as Bud swims a dying Lindsey to Deep Core, trying to revive her with CPR in the Abyss.

Exhilarating, cinematic, driven by character, FISCH is a love letter to the golden age of great action movies where stunts, props and character upstage CGI.  It is a look at the human condition through the prism of adventure on the sea.


It’s not a secret mission without some High Tech Conspiracy threatening the good of the world.   

Code Name:  AEGEAN (pronounced A-Gee-Yan), this stealth submersible drone was built by DARPA for U.S. reconnaissance purposes.  After years of testing, budget constraints and technical limitations scrapped the program. Later, it was secretly revived by a small team of high ranking U.S. officials working in the shadows.  Funded and monitored by Special Secretary KAREN HARPER for the Director of National Reconnaissance, SPENCE JARVIS, the AEGEAN is a Top Tier Back OP.

In it’s current state, the system has been armed with a WEAPON CONE that emits an aqua-sonic pulse, run by a state of the art Artificial Intelligence Operating System.  The O.S. is driven by one of the worlds first, portable quantum computers and is able to decipher complex coded messaging from military vessels, track those vessels autonomously and attack them with a pulse of energy… rendering the ships dead-in-the-water.

Initial ballistic and navigational trials exceeded all expectations and the program was cleared for “practical testing.”  These tests would allow the team to evaluate how the O.S. reacted to operation in the open sea.   Upon deployment, the Aegean had a catastrophic system failure, triggering its weapon pulse and blasting the entire transport out of the sky and into the Arabian Sea.  

With new INTEL of a Russian salvage team being deployed, Secretary Harper assigns Special Agent THERESA HIX to run retrieval of the Asset;  due to the internal secrecy of the mission, a JASOC operation is a non-option and a trusted civilian contractor must be hired off the books…  

The only name on their list;  Master Diver Chief MIKE FISCHMAN.


After a deadly attempt to salvage sunken treasure, we find our hero, MIKE FISCHMAN, at an all-time low.  Drowning in a bottle, lost at sea with little purpose, haunted by the death of his protege during a treasure dive and the disappearance of his wife, BRUNA.   Fisch lives as a recluse, part Charlie Allnut, part Martin Riggs; a far cry from the decorated Colonel’s son he is… but it is exactly this pedigree that will eventually save him.

It isn’t until the U.S. Military re-enters his life looking for help, that he begins to surface and breathe.  Lured by the proposition to find his long lost love Bruna and a big bag of cash, Fisch accepts the deadly salvage mission and travels to the hostile waters off the coast of Somalia.   It is in this external quest, that he overcomes his internal demons and re-discovers his true path.



Mid to late 30’s, American stock, more beach guy than soldier but eyes that reflect a life of travel and conflict.  Son of the late, decorated Colonel Frank Fischman, Mike was raised a military kid who spent his formative years stationed in San Diego and Hawaii.  After serving active duty for 10 years and reaching Master Diver status, he became a BUD’s School Chief, training the worlds best.  Upon, retirement, he started a treasure hunting salvage business with his close friend, retired Navy diver, Martin Day and was married to Bruna Boriscova for 3 years.  


Ukranian born, around 30, she was trained as Russian SPETSNAZ and is a science specialist with expertise in underwater demolition. She also holds a world record for constant state breath holding. During active duty, she worked under S.A.S. commander ANDREI ZELKO and did multiple missions with a U.S. team led by Fisch.  Their romantic interest may have started during active duty but was not realized until both had retired from service.  Married for 3 years, medical complications caused irreconcilable stress on the relationship and they subsequently parted amicably, remaining friends and dive partners.


Fast talking, tall, athletic early 30’s, he often wears an old Special OPs T-Shirt and loves movie trivia.  As Ex-Navy, he’s Fisch’s go-to guy and best friend.  Now owner of Matilda’s Bar in Puerto Rico, he runs the joint while tending after the dysfunctional behavior of his old budy, Fisch, helping him with dives, life and espresso making.


Framed by thick coke bottle glasses, fatherly and heavy set, a cigarette often dangles from his lip.  He is Ex-Russian Navy, a SONAR specialist and has known Bruna since she was very young. 


Secretary of Special Intelligence Operations, she reports directly to the Secretary of Defense, Spence Jarvis.  The Aegean program is their baby and it’s disappearance is her mess.  She will stop at nothing to clean it up.  


Special Agent - - department unknown.  Hix is the person you call when you got a mess to clean up, a fixer.  She’s smart as a whip but no filter.


A tall, lanky mid 40’s Texan with a mustache. A seasoned traveler, Houston runs a short temper and an unpredictable demeanor. He is the embedded CIA Operative in North Africa and Hix’s go to man for clandestine support. He has a contact for a boat and whether Fisch likes it or not… will be their point man on the ground.


Mid 40’s, S.A.S. trained, international arms dealer -- He travels with YURI, ex-Russian Military.  Scottish born, Zelko was raised in the U.K. and was recruited for clandestine Military operations at an early age.  Athletic and smart, he lead covert missions throughout his career specializing in unique water scenarios.   His teams worked closely with U.S. intelligence and often collaborated with Master Diver, Chief Mike Fischman.  Around 2004, a falling out occurred during an operation in Belfast in which Zelko betrayed the mission by ulitilzing Bruna to raid a cash filled safe.  From that point forward, he and Fisch grew into deep adversaries.  Zelko now works-for-hire as a mercenary, selling stolen arms to the highest bidder, funding his on going passion for international free diving competition.


Zelko’s right hand man, Yuri is ex-Russian Military and remains close to the Russian leadership.  If Zelko can be vicious, Yuri is downright evil.  

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Working from our experience of documentary story-telling and broadcast commercial production, the visual style of FISCH will be gritty, creative, and cinematic. Framing will be bold with a fluid cinematography that is constantly moving;  driving a fast pace.

The locations should feel real with art direction and props evoking a visceral reaction by placing the viewer within the experience of our main characters.  The patina of worn metal and wood, both rotting by the sea will contrast with the cold metallic world of the U.S. defense department.  

Thematically, we will represent the elements of earth, water, fire and air through our various locations and characters.  For example, Fisch and Bruna are water, while Houston is Earth, the pilot… air and Zelko, fire.

Scene by scene we will immerse the audience within an element, diving water, flying air, driving desert or running through fire.

Sound design should embrace a realism, sensationalized just enough for dramatic affect.  The bank robbery in Heat is a notable reference where the rumble of gunfire rocks your seat.  But our film travels beneath the surface, for those moments, we should hear a more stylized and languid sound design that places the viewer in this “other worldly” experience.

Music will drive the story forward in a modern way but pay tribute to the great action film scores of the past.  Above land action could have an almost tribal, rhythmic quality while under the water becomes longer, drawn out cues hinting at the physical and inner space that lies beneath.

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Filmmaker Jason Baffa

has had his documentary film camera pointed to the Sea for over twenty years, producing and directing the surf projects, Singlefin: yellow, One California Day and Bella Vita.  Baffa's visual style of story-telling has given him world-wide praise in the genre, gaining accolades from both the surf industry and media outlets like, the london arts, the LA Times, Outside Magazine and Freunde von Freuden.   He has a BFA in film production from Loyola Marymount University and won advanced literary accolades, serving as a creative writing mentor.

He stays busy as a commercial director at BESTFRIEND.TV doing work for clients such as Acura, BMW, Deckers, Ford, Kashi and Patagonia.

Please enjoy a FREE DOWNLOAD link to Bella Vita, here: 

This website is designed to be a "mood board" for the film.   PDF or hard-copy document of the the screenplay is available upon request.


Fisch WGA Registered / © Jason Baffa Films 2018, All Rights Reserved