Behind The Scenes

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Back in the day… we used to actually own copies of movies. Yes, I just implied how old I am. First of all, I said “back in the day,” which is enough of a revelation. Then, I mentioned owning a copy of a movie. But I digress… These days, everyone knows, you don’t have to buy an actual disc, you can just stream a movie right to your mobile device. I love the convenience of instant streaming, but I miss that little icon located under the “extras” where you could choose to watch the movie while the director, and maybe one of the actors, gave you a play-by-play, behind-the-scenes look at the movie from their experience. It was one of my favorite things to do. In the same vein, I thought it might be fun to occasionally post an excerpt from my book, My Movie Memoir Screenplay Novel, and offer a behind-the-scenes look (otherwise known as Author Insights) at some of my favorite moments. Here’s a simple one to get the ball rolling. There will be more.

MOVIE MEMOIR SCREENPLAY NOVEL?
Author: I know it sounds weird, but yes, this is a Movie Memoir Screenplay Novel. As I was working on a comfortable way to tell my story (as if spilling your guts for all the world to see is ever comfortable), my memoir kept being interrupted by movie scenes. I decided to fold them into the storytelling process. This particular moment was very important to me. I was young and idealistic, and moving to NYC was my biggest adventure. I really felt like I was “arriving,” just as I would in the opening scene of a movie. I was setting the stage for rest of my story. In this “scene,” I realized that even though I had never been there before, from the moment I arrived, NYC felt like home to me.


My Movie Memoir Screenplay Novel, by Betts Keating
Chapter 1 – I Love NYC

The lights in the theater have dimmed. The previews are complete. You just finished eating your fifth or maybe sixth handful of popcorn. You are nicely settled into your chair. A drink in the cup holder next to you. One foot propped up on your seat. Arms wrapped around your leg. Chin resting on your knee. You’re all set. You’re ready to watch a good book… wait a minute, I mean read a good movie… wait a minute, I mean read and watch a story unfold. This is the beginning…

OPEN: EXTERIOR NEW YORK CITY/EARLY AFTERNOON/HUDSON RIVER

MUSIC: something stereotypically New York (jazzy with big horns)

We follow a helicopter shot moving quickly across water at a dizzying speed. The afternoon sun glimmers off the water of the Hudson River.

CONTINUE along the Hudson River until the steel girders at the bottom of a large gray bridge (George Washington Bridge) come into view.

CAMERA MOVES up the steel structure of the bridge all the way to the top of the tall towers holding the suspension cables.

CONTINUE into the sky, staying focused on the bridge, until from above we see four lanes packed full of cars slowly inching across the long expanse.

CAMERA pauses briefly.

CAMERA begins a slow decent toward the cars until finally it focuses on a tiny, yellow moving van working its way slowly across the bridge.

Hold on VAN.

VAN exits bridge and drives south along the Hudson River.

CUT TO: from van’s passenger point of view (POV), CAMERA looks out the window of van. New York in all its glory passes by.

VAN finally stops in front of a New York brownstone on a cross-street on the Upper West Side of New York City.

CUT TO: from street point of view (POV), door of van opens and YOUNG WOMAN tumbles out (only show door).

CLOSE UP: of the young woman’s running shoe-clad foot as it touches down onto a NYC sidewalk. (as big as if she were reaching the summit of a mountain, or landing on the moon)

CAMERA moves up to YOUNG WOMAN’s face. She stretches, sighs, and smiles contentedly. Driver’s side door closes.

YOUNG MAN/HUSBAND circles around from the driver’s side of van to stand next to YOUNG WOMAN.

YOUNG WOMAN grabs his hand.

They stand in comfortable unity as the city noise continues around them.

CAMERA circles couple in close up, city noise and chaos blur behind their faces which are full of excitement and anticipation.  After full circle, CAMERA STOPS on YOUNG WOMAN. She looks up to sky, closes her eyes and breathes deep.

VOICE-OVER/YOUNG WOMAN
(sigh) Home.

©2016 Betts Keating. All rights reserved.

 

Author: I really did feel like I had landed on the moon, or climbed Mt. Everest, or something similar. There was a feeling of great triumph in this moment. All my life, I had felt like I didn’t quite fit in. The moment I put my foot down on a NYC sidewalk, I knew I had found my place in the world. 

©2016 Betts Keating. All rights reserved.

                                                                                                                                                                                

Betts Keating is not entirely new to the world of writing. A long time ago (in college), she majored in Communications, and minored in Journalism, English, and Art. She thought she would one day run her own magazine. Instead, she found herself spending the next 20-plus years building a career in graphic design. She set her writing aside for a while, because dealing with clients was less painful than being edited. This is her first book, and definitely her first movie memoir.

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Read more of Betts Keating’s story in her memoir, My Movie Memoir Screenplay Novel, available for purchase at amazon.com.

Click the FOLLOW button to follow this blog.

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Thank You for Saying Thank You

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“During my long, tough, sad season I felt lost, discouraged, and misunderstood.
It is my hope that by reading this book, you will discover that you aren’t.”
-Betts Keating, My Movie Memoir Screenplay Novel

These days, after all of my post-traumatic-ness, I no longer have nerves of steel. Unfortunately, they have become more like aluminum. I’m a little softer around the edges and definitely more cautious. Combine all that trauma induced anxiety with my natural tendency towards introverted-ness and, well, an author appearance can be a very tricky thing. Even a simple author appearance, like attending a book club.

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Going to this book club was a no brainer for me. It was close by (I could drive there). It didn’t require a lot of effort from me (all I had to do was show up). They were kind enough to invite me (even an introvert wants to be included). They were willing to read my book and discuss it (still a pleasant surprise). But mostly, this particular group included my sister and one of my college roommates as two of it’s members (an unusually delightful bonus). So what was there to be nervous about?

Everything.

Because that’s the way it works for this post-traumatic introvert. Sometimes I get nervous for no reason.

But…

As soon as I walked into the quaint, quirky coffeehouse where we were scheduled to meet, I realized this was going to be a different kind of author appearance. This was going to be a lot less stressful and definitely more interesting.

As the other women in the book club trickled in, I felt an immediate camaraderie. As we all traveled our way through the usual introductions and small talk while we ordered and arranged ourselves, I found myself greeting them as friends, not strangers. Once we got settled, I could definitely tell, this table of women were my kind of people. This was a group of people who love to read. I felt right at home. Reading and talking about reading is one of my happy places. It’s doubly fantastic when the book in question is my own.

We chatted, we talked, we conversed.

They told me about their favorite laugh out loud moments (eucalyptus oil and walker-walking to movies) and we laughed together. They quoted specific passages and then shared why those particular words meant something special to them. We talked about overcoming. We talked about surviving. We talked about what it means to help someone else survive. The conversation was simple, easy. The give and take seamless. The questions they asked were insightful and challenging. They drew me out of my shell.

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When the evening came to a close and as we were walking out the door, one person pulled me aside.

“I just wanted to say thanks for writing that therapy part,” she said, almost in a whisper. “It meant a lot to me… to know that I am not the only one.”

I felt like saying, “No, thank you for saying thank you because I’m glad to know that I’m not the only one.”

But then we would have gotten trapped all night in a thank you contest so I just said, “I’m so glad.”

And we shared that moment, over to the side, away from the crowd because it’s still not easy to talk about. Even though these days being in therapy carries less of a stigma than it used to. There is a time and a place for it. Sometimes it’s better discussed “off camera.” So that’s what we did. We had a quick aside that was reserved for those of us who have been through it and need to remember we are not alone. My heart broke for her because of the familiarity of her burden. My heart rejoiced with her because of our eternal connection. We didn’t have to explain. It was enough that we simply recognized each other even though we were complete strangers.

So it doesn’t matter what the current state of my nerves may be. Or how my desire to be more open is annoyingly interrupted by my self-conscious, introverted-ness. Being here for this was totally worth it.

She is not alone and neither am I.

Thank you for saying thank you.

 

©2016 Betts Keating. All rights reserved.

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Read more of Betts Keating’s story in her memoir, My Movie Memoir Screenplay Novel, available for purchase at amazon.com.

Click the FOLLOW button to follow this blog.