In the comedy-drama DOG PARK, the deliberate poisoning of a dog forces three lonely people's lives to collide.
Narrator: Val Cole
Margaret: Hannah Ehman
Carrie: Kyana Teresa
Get to know the writer:
1. What is your screenplay about?
In DOG PARK, the deliberate poisoning of a dog forces three lonely people's lives to collide.
MARGARET, 65, is a disciplined retiree who wakes before dawn to bake treats for her devoted mutt Rambo, then spends the day coordinating the volunteers who maintain the dog park. CARRIE, 27, is a frazzled nurse at Seattle Children's Hospital who can't keep her hyperactive Weimaraner Jean Luc from knocking over strangers or her boyfriends from leaving her. VIET, 30, is an assistant manager at the local hardware store who cares for his infant nephew and toddler niece in an extended family household. The perfect Vietnamese-Catholic son, his only self-indulgence is when he steals away to the bramble-filled, dirt paths of the lower woods for fleeting moments of pleasure with anonymous men.
Through everyday intimacies and betrayals, they find that perhaps it's through our lack of control—over our dogs and our own desires—that we discover moments of grace.
2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?
Dramedy; animal lovers; LGBTQ+; Asian American; immigration.
3. Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?
A dog park's community is more economically and ethnically diverse than any church congregation or neighborhood, and doggie parents range from gregarious extroverts to misanthropes. Pampered pets play alongside dogs recently rescued from fighting rings, and they're being praised, or coddled, or neglected, or scolded and abused. An American dog park illustrates in microcosm how we deal with the most vulnerable in society.
Why is it that bonding with a dog can so change our lives and open our hearts? How is it that even the most relationship-averse people will adopt such vulnerable creatures, witness their infancy and their senility, and then bury them?
This film should be made because it's about how radical acceptance of ourselves and others makes life worth living. And it is intentionally set in Seattle, a highly caffeinated, ultra-liberal city that continues to battle over its soul, with old-guard working class Seattleites living side-by-side with young, tech workers, immigrants, and people driven out of their homes by the income gap.
4. How would you describe this script in two words?
5. What movie have you seen the most times in your life?
6. How long have you been working on this screenplay?
I worked on it intensively for a year, then revisited it a decade later.
7. How many stories have you written?
Ooh ... quite a few, including a novel, numerous short stories, two full-length musicals, essays, and short plays.
8. What is your favorite song? (Or, what song have you listened to the most times in your life?)
"The Lark Ascending," by Ralph Vaughan Williams. It has comforted me through different events in my life. More recently, "Escapémonos" by Marc Anthony and Jennifer López ... so romantic!
9. What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?
The biggest obstacle has been the fear that it will never be realized as an actual film.
10. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?
I love learning languages and playing the ukulele.
11. You entered your screenplay via FilmFreeway. What has been your experiences working with the submission platform site?
FilmFreeway makes submitting work and receiving responses and feedback so much simpler and gratifying than the past of sending out hard copies three-hole punched with brass paper fasteners. Trouble-free, which is exactly what you want to say about a submission platform!
12. What influenced you to enter the festival? What were your feelings on the initial feedback you received?
I was influenced to enter the festival most by the offer of feedback and by the presentation of a scene by live performers. It was incredibly validating and powerful to discover how thoughtful readers, encountering the script for the first time, perceived the story and the characters. The feedback has inspired me to dig deeper into how to improve the screenplay.