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28 June 2005 ·

A Visit to Hollywood

After two years of emails and phone calls, I finally got to meet the people involved with taking my Nim’s Island to the screen.

Yes, it’s a big change for someone who normally works in an office in my own home in rural Australia, but that’s where I was last week: staying in Los Angeles, in beautfiul Santa Monica by the sea. Paula Mazur, the producer, and I were very excdited about finally getting to meet face to face, and she and her family were wonderful hosts, showing my husband and me around Los Angeles and the wonderful beaches of Santa Monica. (And difficult as this is to believe for everyone who knows me, her husband even taught me to boogie board! What an incredible thrill!)

Best of all, we had lots of time to talk about our ideas for the Nim’s Island movie script, and the book sequel, as well as the ideas for a TV series based on Paradise Palace (as well as some of the other projects we’re each working on individually.) In fact, we talked a lot! (Easier to believe than the boogie boarding for anyone who knows me.)

I also had a visit to the Walden Media offices and Fox Studios to meet the Creative Executives in charge of the project – and a little walk around the Fox backlots, though we didn’t see anything being filmed. All the meetings helped remind me that even though movies are a lot more complicated, a lot slower to make, with more glitz, more glamour, more hype and more money than books, it’s still all about very creative people playing with ideas and trying to tell a story the best way they can. It was one of the most exciting parts of the whole visit.

So, we don’t have a date for Nim’s Island yet, but it was wonderful to see how badly everyone wants to get it made, and to make it into a really good movie. What more could I want?

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Wendy Orr is a Canadian-born Australian writer. Her books for children and adults have been published in 27 countries and won awards around the world. Nim’s Island and Nim at Sea have also become feature films, starring Jodie Foster and Abigail Breslin (Nim’s Island) and Bindi Irwin (Return to Nim’s Island.) Her latest book is Cuckoo’s Flight, a companion to the highly acclaimed Bronze Age novels Dragonfly Song and Swallow’s Dance. Read full bio