The Spectacular Tragedy of Missie H Van Deventer | Skillshare Projects



The Spectacular Tragedy of Missie H Van Deventer

Are You There, Rabbit Bandini? It's Me, Kelly.

(I have not read this book but it applies to every situation)


Step 1: Adapted from Steinbeck's The Pastures of Heaven

Step 2: Screenplay draft at

Step 3: Logline

Through fantastical hallucinations, a mentally ill young girl seeks escape from her mother’s attempts to isolate her from the outside world.


The Work

Steinbeck's easy, powerful elegance roped me in as soon as I began reading Pastures of Heaven. He makes everything consequential, but it is compelling somehow in a quiet, pointed way. This of course infuriates me because I struggle to accomplish that exact thing every time I write fiction. That's the kind of writing I strive towards. The way that Steinbeck spins people and places so purposefully makes for stories that capture and keep my attention.

I am also fascinated by the blurring of the line between fantasy and reality, which I think films like A Beautiful Mind, Inception, or Good Bye, Lenin! master (love em). Erasing the borders makes me as a viewer think, react, and get hopelessly invested. It crushes me and awes me.

The story of Hilda and Helen Van Deventer, therefore, immediately drew me in. They stuck with me as I read the novel, so I stuck with them when I finished it. Steinbeck wove them as two such intriguing characters that I wanted to dig further and examine them from the inside out. I hope I did both them and my boy J.E. justice.

I normally write a lot of prose and poetry, but this past year I got really interested in film. I've never written a screenplay so it was difficult going into a different mode from what I'm used to. I was hoping you guys could help me with some of my bigger concerns about my project.

1. I had trouble with the flow of the narrative. How do you think it works?

2. Going off of that, does it feel choppy? I feel like the scenes are kind of short.

I would be so grateful for any feedback!

Project photo from (lol)


Pretty much just not relevant to anything (except for maybe the last half or so) but what the hell

Le BTS, 7.25.14

It is 4:17am and I am at my peak.

In true Kelly fashion I finished Pastures a week before the project deadline, decided it was too late to complete a real piece, and then in a burst of moronic doggedness elected to write the entire thing in the three days leading up to July 24. After half a week of teetering on the line between conscious and unconscious at work, I managed to submit the damn thing at approx 11:57pm, which is my whole life.

(Honestly though the fucking rainbow pinwheel I don't think a corporation has ever made a douchier decision)

Anyway, I try to make up for these inadequacies by vomiting out my guts and soul working on things that I really care about until I'm satisfied. This is how I've shouldered this project, and this is why my bladder currently feels like a beluga whale.

But satisfaction, I've found, is a short-lived thing. I haven't been able to collaborate with you guys yet, but I would love feedback and I would be so happy to do the same for you all. As soon as I recover.

(I'm sorry none of the above was even remotely related to screenplays ugh but I'm also delirious so blame it on the alcohol)


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