Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Sometimes they like it...

Okay, last time I blow my own horn, I promise. But then my whole blog is about me and what I do, with the exception of Shirley, of course, who is far more talented than I ever could hope to be.

This is about The Town That Christmas Forgot, the Hallmark movie I wrote and talked about a few blogs ago. But first, read this;

 "It was amazing watching that movie, sometimes going through life without having your family I get a sense of not being beneficial because my family is not here. But when I watch that movie, there's so many other people that you have an impact in their life and make them feel better as I do." 

And no, I didn't pay her. Well, actually I did pay her boss, she's a dental hygienist, foreign born and a single mother. She's not a screenwriter, an avid movie-goer, a development executive or anything associated with the "industry". She's the audience.

While the reviews were just about 60% positive, her comments made my day, at the beginning of a new year, it can't hurt.

What's good about it is that somehow, the movie made her feel better and in a world where changes come about every day and the future uncertain, that's a good thing. And that's what writing is about, giving people hope.

Hallmark movies are a genre onto themselves. Ask any guy and he'll say they're horrible, ask a woman and chances are they will say they like them.  At least that's my own  survey over the last 2 months.

The basic rule of Hallmark movies is this; that anyone can walk into the room and sit down and watch a movie that won't offend, embarass or make them feel awkward. Simple as that. My script was a little bit heavier but they somehow managed to soften it in some places which I don't really mind. You write for the market you choose.

And you write what you know.

Town That Christmas Forgot comes from my own upbringing in a town of 546 people and, if what they say is true, that the person you are at seven is the person you'll be for the rest of your life, then I'm living evidence of that. Many of my screenplays are about small towns, something I didn't even realize until a few years ago.

Another theme in my screenplays, as I've said before, is forgiveness. And I still don't know where that comes from, but I like not knowing why I write those kinds of stories. They seem to work for an audience and I seem to like writing them.

And not all my screenplays are soft, I have two that are quite dark and definitely not family fare, at least I think so. And I have adventure screenplays and action screenplays. But the ones networks and studios like the best are my small town scripts. Maybe because they're the most honest.

But for now, I'll just let that little muse that drops in on me now and then to keep up the good work, keep me thinking that even if my words can comfort and inspire just one person, it gives me a sense of worth as well as it does them.

A famous radio personality once told me that when you write or say something soft and inspirational, always end with a joke.

So... of course, a nice residual also gives me worth.

(Thurs: That damn Casualties of Love)

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