Dana Biscotti Myskowski

Screenwriter, Playwright, Professor, Mom

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BLOG OF THE GROTESQUE

Step One: I've selected Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson.

Initially drawn to the text since I grew up in a small town 38 miles north of Winesburg, my short script interpretation combines storylines from the book, resulting in a broad, modern-day interpretation of the George Willard character.

Following Vince Jolivette's advice on best ways to keep the budget small, I set the entire script in one location and jumped it nearly a century ahead in time to the present day. The setting is an amalgamation of the writer's bedroom from "The Book of the Grotesque" and the office of the "Winesburg Eagle" where George worked as a reporter.

I also imagined the 18-year-old George as he might be in his mid-thirties. I even dared to picture James Franco starring in the role of Will Georges. Indeed, I heard Franco's voice as I tried to stay true to the dialogue in Anderson's book; many of the lines are verbatim from the text, while several others are only tweaked.

The stories that I drew upon include: "The Book of the Grotesque," “Mother,” “Nobody Knows,” “The Teacher,” “Loneliness,” “An Awakening,” "Queer," "Death," “Sophistication,” and “Departure.”

I have used the quote on page 145 from the story "Sophistication" as my theme:

  • “Ghosts of old things creep into his consciousness; the voices outside of himself whisper a message concerning the limitations of life. From being quite sure of himself and his future he becomes not at all sure."

Step Two: Final Draft: THE BLOG OF THE GROTESQUE

Step Three: Logline: Haunted by his past, a writer afraid of living life breaks free of his chains and chases his dreams.

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