Lights, Camera, ACTION

 

When My Novels Finally Hit Hollywood

By Jeff Salter

No, it has not happened yet. But I’ve had several people tell me “ABCD novel would make a great movie.” I totally agree. Fact is, I can imagine any / all of my novels or novellas on-screen. But the 4F1H task this week is to select ONE book to be turned into a movie and decide upon an ideal cast or director. Wow.

Folks, this is almost as difficult as deciding which color of M&M Peanuts is your favorite. Do I really like the red ones better, or is my eye simply attracted to the brighter color? Do I really like the brown ones less, or do they simply “hide” effectively beneath their green, blue, yellow, and orange colleagues?

Here’s what I’m saying: while I think my comedies – especially my two screwball comedies in the series, Amanda Moore or Less – might be best suited for adaptation to superb cinematic entertainment, one of my other novels may be more IMPORTANT.

Called to Arms Again is my tribute to the Greatest Generation. These are the folks who raised me, taught me, hired me, trained me, and showed me (by example) how to cope with disappointments, challenges, and sacrifices. Unfortunately these folks are also leaving us, steadily and rapidly, and the few who remain are typically in their nineties by now.

And that’s why C2AA is my most “important” story. It’s important for these few remaining members of the greatest generation to see how much they (and their contributions) are still valued. They struggled for survival through the Great Depression and sacrificed – both in uniform and on the home front – to help save the free world during World War II. My novel honors them with a fictional plot featuring humor, action, and loving relationships among characters of three generations.

It’s also important in the sense of “teaching” the current generation about how much their forebearers endured, how they prevailed, and why they were willing to struggle for our future.

C2AA-lge-500x750

Grit doesn’t fade away — it just becomes crusty. Kelly discovers first-hand that this assembly of geriatrics is no push-over when a gang of thieves targets a retirement subdivision, expecting an easy score. But the Greatest Generation had conquered worse enemies than these punks… they still can and will fight back.

Called To Arms Again.” Novel, only $2.99 in digital formats; paperback also available (varied prices). Clean Reads, 2013. Set in Somerset KY, it’s the exciting sequel to “Hid Wounded Reb.”
http://tinyurl.com/JLS-C2AA

My Director

This is especially tough because, as I mentioned earlier this week, I don’t have all that much awareness of who directed which films. For this one, I guess I’d want to go back two generations and resurrect Frank Capra to direct 90 % of the story.
For a list of Capra’s most prominent films, look here:
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001008/?ref_=tt_ov_dr

If Capra was not “lively” enough to take the job, I’d probably offer the primary directing to Ron Howard or Penny Marshall or Rob Reiner.

For my story’s main barricade “battle scene”, however, I might ask some more current – and living – director… but she or he would also have to have a good eye for comedy. Hmm. Maybe Lawrence Kasdan is available.
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001410/?ref_=tt_ov_dr#director

No other particular action director comes to mind, so I’d welcome suggestions.

My Actors

Two of these are easy because while I wrote C2AA (back in 2007), I pictured my heroine Kelly as a young Diane Lane… and my hero Mitch as a young Harrison Ford.

diane-lane2

Harrisonford-1

A key supporting character (Pete Henley) was modeled off a Somerset gentleman, C.E. “Gene” Hansford… who (to me) somewhat resembles Andy Griffith from his Matlock days. For the other key roles – like Pop Walter, Ellie Graye, Diane Sutton, Irene Henley, Roger Jenkins, and (of course) Wade – I’d have to shop around Hollywood, I guess. If they hurry and make this film, I could likely play Joe Sutton, since he was modeled after ME.

Question: who would be YOUR favorite director to bring screen life to my tribute to the greatest generation?

[JLS # 278]

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About jeff7salter

Currently writing romantic comedy, screwball comedy, and romantic suspense. Twelve completed novels and five completed novellas. Working with three royalty publishers: Clean Reads, Dingbat Publishing, & TouchPoint Press/Romance. "Size Matters" -- Oct. 2016 "The Duchess of Earl" -- Jul. 2016 "Stuck on Cloud Eight" -- Nov. 2015, "Pleased to Meet Me" (novella) -- Oct. 2015, "One Simple Favor" (novella) -- May 2015, "The Ghostess & MISTER Muir" -- Oct. 2014, "Scratching the Seven-Month Itch" -- Sept. 2014, "Hid Wounded Reb" -- Aug. 2014, "Don't Bet On It" (novella) -- April 2014, "Curing the Uncommon Man-Cold -- Dec. 2013, "Echo Taps" (novella) -- June 2013, "Called To Arms Again" -- (a tribute to the greatest generation) -- May 2013, "Rescued By That New Guy in Town" -- Oct. 2012, "The Overnighter's Secrets" -- May 2012. Co-authored two non-fiction books about librarianship (with a royalty publisher), a chapter in another book, and an article in a specialty encyclopedia. Plus several library-related articles and reviews. Also published some 120 poems, about 150 bylined newspaper articles, and some 100 bylined photos. Worked about 30 years in librarianship. Formerly newspaper editor and photo-journalist. Decorated veteran of U.S. Air Force (including a remote ‘tour’ of duty in the Arctic … at Thule AB in N.W. Greenland). Married; father of two; grandfather of six.
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12 Responses to Lights, Camera, ACTION

  1. I knew you’d pick Called to Arms Again, Jeff. I know how close it is to your heart.
    I see we have similar choices in directors. Who knows? WHEN they make CTAA into a movie, they may make really good, young ‘finds’ that will be perfect for your characters. I hope so.

    Liked by 1 person

    • jeff7salter says:

      thank you. Yes, both Diane Lane and Harrison Ford are about double the ages of my characters [Kelly is late 20s and Mitch is late 30s] … so we’d have to find actors who could convincingly play someone those ages.
      I don’t keep up with the new faces enough to come up with any names, however.

      Like

  2. jbrayweber says:

    I like how you’ve put in so much thought on this, Jeff. I’m not big on directors, but the ones you picked would probably do the greatest justice for a story like yours. Wouldn’t it be awesome…

    Liked by 1 person

    • jeff7salter says:

      It would be so much fun to see actors portray my geriatric characters and make that defiant stand at their barricade. Robert Duvall could be one of my players! Sam Elliott could be another [yeah, some of the characters are of the boomer generation].

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Patricia Kiyono says:

    I’m sure Ron Howard would do a great job directing, though the Marshalls would also be good choices. As for the actors, I had to do a lot of googling to find my choices! Someday someone’s going to have to teach you how to use that tool – especially when your memory stalls, like it tends to do at our age. C2AA would make an awesome movie.

    Liked by 1 person

    • jeff7salter says:

      Well, as an old public librarian, I learned how to use reference tools, but all were in book form. The problem with google is that nothing is juried or authenticated. Of course, the flip side is: book resources are already 18 months out of date by the time they appear… whereas the internet stuff is about four minutes old.

      Like

      • Patricia Kiyono says:

        Authentication is always a problem. I tend to trust articles published on certain websites – those sponsored by established universities, for example, or those recommended by people I know. But for finding current actors or anything current, google is fine. As for your movie watching schedule, you need to save this website: http://www.tcm.com/schedule/monthly.html

        Liked by 1 person

      • jeff7salter says:

        I’m glad you gave me that link again. I’ve misplaced the one you provided previously.

        Like

  4. If Rob Marshall and Garry Marshall could team up I think they would do your story justice. Between the two of them the action and comedy would be well covered.

    CTAA would make a great movie, I would even brave the movie theatre to see it.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Joselyn says:

    Great choices! I considered Diane Lane as well, but she wasn’t the right age. I love her in Under the Tuscan Sun.

    Liked by 1 person

    • jeff7salter says:

      besides being gorgeous, she’s quite an accomplished actress … and has been since she was hardly more than a child in a mid-70s movie with Lawrence Olivier.

      Liked by 1 person

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