The Film

A few years ago, I was introduced to director/writer/producer, John Furse, by my literary agent, Mark Lucas. Initially, I have to say I was very concerned about any aspect of my book, 'Out of the Dark, being made into a film; I'd heard about people selling their stories to studios, thinking they'd be allowed a say in how they would be portrayed - only to find later that they had no say whatsoever in the end result, and that only certain aspects of their life had been told, and these had been sensationalized. Hence the disclaimer in many films 'based on a true story', as opposed to it being a true story, or a documentary. As anyone who has read 'Out of the Dark' will know, many aspects of my story could be taken out of context and sensationalized, and I did not want to risk that.

After speaking to John Furse about his vision for a film about 'Out of the Dark', and seeing the brilliant and sensitive way he told the story of John McCarthy and Brian Keenan's hostage years in his film 'Blind Flight', I agreed to work with him. The last two years have been fascinating, and I have learned why there is often such a difference between a book and a film version of the same story. One of the biggest reasons for this is that one page of script roughly equals one minute of film. Consider the fact that our word limit of 150,000 words for 'Out of the Dark' meant that we had to cut out at least 9/10's of the material we had – yet the book still has 446 pages. Then think about needing to tell the story in just +-90 pages, because most films run for approximately 90 minutes. Now you will understand just how much a screenwriter is up against!

Fortunately, John is more than equal to the task. A man of great skill and integrity, he excels in telling the stories of different people who are thrown together for a while because of unusual circumstances. As you will read on his website (, his film, 'Blind Flight', 'received numerous international film festival selections (London, Dublin, TriBeCa, Sydney etc) and nominations (Best Film, Best New Filmmaker, Best Music, Best Actor, etc.)', and Ian Hart, who portrayed Brian Keenan, won Best Actor Award at New York's TriBeCa Film Festival in 2004. Because of the time limitation, John will be concentrating on the therapy side of my story, and the tightrope Robin had to walk when dealing with my flashbacks and suicidal feelings.

It will be a difficult story to tell in just 90 minutes, but I've met John a few times and also spoken to him extensively over the phone, and I have absolute confidence that he will do an excellent job.

With everything involved in the making of a film (writing, editing and re-editing the screenplay, deciding on casting, sending the screenplay to specific actors and actresses and waiting for their response, etc.), it takes a long time before they finally hit the big screen – but, with John's vision and considerable talent, I look forward to seeing the end result!

You may read more about this project on Johns website, at the following links: