True Stories

June 2nd, 2010  Posted at   screenwriting, script consultant, script consulting

Sometimes it’s not until we look back that we can see how the events of our lives have led us to where we are and those seemingly inconsequential moments suddenly take on a whole new light.

As a script consultant that’s what I do when I work on your script. I look at each beat and connect the dots to see what the overall significance and meaning is. Like this:

True Story. At 8 years old I’d memorize the entire TV guide every week. If someone in the family wanted to know what was on they didn’t flip through the guide – they asked me. I always knew.

True Story. The movie Diva (1981) changed my life. My older sister, just back from college, dragged me to the subtitled French-language film. I asked so many questions in the first 10 minutes that she hissed at me to shut up and refused to clarify my confusion. So for the very first time I was forced to sit back and actually watch a movie. Breathtaking. Spellbinding. The music from Diva haunts me still.

True Story. While waitressing in Victoria, BC one of the regulars, a local TV/movie producer, asked me if I’d associate produce a telethon with him. I reminded him that while I was a struggling writer and artist I was really just a waitress. He didn’t care. I figured he wanted a date. But he didn’t. He really did want someone to work with him because his regular associate producer / talent coordinator was out of town. Timmy’s Telethon was 21 hours of live television broadcast throughout Vancouver Island every spring. OK, it was pretty hokey but we raised a bunch of money for kids and it kick started my career in film and television. If it wasn’t for Arthur Rabin I’d probably still be serving Margaritas and chicken wings to unruly college boys.

True Story. Sold everything I had to move to LA for a development job working with writer/director John Kent Harrison. That was just about 15 years ago. Dropped the desk job when I had my two kids but kept working in the part of movie making I like best. Screenwriting. Working with writers, directors and producers to develop material. Telling stories.

This is mine. I can help you tell yours.

6 Responses to “True Stories”

  1. Eddie Rabin says:

    It thrilled me to read this. He was my brother.

  2. Kiki Weingarten says:

    Great post, Ruth! Love those stories and the way you describe “connecting the dots”. Count me in on the swapping stories only without the BC part. :)

  3. Thanks Shaula! I look forward to that day too!

  4. Shaula Evans says:

    PS My experience of seeing Diva was exactly the same as yours: spellbound.

  5. Shaula Evans says:

    Ruth, this is a wonderful piece. Yes: life is made of moments, and stories are made of patterns made from moments.

    Your childhood is my childhood, too! I remember canvassing our neighbourhood with my little brother to raise money we’d send in to the Telethon every year. (No wonder I wound up in politics: we were ferocious door-knockers.)

    I look forward to meeting you in person one day (!) and swapping growing-up-in-BC stories over your drink of choice. :)

  6. Colleen says:

    Hi Ruth, I was quietly reminiscing about MY mentor Arthur Rabin this morning. He is always in my thoughts throughout December. I remember you sitting at the little side table, stage left at the Mac with a mess of papers all around you! I was working (volunteering) up in the VIP catering lounge ( as my parents had grounded me for the weekend and working Timmy’s with them was my punishment LOL) that weekend serving tea and sandwiches to the entertainers and crew….pining to be surrounded by notes and scripts ! My first taste of what was to come next which now brings me to Arthur… thinking the same as you “this old dude probably wants a date”, my thoughts held no truth at all. Arthur is the reason that I went after my dreams (I was waitressing at Coffee Macs during this time in the early ’80’s). Fast forward to today … I am still in the business as a Production manager/Coordinator in the live Music/Event industry and fondly, kindly think of Arthur and his willingness and wanting to share for no other reason than to see people fulfill their passion.
    Just wanted to reach out to you and share my story with you. Hoping you and your family are healthy and happy! Colleen

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