Cheryl Boyles | Script Revolution

Cheryl Boyles

Cheryl Boyles's picture
Cheryl Boyles
Green Valley, United States

Long before I could print my name, I was "writing" dialogue. As a child, I did a lot of pretending too, and talking to myself, but this thrilling process of creating conversation involved editing -- the alpha and omega literary love of my life.

The first screenplay I ever read was for the 70s film, "Billy Jack," because the paperback version was literally the movie script. As a 13-year-old kid, this alien style of writing spoke to me in somehow familiar ways, and I said to myself, "I could do that." I married young to escape an abusive household and turned to reading the classics while raising babies because college was out of the question. The thing I loved most about reading was the way I was able to "see the movie" -- cast, set, and all -- providing the most satisfying (and cheapest!) of escapes and adventures that, in a word, saved me.

So this one day while enthralled in a du Maurier, which happened to be about a woman wanting to throw off the fetters of societal expectations (and a dull marriage) for a fling with a pirate, the idea was hatched in my head that this should be a movie, and I should write it -- hadn't yet come across the term "film rights." I bought Final Draft on floppy disk, some books on screenwriting, and "adapted" a few chapters of du Maurier's work, page by page, just as it was written, but included plenty of cool stuff like camera angles, casting suggestions, and scripted soundtrack. Yeah, I rocked it.

I wrote more screenplays over the years and worked with, and for, other writers, and eventually got a bit better at it. In 2011, an interest in the law of reciprocity -- or the Golden Rule -- as it is taught by all the great world religions led me to an autobiographical work in the public domain by a man well known across the U.S. in the 1920s as "Golden Rule Arthur Nash." Though the story's potential and relevance were immediately apparent, Nash's book left more questions than it answered, and whet my appetite for research, which I organized and cited in the Wikipedia article I also wrote on Nash. By 2013 I had a pretty horrible first draft of the screenplay done, discovering several back-end challenges with trying to interpret a tale like his for film, including the fact that Nash outright fibbed in his own book. Knowing the story's problems never-no-way translated into meaningful solutions, no matter how long I stared at the blinky screen. But then I got really sick and thought I was going to die, and voilà--got the rewrite of my dreams done in six weeks! Maybe don't try this at home.

It is a brand new, spectacular feeling to have my personal belief in the quality of this script transcend my personal, pervasive sense of insecurity about myself and my writing, but Golden, I dare say, outshines me! I laughed and I cried when I wrote it, and have the same experience when I read it. Now I want to share, share, share and see if anyone else out there feels the same! Plus I want to connect with other writers and write more scripts. So this is me, and I'm happy to be here.

PS(A): There will be a learning curve in my poster-making.

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Scripts By Cheryl

Golden
Turn of the century prodigal son grows up to publicly challenge Christianity's failings by making the Golden Rule the governing law in his sweatshop, putting him at odds with family, church, workers, and organized labor.
Feature Biography, Drama, History For sale 123pp