LB: Today’s Cool Port Townsend Area News

by Larry Brody

This is cool because the “prolific screenwriter” below is the writing partner of Karen McCullah, who was one of the first writing students I had back in Santa Fe in the early ’90s, and all the films cited in the article were co-written by the two of them.  Small world, yeah?

Prolific screenwriter returns to Chimacum
‘Kiwi’ Smith tells of influence of mother, teacher
by Diane Urbani de la Paz

When prolific Hollywood screenwriter Kirsten “Kiwi” Smith tells her own story, she does it with a cast of characters straight from real life.

Two women have starring roles: Sue Phillips, her English and creative writing teacher at Chimacum High School, and her mother, Katie Smith of Port Ludlow.

Both of the Smith women plan to appear Saturday, one of three nights of outdoor cinema presented by the Port Townsend Film Festival this weekend.

Each evening will include a free movie showing at 7:30 p.m. on Taylor Street downtown.

One of Kiwi’s hit movies will light the giant screen on Saturday. It’s a picture that grossed more than $141 million worldwide while making its lead actor, Reese Witherspoon, a huge star.

The Port Townsend Film Festival, however, is not permitted to print the movie’s title in newspapers. The licenser, Swank Motion Pictures, doesn’t allow promotion that would compete with commercial theaters, though it does permit the festival to give details on its website,

Now, on with the true-life tale: Kiwi and the Smith family moved to Port Ludlow in 1980, around the time “An Officer and a Gentleman” was being filmed in Port Townsend. There were Richard Gere and Debra Winger sightings in local restaurants, Kiwi recalls. The dream of cinematic storytelling took shape in her teenage mind.

After graduating from Chimacum High School, Kiwi moved to Los Angeles in 1988 to go to Occidental College — and went on to write the scripts of movies including “Ten Things I Hate About You,” “She’s the Man,” “Ella Enchanted” and the above-mentioned blockbuster….

Read it all at

#tvwriting #screenwriting #writingtips #writerslife

Author: LB

A legendary figure in the television writing and production world with a career going back to the late ’60s, Larry Brody has written and produced hundreds of hours of American and worldwide television and is a consultant to production companies and networks in the U.S. and abroad . Shows written or produced by Brody have won several awards including - yes, it's true - Emmys, Writers Guild Awards, and the Humanitas Award.

We're looking forward to your comments!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.