It’s been a very long time since I’ve blogged. Part of the reason for this is that for the past year I’ve been devoting my “writing energy” to completing one screenplay and revising another.
With the support of my writing workshop and the guidance of its mentor, Ken Rotcop, I’m pleased to say that my efforts have paid off. I’ve just sold my first screenplay, EMPTY CRADLE, to Lifetime Television and production is expected to begin in Vancouver in November.
At times the reaction I receive when I mention Lifetime is similar to the one I used to get when I wrote for the soaps. Some people, mostly women, will “admit” to Lifetime being their “guilty pleasure” and others are adamant about “never having watched that kind of thing”. Incidentally, Lifetime Television and Lifetime Movie Channel are two different entities; the former deals primarily with stories inspired by true events, as mine was, whereas those aired on LMC do not.
It is fair to say that movies on both Lifetime Television and on Lifetime Movie Channel tend to be formulaic and somewhat melodramatic at times, but isn’t there room for melodrama in the arts? I personally prefer this genre to, say, reality television.
For those film buffs claiming to love classic films starring the likes of Bette Davis, Barbara Stanwyk, Joan Crawford, and other leading ladies of the 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s, I would pose the following question: What do you suppose happened to the genre of film in which these actresses performed? More importantly, what do you suppose happened to the audiences for those movies, such as those produced by Ross Hunter?
The answer is obvious. The majority of mainstream films today are geared towards young men between the ages of 16 and 30. With fewer and fewer features targeting the male demographic over the age of 45, let alone the female demographic, movies whose subject matter concern themselves with love triangles, children given up for adoption and unfaithful husbands were not welcomed. With a few notable exceptions (Unfaithful, starring Diane Lane, The Call, starring Halle Berry) even thrillers, if they are female driven, are now relegated to television, specifically to LMC. The bottom line is that there is a need for this particular genre.
What follows is a compilation of female driven films of yesterday that, had they been made today, might have easily found themselves aired on Lifetime Television or LMC. I’ve listed them in no particular order.
Stella Dallas (starring Barbara Stanwyk)
Back Street (starring Susan Hayward)
To Each His Own (starring Olivia DeHavilland)
My Name is Julia Ross (starring Nina Foch)
Dark Victory (starring Bette Davis)
Madame X (starring Lana Turner)
Autumn Leaves (starring Joan Crawford)
Gaslight (starring Ingrid Bergman)
Imitation of Life (starring Claudette Colbert)
Julia (starring Doris Day)
I think I’m in pretty good company and just as I had no compunction about “admitting” to watching as well as writing for daytime serials, I am proud to say that my first full length screenplay will be a Lifetime movie.
I hope to begin blogging again as frequently as I can; thank you for following me in, RHODES LESS TRAVELLED.
Have a nice weekend, Vivian