As I mentioned in Best Screenplay (part 1), I got the idea for DYING TO DREAM during a chat with Franklin Leonard, creator of the (Hollywood) blacklist, It was about 2 years ago, and we were chatting about the business of screenwriting when I simply asked if there were any stories he would like to see made, that haven’t been.  He immediately had one in mind, he had read an article, and subsequent book about a fatal gene where people die of insomnia.  End of discussion.

Intrigued by the idea (and also wanting to write something that a Hollywood executive thought would make a good story), I found the book referred to:


book cover

I ordered and read it straight away.  A truly fascinating account of the disease and similar prion diseases, like the origin of mad cow.  (It’s not what you have heard.)  During that first read, I immediately thought of a working title, DEPRIVATION, and knew my main character would be someone that was so used to not sleeping, he didn’t know anything was wrong with him.  Which led me to recall that I heard Martha Stewart only sleeps 3 hours a night.  So, I knew my main character would be a driven media mogul.  Ta-Da, my seed was beginning to root.

Tune in next time for how my further research and own personal issues, led to what will become THE BEST SCREENPLAY I’ve written.