From Words To Film
Aug 29, 2016 15h15
● By Natalie Mollinet
Caitlin Stewart on the set of The Christmas Project – Sally Meyer
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Behind every good movie is a good script. One Sugar House woman is using her writing talents to produce that good script.
“It’s a rush,” said Sally Meyer, who has already written several screenplays. “It’s always the biggest rush to see the story that you created on paper come to life in the glorious medium of film.”
Sally’s love for the films didn’t start in Sugar House or even the United States. Sally is from England and has a fondness for British films. She immigrated here in 1974 when she was 24-years-old and has loved living in Sugar House.
Sally got involved in film when her daughter Caitlin Meyer Stewart started acting in different film productions. Caitlin has been acting since age five, and while she was doing films, Sally got her first taste of script writing when a director decided to take a chance one of her scripts. From there the opportunities kept coming.
Caitlin has been in many of her mom’s screenplays and with that gets to work alongside her mom, watching her do everything from producing to working with the director on the scripts.
“It is very fun being in films my mom has written,” Caitlin said. “She is so incredibly talented and so it’s amazing to see how she has really blossomed into an amazing screenwriter. My mom is one of my biggest supporters so it’s awesome to spend time with her doing things I love, and I can likewise support her.”
With her daughter’s love of acting and Sally’s love of writing, Sally has been able to use film to create scripts that uplift the viewer.
“Film is a great medium to touch and inspire people,” Sally said. “Everyone loves a good movie with a gallon or two of popcorn. It’s a great escape and can also change and touch people’s lives.”
Sally’s most recent screenplay “The Christmas Project” is based off the young adult novels “Chickens in the Headlights” and “Bullies in the Headlights” by Matthew Buckley. The movie follows a family of three boys, the Buckleys, who are always being bullied by the Hagbarts. The Buckley brothers and their parents have a tradition every year to elf someone, which consists of leaving treats and presents on someone’s doorstep until Christmas Eve. The Buckley brothers’ parents surprise them with the idea of elfing the Hagbarts and the boys. As time goes on the Buckley’s learn more and realize that the Hagbart’s aren’t evil, but also have a story to tell.
“We felt the books really told the story of family and all the fun that goes along with raising boys,” Sally said about “The Christmas Project”. “Covenant owns the rights to the books, and they were the ones who decided to approach me about writing a Christmas story based on these books.”
The screenplay took two months to adapt from the book with the help from director Michael Buster. Sally has done different Christmas screenplays and says that she loves everything about Christmas.
“All the magic is already there, and it’s fun to create magic.”
Sally’s films are all uplifting and have a message to them, whether it’s turning the other cheek or learning to love others. She purposely writes uplifting screenplays and said that values and good entertainment are what she wants to continue writing.
“I like to have a message in my films. I want to write stories that teach a little, entertain a lot and have families be able to watch together,” Sally said. “I love to make people laugh and cry in my movies. I like to feel that the audience will go away from a film with something that touched them, or something that they could relate to, whatever that may be.”
.Sally hopes her screenplays will help inspire and uplift others.
“I hope that I can continue to write stories that will uplift audiences for generations to come,” Sally said. “I can’t imagine my life without writing now, it’s become a part of me. I hope that others will enjoy the films, and be able to share them with their families.”
“The Christmas Project” will be showing at the Park City Film Festival and will be released on DVD just in time for the holidays.