Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Darlene Craviotto’


imagesAnd we’re back with Darlene Craviotto and her interview. If you missed her professional resume and bio, please read “Oh Crap She’s Famous!”

Please visit Darlene at her blog: “Can You All Hear Me in the Back?” where you will enjoy her unique voice.

And here’s Darlene!

Darlene, how did you break into screenwriting?

Darlene:

I had a car accident.  Actually, I talk about this in the book so I don’t want to give too much away.  But I originally moved to Hollywood to be an actress.  I worked at Universal Studios as a tour guide during the day and at night I performed in a repertory theater on Hollywood Blvd. seven nights of the week.  It took me seven years to finally get into the Screen Actors Guild, which is the professional union actors and actresses have to get into to be hired for film and television work.  Without a union card, you can’t even go out for auditions.  So after seven years of doing repertory, I co-starred opposite Don Knotts in a brand new play, and it was a great role – I played a blind girl who meets and falls in love with Don Knott’s character. The play was very successful and a big Hollywood agent saw me in it and signed me.  I was immediately cast in a television episode, got into the union, and I was hired to co-star in a big film, I Never Promised You A Rose Garden.  All of my Hollywood dreams were coming true.  But one week before we were supposed to re-shoot the ending of the film (with me in it) I had a car accident and my face went through the windshield of my 1967 Chevy Malibu. My face eventually healed, but I developed agoraphobia after the accident.  I couldn’t really go to auditions, so I had to stop acting.  But the good news was I picked up a pen and started writing.  I had to do something with all that time sitting at home, so I wrote.  I chose a genre that I had worked in as an actress – screenplays.  If I couldn’t actually go to auditions and act these characters, I thought to myself – Why not at least write them? 

What movies did you write a screenplay for?

Darlene:

Although it had taken me seven years to get work as an actress, I started working right away as a screenwriter.  I wrote a spec script – just to teach myself how to write a screenplay – and a friend of mine showed it to a new agent.  She signed me and started sending out my script around town.  I got one job and that led to another, and then, another.  Before I knew it I was making a living as a screenwriter.  The wonderful thing about being a screenwriter is that you can do your work at home and then, send it into the studio or production companies.  You only need to take a meeting every few months, and I would just pull my courage together on those days I’d have to go in for meetings.  I was a wreck emotionally during those meetings, but because I’d been trained to be an actress, I could just pretend to be okay until I’d go home where I could fall apart.  No one ever knew what I was going through, and when I finally admitted my agoraphobia to my agent, she said:  “Keep that to yourself or you might not get hired.”

My first professional job led to me being hired to write an episode for a new CBS series Married: The First Year.  The producer liked my writing so much he hired me to be the Story Editor.  I was a nervous wreck taking that job.  In fact, I turned it down.  My agent told me I was crazy (she wasn’t far from the truth), and she talked me into doing it.  The series only lasted for six episodes and that was fine as far as I was concerned – I was able to go home and not have to travel to an office every day.  But the creator/producer (who was my boss) was the man who had created “Dallas” (David Jacobs) and the next thing I knew I was writing an episode of “Dallas,” and David asked me to be the Executive Story Editor to his new series, “Knott’s Landing.”  By that time, I realized that if I stayed in television I’d have to go to an office every day, and my nervous system would not be able to handle that.  So I decided to just write movies – which took much longer to write and you didn’t have to leave your house to do it –and I said no to the “Knott’s Landing” job (and probably making millions of dollars along with it!)

Turning next to long form projects, I was hired to write the NBC television film, Angel Dusted where I once again acted (I was so nervous I had to hire a good friend to drive me to the set every morning and make sure I showed up!), this time co-starring with Jean Stapleton, and Helen Hunt.  I gave up acting after that last role – it just took too much out of me emotionally to have to show up on a set, looking cool and together.  Screenwriting at home was much less taxing.   I went on to co-write Sentimental Journey, the CBS television film that starred Jacklyn Smith, and Maureen Stapleton.

Next followed Love Is Never Silent for the Hallmark Hall of Fame on NBC, which won numerous awards including an Emmy for Outstanding Drama Special, and also garnered me an Emmy nomination for outstanding writing.  Other awards for the movie included the Amade Unesco Award, and the Christopher Award for best television film writing, as well as Humanitas and WGA nominations for outstanding writing.

My first feature film, Squanto: A Warrior’s Tale, was released by the Walt Disney Studios and won a Movieguide Teddy Award when it was selected as one of the “Ten Best Family Films” of the year.

But in addition to these screenplays that were produced and filmed, I was also hired to write many more scripts over my 25 years in the film industry.  The majority of screenplays that are commissioned by studios never end up being filmed, but screenwriters are paid a lot of money to write them anyway.  I was one of the lucky ones and managed to make a very nice living as a professional screenwriter for over twenty years.

Can you share a bit about your recovery from agoraphobia, and what helped you move forward?

Darlene:

Recently, I had to think long and hard about that question because I wrote a post at my website entitled, “10 Things That Helped Me Get Over Agoraphobia.”  I realized in thinking about that article that I had learned over the years how to live with my agoraphobia.  I don’t think the condition ever totally goes away, but I’ve learned to find coping strategies over the years – through therapy, and by trial and error.  My post goes into it in detail, and if anyone is struggling with agoraphobia, I recommend they read that post.  Never giving up or totally giving in to agoraphobia is a big part of getting your life back again.  I’m doing much better now than that period of time I wrote about in my book – that year that I was writing “Peter Pan” for Disney and Michael Jackson.

What was your motivation for writing about working with Michael Jackson in An Agoraphobic’s Guide to Hollywood: How Michael Jackson Got Me Out of the House?”

Darlene:

Writers write for many reasons.  But in my case, I think I write to better understand myself, or to come to terms with something deep inside of me:  a fear, an anger, a confusion.  I certainly had all of those feelings after working with Michael, and having finished the “Peter Pan” project for Disney and Steven Spielberg.  I think writing the book helped me come to terms with a time in my life that had made me feel like a failure.  It’s funny because having written the book I now realize that I didn’t fail.  Realizing that – through the writing of the book – has made me much stronger as a person, and it’s helped healed me in so many ways.

What are you working on now? 

Darlene:

I have a documentary I’ve been working on for seven years (No Girls Allowed), and this year I finally finished it. It’ll be released in 2013 as a DVD.  I’m also doing an e-book of my play (Pizza Man) which has been produced all over the world, and it will also be coming out in 2013.  I have two other e-books I’ve been working on, and I hope to also have those available sometime next year.  In the meantime, my website is keeping me busy (http://darlenecraviotto.com).  I call it “a guided tour of life’s little stories by screenwriter and author Darlene Craviotto.”

What was your inspiration for the “No Girls Allowed?”

Darlene:

Seven years ago I went back to college to finish my degree.  One day, as I was sitting in a crowded lecture hall at UCSB, I listened while a professor reminisced about being one of the first female students to attend an all-male public high school in Philadelphia. The school had practiced single sex education (for males only) for 147 years until 1983 when a court in Pennsylvania ordered the mandatory co-education of Central High School. I was used to seeing students during lecture text messaging, checking email on their laptops, or dozing during most lectures. But as the professor spoke openly and honestly about her first-year experiences (sometimes difficult) at Central High, the two hundred students around me sat in stunned and respectful silence. They were riveted by what she was telling them.

After the lecture, I went up to the professor and asked her if any books had ever been written about the gender integration of Central High. Public high schools are known to be coed, and yet, Central had avoided going coed until it was legally required as late as 1983. She confessed to me that nothing had ever been written about the case, or the women who were the first to attend Central.  That’s when I realized that I had stumbled upon a fascinating story, and the best way to tell it was through documentary film making   That began a seven year adventure for me as I had to learn all the aspects of film making  not just the screenwriting part of it, but filming, directing, editing, and post production.

What advice would you share, industry related or not, with people? A piece of wisdom. 

Darlene:

Never give up – even when you’re afraid.  Fear can stop you from going forward, but if you stand up and face it, you can use its force to propel you forward.  All of my professional (and personal) accomplishments have come out of some kind of fear:  fear that I’m not good enough or strong enough to complete the task, fear that I will fail, fear that I’ll embarrass myself or look like a fool.  It’s easy to go through life being complacent when nothing is challenging you or threatening to hold you back.  But complacency doesn’t get you anywhere, or help you accomplish anything.  It’s why the best stories have a villain, a nemesis, a force in direct conflict with the protagonist.  Where there is conflict, there can always be the promise of a victory.

You can visit Amazon to purchase Darlene’s books and movies.

Darlene, I can’t thank you enough for sharing with us. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, you are my real life hero. With all that you have overcome, you inspire me to become a better and stronger woman. Thank you.

Until Next Time…

Advertisements

Read Full Post »


Some posts you fall in love with. This is one of them. I wanted to share my interview with screenwriter/author Darlene Craviotto again. I tried re-posting it, but it didn’t send emails out so here it is again. Part 2 will follow soon. I hope you enjoy!

images

Have you ever met someone, just chatted away like you’d known them for years, and then learned they had done something big? That just happened to me, and as I was reading her email, I busted out with “Oh crap she’s famous!”

Who am I referring to? Let me introduce Darlene Craviotto to you. I’ve reviewed her book, “An Agoraphobic’s Guide to Hollywood – How Michael Jackson Got Me Out of the House” a while ago, and raved about how well written it is. I did know that Darlene had written screenplays as well, but after seeing her résumé, my mouth dropped open.

Before you read her information, I’ll just say she acted in a movie with Helen Hunt.

Darlene Craviotto Bio:

Darlene Craviotto started her Hollywood career as a tour guide at Universal Studios while performing in a local repertory theatre at nights. Her first break was being cast as the romantic lead opposite Don Knotts in the world premiere of the play, A Good Look at Boney Kearn. As a result of her performance, she was cast in her first feature film, co-starring with Kathleen Quinlan, and Bibi Andersson in the critically acclaimed I Never Promised You a Rose Garden.

Soon after completing the film, a car accident prematurely halted her film-acting career, and Ms. Craviotto turned to screenwriting. She was first hired as the executive story editor for the David Jacob’s (Dallas) CBS series Married: The First Year. Turning next to long form projects, Ms. Craviotto wrote the NBC television film, Angel Dusted where she once again acted, this time co-starring with Jean Stapleton, and Helen Hunt.  She also co-wrote Sentimental Journey, the CBS television film.

Next followed Love Is Never Silent for the Hallmark Hall of Fame on NBC, which won numerous awards including an Emmy for Outstanding Drama Special, and also garnered Craviotto an Emmy nomination for outstanding writing.  Other awards for the movie included the Amade Unesco Award, and the Christopher Award for best television film writing, as well as Humanitas and WGA nominations for outstanding writing.

Ms. Craviotto’s first feature film, Squanto: A Warrior’s Tale, was released by the Walt Disney Studios and won a Movieguide SquantoTeddy Award when it was selected as one of the “Ten Best Family Films” of the year.

For the stage, Craviotto wrote, Pizza Man, which won both the L.A. Dramatist Award and Dramalogue Award as best new play of the season. Published by Samuel French, Pizza Man has been translated into eight languages, and has been produced all over the world.

Returning to UCSB in 2005 to finish a B.A. in Feminist Studies, Ms. Craviotto received an URCA (Undergraduate Research & Creative Arts) grant for her senior thesis research on Philadelphia’s Central High School’s 1983 gender integration. The 50-minute film that resulted from that research is No Girls Allowed and it is Ms. Craviotto’s first directing venture.

Ms. Craviotto’s “The PediatricianVisit,” was anthologized in the A Cup of Comfort series (A Cup of Comfort for Mothers & Sons) in 2004.  Her narrative non-fiction An Agoraphobic’s Guide to Hollywood – How Michael Jackson Got Me Out of the House was published by Front Door Books in 2011.

Darlene Craviotto’s  

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

  • “False Prophet”   screenplay           Warner Brothers                1999-2000
  •  “Wild Horses”   screenplay      Jerry Bruckheimer Prod.         1997-1998
  • “This Crazy Thing Called Love”   screenplay  Jerry Bruckheimer Prod.  1996
  • “The Deptford Mice”     screenplay     Jim Henson Prod.         1995
  • “Iron Man”          screenplay         Touchstone                         1994
  •  “Squanto”             screenplay                 Disney                    1993

                        —Movieguide Award/Outstanding Family Film

  • “No Language But A Cry”    screenplay       Disney                 1992
  • “Peter Pan”      screenplay     Michael Jackson Prod.              1991
  • “Snakewalk”          screenplay             MGM/ Pathe                 1990
  • “Man in the Box”     screenplay        Disney/Amblin                 1989
  • “The Girl”            screenplay       Roland Jofe/Warners          1988
  • “Sanctuary”                  screenplay              HBO                 1987
  • “Gizelle, Save the Children”  teleplay        Lorimar/CBS         1986
  • Love Is Never Silent”  teleplay   Marian Rees Assoc./ Hallmark/NBC  1985
  •                         —EMMY award for outstanding television film 1985                        —Amade-Unesco Award                        —Christopher Award                        —WGA Nomination/Outstanding Writing                        —Humanitas Nomination/Outstanding Writing
  • “Pizza Man”        theatrical play            Samuel French    1986

                        —Dramalogue Award

                        —National Repertory Award for Playwriting

  • “Shadows”                        screenplay              20th Century Fox   1983
  •  Sentimental Journey”     teleplay                        CBS               1983
  • “The Ride”                                    screenplay              Motown Features  1982
  • “American Made”             screenplay                   CBS Features   1981
  • “Angel Dusted”               teleplay and co-producer        NBC   1980
  • “Dallas”_______”Black Market Baby”/teleplay____CBS__1979
  • “Married: The First Year” story  editor/writer  (series) CBS 1979

Please visit Darlene’s blog at http://darlenecraviotto.com/

Until Next Time…

Read Full Post »


Have you ever met someone, just chatted away like you’d known them for years, and then learned they had done something big? That just happened to me, and as I was reading her email, I busted out with “Oh crap she’s famous!”

Who am I referring to? Let me introduce Darlene Craviotto to you. I’ve reviewed her book, “An Agoraphobic’s Guide to Hollywood – How Michael Jackson Got Me Out of the House” a while ago, and raved about how well written it is. I did know that Darlene had written screenplays as well, but after seeing her résumé, my mouth dropped open.

We are going to have some fun. I’m listing Darlene’s bio and professional resume for you to view. She has also offered copies of her book, “An Agoraphobic’s Guide to Hollywood – How Michael Jackson Got Me Out of the House”,  to 5 awesome winners. The grand prize receives not only a copy of her book, but can ask any questions concerning screenplay writing etc. If you have dreamed of your story on the big screen, this is your chance to get the inside scoop from someone who worked in Hollywood! To enter the drawing, please subscribe to my blog if you aren’t already, and leave a comment that you would like to enter the drawing. It’s that easy. In a few more days, I will post an interview with her as well.

Before you read her information, I’ll just say she acted in a movie with Helen Hunt.

Darlene Craviotto Bio:

Darlene Craviotto started her Hollywood career as a tour guide at Universal Studios while performing in a local repertory theatre at nights. Her first break was being cast as the romantic lead opposite Don Knotts in the world premiere of the play, A Good Look at Boney Kearn. As a result of her performance, she was cast in her first feature film, co-starring with Kathleen Quinlan, and Bibi Andersson in the critically acclaimed I Never Promised You a Rose Garden.

Soon after completing the film, a car accident prematurely halted her film-acting career, and Ms. Craviotto turned to screenwriting. She was first hired as the executive story editor for the David Jacob’s (Dallas) CBS series Married: The First Year. Turning next to long form projects, Ms. Craviotto wrote the NBC television film, Angel Dusted where she once again acted, this time co-starring with Jean Stapleton, and Helen Hunt.  She also co-wrote Sentimental Journey, the CBS television film.

Next followed Love Is Never Silent for the Hallmark Hall of Fame on NBC, which won numerous awards including an Emmy for Outstanding Drama Special, and also garnered Craviotto an Emmy nomination for outstanding writing.  Other awards for the movie included the Amade Unesco Award, and the Christopher Award for best television film writing, as well as Humanitas and WGA nominations for outstanding writing.

Ms. Craviotto’s first feature film, Squanto: A Warrior’s Tale, was released by the Walt Disney Studios and won a Movieguide Teddy Award when it was selected as one of the “Ten Best Family Films” of the year.

For the stage, Craviotto wrote, Pizza Man, which won both the L.A. Dramatist Award and Dramalogue Award as best new play of the season. Published by Samuel French, Pizza Man has been translated into eight languages, and has been produced all over the world.

Returning to UCSB in 2005 to finish a B.A. in Feminist Studies, Ms. Craviotto received an URCA (Undergraduate Research & Creative Arts) grant for her senior thesis research on Philadelphia’s Central High School’s 1983 gender integration. The 50-minute film that resulted from that research is No Girls Allowed and it is Ms. Craviotto’s first directing venture.

Ms. Craviotto’s “The PediatricianVisit,” was anthologized in the A Cup of Comfort series (A Cup of Comfort for Mothers & Sons) in 2004.  Her narrative non-fiction An Agoraphobic’s Guide to Hollywood – How Michael Jackson Got Me Out of the House was published by Front Door Books in 2011.

Darlene Craviotto’s  

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

  • “False Prophet”   screenplay           Warner Brothers                1999-2000
  •  “Wild Horses”   screenplay      Jerry Bruckheimer Prod.         1997-1998
  • “This Crazy Thing Called Love”   screenplay  Jerry Bruckheimer Prod.  1996
  • “The Deptford Mice”     screenplay     Jim Henson Prod.         1995
  • “Iron Man”          screenplay         Touchstone                         1994
  •  “Squanto”             screenplay                 Disney                    1993

                        —Movieguide Award/Outstanding Family Film

  • “No Language But A Cry”    screenplay       Disney                 1992
  • “Peter Pan”      screenplay     Michael Jackson Prod.              1991
  • “Snakewalk”          screenplay             MGM/ Pathe                 1990
  • “Man in the Box”     screenplay        Disney/Amblin                 1989
  • “The Girl”            screenplay       Roland Jofe/Warners          1988
  • “Sanctuary”                  screenplay              HBO                 1987
  • “Gizelle, Save the Children”  teleplay        Lorimar/CBS         1986
  • Love Is Never Silent”  teleplay   Marian Rees Assoc./ Hallmark/NBC  1985
  •                         —EMMY award for outstanding television film 1985                        —Amade-Unesco Award                        —Christopher Award

                            —WGA Nomination/Outstanding Writing

                            —Humanitas Nomination/Outstanding Writing

  • “Pizza Man”        theatrical play            Samuel French    1986

                        —Dramalogue Award

                        —National Repertory Award for Playwriting

  • “Shadows”                        screenplay              20th Century Fox   1983
  •  Sentimental Journey”     teleplay                        CBS               1983
  • “The Ride”                                    screenplay              Motown Features  1982
  • “American Made”             screenplay                   CBS Features   1981
  • “Angel Dusted”               teleplay and co-producer        NBC   1980
  • “Dallas”_______”Black Market Baby”/teleplay____CBS__1979
  • “Married: The First Year” story  editor/writer  (series) CBS 1979

Please visit Darlene’s blog at http://darlenecraviotto.com/

Until Next Time…

Read Full Post »


Authors-Writing1When Jason Brick, and Harvey Burgess asked if I’d like to participate in a questionnaire, I thought it would be a great way to share and connect. For those of you that aren’t familiar with Jason, or had the pleasure to meet him, I’ll recommend his website. Jason is also from Portland, Oregon and a freelance writer. He has valuable  information on his site. Please visit Jason at Brick.Comma.JasonThatWriterGuy.

Harvey’s a published mystery author who I’ve interviewed on my blog.  Click here to read. His site is: http://kisshergoodbye.authorsxpress.com. Did I mention I can’t wait until his next book? AND 50% of royalties from “Kiss Her Goodbye” go to StandUpToCancer organization.

I’ll also recommend other authors at the bottom of this post. So stop by and visit them.

1) What is the working title of your next book? “Tears In the Sun”

2) Where did the idea come from for the book? I’d written a short story, and after some thought and encouragement from others, I decided to work on the novel.

3) What genre does your book fall under? Fiction

4) What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition? I could normally answer that question when I begin writing, but I haven’t decided yet.

5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

It’s the story of a young woman torn between her own needs for an identity, and the needs of her mentally ill mother.

6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? I’d love an agency, but I’ve also considered self-publishing. The jury is still out.

7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript? I’m just beginning, so a while 🙂

8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? Funny, I’ve searched the last several days for realistic fiction, and although I’ve sound similar books, nothing like mine. “Mommie Dearest” maybe.

9) Who or what inspired you to write this book? A lot of factors contributed to this story, but I believe the last piece was a conversation I had with Darlene Craviotto. She encouraged me to write it.

10) What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest? “Tears In the Sun” is a story concerning a young woman who deals with a mentally ill mother.

Here are some great authors I’ve chosen to participate in the fun:

Dena Weigel Bell, whose blog you can find at:  http://denaweigelbell.wordpress.com/

Sandra Bellamy, who can be found at: http://quirkybooks.wordpress.com/

Dan Stone at http://firstadream.com/
Have a wonderful weekend!
Until Next Time…

 

Read Full Post »


Darlene Craviotto is a real life heroine! This book invoked every possible emotion while I read it. I purchased “An Agoraphobic’s Guide to Hollywood: How Michael Jackson Got Me Out of the House” and read it in one day. My nose stayed glued to my iPad! I can say that happens with a good novel, but not nonfiction. I think I’ve read five in my life, most of them on writing.

In her book, Darlene takes us behind the scenes of Hollywood screenwriting, and a peek into the intriguing, yet mysterious, world of the King of Pop.

She opens her book with news from her agent, of a once in a lifetime opportunity, to work with Michael Jackson and Steven Spielberg, on “Project M”. Project M was a re-creation of Peter Pan, with Michael as Peter. However, Darlene faced a huge problem. Since a car accident, Darlene deals with agoraphobia.

Agoraphobia by definition on Wikipedia: “is an anxiety disorder characterized by anxiety in situations where it is perceived to be difficult or embarrassing to escape. These situations can include, but are not limited to, wide-open spaces, and uncontrollable social situations such as may be met in shopping malls, airports, and on bridges.”

As the project moved forward, Michael requested Darlene’s presence at one of his homes, as well as Neverland Ranch, to work on the screenplay. She shares her struggles, fear of leaving her home, and being in an unfamiliar environment. She also worked hard hiding her secret. Darlene’s agent had advised her to never let Hollywood know about her agoraphobia.

Once arriving to the meetings, Darlene writes with a sense of awe at how childlike Michael was in his surroundings, as well as his thoughts and ideas, his shyness, and at the same time, the mega superstar that he was.

Darlene’s writing style and unique voice pull you into the story, as though you are experiencing everything with her. The reader feels her fear and frustration, and cheers as she moves forward one step at a time. She reveals her battle, not only with her anxiety, but being a mother and a professional. At times her children cause a bit of awkwardness that you can’t help but understand and laugh, simply because you’ve experienced the same situation while on the telephone.

What I found so appealing, was Darlene’s down to earth personality. Having several successful screenplays under her belt, the reader never gets the sense that success has spoiled her, but simply blessed to for the opportunity to do what she loves, which pulls you into her book even further.

To learn more about “An Agoraphobic’s Guide to Hollywood: How Michael Jackson Got Me Out of the House”, and read the first pages, click here.

Until Next Time…

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: