OtherLife world premiere

Here’s the biggest news I’ve had for a while: OtherLife will premiere at the Sydney Film Festival in June.

OtherLife stars Jessica De Gouw, TJ Power, Thomas Cocquerel, Clarence Ryan, Tiriel Mora, and Adriane Daff. They are all brilliant – every one of them brought dimensions to the characters that I didn’t imagine, and now cannot imagine doing without. Jess, Tom, Adriane and Clarence were absolutely lovely to me when I visited the set in Perth, in spite of late nights and so much hard work during the shoot. I missed meeting TJ and Tiriel by days, and look forward to someday telling them in person how much I enjoyed their work.

Directed by Ben C. Lucas. Also brilliant. Ben brought vision and rigor and insight to the script. Plus he is wonderful and fun and smart. This movie has Ben all over it.

Cinematography by Dan Freene. Who is genius, I’m just saying. Dan made the film look gorgeous and feel powerful, intimate and thrilling.

Edited by Leanne Cole. Wow. I was fortunate enough to have Leanne show me some of the dailies, and to hear her, Ben, Dan and the producers talk about how the story might take shape. Leanne can hold a hundred permutations in her head.

Written by Gregory Widen, Ben C. Lucas & Kelley Eskridge. And this, my friends, is an amazing moment for me. This is my first professional screenwriting credit. It comes after a long, exciting, terrifying, often very hard journey from option to screenplay development to production. Real live audiences will see the film. From head and heart to screen, via so many other heads and hearts.

Here’s the summary description of the film, which should make clear that the film story and the book story are different in terms of plot. But they are deeply connected in core concepts and in the emotional exploration of loneliness and connection.

You can find OtherLife on Facebook and on Twitter. Read about the wild ride of indie filmmaking at the OtherLife Journals. And if you’re in Sydney for the festival, do please go see the film on June 16 or June 18, and let me know what you think!

Thomas Cocquerel as Danny and Jessica De Gouw as Ren
TJ Power as Sam and Clarence Ryan as Byron
Jessica De Gouw in OtherLife
Jessica De Gouw as Ren
Jessica De Gouw in OtherLife


My film OtherLife is shooting now in Perth

OtherLife Countdown Clock
I’m thrilled to announce that my film OtherLife has begun shooting in Perth, Australia.
(Read the press release.)

OtherLife is directed by Ben C. Lucas (Wasted on the Young), a fiercely talented director and writer who brings depth and heart and passion to the film. The script is written by me, Gregory Widen (Highlander, Backdraft, The Prophecy), Lucas Howe, and director Ben Lucas. The film stars the fantastic Jessica De Gouw (Dracula, Arrow, and the forthcoming Underground), as well as Thomas Cocquerel (Kidnapping Mr. Heineken) and TJ Power (Eat Pray Love, The Sapphires, Wasted on the Young).

OtherLife is produced in Australia by Ticket to Ride, See Pictures, and WBMC. These fine people brought the film to Australia and put together a stunningly creative crew. You should see some of the photos… and you will! I’ll have a lot to say about the process in coming posts.

A special shoutout to Ben Lucas and producer Jamie Hilton for believing in the script and working so hard to bring it to Australia. Oh my god the stories…

And finally, three important people to thank:

Tommaso Fiacchino of Cherry Road Films (Al Otro Lado) optioned the novel more than 10 years ago. Tommaso gave me the opportunity to write the script revision a year later, after which I became the project’s lead writer. Tommaso and I have worked together since then in a close collaborative producer/writer process.

Marco Mehlitz of Lago Film (A Dangerous Method, Mr. Nobody, Only Lovers Left Alive) joined our Scooby Gang several years ago. His experience and expertise have been invaluable in navigating the wild waters of filmmaking. His belief in the script has kept us all going during the many times when things weren’t going well.

Tommaso and Marco have worked tirelessly on behalf of the script, and have afforded me a level of trust, access, and teamwork that is not always the norm for screenwriters. They are the champions of OtherLife. This film would not exist without them.

And thank you to my beloved Nicola Griffith for being here for every low, high, and what the fuck am I doing? moment.

Solitaire was first optioned more than 10 years ago. I became the lead writer on the script a year later. It took 3,326 days from the morning I began my first pass with the screenplay to the commencement of shooting. It has been, and continues to be, an amazing ride. I’ll have a lot more to see about it over the coming days, but for now I hope you’ll help me celebrate this dream of mine come true.