Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

September 29, 2013

The big screen

Best-selling Virginia author finally gets screenplay made into film

by LARRY EDENS
Bluefield Daily Telegraph

BIG STONE GAP, Va. — —  Some dreams never die. They’re just put into a state of suspended animation until that appropriate time when life can be breathed into them again. That has been the case for New York Times Best-Selling author Adriana Trigiani and her vision to see her 1997 screenplay “Big Stone Gap” made into a film.

After 16 long years, it has finally come out of standby state and entered reality mode. Trigiani believes there is no timeline for creating art, but admitted this particular creation was a long time coming.   

“Creating art has its own sense of time, but this one took many years. I wrote a novel (Big Stone Gap) based upon the screenplay, and that led to three sequels (Big Cherry Holler, Milk Glass Moon, and Home to Big Stone Gap) to the original book,” she said, speaking from her hometown where she is making preparations for filming. “I have lived with these characters for a very long time.”

 The long journey from her initial screenplay draft to its imminent filming stage was not impacted by one single event, but rather a confluence of events that brought everything together.   

“You need an actor that signs on — one of box office viability and importance- a producer —  hopefully one with a sterling track record — and a script that everyone takes to, particularly financiers who want to take the chance,” said Trigiani, unable to provide specifics on who that actor will be until producer Donna Gigliotti allows her to do so.   

Unlike studio films made in the Golden Age of Hollywood or big budget special effects movies made today, Trigiani’s film is of the independent variety where a writer or director with a producer goes out to raise the money to make a film.   “Believe me; I would have given anything to have been in Louis B. Mayer’s office with this script. But we had a hard path as all independent films do.”   

Trigiani will serve as the film’s writer and director. Her duties will include creating the script and imagining the movie in its entirety and leading the artisans and actors to make it real.   

In a press release, Virginia governor Bob McDonnell announced Trigiani’s return to Southwest Virginia to make the film. She has been working with the Virginia Film Office for several years on the film project. It was important to Trigiani to secure Virginia as the locale for filming.  

 “There’s so much to be gained from bringing in artists and their energy. There will be joy and light and industry and fun to be had,” Trigiani sai. “There will be hard work and meaning in the storytelling. It’s just good for everybody, no matter what happens!”

 Filming is set to begin soon. Anyone who would like to be an extra in the film can email Trigiani at bigstonegapcast@gmail.com.