I love March Madness, except for the fact that Mizzou didn’t make it this year. (We’ll get ’em next year!) So, look what someone else is doing–a Literary-Lovers’ March Madness. And LARA and I made it to the second round. LARGER-THAN-LIFE LARA contains just about everything I know about writing. And since everyone has been bullied and has bullied in some way, readers get the subtle anti-bullying theme. I don’t think I’ve asked anyone to vote for me since I ran for office at Missouri Girls State…and loss. Round 2 ends Thursday. Here’s the link if you’re up for it: http://readthearc.com/literary-lovers-madness-round2/
Posts Tagged ‘dogs’
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!
Meet Joyce DeWitt, who plays Nikki, the kindhearted waitress in MY BOYFRIENDS’ DOGS. She’s the one who coaxes the story from Bailey, who knocks on the cafe’s door and begs to come in. Dressed in a soaking wet wedding dress and accompanied by 3 dogs, Bailey quickly warms to Nikki, and the story unfolds.
You may recognize this spunky actress from the long running TV comedy, THREE’S COMPANY.
So, what about the guys? The boyfriends? I promise to get to them next time. Tomorrow I’m off to NYC to present the Edgar Award to this year’s winner of the best young adult mystery. Lucky me!
I fell in love with Adam and Eve and Shirley, the three dog stars in MY BOYFRIENDS’ DOGS. Shaking my hand is Adam, who, much like his fictional owner, loves women and pretty much ignores men. The Dalmatian is Eve, and she reminded me of the first dog we owned when I was a kid, Susie, also a Dalmatian. As it happens, “Susie” was my first word, much to the chagrin of “Mama” and “Dada.” Shirley the Shih-Tzu was a huge scene stealer. She proved to be unflappable, never displaying the slightest big of stage fright.
I’m home from Vancouver, where I met the most amazing group of professionals on the set(s) of MY BOYFRIENDS’ DOGS. What a surreal experience to see characters who began in my head now walking around, saying words I put on paper! The producers, the director, actors, crew–they were so kind and welcoming. I was afraid I’d feel like a fifth wheel, but they treated me like family. It’s hard to know where to begin, so I think I’ll break up my tale into several blogs. This is Take One.
Right this very minute, my character, Bailey Daley, is coming to life–how cool is that! MY BOYFRIENDS’ DOGS, a funny, romantic novel I wrote a couple of years ago, is being turned into a Hallmark movie that will air the end of this year. The movie will keep my title, my characters, and even the three dogs–Adam and Eve and Shirley. Erika Christensen plays the lead, and she’s a wonderful actress (stars on Parenthood, in the movie Traffic, and many more). I couldn’t be happier with the script, which stays close to the book (and from what I hear, that’s not always the case). AND, I get to go to Vancouver to see part of the filming! I’ll be heading there on March 24, which just happens to be my birthday. I’ll keep you posted!
I thought it might be fun to show you our two mutts, Moxie and Munch. They’re sisters, although Munch is way bigger than Moxie. Even though they’re Shih-Tzu dogs, like “Shirley,” one of the puppies in MY BOYFRIENDS’ DOGS, ours are so not fancy. In fact, we wonder if they’re really Shih-Tzus. But who cares, right? They love us almost as much as we love them.
Update on MBFD’s publicity: I just finished speaking and doing school visits in western Ohio, where I was sure to spread the word about My Boyfriends’ Dogs. Later, at Ohio Council of the International Reading Association, held in Youngstown, I met wonderful teachers and librarians, spoke about teaching writing by using picturebooks, and again, teaching writing through “frozen moments,” as in Larger-Than-Life Lara, an earlier Dutton book. And I even showed the trailer for My Boyfriends’ Dogs, which was great fun because many there had never heard of book preview trailers.
Feb. 4 (the release date) is getting closer…. Am I doing enough???