Over the past month I’ve had the opportunity to interact with screenwriter Diana Amsterdam by email and share my ideas for the screenplay. It has been a great experience. In our communication, Diana has noted, “we are so in synch about this story; it’s truly extraordinary! These ideas are doable, helpful, and inspired. I promise to honor your input when I write.”

My goal of including the story of Philip Edwards will be achieved and those familiar with my children’s book One April in Boston: The Gift of the Spyglass will recognize an element of that story in the graphic for this blog post. But, this screenplay won’t be called “Phil’s Story.” Its impact will be far greater than that. I’m excited to announce, for the very first time, “Kacey’s Story.” My thanks to Diana Amsterdam for her assistance developing that working title, for her wonderful ideas, and brilliant writing.

Here is the latest update from Diana:

“As of today, December 23, 2015, I’m twenty-five pages into the writing.

“A screenplay is about one hundred pages. By page twenty:

  • Know the characters
  • See where they live and what they do
  • Understand and connect with the protagonist’s DDD: Deep Driving Desire.
  • Get a sense of the obstacles the protagonist will face

“The screenplay I’m writing for Ben Edwards has been given the working title “Kacey’s Story.” Kacey is a high school student who needs to live in a just world. This is her DDD.

“There’s extreme bullying going on at her school, both physical and cyber.  She decides she has to fight the bullies and change the climate of oppression — no easy task, as the head bully is the principal’s son.

“To prepare to write the screenplay, I’ve researched bullying, cyber-bullying, and what some schools are doing to combat the climate of cruelty that so easily prevails among impressionable teens who want, most of all, to be popular.

“I haven’t secured an appointment to visit Naugatuck High School, although I did write the principal.  I understand that my visit might be considered intrusive or distracting.  Instead, I will visit a local Brooklyn high school to observe.

“There are some very specific questions I need answers to, and they may not be what you think.  For example: How must I describe, in the screenplay, the dress of a popular high school girl? How does a less popular more “nerdy” girl dress in comparison? These specifics can only be answered by either direct experience or observation.

“Specifics make a screenplay come alive.  When you read a well-written screenplay, you must be able to see the movie.