By Sushmitha Suresh
Photo by Sushmitha Suresh
Author and screenplay writer of “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” Jesse Andrews recently came to Metea Valley to debut his new book, “The Haters”, and to tell students about his journey to the career he has now. The film studies classes were able to take the class period to learn about how Andrews chose the premise of his novel and what compelled him to make it into an independent film.
This hands on experience benefited the film studies students to gain perspective on the behind the scenes of the screenwriting. “I think we know a lot more about how books are transformed into movies versus in class we just talk about the aspects of lighting and all that kind of stuff,” senior Kamakshi Katwala said. “But he showed us how it’s actually produced and what happens on set for the person who created the story.” All around, Andrews gave the students a new perspective on movie making. “I think from what he told us you can tell that Hollywood is a very crazy business and there’s a lot more work than you can imagine that goes into making a movie.” Katwala said.
“Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” tells the story of an awkward high school senior who is forced to spend time with a girl who was just diagnosed with leukemia, and unexpectedly finds a long lasting friendship. The movie premiered at the Sundance Film Festival where it won the Audience Award and the Grand Jury Prize Award.
Andrews didn’t start out such a great writer. Before “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl”, he claimed he wrote two books “with no plot”. Now, he has an award winning novel that was turned into an independent film, and a new book on the shelves, ‘The Haters’, again a teen fiction book. “It’s about you guys. Secretly, it’s like research for me,” Andrews said. “I was a teenager when you guys were embryos. I need to come back to high schools to see if it’s still like that.”
“The Haters” is a story about three friends at band camp, that aren’t exceptional and don’t seem to exceed the expectations of the camp. “The title is pretty self-explanatory,” Andrews said. Those who went to hear Andrews talk got a sneak peek of the new novel.
“I feel like that when I was a teenager it would have been nice to see this stuff, and I went to school where an author would never come to speak to their students,” Andrews said.Thankfully, Metea Valley gives us these opportunities as much as possible.
You can buy “The Haters” in stores now.