It’s been many months since I last posted anything on the blog about Olive, and I was just starting to think that I needed to break the silence with some sort of news. Unfortunately, I don’t have anything earth-shattering to share at this juncture. I’m still waiting to see the completed script for Olive’s animated film (speculative, mind you), and there’s no news yet on the Olive branded fly rod that I’ve been hoping would have materialized by now. So things are marinating, but not quite ready to serve up.
Then today I got wind of an interview that was just posted by Phil Monahan of the Orvis company. I appreciate the show of support from Orvis, and hope you’ll enjoy the interview. This is also a good reminder for me to get a new “publicity” photo taken. The current one is misleading because it was shot several years ago. I look so relatively young, and fear that I am misrepresenting myself.
My, how time flies.
You can read the interview here, on Orvis.com
If you’ve followed along for the last year and a half, you know that I’ve been chasing a dream: a dream in which Olive the Woolly Bugger stars in her own animated feature film. With the Academy Awards just around the corner, it seems a good time to delve into this subject again.
I’ve written a bit about this endeavor before. Most of my musings were simply an outlet for my thoughts—nothing was set in stone. In fact, since I first started down this path nothing has been left unchanged. The reason you haven’t heard me talk much about it in the last year is because there hasn’t been anything to report. But that doesn’t mean nothing has been happening. Au contraire, there’s been something very important taking place over the course of the last 12-14 months: script writing.
I don’t know much—if anything—about making a film, but I do know that it starts with an idea. I had the idea. In fact, I wrote an outline that was a very broad concept of the film’s plot. But I had no idea how to put that into the proper format for a script. Fortunately I had previously established an association with a very talented fellow by the name of Simon Cornish. At my request and for a far-too-modest fee, Simon had previously rendered Olive and Clark in 3D. I wanted to see how my characters might make the leap to the big screen as Computer Generated Imagery and I very much liked what Simon produced.
But back to the writing thing…I knew I needed help with my outline. Again, enter the Renaissance man, Simon. He offered to help structure my concept into the proper act structure needed for a script. But then he went one better and took it on himself, crafting what is known as a script treatment. For the uninitiated, a treatment is essentially the first draft of a screenplay—a framework for a script, without in-depth scene descriptions and character dialog. When Simon sent me the completed treatment I was blown away. My basic story remained largely in tact, but Simon brought a whole new perspective to the project and the result was absolutely amazing—so much more than I could have ever imagined. Approximately 13 pages of creative goodness, the treatment made me realize that the film could very well be more than just a pipe dream of mine. Despite that Simon hails from the UK, I registered the treatment with the Writer’s Guild of America to protect the work.
Next up was to contact a film production company in Los Angeles where I thought the treatment might be met with favorable reception. My line of thinking was based on the fact that the production company is owned by a couple of highly visible people who happen to also be passionate fly anglers. It took many months before I was able to establish a meaningful dialog with the production company, but the result was that they loved Olive. However, they just could not take on the project at that time. I’ve been told this was a “Hollywood No”, but I refuse to take no for an answer until it hits me square upside the head. With this in mind, back to Simon I went with the news. He agreed that whether or not this was a “no”, the script needed to be written. If it were meant to be, we would find a home for the script.
And so Simon went about his craft, juggling this speculative project with his paid work and a very busy life. I left him alone and made a promise to myself not to obsess over the project. I’d be remiss if I said that I forgot about it, but I pushed it back into the dark recesses of my conscious thought and went about my day to day life as well. 14 months later I received word from Simon that the script was done, as in the first draft was written. Literally written. By hand. Simon’s words:
“You’ll be pleased to know the first draft is finally finished.
Now to crack on typing it all up, and tweaking as I go.”
A smile spread across my face as I imagined Simon hunched over an ancient writing desk, quill pen in hand, writing by the light of an oil lamp.
As you might imagine, I’m rather eager to read it. Stay tuned.
Thanks to Phil Monahan, editor for Orvis News and contributing writer for American Angler magazine, for the opportunity to talk about all things Olive the Woolly Bugger in a recent Q&A. The interview is featured on page 10 of the November/December 2013 issue of American Angler.
Grab your copy today!
Every so often I’ll receive an email from a parent whose kids have enjoyed reading Olive, and every bit of feedback is very flattering and much appreciated. Whenever I hear that Olive has brought some joy to a child it’s worth its weight in gold.
And so when I received the latest email from a mom-to-be, I was suddenly the richest man in the world:
My husband and I are expecting a baby any day now, and he ordered the first Olive book of the series. (As you can imagine, fly fishing is one of his favorite things to do – and living in Vermont, we’re very fortunate to enjoy all Mother Nature has to offer.) We’ve been reading to the baby and last night we read Olive – it’s fantastic! Not only did I learn more about the fly fishing terms and experiences, but in a more conducive way than my husband could explain! We really enjoy and appreciate the resiliency of Olive and her perseverance. While Randall is not our favorite character we appreciated the fact that everything isn’t a nicety and how Olive still had compassion for him. These are some important lessons we hope to teach our child and are so easily reflected in this book.
I don’t mean to describe your book – but I hope I got my point across about how much we enjoyed it, and we’re sure it (as well as the other Olive books) will be a huge hit in our house now and when we can see and read face to face with our newest addition.
Thank you for sharing your hard work and passions!
Thank you for the kind words, Jessica. Perhaps by now you’ve been gifted with your new baby, and I wish you the very best in the years to come!
Many of you may already know about the Olive fly boxes and nippers available through Montana Fly Company. They may be found in any number of fly shops, but that’s hit and miss and I have no idea which all shops carry them. One sure way to get them is in MFC’s Amazon store. I have a link here to a Merchandise Page containing all available Olive-branded merchandise.
Stay tuned for future announcements about the rod and reel outfit!
I’ve known about The Angling Bookstore for several years. In fact, it was right before the Olive books were first published that I attended the Fly Fishing Show in Bellevue, WA; it was here that I learned about The Angling Bookstore. Since then the folks behind The Angling Bookstore have been very supportive of the Olive books, always including Olive on their roadshow each year as part of the Fly Fishing Show. From an author’s standpoint it’s important to be included in these shows because they target specifically my main audience: anglers, young and old and in between. It’seven better when the author can be on hand to introduce the books to the audience, which I was finally able to do.
The Fly Fishing Show has been gone from Bellevue for the past few years, but returned to the Seattle area in 2013. The Lynnwood Convention Center was the host venue, and thanks to The Angling Bookstore I was able to be on hand in the Author’s Booth for two days, signing books, meeting old friends and making new ones. It was a great opportunity for me and I wanted to publicly thank The Angling Bookstore for their support. But after finally getting a chance to meet them, The Angling Bookstore now has a face, or rather two faces: Ben and Brooke Furimsky.
If you’re lucky enough to attend one of the last two remaining Fly Fishing Shows this year, stop by Ben and Brooke’s booth. The selection of titles is amazing and they’re great folks. And if you miss the show, visit them online year-round.
Tell ’em Olive sent you.
This is Part 8 in a series of sponsor spotlights to shout out to the companies that helped make the Olive the Woolly Bugger iPad app a possibility. The app is available in the App Store, here, and right now during the month of December the app is on sale for only $1.
1. Business Name: Fly Fusion Magazine
2. Your title/position: (Jennifer Bird) Executive Publisher.
3. Services Offered: Fly Fusion is a quarterly publication focused on growing and educating the fly-fishing community while remaining on the cutting edge of relevance.
4. How long have you been in business/worked for your current company? Our 10th anniversary issue will be out on stands February 25th!
5. What made you decide to become a sponsor of the Olive the Woolly Bugger iPad app? Our kids have been huge fans of Olive since they were old enough to sit up. My 6-year old can now read the books to his little brother. Olive was truly their first introduction to fly-fishing and has had such a positive influence on their love of the sport. It seemed only natural that we would throw our support behind any “Olive initiatives” that would help introduce other kids in the same way!
Thank you to Fly Fusion for being an app sponsor (and overall wonderful supporter). Please visit their website and consider a subscription to their magazine—truly a great publication!