By Kristin Schneider
On Monday, Apr. 1, 2019 anticipation filled the air as people slowly filled the Falcon Hub. Students, faculty and community members alike gathered, eager for this year’s final Community Read event to begin. Ready to close out a year filled with documentaries, panels and a variety of other events, which were all centered around the book “Everything I Never Said” by Celeste Ng.
To finish off the year, the community was invited to attend a live interview with Julia Cox, led by Kevin McCarthy, an assistant professor within FSU’s comm media department. Cox is a screenwriter from New England who’s worked on a variety of shows including “Parenthood.” Cox, after a lengthy process, was selected as the screenwriter for an upcoming movie adaption of Ng’s admired book.
Throughout the night, Cox explained not only her journey into screenwriting and her experiences as a screenwriter in California, but also her fight to be apart of “Everything I Never Told You”‘s movie adaption and how she transformed the beloved book into its first-draft screenplay.
When asked about the challenges she faced when attempting to turn such a complex book into a script, Cox admitted that there are a lot of things books do that screenplays simply can not. However, despite it being such a lyrical, complex and nonlinear piece, when reading it for the first time Cox could already picture how scenes could be transformed and displayed within a movie. Cox went on to explain that the novel, with its strong and casual tension line, would be able to keep watchers captured, saying that “…as delicate as the novel is it did have that hook.”
Cox also spoke of the difficulty she faced with arranging such a fully developed book. How she had to pick out what she believed to be crucial plot points, combining some when necessary and the troublesome process of keeping as true to the novel as possible. Through this process, Cox says she has a wonderful team of producers who wanted to keep the timelessness of the book. This allowed her to play with the script while still keeping to the book’s “…70s ideology without being all lava lamps and bellbottoms.”
The event closed with the announcement of the book selected for next year’s Community Read, “Maus” by Art Spiegelman. The book is a graphic novel that depicts Spiegelman interviewing his father about his experiences as a Holocaust survivor.