Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Screenwriting Class

Tonight, I am going over notes from an old screenwriting class that I took when "Piece of Cake" came to life. (Thanks Elizabeth!) That class changed my whole LIFE. Who knew I could write? I sure didn't.

Per those notes, I am ordering the book "How NOT To Write A Screenplay", by Denny Martin Flinn. I am also reordering "Scriptwriting For Dummies" (was lent to a friend a long time ago, and never got it back).

Another thing I am researching right now are adapted screenplays. I am not 100% certain, but I am very intrigued by the idea of adapting "Letters from a Victorian Madwoman". The book is a collection of letters written by Andrew Sheffield (a woman), who was committed to the Alabama Insane Hospital in 1890. I finished reading the book while in New Orleans this past weekend.

I also finally contacted Bryce Hospital (previously named the Alabama Insane Hospital), and getting in there is going to be a real challenge. Since it is still an operating hospital, the patients rights have to be their first priority. Though, I have a feeling that once they hear me out on the project, they will be more than happy to help.

What interests me most about Andrew Sheffield is that she wasn't insane, she was actually a criminal. While not to give to much of her story away, this tragic woman spent over 30 years locked in an insane asylum against her will so as not to disgrace her family by a prison sentence. There are actually several other similiar stories from women across the country during this same time period, and books were either written by them or about them. What makes these women different is that most of them were able to get released. Andrew was not so fortunate. Another thing that makes her letters/book unique is the fact that they were never intended for anyone else to read, other than the person they were written to. Because of this, she writes very candidly and you can get a raw sense of what her true experience was like in the hospital. And she wanted OUT.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a good story! You should do it! I just recently wrote a blog on The Horse about adapted screenplays if you wanna check it out: