The sole survivor of a mass shooting loses everything when the tragedy doesn’t impact his life as profoundly as people think it should.

Pete Barnes is adopting a child, facing a crucial deadline at work, and pushing for a promotion. The last thing he needs is more pressure. Then he goes to his favorite coffee shop and walks into a mass shooting. POW POW POW POW POW POW POW POW POW POW POW POW POW POW POW!

Everyone dies. Everyone, that is, except Pete who is in the bathroom with headphones cranked so loud, he’s unaware of the tragedy just outside the door.

The police want Pete to go to the hospital for observation, but he refuses. He’s too busy. So he goes right from the crime scene to work. There, he finds his co-workers enthralled by the news of the massacre. As they swap morbid conspiracy theories  and exaggerate their connections to the tragedy, Pete hunkers down at his desk without saying a word about his brush with death.

When Pete is outed on the internet as the “sole survivor,” everyone around him is shocked. Why didn’t he say anything? For days, they watch and wait for Pete to fall apart. He doesn’t. And the longer he appears unaffected, the more contemptuous and suspicious they become. Even his best pal Cake turns on him.

Facing intense scrutiny from all sides, Pete finally begins to crumble. And it drives him to commit an unspeakable act no one could have predicted.

“A fucking awesome script!

One of the most compelling writers I’ve read in a long time. It’s so hard to write anything well — especially something walking a tightrope like Walking Time Bomb. He’s the real deal.”

—Ty Burrell
Modern Family

Production Team



  • Doom Patrol – HBO Max
    Co-EP & Director (11 episodes)
  • Mad Men – AMC
    Director (4 episodes)
    Cinematographer (71 episodes)
  • The Romanoffs – Amazon
  • Homeland – Showtime
    Cinematographer (pilot)
  • 5 Career Emmy Nominations & 1 Win
  • 5 Career ASC Nominations



  • Second City Chicago
  • Writer & Producer of multiple award-winning shorts and web series, including CPA Holes and Welcome to the Jungle Gym (which he also directed).
  • Podcast Host: Too Much Effing Perspective
  • Singer/Songwriter: The Falling Wallendas



PRODUCERS, 8750 Films

  • Transpecos
    (SXSW Audience Award Winner) 
  • 7 Chinese Brothers
  • It’s a Disaster

Writer’s Note…

A comedy with a mass shooting?

Walking Time Bomb is about grief. Back in 2001, I lost my sister and my father within two months of each other. Then 9/11 hit. Years later, I wondered how I kept going. How did I get on with my life without missing a beat?

Upon reflection, it wasn’t that simple. For one, I was a musician but I never wrote another song. I also quit my profession, started writing comedy, moved across the country, had a family… Literally everything changed in my life — but I didn’t consciously tie that to what happened in 2001. It got me thinking about the many ways grief and trauma can manifest themselves.

And so I wrote Walking Time Bomb, where the main character is punished for not grieving in a way others can actually see.

Mass shootings used to be rare occurrences that made us collectively stop, grieve, and try to figure out what they were saying about our society. Now they seem accepted as part of daily life, fading with each news cycle.

In Walking Time Bomb, several characters react to the tragedy with titillation instead of outrage. But we should never under­estimate the damage we are doing to the national psyche accepting these massacres as the new normal. The consequences will go beyond the statistics. It is warping America.

We need to talk about what’s happening. And I hope Walking Time Bomb becomes part of the discourse that will lead to solutions, not capitulation.