Monday, July 27, 2015

Bridget Foley's "Hugo & Rose"

Bridget Foley has always loved storytelling. She's the author of several screenplays and is often featured on annual industry best-of lists.

Here she shares some insights about a big screen adaptation of Hugo & Rose, her first novel:
I lived in Hollywood for 13 years.

That means I know first hand that the correct answer to the question, “Who do you want to star in the movie of your book?” is “Whoever the hell gets it made.”

That sounds jaded.

And I guess it is… a little.

But here’s what’s likely to happen if you ask anyone who has had a front row seat to the making of a film if they still believe in the “magic” of movies.

They will tell you that the magic died the day they realized that all filmmaking is a series of devastating compromises, budget considerations and jurassic egos.

Watch enough movies get made and you stop believing in the magic of movies and you start believing in the miracle of movies.

Movies are gargantuan efforts put forth by hundreds of people. Even the tight ships are a mess.

And good movies? Movies like The Godfather or Alien? Movies where God kissed the director on the head and said, “Go forth and film, my child, for I have blessed you with the perfect cast, editor and composer.” These films are something more than miracles. We need a new word for what they are. Benefilms. Or Miraculcinema.

The Germans probably already have a word for it, though I doubt I can pronounce it.

Work (or try to work) in Hollywood long enough and you’ll notice all your main characters have a way of evolving into the AMORPHOUS 30 to 50 YEAR OLD MALE that encompasses anyone who can get financing. Chris Pratt and Liam Neeson aren’t anything alike, but I guarantee you both Darkman and Starlord are on dozens of lists as potential leads for the same role.

In fact, I’m working on a script starring Amorphous Male right now.

(This isn’t a joke.)

But I couldn’t do that to Hugo & Rose.

In fact, the reason my book is a book is because it’s a woman’s story. There were many reasons I didn’t write it as a screenplay, but way down on the list (#64) is the fact that I didn’t want to have to explain to executives who loved the idea of two people who dream of each other every night and then finally meet in real life that the story belonged to the person who had the most at stake.

Namely the happily married mother of three.

Oh, and did I mention that even though she looks like a super model in the fantastical portions of the book that most of the time Rose is thirty to fifty pounds overweight? And that even though the book features actions scenes with giant monsters, that the edge-of-your-seat stuff comes from scenes in our Rogaine scented reality?

I know there’s only one woman who can green light a movie.

And while I would love to see her gain thirty (okay, eighty) pounds to play Rose, she’s a little busy at the moment fighting hunger, directing movies and being married to Brad Pitt.

But a girl can dream… I mean, I haven’t completely died inside.

Sometimes I think I’d rather like to see Kate and Leo reunited to play Hugo & Rose… not just because they’re spectacular actors, but because there’s this adolescent part of me that just wants that old magic back.

But if I’m honest, the Hollywood survivor in me has a potential cast list that runs from Amy Adams to Melissa McCarthy to Beyonce. None of them is necessarily perfect… but they would be the instant they said yes.

Because that would be more than magic, that would be a miracle.
Visit Bridget Foley's website.

--Marshal Zeringue