How I Began My Movie Screenplay
Like most, I have always loved movies. And, just as I had never expected to write a book, I never expected to write a movie screenplay. But Julie, Tom and Sean Grissom’s murders changed the course of my life and awakened a dormant artistic yearning which has moved me to share this story in every way I can, including through a feature film.
Following national newsworthy developments in my story providing an inspiring conclusion for the murder and spiritual plots, I was contacted by directors interested in my story, including Kevin Costner’s director in the Oscar winning Best Picture Dances With Wolves. I also received several movie offers for my story, most notably from TriStar Pictures. To protect the accuracy of my true story, I turned each offer down so I could complete my book first to help ensure that a movie of it would accurately portray my story.
As I learned about the movie industry, though, I learned that selling my rights to my story allows a screenwriter or director to change my story into a movie that barely resembles my story. Because mine is a true story, any movie of it needs to be true to my story. So, to help keep the movie true to my story, rather than sell my screenplay to a filmmaker, I decided to write my own screenplay and partner with a filmmaker to make the movie.
Other than watching movies over my life, I have no training in screenplay writing. So, I read several screenplay writing books, beginning with Syd Field’s Screenplay, and have learned a lot I had never noticed before from simply watching movies. I also read movie making books to learn how to turn a screenplay into a finished movie. To get a firsthand look at making a movie, I got a role as a White House Staff member in Oscar winning director Oliver Stone’s movie W about President George W. Bush. It was an invaluable experience watching how the film crew worked and, most importantly, how Oliver Stone directed his actors, including me in one scene. I plan to attend Robert Redford’s noted Sundance Film Institute to learn more about screenplay writing, directing and producing films to help me coproduce WHEN TOMORROW NEVER COMES and make a meaningful contribution in the film’s preproduction, shooting, postproduction editing, distribution and marketing.
I am determined to turn something very bad into something very good by making this world a little better through sharing what I have learned from my journey following Julie, Tom, and Sean’s murders. So, today I am pursing my passion completing my book and screenplay of it.