Lauri’s Script Blog

Charley Parkhurst Finally Gets Her New York Times Obituary

I was excited to see that Charley Parkhurst, the heroine of my script The Bushwhacker, finally got a proper New York Times obituary.

Here’s an excerpt:

Charley Parkhurst was a legendary driver of six-horse stagecoaches during California’s Gold Rush — the “best whip in California,” by one account.

The job was treacherous and not for the faint of heart — pulling cargos of gold over tight mountain passes and open desert, at constant peril from rattlesnakes and desperadoes — but Parkhurst had the makeup for it: “short and stocky,” a whiskey drinker, cigar smoker and tobacco chewer who wore a black eyepatch after being kicked in the left eye by a horse.

And there was one other attribute, this one carefully hidden from the outside world. When Parkhurst died in 1879 at age 67, near Watsonville, Calif., of cancer of the tongue, a doctor discovered that the famous stagecoach driver was biologically a woman. Charley, it turned out, had been short for Charlotte.

My Wonderful Week at the Black List Feature Lab

I’m spending the last few weeks of the year updating my neglected website and blog.

I’ve added a bunch of new articles and interviews.

I’ve also added a list of what I think are the best screenwriting contests, labs, and fellowships.

One of the best things to happen to me since my last update was the week I spent at the Black List Feature Lab in LA.

Here’s a blog I wrote about it, and here’s an except:

Screenwriters don’t often get pampered. They don’t often get spoiled. They usually don’t even get valued.

But during one week in October, 2016, seven of us were pampered, spoiled rotten, and valued.

Home base was a West Hollywood Airbnb straight out of Architectural Digest. There were mirrors on things I didn’t know you could put mirrors on. There was a dedicated appliance just for making margaritas.

It’s the Talmud — with zombies! — in new Israeli horror film

An article I wrote for the Times of Israel about the talented Paz Brothers. I’m excited to be doing a rewrite for their next film!

Update:  here’s a sample of the rewrote for Mars Camp.

An Israeli documentary about disabled children was rejected by a Norwegian film festival because it “failed” to deal with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. At the same time, Israeli horror movies, such as the hot new English-language “JeruZalem” by Yoav and Doron Paz, are winning awards and drawing sell-out crowds at film festivals all over the world.

Go figure.

Don’t Be Good At Anything Else: The Dowdle Brothers on No Escape

 

My latest article in Creative Screenwriting:

Going to an all-boys, military Catholic high school turns out to have been excellent preparation for a career in filmmaking. Or at least, that’s the background of the brothers John and Drew Dowdle, and their latest film No Escape, starring Owen Wilson, Lake Bell, and Pierce Brosnan, has so far earned over $54 million worldwideon an estimated budget of $10 million.

The film was co-written by John and Drew, directed by John, and produced by Drew. Creative Screenwriting chatted with them about their film, its inspiration, and the challenges they faced in getting it made.

 

How Your Indie-style Script Could Get You a Job with Disney Animation

My new article in Creative Screenwriting:

http://creativescreenwriting.com/how-your-indie-style-script-could-get-y…

“The writer might have a fresh voice or the kind of tone or humor that we’re looking for. The main things we’re looking for in writers are always humor and heart. You can’t make a Disney Animation movie and not have those two elements. So we tend to read a lot of character-driven indie-type stuff.”