I’ve heard horror stories from authors whose books were turned into movies, and most of the villains in those stories were screenwriters. So you can imagine how grateful I am that the talented and brilliant Gary Goldstein consented to write the screenplay for MY BOYFRIENDS’ DOGS. He also consented to be interviewed:
How did you get started in the screenwriting business?
I began writing episodic TV,expanded into features and stage plays, then later branched out to TV movies. It was basically a case of putting one foot in front of the other–or, rather, one script in front of the other–and following the doors that opened.
Was there a “big break” in your career?
I’d say my career has been more a case of consistent smaller breaks, not necessarily one big one (though selling a screenplay to 20th Century Fox in the late ’90s proved a great career boost). More recently, on the TV movie front, selling my feature script “The Wish List” to Hallmark (it was made into a hit 2010 telefilm), led to a really gratifying string of work for the network.
How did you end up writing the script for MY BOYFRIENDS’ DOGS?
At that point I had written six movies for Hallmark, all successful romantic comedies. So Bart Fisher, an executive at Hallmark, thought I’d be a good fit to adapt the book. I began working with the film’s producers (Marcy Gross and Ann Weston) and it evolved from there.
Can you explain your process of creating a screenplay from a book?
It varies from book to book, of course. But, especially when you like a book as much as I did MY BOYFRIENDS’ DOGS, it’s a matter of honoring as much of the original material’s story, characters and tone, while telling the story cinematically–which is often different than the way a book may tell a story. There’s a stricter paradigm for structuring a screenplay, particulary one that, as is the case of TV movies, can’t exceed a certain length. At the same time, you’re also tying to satisfy the needs and mandates of a network or studio. Whatever I may change I’m always careful not to throw out the baby with the bathwater, so to speak.
What was the best part of writing for MY BOYFRIENDS’ DOGS?
Writing Bailey–you created a wonderful character. Oh, and writing the dogs! I’m a huge dog person so that part was really fun.
What was the hardest part?
Streamlining what is a fairly involved story while keeping things clear and the most entertaining parts intact. It was also a challenge to keep each of the “boyfriends” feel unique and memorable while tracking Bailey’s growth and change as a result of her relationships with them. A bit of a juggling act but a joy to do.
Anything special you’d like viewers to look for when they watch the movie on October 18th?
Just enjoy the story, the dogs and the actors. It’s a terrific cast and each actor brings so much to his or her role. Erika Christensen, who plays Bailey, does an especially fine job–she’s adorable, charming and makes Bailey really relatable. The movie’s also very funny, so I hope viewers appreciate the humor as well!
How do you plan to celebrate the premiere?
Watching with family, friends and, of course, our dogs!