We just got the news that The Traitor’s Wife has hit the New York Times Best Seller List again after debuting at #5 on the list, and we are thrilled, because it continues to climb the USA Today Best Seller Listand the Wall Street Journal List.
Thank you to everyone who is reading the book and helping to get the word out! A particular thanks to Kathie Lee Gifford who surprised us by listing the book as her “Favorite Thing,” during that segment on the President’s Day episode of The TODAY Show! Her endorsement shot Allison to #1 on Amazon overall, and #2 on B&N.com, and the book has stayed in the top ranks since. I have spent the last week entertaining film offers, including Academy Award-winning authors and producers. More on that front soon!
In the meantime, be on the lookout for Allison on The TODAY Show this month as well as Morning Joe and much more. Below are some pictures from the launch party hosted by Ambassador Earle Mack and Governor Pataki at the Four Seasons Restaurant. We had a blast celebrating this beautiful book and the beginning of Allison’s career with industry professionals, family, and friends. You can check out more of the launch media here.
Kathie Lee Gifford, Allison Pataki and Lacy Lynch at The Traitor’s Wife Release Party
Libby Pataki, Allison Pataki, Lacy Lynch and Governor Pataki
I was recently asked to participate in a private panel at Sundance Film Festival hosted by John Templeton Foundation and Walden Media about “Staying True in Film Adaptation.” Being with Dupree/Miller client Lani Netter (associate producer of The Shack) and industry icons such as Kathryn Stockett (author of The Help), Randall Wallace (author and director of Braveheart), Nikki Silver (producer of The Giver), Ralph Winter (producer of X-Men), Michael Flaherty (co-founder Walden Media), and Bob Berney (CEO of Picturehouse) was incredibly inspiring, as was soaking up genius in the halls of the film lodge and stealing glances at empty snowcapped mountains. There are no skyscrapers in Park City, only a skyline of mountaintops, and it has the effect of dwarfing everyone and putting them on the same level so that there is less room for individual ego and more room for meaningful conversation. Overall, being in creation made me think about the power and beauty of being a creator. Sometimes (like with Nikki Silver, Jeff Bridges, and The Giver) it takes over ten years to get a studio, sometimes (like with Kathryn Stockett and The Help) it takes sixty rejections before you get an agent, sometimes (like Bob Berney) it takes going against convention and creating your own audience to get Momento or the two highest grossing independent films The Passion or My Big Fat Greek Wedding out into the world, and sometimes (like Randall Wallace) you have to become broke and broken before you understand the driving force behind a character like William Wallace in order to tell a story like Braveheart. Sometimes the hardest stories, are the ones worth telling.
Lacy Lynch of Dupree Miller at Sundance Film Festival
Here is a picture of myself with Lani and Kathryn, along with some quick and meaningful sound bites from our discussion:
If you want to send a message, use Western Union
If you take words out of the definition of failure, you form the definition of convention
If I go down, let me go down with my flag flying-doing what I came to do
Sometimes the best work is born out of desperation and commitment, not perseverance
My challenge was my lesson
If you don’t write down those freaky voices in your head, you’ll go insane
It took me 60 rejections to get an agent, what if I had stopped at 59?
The great question isn’t how to answer all the details, but how to become the person who can translate an honest spirit into what they do
There is a big difference between a faithful adaptation and a literal adaptation
Oftentimes it isn’t love and hate, its love and faith–writing is one of the greatest acts of faith
Art has nothing to do with being correct, it’s about having the courage to be incorrect
The scariest thought of all is what if I could have faith?
Sometimes you can’t be afraid to tell the truth. If you really piss them off they will think about that a lot longer than if you try to make them happy
There are no bad stories, only bad storytellers
“I can’t tell you how to succeed. But I can tell you how not to: Give in to the shame of being rejected and put your manuscript—or painting, song, voice, dance moves, [insert passion here]—in the coffin that is your bedside drawer and close it for good. I guarantee you that it won’t take you anywhere. Or you could do what this writer did: Give in to your obsession instead.” – Kathryn Stockett, author of The Help
Loved being with client, Allison Pataki at her home in upstate New York where we shot her book trailer and traced the footsteps of cunning beauty Peggy Shippen and her notorious traitor husband Benedict Arnold. But behind every notorious Traitor there lies a notorious Traitor’s Wife. You can find out more about Peggy and the untold love triangle that nearly brought down America in Allison’s highly acclaimed novel, The Traitor’s Wife, and you should keep an eye on Allison, because she is the hottest thing to hit commercial fiction since Philippa Gregory.
It has been said that Bishop Jakes is a movement. I can think of no better way to describe MegaFest-an annual live event hosted by his ministry that draws more than 100,000 people every year to participate in amazing panels and events for the purpose of inspiring better lives. This was the first year in Dallas and it was a resounding success drawing an impressive list of featured participants from Oprah to Jennifer Hudson. Here is part of the Dupree/Miller team with client Antoinette Tuff, CNN hero and the amazing woman who talked down a would-be gunman and prevented a school shooting in an Atlanta suburb. If you want to be inspired, check out her book Prepared for a Purpose. Keep your eyes out for upcoming movie news soon!
Every year Dupree Miller CEO, Jan Miller works with long-time friend Anthony Shriver to host the Best Buddies gala in Dallas in order to raise money for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. It’s a beautiful organization and you can check out more at the Best Buddies website and find out how to support this amazing organization. Here we are at the Best Buddies patron party the night before the gala.
After moving to New York to work and study at The Actor’s Studio MFA program, one of the most fascinating and rewarding experiences I have had in life to date was working as an artist in residence at internationally acclaimed Off-Broadway theatre St. Ann’s Warehouse in their Puppet Lab. That’s right, Puppets. St. Ann’s is known for collaborations with the likes of Rufus Wainright, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Aimee Mann, Meryl Streep, The Moscow Arts Theatre, The Royal Court Theatre, Cillian Murphy, and more, and when they do something it is always experimental, always thought provoking and always beautiful, so when I say puppets, I don’t mean Muppets (though, like Jason Segal, I am a fan), I mean using a unique visual language to tell a story. (extraordinary examples of this are Warhorse, which ran at Lincoln Center and Dmitry Krymov Lab’s OPUS No. 7, which ran at St. Ann’s Warehouse) With the help of a government grants from the Jim Henson Foundation, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, and the New York State Council on the Arts, we were able to integrate the stellar facilities and expertise of St Ann’s with a technical and design team straight out of a Broadway Show’s dream! We met one Monday a week for a year with amazingly talented people from all backgrounds including designers, master puppeteers, playwrights and more to develop pieces that were showcased at St Ann’s to houses of 300-400 people. Being fairly new at this, we learned a lot. One of the most interesting things I learned from Lab director and puppetry director for Warhorse, Matt Acheson, was the concept of The Magical wasteland or Uncanny Valley. I’ve used this concept again and again to apply to other forms of storytelling such as film and theatre. The term was originally invented to refer to refer to robots being too human in a way that’s creepy, but it can be applied to any visual art form and storytelling. When a thing (whether it’s a message, puppet, visual,) is drawn too sharply or realistically we push it away because it doesn’t feel like it comes from inside us. Sometimes, it is better to allow people to use their brains and imagination to fill in the blanks of a story so that they can be an active part of the journey. Every human is different so we often need to be allowed to personalize art and stories in accordance to our own truth in order to derive meaning from them. The moral for me, is that technology is brilliant, but the human mind is even more so.
Below is a promo picture and some on set photos from our show “before and after,” which featured an entire set made out of shoeboxes and a hoarder who is left with only the items he has collected to turn the pieces of his memory into an opportunity to get unstuck.