A Nanny Nightmare

Solana Productions, Inc. Videotapes Story of Screenwriter’s Nanny Nightmare

Solana Productions, Inc., has taped an interview with a La Jolla, California, mother who turned her real-life horror story with a live-in nanny into a Hollywood screenplay that she sold for six figures.

Chrisanna Northrup, a married mother of three school-age children, spotted problems soon after hiring the nanny, but ran into legal roadblocks evicting her from their home. Northrup and her family spent a harrowing 30 days as the nanny remained in their home, threatening extortion, wearing Northrup’s clothes, throwing parties and even recording pornography on the family television.

Once the nanny eventually moved out, Northrup spent a year writing “Silver,” a screenplay about the experience. She placed a one-day ad in the Hollywood Reporter, and sold the project to a film production company owned by a private investor for more than $100,000. The movie is now in development.

Her experience as a first-time screenwriter was very unusual. Many novice writers spend months and even years enduring constant rejections before selling their stories.

The first step for aspiring writers is to register their work with the Writers Guild. They can be found on the web at www.wga.org.

This provides at least some legal proof that you created your screenplay.

Ownership of creative work can be very murky, especially if others are working on similar ideas. Problems will only be magnified if your work becomes a successful movie.

The next step is getting your story in front of the right people. Northup’s method of taking out an ad was creative and ultimately successful, but it’s not a common approach.

More conventional paths are through agents and lawyers. But getting them to even open your envelope can be challenging. They are just as concerned about being accused of stealing ideas as you are of yours being stolen. Most top agents will not accept unsolicited material. Send your opus to them and you’ll just be wasting postage.

Avoid this quagmire by using one of the many books that provide the names of agents and lawyers willing to look at material from first-time writers. Just search for “screenwriting books” on the web. You’ll find there are plenty of people looking for the next great idea.

Chrisanna Northrup’s great idea made her a lot of money and also caught the attention of many publications and television shows.

A two-person camera crew and field producer from Solana Productions recorded a lengthy interview with Northrup and her husband at their home and shot re-enactments of some of the family’s harrowing moments with the nanny. The segment aired on “The Rachael Ray Show” in April.

Solana Productions, Inc., www.solanaproductions.com is a videotape production company based in Solana Beach, California, that regularly shoots for a variety of broadcast, cable and corporate clients, including “The Rachael Ray Show,” “Entertainment Tonight,” “The Insider,” “Dr. Phil” and “Oprah.”

Kurt Snider has more than 20 years experience in film and television production. His company, Solana Productions, Inc. has received numerous awards including 14 EMMYs and a gold medal from the New York Film Festival.

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