Thursday, May 21, 2009

1st Feature Film - Brave or Crazy?

I have had a lot going through my brain today. Been feeling very excited about "Madam Magdalen" and everything it will entail.

Here are just a few samplings of the thoughts racing through my head:

I need to make a website for and figure out a name for my production company. No, wait... first I need to write the script. How can I incorporate social media into the marketing... is it something that I will do on the front end, or throughout? My blog, is it good enough? Am I writing interesting things that people will want to read? Wait, Jennifer, you need to write the script. Script first. How am I going to raise the money? How much do I need to raise? Who will be the producer? JENNIFER, JUST WRITE THE DAMN SCRIPT!!

And so it continues. To ease my marketing inclined mind though, I am going to do a detailed schedule with everything that needs to be done just for piece of mind that it will all get done, and in the right order.

It all boils down to discipline. And I have a lot of it.

Honestly, I think I can stick to the original broad schedule that I have laid out for "MadWoman" in a previous blog entry. I am going to buckle down this weekend and really get some things on paper. My goal is still to have a solid first draft by the end of June.

Monday, May 18, 2009

"Madam Magdalen" - Working Title

I have decided to tentatively call my film, based on Louise Wooster's life, "Madam Magdalen". It is easier for me to have something to call it, even if it isn't the official name. The book she authored on her own life is titled "The Autobiography of a Magdalen", so it seems appropriate.

I finally went to her grave site today located in Oak Hill Cemetery in Birmingham, Alabama. It was fun to visualize the long line of empty carriages sent by anonymous prominent men in Birmingham that followed her body up to be buried (according to legend).

I ordered two more books today to research prostitution in New Orleans during the time that Louise Wooster would have lived there. As you would think, there is much more written and documented about New Orleans prostitution than there is for anywhere in Alabama. But, I think a lot of the information will be relevant for both locations.

I took some photos today at the cemetery here. I also plan to post anything "Madam Magdalen" related to this Flickr site.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

John Wilkes Booth

Researching John Wilkes Booth, one of Louise Wooster's love interests before the assassination of Lincoln. He was her inspiration to become an actress.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Obsessed with Storyville & New Orleans Brothels

OK. I am totally going in a new direction now. Going to base my script on Lou Wooster' life, and while doing that taking a peek into 19th Century prostitution in the southeast: Mobile, New Orleans, Birmingham & Montgomery. While researching, I came across Storyville. Completely obsessed with it. Also, check out this website if this topic interests you.

I am also researching grants for filmmakers & writers. There is a class at a local college on Grantwriting 101 (and possibly an advanced class following) that I am going to take in June.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Louise Wooster, change in plans?

I went to the Birmingham Public Library tonight, and made friends with the librarian with whom I share a good friend. I told her I was looking for dialect studies of 19th century Alabama... especially autobiographies. She brought over several books, but one I had heard about before caught my immediate attention. It was the autobiography of Louise Wooster... famous Birmingham Madam from the 19th Century. I had read short stories of her before, especially of her work during the cholera outbreak. She seemed like a colorful character.

I picked up her book and started to read... and couldn't put it down until the library kicked me out (well, not really... they just closed). :)

There is some speculation as to whether or not some of the events she accounted for actually happened (as she was one to embellish), but most of it is fascinating fact after fact. The elements of her story had all of the ones I had been searching for... drama, tragedy, love, hate, sex, historical fact, controversy, fantasy... it's all there! Even with a little bit of New Orleans, Mobile & Montgomery sprinkled in. The great cholera epidemic is another thing that has always fascinated me about Birmingham's early beginnings, and she was there front and center.

So am I changing my idea? Maybe. Gonna sleep on it. ;)

Thursday, April 30, 2009


The drug of choice for 19th century women.