FEMALE Festival 1st Scene: LITTLE GREEN MEND, by Linda Whitmore (interview)
1ST SCENE SCREENPLAY READINGS • 4m 43s
A plant-like-alien from a distant planet receives a school assignment to help another planet without revealing themselves and gets assigned Earth.
Narrator: Val Cole
Fayla: Kyana Teresa
Dribbit: Allan Michael Brunet
Get to know the writer:
1. What is your screenplay about?
Dribbit, a whiz-kid alien from Nergal, where all life is plant-based, gets a school assignment to do a good deed for problem-filled Earth. While researching (OK, eavesdropping on) our transmissions, he overhears Earth-girl Lindsay Monroe say, "Wouldn't it be great if everyone were the same? The world would be perfect."
A lightbulb moment for Dribbit! Of course! One race = no hatred = a perfect planet! Right? Dribbit surreptitiously rockets orbs of his "cure" to Earth to turn everyone into plant-based lifeforms ... green! Plus, a positive side effect: No more global warming!
But realizing his good deed has created a deadly, catastrophic environmental imbalance, he rushes to Earth to make things right. He recruits Lindsay's help in a cross-country adventure to solve and reverse the runaway greening before it's too late.
Pursued by federal agents and a freaked-out public, the two barely escape to Nergal to enlist the help of Dribbit's hero: the mysterious, two-headed Professor Rebnar. But even with his help, how can they save the Earth in time?
2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?
Animated comedy, family film, adventure, science fiction comedy.
3. Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?
"Little Green Mend" is a fun adventure with an original, unique premise, in which a young alien and a biracial tween girl from the Midwest must team up to save the world. It delivers messages about family and friendship, but also about gender, race, religion and how the smallest among us can change the world. It is funny and charming but has teachable moments for both children and adults.
4. How would you describe this script in two words?
5. What movie have you seen the most times in your life?
This is a toughie. Maybe "Raiders of the Lost Ark" or "Star Wars."
6. How long have you been working on this screenplay?
I wrote the vomit draft of "Little Green Mend" in 2012-13, after I was laid off from the Los Angeles Times. It has gone through many, many rewrites since.
7. How many stories have you written?
I have been in a nonprofit playwriting group for more than 25 years. During that time, I've written 7 full-length plays; 5 feature-length screenplays; 5 hour-long teleplays and a 30-mintue spec script for an existing TV sitcom (which has since been cancelled); 2 hour-long stage dramas; and a couple dozen 10-minute stage plays. Lotta starts and stops. But a lot of celebratory toasts when I finish a play or screenplay. Like any writer, I guess.
8. What is your favorite song? (Or, what song have you listened to the most times in your life?)
Wow. Answering this one is almost as tough as writing "Little Green Mend"! I go through phases -- and I play the drums. The first time I heard the Charlatans' "The Only One I Know," I thought it was life altering. But man, I'll NEVER turn off Springsteen ("Thunder Road"), Led Zeppelin ("Kashmir"), Cream ("Badge"), U-2 ("With or Without You"), REM ("Losing My Religion"), The Cure ("Pictures of You"), The Doors ("Love Her Madly"), Talking Heads ("Life During Wartime"), Tears for Fears ("Everybody Wants to Rule the World"), the Beatles (anything) mid-play. I have what they call in the music industry "big ears." On my shelf are classical, jazz, American songbook, Broadway, New Age, pop/rock CDs. Right now, Barbra Streisand is in my CD player. Sometimes I'll go onto Youtube and just watch drummers play just the drum parts of famous songs. Which would send any non-drummer headed toward the nearest exit. (Am I a good drummer? Alas, no.)
9. What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?
"Little Green Mend" has a fascinating evolution. As I said, I wrote the screenplay in 2012-13, then handed it out to some friends at the L.A. Times and my playwriting group. I got a lot of feedback, after which the script went through many, many rewrites. I entered it in a couple of contests, but nothing happened.
Fast forward to 2019: I learned that my friend Brian Menz had tragically lost his younger brother. I phoned to relay my condolences (I'm in SoCal, he's in Boston), and we got to talking about other things. He mentioned that he had been in a screenwriting group for a number of years. I mentioned to him that I'd written an animated comedy, and did he want to take a look at it?
Within a couple of weeks, he told me he'd read it. That seemed to be the end of it. A couple of months later, Brian phoned me and said he'd been thinking a lot about the script and asked my permission to roll up his sleeves and tinker. I said, "Knock yourself out."
Through Brian's family tragedy and my reaching out to him, "Little Green Mend" found a second chance.
We are thrilled with the script being named a winner of your contest!
10. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?
Science fiction – reading, watching, writing; good sitcoms; the Marvel Cinematic Universe and most action-adventure movies; murder mystery novels; sushi; my dog. Oh, I should mention my husband at some point. It's easy to take him for granted after many years but he's stood by me during all the writing ups and downs.
11. You entered your screenplay via FilmFreeway. What has been your experiences working with the submission platform site?
I couldn't be more pleased by the reception the script got, the feedback I received and the efforts to market the script – a red-carpet treatment with professional actors reading a segment – and getting it out there. I'm overwhelmed.
12. What influenced you to enter the festival? What were your feelings on the initial feedback you received?
"Little Green Mend" has had success in many contests in the past couple of years. I was eager to see how it fared in the Female Film Festival contest. I am extremely pleased with the feedback I received from the contest and it should prove useful in the rewrite.
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