About Robert Hurley

The fascinating, behind-the-scenes struggle to create the award-winning
Notes from the New World

About Robert Hurley

Robert Hurly

Robert Hurley

Date of Birth : July 9, 1982
Height : 5'11''
Weight : 195 lbs.
Eye Color : Hazel
Hair Color : Dark Brown
Occupation : Screenwriter


Robert William Hurley was born July 9, 1982 and raised in an orphanage in Culver City, California, although his exact birthplace remains unknown. Growing up, he longed to become a writer, but was somewhat reticent to show anyone else his work. He shelved the idea for a long time, taking time to pursue his other hobby of taking old televisions, radios, and computers apart. His aptitude for grasping the mechanics of how things work made him a natural for the burgeoning field of computers; later he attended the University of Southern California and received a master's degree in computer science. Hurley was offered several jobs, but decided on a post as a computer engineer in his native Culver City.

His employment there was less than six months old when he began to take more of an active role in his first love: writing.

Following a chance viewing of a new play in Los Angeles, he began frequenting playhouses that offered more than the standard fare of soft comedies and melodramas, some specializing in the avant-garde and some devoted to nothing but world premieres. At the New Playwrights Foundation Hurley met writer and director Vitaly Sumin and his career path changed.

Sumin's knowledge and respect for art and Hurley's disdain for popular Neil Simon and Arthur Miller-type works were a perfect fit. Hurley wrote furiously, churning out two very rough drafts of Notes from the New World and Shades of Blood. Notes tells the story of a young man who plays the role of legendary 19th-century Russian writer F.M. Dostoyevsky, and crosses paths with a young Mexican girl, a prostitute pretending to be Russian, and the Russian mafia. Various drafts of the screenplay came and went until one finally met with Sumin's approval. Then a rumor spread that Hurley's own experiences were the direct inspiration for Notes. Not wanting any negative media or comments from his co-artists to stifle him, Hurley became a bit of a recluse, burying himself, reportedly, in the precarious subject of the occult and associating only with Sumin. As of this writing, Hurley's whereabouts are unknown.


Vitaly Sumin Interview


Interview with Director/Producer Vitaly Sumin

Vitaly Sumin, producer and founder of VM Productions is working on cinematic adaptations of four masterpieces by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, a writer whose penetration into the deepest recesses of the human heart had a profound influence on 20th and 21st century culture. His goal is to bring literature to the big screen. But according to Sumin, danger may be looming as he prepares for his next films. His friend and screenwriting collaborator, Robert Hurley, has disappeared.

Q: How did you and Robert Hurley meet?

We became friends while attending the New Playwrights Foundation. Robert was a computer engineer but expressed interest in writing. One day Robert and I went back to my home town of St. Petersburg in Russia. He became interested in Dostoyevsky and wrote his first screenplay based on Notes From the Underground. He also showed interest in financing some of the film.

Q: I understand Hurley wanted to get a better feel for the script. How did he do this?

In the script, the lead character is an actor hired to portray Dostoyevsky. In doing so, he hires a call girl. Robert wanted to do the same so that he could feel what the character felt. He thought he could then better write the screenplay. I have a friend in Russia who runs a dating service and I connected the two.

Q: How did you discover he had disappeared?

When Robert didn’t return my call for a few days, I headed to his house. The front door was unlocked and my crew member and I walked in calling out his name. The TV was turned on and his keys were on his coffee table. His bed was unmade and his journal was sitting open on top of his nightstand. My associate took the book and discovered valuable information.

Q: What did you read in the journal that alarmed you?

Robert was a secretive man, but he kept his personal thoughts in his journal. He wrote about falling in love with the call girl, Natalya. She was involved with the Russian mafia. They’re involved in an ancient satanic cult that to this day holds sacrificial rituals. I believe Robert has been taken against his will by the mafia.


Dark onto Light Andrei Sumin's Email


(This e-mail - the very one mentioned in the interview above - is to Vitaly Sumin from his brother Andrei).


I haven't spoken to you in a while. I've called you a couple of times, but you've never answered. I've been so busy with work and family. I've got a meeting this morning so I'll just drop a quick note.

How are things with you and your movie? Is Robert still involved? I ask because something strange happened last night. Late after a business meeting, I sent my chauffeur home and decided to take a walk. St. Petersburg is always great anytime day or night. Guess who I saw? I saw Robert as he stepped outside a limousine by the Golden Dolls Club on Nevsky in the company of the strange but wealthy looking guys... I followed them into the club to say hello to Robert. When I tried to approach him, he seemed to have whispered to the guys and I was pushed away. Oh, and a beautiful slender blonde girl was stroking his hair. I told them I was his friend and I just wanted to say hi. One of the men pressed his hand against my chest and threatened me!

What's going on? I overhead two of them talking about collecting Robert's winnings...something about Robert owing them money.

Is he in trouble? Are you safe? I've got to head to the meeting. I'll give you a call later!



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