Recently, while reading a blog comment on a sheet of paper, a devoted but perplexed friend of mine, Sue, approached me and stated:
“For gosh sakes, when’s your next posting? Don’t you know bloggers are supposed to post every week…or at least once a month.”
I gazed up at her with a vague look. “Really?”
“Yes, really. And you haven’t posted for over four months, leaving me hanging! I so enjoyed your last fascinating and eye-opening post and have been eagerly anticipating your next one. But after four months — NOTHING?!”
My vague look dwindled. I sighed. “Easy. Sorry, I’ve been quite busy.”
“So busy as to ignore your blog — your followers,” she reprimanded, frowning. “Some darn blogger you are!”
I returned her frown. “For heavens sake, don’t be so critical. I’ve been too pressed finishing my screenplay for OF GOOD AND EVIL to write a new blog post.”
“No excuses. Unacceptable. A blogger blogs —regardless!”
My frown deepened. “Boy, you give no quarter, do you?”
“Not on this!” Sue was adamant.
“Just out out of the blue, what do you expect me to post?”
“Anything! Right now, I’d settle for…for…You mentioned your screenplay. How about something on that?”
My frown eased into a profound expression. “Okay, you want screenplay, you get screenplay. But before beginning, you must understand that for the mind a novel is more internal and meditative, whereas a movie is more external and visually expressive. I learned that in spades doing the screenplay; really learned the difference between a movie and the book it’s based upon”
Sue’s lovely features suddenly sparkled. “Now you’re talking!” she exclaimed, excited. “What did you learn?…Did you have any help with your screenplay?…”
“Actually, the inital screenplay drafts were written by a movie script pro working with my film representative. Then all corrections and changes in their script — plenty of them, no mean task, I can tell you — were left for me to make, this becoming the final draft.”
“I take it that was a problem,” Sue said, a sympathetic tone.
“At first, yes. A big problem. You see, the screen script they gave me was limited in scope compared to the novel. At one point it even lost me.”
“That lousy?!”she shuddered.
“No, no. The screen script was amazing in its own right — still captivating…moving with graphic lure…sticking to the gist of the storyline. But for me the problem was that the perfect resonance between the characters and the plot in the novel was choppy and abrupt in the screen draft; this, as I discovered, dictated by the constraints of movie reality.”
“Oh, my, indeeed! Some major scenes in the book…some minor characters…had to be cut, as well as some essential character threads, nuances and developments, sort of deleting part of the book’s soul. I tried as best I could to restore this soul; restore what I felt was needed for plot cohesion, but I couldn’t completely. I had no choice but to compromise for the movie’s sake else the screen script would be too long. The script I ended up with would be two hours of movie as it was.”
Sue stared at me in alarm. “Will the book’s magnificence be lost in the movie?” she asked, a certain sadness in her tone.
“My film representative certainly doesn’t think so. When I presented the final corrected screen script to her, and after she read it, she replied to me, and I quote:
“Griff, YOU ARE AMAZING! THE SCRIPT LOOKS AND READS as in PERFECT! I AM YELLING THIS OUT OF PURE JOY AND DELIGHT! God only knows what they will do when we actually send it out….Thank you so much for helping us to fix your script. It was a biggie because you are a Giant as in…a really good soul. I am honored to know you and to work with such a sweet, kind and understanding spirit as you. I am blessed.”
Hearing this, Sue seemed transfixed, for a momet becoming strangely still. Then she pursed her lips, then spoke in a quiet voice. “I have a feeling about your script. A spiritual one.”
“Spiritual? I’d settle for good timing and good luck.”
“No, I don’t think you’ll need so much of that with this movie,” she said, more energy now in her voice. “If what your film representative says about your screen script is true, the movie will automaticaly achieve its own unique magnificence. I just FEEL it!”
“Wow, you’re really into this.”
“You bet I am. Now!” Sue’s dark eyes were flaming with spirit. “Besides what you’ve heard from your script pro and your representative, what have others said about the possibility of your movie?”
“Well, for an inkling, read this.” I handed Sue the sheet of paper I had been reading when she arrived. On it was commentary from Leigh Savage. Standing in for me, Leigh had answered as if she were me to a question directed to myself by a reader on her blog ‘Comments’ section at the bottom of Leigh’s author interview with me on my novel.
Engrossed, her eyes glittering with amazement, Sue began reading Leigh’s commentary:
“Vickie, thank you for your question. This is Gerald’s answer. ‘I feel very close to the military. Many on both sides of my family have served in the U.S. Military, as well as close friends, a couple in Special Forces. In addition, while a psychologist in private practice, I had in psychotherapy several returning military veterans having difficulty adjusting to normal society because of continuing combat trauma. I was presented first hand what they unhappily endured, as though I was with them in combat. This background with the military — very close to my heart, in addition to the 9/11attacks and other factors of national security, are what prompted me to write the story of my novel. This type of storyline in OF GOOD AND EVIL, with some of the same characters, is continued in the novel’s sequel. In spite of my novel OF GOOD AND EVIL receiving powerful reviews and presently being explored for the screen, it is lacking in sales one would expect from such a powerful book. It is ironic and unfortunate that it may take a movie to bring this captivating novel to a broader range of readers and the literary world. Whatever can be done to spread the word of the novel, before a possible movie is made upon it, would be a great contribution to that world.’ “
When finished reading, Sue immediately gave me a resolute look. “We’ve got to get busy on this. Never mind the blog posting!”