Author Wood hits ‘Lottery’ with film deal
Honolulu-based author Patricia Wood
is on the fast track to major success with her novel "Lottery," which hit bookstands in August. During a vacation to Hawaii, actress Sarah Michelle Gellar
read the story about a mentally disabled young man who wins the lottery. She loved it and recently optioned the book for a movie.
"I think the book resonates with people," said Wood. "Everyone knows someone who would be considered 'different.' And I think they feel the authenticity. We want a good story, and I think this is back-to-basics storytelling."
After Wood sold her manuscript for a mid-six-figure sum, Hollywood took note. And that's not all. Just this week she made the short list for the Orange Broadband Prize for fiction. The nomination earned her an all-expenses-paid trip to London for a week, and the potential to win $60,000.
"It's nice to be validated," said Wood. "But my validation comes from people e-mailing me and saying, 'My daughter has Down syndrome, and I loved your book.'" Wood, who didn't begin writing until she turned 50, also makes a point of visiting schools around Oahu to encourage young writers. "That's more important than flying to L.A. to do a book signing. You keep it here (in Hawaii)."
Honolulu filmmaker and Punahou graduate Tom Boyle is employing an innovative method to cast his new horror movie "Truth or Dare." He invites actors to visit www.myspace.com/truthordarehorror for details. "If the part calls for someone with red hair, and they don't have red hair (but are willing to color it), they are still welcome to show up for the casting," Boyle wrote in an e-mail message. "If the role calls for a certain ethnicity, and they think they fit ('except that this guy is Asian, and I'm not 100 percent Asian,' for example), they should still show up for the casting."
Boyle moved back to Oahu from Los Angeles in September to produce and direct "Truth or Dare" from a script he wrote. Currently, he's gathering the financing for the independent production, making his shot list, scouting locations and hiring crew and on-camera talent.
A new documentary airing this weekend details Hawaii's racial struggles. Led by a group of volunteers who fought to delete the "whites only" clause from the Lions Club's international bylaws, the Lions Club of Honolulu shattered barriers by welcoming people of all races and backgrounds in 1926. "We Serve: The Legacy of the Hawaii Lions" also delves into other historic events in Hawaii, including Waikiki's first snowball fight and Helen Keller's 1937 visit.
Written and directed by local producer-screenwriter Jim Bryan and narrated by KHNL News 8 anchor Diane Ako, the project relied on grants and donations, including music from slack-key artist Steven Espaniola and pianist-composer John Tussey. Other names include Gov. Linda Lingle, Mayor Mufi Hannemann and the Star-Bulletin's Charles Memminger.
"The Legacy of the Hawaii Lions" premieres at 7 p.m. Sunday on KHNL NBC 8. DVDs will then be available to schools, libraries and community organizations.