Posts Tagged ‘Dr. Phil’

Regrets, I’ve had a few
But then again, too few to mention
My Way/Performed by Frank Sinatra

Earlier this week I did one day of camerawork for a Canadian TV documentary titled Regret being produced by Newfoundland’s Christopher Richardson. We shot Kevin Hansen speaking to a class at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, Iowa. Kevin lives in Cedar Falls and started the blog Secret Regrets in 2008 and has since had 25,000 anonymous regrets emailed to him. The blog is now also featured on The Huffington Post.

His blog eventually became the book Secret Regrets and then got the attention of Dr. Phil who ended up doing a show on regrets using Secret Regrets as a platform. Toward the end of the class where Kevin was a guest speaker, he had students text him their personal regrets. It was interesting how open the students were, and how deep their regrets were. Regret is fertile ground to explore dramatically. Can you think of any great movies, characters, or scenes that deal with regret?

How can I tie this post into screenwriting? Perhaps a quote from a 15-time Oscar-nominated screenwriter.

“My one regret in life is that I’m not someone else.”
Woody Allen

So even if you win three Academy Awards for your screenwriting (like Allen has for Midnight in Paris, Hannah and Her Sister, and  Annie Hall) it may not solve all your existential problems—or personal ones.

Scott W. Smith

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All week I’ve been working on a production in Sioux City, Iowa which happens to be where Ann Landers and her sister Abigail Van Buren (Dear Abby) were born and educated. Long before Oprah and Dr. Phil were giving advice the identical twins had quite a following through their newspaper columns published across the country. 

In 2006 playwright (and CSI screenwriter) David Rambo wrote a play about Ann Landers called The Lady with All the Answers. 

I found an interview Rambo did with Cristin Kelly for the Florida Studio Theater and where the quote of the day comes from and which shows how you can find writing material in unusual places;

Cristin Kelly: What prompted you to start writing The Lady With All the Answers? 

David Rambo: When Ann Landers died, I read the obituary and remembered growing up and reading her column everyday. I’d wanted to write a show for one actor – I had never done that before. I thought she was theatrical enough to make it interesting. Plus, I really feel that every play is a dialogue between the audience and the play and Ann Landers ran a dialogue with her readers for 47 years, so it was kind of natural….Her voice is so distinct. Once you tap into it and know where it comes from, it just keeps talking to you. In fact, if I had a problem writing the play it was getting Ann Landers to shut up so I could get to sleep at night!

And how about one quote from Ann Landers herself:
“Don’t accept your dog’s admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful.”


Scott W. Smith

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