Unsettled Times and Good News (for me)
25th August 2012
We do live in times that are worrisome and unsettling, Iran and nuclear weapons, the continuing Euro crisis and a vitriolic American election campaign. I know the world is no different, from past times, but we just hear more about everything, very quickly. Still we can only go one one day at a time and do our best and hope for the best. For me ...my life is full and satisfying right now. I am completely enchanted by my grandchildren and so glad of the opportunity to spend this time with them.
I have been asked to make a film, in Vienna, about which I am delighted. It is such a strange twist of fate, the film is about Edith Stein, a Jewish woman, who became a Roman Catholic nun during the Nazi regime and was canonized for her work in helping Jews escape Hitler's Germany. Her story mirrors that of my aunt Lisamaria Meirowsky, who also became a nun and gave up her Jewish heritage, she too helped Jews escape. Both Edith Stein and Lisamaria were murdered by the Nazis on the same day in Auschwitz. Needless to say this film holds a special meaning for me and I am delighted that I have been asked to appear in it. Just when I thought work had dried up pretty permanently, unless I create it myself, which I have been doing with newchillingtales.com, along comes another opportunity. For this I have to thank a well known Hollywood casting Director, Marvin Paige, who has long believed in me and supported my career. I am grateful to him for many opportunities.
My other piece of great news is that a speculative full length screenplay I wrote JACK'S JOURNEY has won a top prize at a Colorado a film festival....how thrilling is that. I wrote this script largely to see if I could actually write a full length screenplay and then this happens! It's all very well adapting stories from such great writers like Edgar Allan Poe, it's another thing to create and write your own material and create your own characters. During my career as a Producer, I had optioned and developed two books by well known people into screenplays, one was written by David Seidler (THE KINGS SPEECH) and his then partner Jackie Feather and the other by Julian Fellowes (DOWNTON ABBEY)......I know good writers when I see them! However in both instances the writers of the books pulled out and I lost the options. Not a happy situation after all the hard work...but it happens. Therefore I decided I would try not to develop other people's material, but work on my own. I find the writing hard, but very satisfying. I plan to do a lot more.
So the message is, my friends, you just have to keep on going and taking pleasure in every day you can. I have been incredibly fortunate in my career and my family continues to give great joy.
I was so proud of the UK and the great job putting on a wonderful Olympics. I watched it here in the US, the TV network NBC put on a great show and we were able to see so much of it. The opening ceremonies were terrific and very personal to the UK and everyone I have spoken to loved them. And all those GB medals.....our great spirit is alive and kicking. And what a joy to see all those motivated young people, it does bring a lump to the throat.
More soon people!