or, perhaps Olive the Woolly Blogger...

Olive is fishing for Hollywood


Right now I am trying to wrap my head around the daunting prospect of getting Olive the Woolly Bugger made into an animated movie. It’s daunting because the odds are stacked WAY against me (and Olive)—not because it isn’t a great idea, but because finding the right person who sees the incredible value in the project is going to be like finding a needle in a haystack. Or maybe it won’t be so hard to find the person, but finding ways to actually contact them and convince them to hear my idea may be the real challenge. It’s always about finding that right person who believes. The old adage that “it’s not what you know, but who you know” has never seemed more painfully true.

The first step, if one listens to conventional wisdom, is to rule out many of the big animation studios. It seems that they cultivate their ideas in-house and are not interested in outside submissions, so one should look toward an independent animation studio. Next up is to find an agent who believes in the concept and will work to get the idea in front of a suitable studio for a pitch. Then, of course, one has to convince the studio that the idea is worthy of their time and money.  No-0-0 problem…

Daunting? Yes.  Doable?  Absolutely.  Like Olive, I shall forge ahead—to persevere. However, I’m wondering if perhaps Olive might bend the rules just a bit little bit and do things a little differently.  After all, nothing about Olive has been done the traditional way to date. If I had followed traditional guidelines and listened to a particular literary consultant early on, Olive would have spent the rest of eternity as another unfulfilled dream: a crumpled piece of paper in the round file, or an antiquated Word doc buried on my computer hard drive, eventually lost to subsequent computer upgrades. But that didn’t happen. Despite the odds, Olive did things her way and succeeded.

In a previous blog entry I talked about the actors whose voices would lend themselves well to the film project. Jane Seymour as Olive, Henry Winkler as Clark, and Wilford Brimley, Lawrence Fishburne or Tom Selleck as Mr. Muddler Minnow would make for a stellar lineup of talented people who also share a passion for fly fishing. Other well known actors, who are also fly fishing folks, will round out the ensemble of supporting characters. The key element is that each of the talents assembled to participate in the film share a love of fly fishing, because these are the people that will get it. They will bring their passions to their characters.

I joked about putting the cart before the horse by selecting these voice talents without having first gotten a contract with a studio. And you’re right: I can’t very well hand-pick character talent just yet—first, I have to get an Executive Producer on board the project: someone with some familiarity with fly fishing and a passion for the environment and film making; perhaps someone with previous experience as, say, director of A River Runs Through It.

Once Robert Redford signs on, animation studios will line up for the contract. Then the voice talents I’ve recommended will fall into place. When the film is released, millions of movie-goers worldwide will flock to theaters, curious about this unique film about a woolly bugger named Olive. Audience members young and young at heart will marvel at the entertaining storyline and engaging cast of characters. Those who have a familiarity with fly fishing will be amazed at how the sport they love has been made into an animated movie, and those who previously knew nothing about fly fishing will learn a thing or two. After seeing the movie, millions of kids will put down their game consoles and ask their parents to take them fishing (and exploring, and hiking and camping). Maybe a few hundred thousand folks will seek out their local fly shop and inquire about lessons. There will be a wave of new stewards of our natural resources who will gain an appreciation for our fisheries.

I realize there will be people who’ll say this lofty goal of mine is just a silly dream that will never be fulfilled. Well, if this is just a dream, I hope I never wake up.

If you happen to read this, and you like the idea of Olive the Woolly Bugger as an animated film, please consider posting a link back to this entry. Tweet it. Shout it on Facebook and Google+. Ask others to do the same. And if you happen to know Robert Redford, Jane Seymour or Henry Winkler (or at least their agents), please feel free to pass this along to them as well. Thanks.

If you would like to participate in a grassroots campaign to Help Send Olive to Hollywood, simply copy and paste the code (provided  in the right column) into a widget. You will have my gratitude!






  1. Larry Snyder

    Kirk, have you been running this idea around all the social networking sites? Tried tweeting some of these fly fishing actors (actresses) to get their opinions? For starters:
    Henry Winkler – http://twitter.com/#!/hwinkler4real
    Jane Seymour – http://twitter.com/#!/JaneSeymourTV

    • Kirk Werner

      Larry, I’ve Twittered a couple tweets to Henry Winkler. Did not have a Twitter acct for Jane Seymour (will try the one you listed). Thanks!

  2. Vivian Kirkfield

    Hi Kirk,
    LOVE the idea! Will pass it on to my small circle of followers and fans. 🙂
    Wish I knew some of those influential people…but you never know who will see a post and climb aboard.

    • Kirk Werner

      Thanks, Vivian. It starts with one posting, and who knows where it can go from there or who will read and pass it along!

  3. JM

    Hey Kirk ,

    Best of luck trying to get your ideas on the big screen!

    I wish I could help more , but I’m just a dumb blogger 🙂 Shoot me an email and I can give you someone who does some production work.

    • Kirk Werner

      Thanks, JM. Don’t underestimate the power of your blog. As you said on your site, you’ve had over 25,000 page views. There is a lot of power in that, because one never knows whose eyes will be one of those page views! Email sent.

      • JM

        LOL , not underestimating anything – just being realistic. It’s very darn surprising to me at less than a year into it. Whatever… Have you seen the stuff I pass off as copy?

        Hope you can work something out. I’d take my kids to see it 🙂

  4. Sanders

    It’s not a good dream if it isn’t big…and as big as this is, I think you’re right, it is doable!

    I will post a link on my blog for starters and keep my eyes and ears open going forward. Good luck…I can’t wait to see this thing happen!

    …oh and by the way, there is a Werner clan out of WY that runs a Wildlife museum…just thought they might fall somewhere in that big family tree of yours.

    • Sanders

      I hope you don’t mind, I used one of the jpeg’s from the site to post the link

      • Kirk Werner

        Mind? Criminy, man- take whatever you want. I should send you money! 😉 Many thanks…

    • Kirk Werner

      I echo your sentiments, Sanders- if you ain’t gonna dream big you may as well just be sleeping. I think a grassroots PR movement spreading through the fly fishing blogs and spilling over into the abyss is one way to start the wheels in motion…as for the Wyoming Wildlife Werners, nope- not a familiar branch. Probably distant cousins from several hundred years ago, though. Maybe I can get a free pass to tour their museum sometime. Thanks for your support!

  5. Mindy

    Done! Tweeted away via @tasteforlife 🙂 I don’t think it is too lofty of an idea at all – you’ve definitely got the right attitude!

    • Kirk Werner

      Thanks, Mindy- mucho appreciado and of course, I agree with you 😉

      • Mindy

        Got a few RT’s on my Olive tweet so that is certainly a good way to get the word out. Too bad Mr. Redford isn’t on twitter (not sure about FB but thinking not). Keep at it and you never know who will see your pleas. 🙂

        • Kirk Werner

          Love it! Thanks again, Mindy!

  6. TC/The Trout Underground

    I don’t write screenplays but I follow a couple writers/bloggers who do, and lacking an animated character with a following (e.g. — a mass-market following due to book, tv series, etc), it seems like a movie would be a tough row to hoe — especially in the absence of a really good script.

    I know even less about TV than I do the movies, but you might consider aiming for an animated TV children’s series. Given Olive’s ancestory, I wonder if an undiscovered niche awaits you — the first animated, aimed-at-kids TV series on an outdoor network…

    They don’t offer that kind of programming now, but that doesn’t mean they won’t.

    Just a thought.

    • Kirk Werner

      Thanks for the comment, Tom. I agree, it’s going to be a challenge (it has been all along for Olive). However, there are independent animation studios out there that do excellent work and are hungry for fresh ideas. Such a studio would provide the creative resources for adapting the story for the big screen: the framework is there and just needs the touch of a studio screenplay. The TV idea has crossed my mind, but as lofty as it sounds I think the movie concept will be an easier sell. Maybe the film will spawn an animated TV series. I’m dreaming big first, and will work backwards from there if need be…

  7. Brian Furderer

    My three year old loves to go fly fishing and loves story time w/ Olive. I have your Olive widget posted on my homepage. Good luck getting this project going.

    • Kirk Werner

      Thanks, Brian, for the comment and your support of Olive’s quest for movie stardom. I feel with all of my being that she can be a voice for all kids and help insure that we have stewards of our natural resources in the future. I just have to convince the right people of that as well. Your efforts will help, so thanks again.

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