A Four Monkey Day

1 Nov

three monkey day copy

Bonnie Carini never reads my blog.

She goes a mile a minute and has a lot on her plate so of course, I forgive her. We met in the late eighties when she was a diver for Atlantis Submarines and I was a green Co-Pilot. She moved on and we kept in touch through the intervening years. In June of 2003 I met her by chance at the Keahole Kona airport departure lounge. I was seeing off a friend and she was headed to New York for a week before going to the Faroe Islands with a small crew to film a documentary about life there. As they called her flight, she said I should come along as a camera operator, gaffer, interviewer and jack of all trades. They called her flight again, we hugged, I said I’d think about it….and off she went.

A week later I called her room at the Palace Hotel in Copenhagen, Denmark, from my room at the same hotel and told her I’d see her at the airport the next morning for our connecting flight to Vagar Airport in the Faroes. She was only slightly surprised.

We spent three weeks that summer shooting footage and meeting people and finding our way around some of the most beautiful group of islands on the face of the planet. At breakfast one morning, sitting on the lanai of our rental house in Leynar and close to the end of our trip, we decided that we needed to tell a larger story about the islands and the people that grace them.

Next summer we returned for six weeks and began writing Pilot Whale Fog, a story of a musically gifted boy befriended by a pilot whale in a country where the whales are most often referred to as ‘dinner’. We returned to Hawaii and tried to market our nascent screenplay but truth be told, it needed a lot more work. The seed was there, but it needed water and care. In 2010 through 2012 we spent many days meeting in Kona at the Royal Kona Resort to rewrite, reshape and reboot the screenplay. During those long days, if we found lightning in a bottle and the work went well, we would ask the waitress at the oceanside bar for one of their little plastic monkeys they used to decorate Mai Tai’s. I’ve got a drawer full of them now and the result is a finished product that is a hundred times better than the original. Since then Bonnie has done what she does best and pushed the work, getting it out into the wider world and in front of as many people in the business as is humanly possible.

This October we received word that the screenplay for Pilot Whale Fog had been made an Official Selection at the 2014 International Family Film Festival to be held in early November in Los Angeles. This is thanks to a lot of perseverance on her part and I want to thank her for it on the pages of this blog. That way if she ever does read it, she’ll know that it means a lot to me to have been on the journey with her. I know it’s not the Oscars…yet, but it’s pretty cool. (You can’t get there if you don’t try and if you don’t ask, the answer’s always ‘no’.)

So, thank you, Bonnie. Today’s at least a four monkey day.




Official Selection

27 Responses to “A Four Monkey Day”

  1. Claire Fuller November 1, 2014 at 12:31 pm #

    Fantastic news…well it sounds it…but I have to admit that I don’t know what your screenplay being made an official selection means. What’s the next possible stage?

    • dmmacilroy November 1, 2014 at 9:56 pm #

      Dear Claire,

      Thanks for your kind comment. I think it means that we are in the semi-finals. One of a few vying to be in the finals. Just being chosen as opposed to getting a rejection letter is a step in the right direction. The work is slowly paying off in the sense that an independent panel of people who read screenplays all the time have singled ours out for consideration in a niche or genre chock full of candidates. I have no idea where it will lead. Of course it would be nice to win but that’s another story. I just wanted to thank Bonnie.



  2. Allan G. Smorra November 1, 2014 at 1:04 pm #

    Good luck with your film and congratulations on the perseverance it took to complete and market the result.

    • dmmacilroy November 1, 2014 at 10:00 pm #

      Dear Allan,

      It’s a work in progress. Getting from screenplay to film is a huge step as I’m sure you know. But, yes, perseverance is what is required. Stay tuned.



  3. Deborah the Closet Monster November 1, 2014 at 1:28 pm #

    That’s fantastic! Is there any chance YOU will be in Los Angeles? Or is that spot for Bonnie? 🙂

    • dmmacilroy November 1, 2014 at 10:05 pm #

      Dearest Deborah,

      You know the industry better than most and must realize the odds stacked against any screenplay ever seeing the light of day, no less making the transition from paper to film.

      Bonnie will go to Los Angeles to represent us. If I had any money or time I’d go to the big city but will save that experience for later. if I ever am in the area I will make sure to contact you. There’s no one I’d rather meet.

      Thanks for reading. It is nice to see your name in the comments section and ‘likes’ lately. i appreciate it.



  4. kirizar November 1, 2014 at 2:29 pm #

    What a lovely behind-the-scenes look at the writer experience and its fruition. Most of what I read online is about the struggle to write, the process, the procrastination. It is nice to hear of the success–and that done working with a co-writer to boot. Kudos and keep us posted on the results.

    • kirizar November 1, 2014 at 2:31 pm #

      Oh, and I loved the title, but I thoroughly expected it to be in reference to how bad a day you’ve had based on how many monkeys were flinging dung at you.

    • dmmacilroy November 1, 2014 at 10:10 pm #

      Dear Kirizar,

      Thanks for reading and commenting. The most important thing any writer can do is write. The second thing is to not stop writing and the third is to finish and start the next project. If they reach that point, they’re halfway there. Marketing is another mountain entirely. I will keep you posted. Thanks for your interest.



  5. rochellewisoff November 1, 2014 at 6:41 pm #

    Dear Doug,

    Will you still remember us little people when you’re rich and famous? I’m looking forward to front row seats on opening night. 😉 I said before IAGTC. I’m so very proud to call you friend NMW. And I’ll be looking for you and Bonnie at the Golden Globes and the Academy Awards. Hope you have your acceptance speech ready. Inlaid Lustrous Yellow.



    • dmmacilroy November 1, 2014 at 10:14 pm #

      Dear Rochelle,

      To quote a line from Contact….”Small steps, Ellie.”…

      Thanks for reading and cheering us on. IAAC.



  6. Sandra November 1, 2014 at 8:38 pm #

    I’d like to thank all my friends at Friday Fiction

    • Sandra November 1, 2014 at 8:44 pm #

      I should know better than to attempt a reply using this bloody tab. Well done mate, over the moon for you. Remember us when you’re rich and famous…

    • dmmacilroy November 1, 2014 at 10:15 pm #

      Hahahahahahahaha! Well started…well said.



  7. storydivamg November 1, 2014 at 9:18 pm #

    Congratulations, Doug. This is great news!


    • John Pace November 1, 2014 at 10:10 pm #

      Great news Doug, perhaps you will finally slide into that genre of life in which you belong….


      • dmmacilroy November 1, 2014 at 10:25 pm #

        HI John,

        You know better than most the trials and the obstacles that litter the path on this journey. They should call the Oscars the Headbanger’s Ball. I wouldn’t have been able to write this post were it not for you. Thanks for helping make this step happen.



    • dmmacilroy November 1, 2014 at 10:26 pm #

      Dear Marie,

      Thanks for your comment. In reality, it’s just a heartfelt ‘thank you’ to Bonnie.



  8. Sandra Conner November 2, 2014 at 12:56 am #

    Hey, Congratulations! It may be a small step, but it’s such an important one because it has to be taken before you can get to the next one. It’s right for you to be proud and grateful. I loved your answer to Kirizar: The most important thing is to write, second most important to keep writing, and third most important, to finish the project. Such good advice and so often ignored by people who ‘would be’ writers.

    • dmmacilroy November 2, 2014 at 1:03 am #

      Dear Sandra,

      Thank you for your insights and congratulations. Yes, I am under no illusions about where I stand. All I know is that it is one step further along the path. The view is nice and with friends like you, I am strengthened and fortified for what is to come.



  9. rUn A mUcK November 2, 2014 at 4:54 am #

    quite inspiring, uncle D. excellent news! congrats

  10. singleworkingmomswm November 3, 2014 at 10:28 pm #

    Wow, this is a really neat post to be reading. I was posed the question recently of “What inspires you?” And, as I’ve been contemplating my answer, I’m pretty sure that it is indeed: people. People inspire me. People’s stories of perseverance and how they get to where they are, the choices they make, the successes they experience or lessons they learn, and this post, right here, is a PERFECT example! I hope we all get to see the film one day, and regardless, relish in the moment as you seem to be, and congrats to you and Bonnie on such an accomplishment. XOXO-Kasey

  11. subroto November 7, 2014 at 9:08 pm #

    That’s fantastic, do remember us at the awards night.

  12. Suzanne Joshi December 31, 2014 at 12:59 pm #

    Doug, I’m just now reading this and don’t know what’s happened with your piece, but hope all is going well. 🙂 — Suzanne

  13. dmmacilroy November 1, 2014 at 10:35 pm #

    Dear Caely,

    Thank you so much for your support and your kind comment. I will work on continuing to baffle you.

    Much love,

    Mahalo and Aloha,


  14. wmqcolby November 2, 2014 at 12:13 pm #

    Dear Aloha Doug,

    As you might have been told, I have been out of the country the last several weeks and not been able to participate at FF Central. So, coming back, getting settled in and hearing news like this is a thrill! I, too, am interested in seeing how this will pan out because it’s pretty stiff competition out there. No worries, though. As you might know, here in the Kansas City area, we had our own “teachable moment” about this — a good script, story, baseball team, anything solid will ultimately find its way to the top.

    Yes! Definitely keep me posted on the progress of this work of cinematic literature. This also gives me incentive to finish up the re-write to my own screenplay, the adaptation of the stage play Rochelle and I wrote.

    I’d actually like to read it, if you can forward it to me. Rochelle has my e-mail address.

    As Colonel Pickering in My Fair Lady sang to Henry Higgins,
    “Tonight, old man, you did it and indeed you did!”

    Congratulations, Doug, “YOOOOOOOUUUUU did it!”

    All the best to you and Bonnie on the contest.

    As to the script’s trajectory, like Jackie Gleason used to say, “Maestro, a little travelin’ music! And a-WAY we GO!”

    See you later at Cannes.



  1. Something invaluable | Caely in the making - November 1, 2014

    […] I really want to say, is that I’m really happy for your success and the screenplay of Pilot Whale Fog. I’m sincerely happy for you, D, it’s your time to shine so shine on bright. Baffle us […]

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