Parksville author Jessica Taylor is one step closer to having her book make it to the big screen.
About six months ago, Andrew Biltz, an actor, writer and producer, said he was introduced to Taylor by a friend who said Biltz should read Taylor’s book.
Biltz said Taylor signed the book for him, adding that he was “flattered.”
“After I read it, I was just completely amazed,” Biltz said, adding that he couldn’t put the book down.
Taylor’s autobiography From Tragedy to Triumph: Journey Back from the Edge starts off moments after Taylor fell down a set of stairs at a warehouse which resulted in her brain injury.
The rest of the book explains some of the day-to-day struggles of Taylor — such as boiling eggs or trying to style her daughters’ hair in the morning before school — and her steps to overcome them.
You lose your life. You go back to your childhood,” said Taylor, adding that she had to re-learn just about everything after her injury.
It was while he was reading the book, Biltz said he could see visuals of a movie.
“The details in the book are amazing,” Biltz said. “It made me realize that it’s definitely a blockbuster, in my opinion. I knew that I’d be able to help her and help her with the connections to make this movie.”
Taylor said that Biltz knew someone who would be able to help with writing the screenplay.
“He knew that Gregory Danler was the man. From what I’ve seen in this screenplay, he is the man,” said Taylor, adding that she Skypes with Danler, who is based in California, to discuss the screenplay.
Danler said it’s been about two months since he was approached to write the screenplay for From Tragedy to Triumph: Journey Back from the Edge.
“The process of writing the screenplay has been going quite smooth,” Danler said. “Jessica and I Skype chat often, as she has made herself available for any questions I may have, as well as worked closely with me, so that we can achieve the most visually pleasing accurate portrayal of her life.”
Taylor said Danler has been very accommodating while working on the screenplay. She said they worked together to change a conversation she had with her mother in the screenplay in which Taylor said her mom would have never spoken the way Danler had written it.
Danler has been sending in pages of the screenplay over the past few months, and Taylor said it will be done for the summer.
Biltz said once the screenplay is finished, he’s going to work with people he knows in the movie business to see if he can “seal a deal with some agencies in L.A.” He added that once an agency picks the screenplay, he knows it will be pitched.
Biltz said turning Taylor’s book into a movie is a mission of his.
“I truly believe that this will get picked up right away,” Biltz said, adding that it could take up to a year, but that it’s normal.
Taylor said her goal with helping to bring this book to life, is that there isn’t enough being done to help people with brain injuries.
“The whole reason for me wanting a film — I don’t need this fame and all this crap. I’ve had it all. Been there done that,” Taylor said. “The whole purpose of this film, is to bring for the first time on the screen, more awareness than ever for brain injury.”
Taylor added that there isn’t enough being done around the world for people with brain injuries.
“The only people who could ever understand what a brain injury could be like is another brain injured person,” Taylor said.
The movie Concussion, starring Will Smith, was released last year and tells the true story of a forensic doctor who discovers the link between concussions and brain injuries in football players.
Taylor said the movie doesn’t even begin to touch the surface on brain injuries, but she said she is proud of the doctor for helping to educate people.
She said the timing is great though.
“It’s almost as if Concussion was a little pre-empt to From Tragedy to Triumph: Journey Back from the Edge.”