Best Scene CRIME Screenplay – HICK, by by Marianna Moneymaker


This story is inspired by the real-world relationship between reporter Lorena Hickok (Hick) and Eleanor Roosevelt. It’s 1932 New York City when Associated Press crime reporter, Lorena Hickok’s next assignment brings her to a crossroads and she must choose: her career or follow Eleanor Roosevelt, her lover and best friend to the White House.

Genre: Crime, Political, History, Drama


Narrator: Laura Kyswaty
FDR: Jim Canale
Hick: Rachel Rain Packota
Eleanor: Regan Brown
Moosemann: Cory Bertrand

What is your screenplay about?

The unknown story of Lorena Hickok, the woman journalist, who gave up her career to be Eleanor Roosevelt’s lover and friend.

What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Historical noir.

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

The world should know about the journalist Lorena A. Hickok. Her historical significance as one of the first woman journalist to have a byline on the front page of the NY Times and covering crime and politics can’t be underscored. She’s also the author of the Helen Keller children’s book and documented the great depression for FDR. Though today she is just mostly knowns as Eleanor’s lover. I want to try to change that.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Influential women.

What movie have you seen the most times in your life?

Do I have to pick one? Colombiana, Love Actually, World Unseen, IP Man, Tombstone, Space Balls. And a bunch foreign films. The internet has let me learn more about storytelling in different countries by watching current movies from around the world.

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

It was my capstone for graduation in 2011 for my MFA at Lesley University. I put it away for several years and picked it back up in 2014. The versions have taken all kinds of variations, I’m on v75. It’s taken me some time to figure out where I wanted to enter into the story. I did know I wanted to focus on Hick as a journalist first and the relationship with the governor’s wife second. I enjoy this version. At this point, I’m using my experience as a video editor to move scenes and cut/paste new and old scenes in or out. My next step will be a full table read.

How many stories have you written?

I don’t keep track. I publish works in progress on Scribd and my website. On my website, I’m currently featuring the script I submitted to this contest, a web series (3 Seasons) and TV pilot. I’m working on two spec scripts of shows currently on television. I’m working on a one act play, have written a play with music and several ten-minute plays.

I love writing in script format. I wish it had the literature legitimacy of prose. I also read a lot of scripts. This year, my favorite script read was Ilene Chaiken’s pilot for “The Handmaiden’s Tale”. I found it almost poetic with the way she described emotional imagery. My least favorite to read was “Girlboss” where the woman character was described as “(23) gorgeous and distinctively styled in brash 70s fashion” – I unfortunately will start to lose interest.

What is your favorite song? (Or, what song have you listened to the most times in your life?)

When writing lately, I’ve been gravitating to Tank and the Bangers. My second is from Mashrou’ Leila. Third anything merengue.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

Researching the historical events for the plot were obstacles. Most are so old the exact details like conversations and reactions I had no choice but to interpret and fictionalize. I used the current events of 1932 to inform the journalism storyline. There was so much going on that year. I also choose 1932 b/c it’s before the start of Hick and Eleanor’s letters at the FDR library. It is also the height of Hick’s career.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Storytelling in general. Writing isn’t my only outlet. I like playing with different mediums for storytelling which I learned to do during my BA at CSUMB. The program focused on storytelling first, the medium second… and I have carried that through everything I do. It’s also what has lead me to working in communications for nonprofits. I’ve written graphic novel short stories. I do canvas graffiti art and illustrations that can be found on instagram.

11. You entered your screenplay via FilmFreeway. What has been your experiences working with the submission platform site? It’s very easy to use and submit. The filter helps target where I want to spend my time and money submitting.

12. What influenced you to enter the festival? What were your feelings on the initial feedback you received? The table reading is what influenced me to submit. The feedback was useful. I even carried it around to reread several times in addition to other feedback I had received for the script to do comparisons. Questions people have about the script also help me a lot. I’m still trying to find moments to heighten the emotional story for Hick, but that’s also why a full table reading for me is needed.

Thank you for selecting “Hick”.


Producer: Matthew Toffolo

Director: Kierston Drier
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne
Editor: John Johnson

Camera Operator: Mary Cox

By crimemysteryfestival

Showcasing the best of Crime and Mystery Stories and Films from around the world.

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