(*Disclosure-I was invited to an all-expense paid trip to Los Angeles, courtesy of Disney, to attend the #WrinkleInTimeEvent & #ABCTVEvent in exchange for my coverage. No other compensation was provided. All views shared are completely my own.)
When you look at a film like A Wrinkle In Time, you always wonder how Hollywood is able to make a book come to life through film. The answer is quite simple. They use screenwriters like Jennifer Lee to recreate these stories. We had the pleasure of interviewing Jennifer on our trip to LA for the world premiere of A Wrinkle In Time.
Have you ever watched “Frozen”? If you are a parent like me, you have probably watched that movie a million times since it came out on DVD. Jennifer Lee was the screenwriter for “Frozen” and she is also the writer for “Frozen on Broadway”
I was able to ask Jennifer how she started this art of storytelling and she said “Well, you know, I came to it kind of late. When I was little I was drawing all the time. I loved Disney. I thought maybe, oh, I could be an animator. I wasn’t a good enough artist, but I was always drawing. And then I was always writing things but they wouldn’t gel. But it was like, there’s something inside, I was running sagas in my head. I would have these like epic journeys going on at night to fall asleep. And one day I wrote a scene down. I overheard something and I just started writing it. And I turned it into a scene. And I went, oh my God, like this is the thing that I’ve been looking for, was the kind of writing that film is. What you can see, what you can hear, and what you can say, reducing it that way, having those limitations, did something. And I had already been a visual artist so I knew there was – I was a visual thinker. But I was 30 when I went to film school. And I’d had a whole decade in book publishing so for me I came to it late. But it was certainly the signs of saying, Oh, I was drawing as a kid but if I look back, I was drawing stories.”
It is an inspiration to know that you can do things later in life, and that we can always dream and achieve our goals regardless of age. If you’re curious as to how Jennifer came up with the storyline for A Wrinkle In Time, she said “Well, it took four years, if that answers the question. It was a challenge but it was one – when I heard they were looking for a writer, I was like, Oh oh oh! ’cause I had loved it as a kid. My daughter was actually reading it. So I was reading it again and I just –I kept saying, I had a whole take on it. But I wanted to try it. And what I loved is, Disney really responded to acknowledging that. Like I wasn’t trying to do the book, adapting it for the film, it was very much clear that, like, I don’t want to try to be the book. If we try to be the book, we’ll fail but showing our love for the book, showing sort of how much inspiration there is in the book, and how much the – how strong the journey is in the book, I could stay true to that, then we might have a chance of finally getting it made. So when Ava joined, that was the final magic piece of the puzzle. Everybody was different. I tend to write in the mornings and then I can edit and give notes, some things in the afternoons. So it was my morning writing time. But then I would go into animation in the afternoons and do that part of my job as well. So for me, it was more of like an every morning thing but I spent about a year and a half to almost two years, just writing and doing – and I would show – I worked very closely with Jim Whittaker and Catherine Hand, the producers, creatively. Then came Ava. She’s an amazing writer. Luckily she wanted to keep me around. We would just spend hours having a lot of conversations. And we talked deeper and deeper about the characters. She wanted to get her head around the physics. I love physics. Alexander who is a scientist, he met with us too. And we would have these great conversations about quantum physics.”
It is amazing how much time it takes to make a movie. When we hear it took six months to shoot it, you think “well that’s not so bad”, but we never realize it takes years for it to come to be. I am glad we have screenwriters like Jennifer Lee to bring amazing stories to life, and that we can enjoy them for a lifetime.
A Wrinkle In Time is playing in theater everywhere! #WrinkleInTimeEvent #WrinkleInTime
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