Screenwriting : Audrey Wells (April 29, 1960 - October 4, 2018) by Bill Costantini

Bill Costantini

Audrey Wells (April 29, 1960 - October 4, 2018)

Audrey Wells passed away last week.  

Professionally, she is a really great writer, a friend of writers, a lover of cinema, and a great filmmaker.  She is what I call the best of the best of the best.   Personally, she is an amazing woman who supports social justice causes for all: from animals to people to the planet.  Socially and ethically, she champions for the oppressed, and helps women and minorities in cinema and in screenwriting.  She has a  husband and daughter.  Her passing leaves an immense void in all those ways.  

Her peers and admirers have made public statements like "she told stories of people whose voices were underrepresented, particularly women, and often developed female characters who were as complex as they were strong."  Nina Jacobson said “She was such an incredible feminist voice — long before it was fashionable. What Audrey’s work was doing was expanding the depth and complexity of the female characters,  and she gave them the opportunity to be as dimensional as white guys get to be all the time.””

Her scripts, some of which she directed, include The Truth About Cats and Dogs; Guinevere; The Kid; Under the Tuscan Sun; Shall We Dance; A Dog's Purpose; and The Hate U Give.    

I saw The Hate U Give a few nights ago.  It is based on a great novel, and here is a quick summary of it:

"Starr Carter is constantly switching between two worlds -- the poor, mostly black neighborhood where she lives and the wealthy, mostly white prep school that she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is soon shattered when she witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend at the hands of a police officer. Facing pressure from all sides of the community, Starr must find her voice and decide to stand up for what's right."

Man...talk about zeitgeist - that topic is one of the most socially relevant issue in America today, and based on that book, Audrey writes a brilliant script that leaves nearly everyone in the theater sad, frustrated, in tears, angry, hopeless...and hopeful.

An additionally sad element to this brilliant film that is going to win many 2018 film awards is this: Audrey passed away the night before the movie premiered.  

So I see this film the other day, and I read about Audrey's passing the next night.  I go for a long walk in the dark, and reflect on what she means to cinema, and the world, and her friends and family.  And I think about my own life too.  And then I go home and think, "man...if I could be...just a fraction of what she is and who she is....and what she leaves us...I will leave this world a better place, too."  And I walk home hopeful, and start working on one of my scripts, and can;t help but think about her every few minutes, and how her stories and scripts and directed films put hundreds of millions of hours of happiness and hope into the lives of us people who are part of this thing known as The Human Condition.  And I think....how lucky we are to be born in a world where we have the opportunity to make a lasting mark...and how we persevere through our struggles....and how we leave physically....and how we have a chance to always be here in spirit, because we made some lasting marks on those around us personally and on those around us outside of our circle....and I think....isn't this as good as it gets? To give this to others that Audrey gives like Audrey gives - isn't this as good as it gets?

I never knew her personally, and never saw her speak, but always feel like, when someone passes who influences/inspires me, and who leaves that kind of mark on the world...like that person never passes... and ultimately leaves a part of themselves in everyone in that sphere of their life and influence.  That's a reason why I write in the present tense about them, like I have here.  This of course doesn't provide any immediate comfort to those who are personally a part of her life,  and who are now in profound shock, and are shattered by this new emptiness in their lives, and who must absorb the anger, the pain, the sadness and the loss for the rest of their lives. But I, this stranger to Audrey and her family and friends, will always remember her works and her profound efforts for others, and will always be grateful for Audrey Wells.  Thank you for being you, Audrey Wells.  People like you make this world a better place.  

If you have any thoughts about her, or any of her works, or her efforts for women in film and screenwriting, or anything else, please share.  This will eventually make its way to her husband and daughter, and I am sure they will appreciate to read how she touched us cinema lovers, writers and other creatives.  RIP, Audrey Wells.   

 

Laurie Ashbourne

Wow, Bill -- a beautiful post for an amazing woman.

I used to have a stock answer whenever there was a situation where I was called upon to answer a "life purpose" question. Whether it be, what do you want to do with your life? How do you know when you've arrived? Do you have regrets? What if today was your last day? Or, how do you want people to think of you? And so on... The sort of 'round the table party talk that most people phone in. My answer was/is always the same...

The goal isn't to live forever, but to create something that will.

Over the last few years as I've seen close friends in the industry move on to the great beyond way too soon, that same line has become my "memorial" go to. And now, in that context it catches in my throat -- every time. It has gone on to be quoted and repurposed by other creatives wrestling with grief and loss. I had an amazing friend come up to me after a memorial service and tell me, "thank you, I've wrestled with whether I've done enough, and now I know." About 6 months later she took her life. I don't mean to get off the topic of Audrey -- in fact I think it is right on. On a micro level it is the creative person's constant struggle of whether the last rewrite/redo/retake will make their work impactful and "ready" to share. And I truly believe anyone in this industry (or any creative arts) also wonders at the macro subconscious level whether the latest presentation of the self is good enough -- because creatives are a little more in tune at an instinctual level -- when they are in top form.

Audrey certainly seemed to be in top form with her latest, THE HATE YOU GIVE. And I for one, hope that her family and friends can find peace in knowing that she has created amazing stories that will live forever and it is my belief (I didn't know her either) that because she instinctively knew she had created many things that will live on forever (whether it be her stories, friendships, love or daughter), she will rest in peace.

Here is a short snippet of her talking about adapting UNDER THE TUSCAN SUN at the Austin Film Festival:

http://hwcdn.libsyn.com/p/f/9/9/f99697f8850afb13/AUDREY_WELLS_PODCAST_3....

Monica Fowler

Bill,

Thank you for sharing your thoughts on Audrey Wells. I was just wondering how I could mourn a person I have never met, but you perfectly summarized how that is possible. It is through their legacy! It is the amazing mark they leave on the world with their words, their friendship, their courage, and the love they show.

Her work is incredible and will leave a lasting effect on the people who are aspiring to be the kind of person she was. Whenever I see a show or movie that I love, I always think, "Man, I wish I would have written that." Her movie, The Hate You Give, made me feel this way. It is a reflection of a world many of us live in; one no one wanted to talk about before now. She truly captured the turmoil and internal struggle we face when dealing with sensitive situations such as these.

Because of Audrey, I feel empowered as a woman, a minority, and as a writer. Rest in Love, Audrey!!

Bill Costantini

Thank you Laurie, Monica, and Phillip. I really want this post to be something for her daughter and husband, and hope the good sentiments and expressions keep coming.

In my life, I am blessed to have had a really great family. I lived with three generations of my family I lived with a great-grandfather who was born in 1879 and who physically left in 1979, a few days shy of his 100th birthday. He shared a lot with me, and taught me a lot. So in a sense, he'll always be alive and always be a part of me. And that makes me, like....139 years old. No wonder why my body parts can really hurt at times.

So a while back, I made this collage of family photos that go back to the 1900's, and show my great-grandfather, my grandfather, my grandmother, my dad, my mom, my brother, our pets, and myself, in various stages of our lives. Physically, my brother and myself are the only ones still physically here. My mom physically left 11 months ago, my dad physically left 26 years ago, my grandmother physically left 27 years ago, and my grandfather physically left 42 years ago.

But they never really left me. The photo collage is in my bedroom, and I briefly talk to them every morning when I wake up, and every night before I go to bed. That might sound weird and flaky to some folks, which is okay. I'm a visual guy, and a spiritual guy, and they're still with me and guide me and support me every day. They'll always be here with me, and I feel that they help me in my times of struggle and self-doubt, and make me a better person. And everything good that I do for others - and I do quite a bit in a lot of different ways - is because of who I am: me and them. In my mind...that's how it should be for everyone: that everyone who has physically left is always with you, and is always alive around you and in you, and helps you always keep them alive in you, and helps make you a better person because of you, and them.

I'll probably go see The Hate U Give a few more times in the next week, because it's such a rich and important film. Those are the types of films that I see multiple times when they come out. I love seeing great films on big theater screens. I will always love that film, and many of her other great stories, and I will always love Audrey Wells. And I'm gonna add a picture of her to one of my storyboards, too, and make her part of my extended family, and hope that some of her spirit and her ways get infused into who I am as well.

Brian Shell

As a fan of the Japanese version of Shall We Dance, I understand that Ms. Audrey Wells had a tough task ahead to tackle its translation for American audiences, and her work moved me to tears. Well done my dear... shall we dance?

Beth Fox Heisinger

Wonderful post, Bill. Thanks for this. :) Audrey Wells... wow, what an incredible person and creative force. She will be dearly missed. Her work certainly shows the importance and impact that storytelling and film can have on people—its resonance and reflection of ourselves. Looking forward to revisiting some of her older work and taking my family to see her latest adaptation, The Hate U Give. Her legacy lives on. :)

Phil Parker

A remarkable person. Thanks for posting this, Bill.

Jorge J Prieto

Amazing work she leaves behind as part of her legacy as a screenwriter. Loved all the films you cited. RIP.

Jacob Buterbaugh

Sorry to hear of her passing. She did some great work, and it sounds like she was a pretty amazing person.

Adam Harper

A touching post Bill, and so many great comments here. Audrey certainly knew how to make people feel things through her writing. That's why we do what we do. The Hate U Give sounds like a vital film right now, it's so sad that she's not with us to see its success. Audrey's writing, and her voice within it is still here to guide us. RIP

Harriet Miller

What a great post, Bill.

I have to admit, up until October 4 I hadn't heard of Audrey Wells, nor was I familiar with her works, or, in fact, her involvement in some of the films I've seen in the past. Seeing some of the tributes posted online, talking extensively about her work and how she gave voice and representation to the disadvantaged and unheard groups in society, I really felt a connection with her. Not because we've accomplished the same, but because one day I hope to have had the same lasting impact that she has had on so many people. I can whole-heartedly say, that if I were to accomplish only a quarter of what Audrey has in my life time, I could die satisfied with what I'd done for the improvement of human life.

It can be very weird to think about how something as small as a film, and the short time it takes to take in all that a film has to say, can leave such a long lasting impact on the people that watch it. For that, I am grateful. Especially when the film depicts the views and viewpoints that Audrey was able to show.

I will 110% be going to see 'The Hate U Give' when it comes out in the UK - heck, I'll even go alone if I have to... The more I think about it, the more I think it'd be appropriate to go alone, so that I can fully concentrate on the film, the meaning, and the amazing woman behind the script.

RIP Audrey Wells.

Bill Costantini

Man....thanks everybody so far....you're all great people.

Harriet...just to riff on what you said about watching films...when I lived in L.A., there'd be a lot of people at the theater, alone and in deep thought, taking notes, or talking into their tape recorders, while a film played. After really good scenes, or really great dialogue lines, people would say things in part frustration/part admiration...things like "man!" or "damn!" And you always knew what that meant, and what they did for a living, or aspired to become. It was like a show within the show, at least for me.

Other people would be holding up their hand with their thumb and index finger forming a circle and viewing the big screen image through that circle, and sometimes panning....and you knew what they did for a living, or aspired to become, too.

Yeah...L.A. is great. Absolutely great, all things considered. Being a writer is great. Being any type of creative is great. Creatives bring joy to the world, and keep this place going. Us, and bees. Creatives and bees keep this place going. But nice words so far, everybody. You're all great people. Keep them coming, please.

Emily Ann Jefferson

I love the fact that she was a fighter for female rights in the screenwriting industry.

Nina Ahuna

Amazing words, Bill!

Last week, I recall reading about Audrey in New York Times. As a woman, a minority, and a screenwriter, I shed some tears, at the loss of such an inspiration to the Cinema World. Seeing the Trailer for 'The Hate U Give,' really speaks volume of who she is, the message she relays and her impact on the world. Just from reading about her, watching her projects and seeing her family's comments shows how wonderful she was. Much love, light, and blessing to Brian, Tatiana and the rest of the family members during this difficult time.

RIP Audrey Wells! Thank you for inspiring and motivating!

Martina Cook

It’s really emotional to read the affection, love and inspiration so many people shared in memory of Audrey Wells. She was an exceptional creative, capable of showcasing humanity through storytelling. She gave a voice to women in movies that was different from the shallow stereotype some films made us used to. Women’s stories, which is my chosen path. So all I can say is thank you Audrey for your hard work, your fighting, and the love you gave to this industry that sometimes rejects us, and sometimes makes us feel a bit all like stars...shine bright upon us, you left a legacy that us, movie lovers, won’t forget. Arrivederci, Audrey. Ciao.

Jean Buschmann

Such a moving tribute for a champion storyteller. Her scripts spoke volumes about who she was as a writer, woman, and human being. A SHE-ro for sure, and a true artist able to break barriers, reach through screens, and touch souls. - What an honor, privilege, blessing, and gift! I hope her family takes comfort in knowing how respected and admired she was. My thoughts and prayers are with them. She will live on through her work, and through the seeds of inspiration she planted in our hearts.

Sam Borowski

I'm not sure my words can do Audrey Wells justice. She battled her illness over the last five and a half years. Reminds me of the battle my own mother had (different illness, but she fought it for a long time like Audrey). Amazingly, she never let this illness stop her or apparently douse her spirit. The recent movie, The Hate U Give, opened in limited release last Friday. Tragically, Audrey passed a day before it opened. But, rather than think about the sadness of her death, I choose to reflect on the power of her life. She was known for her strong and bold female characters. Just look at her debut script, The Truth About Cats and Dogs, one of my favorites. It was also one of the few movies that really captured Jeanine Garofalo's charm, playing Abby, a radio talk-show host who has such low self-esteem to meet one of her callers, Brian, that she asks her new neighbor, Noelle (Uma Thurman) to impersonate her. The movie had heart and it had charm. And, we really grow to root for Abby. But, again, we cared about all of Audrey's characters. She adapted Frances Mayes' novel, Under The Tuscan Sun: At Home in Italy and directed it under the shortened title, Under The Tuscan Sun. The autobiographical lead character, Frances, played by Diane Lane is a woman who overcomes, heartbreak and betrayal in her divorce by impulsively buying a villa in Tuscany. And, if you had a heart, you HAD to root for Frances. Besides crafting the script, Audrey's work behind the camera was excellent. But, these are just a few examples of Wells' amazing work. Shall We Dance was another romantic comedy of Wells', where the characters were well drawn out. She was a constant voice for women in this industry and she was a definite voice of empowerment for females and other voices that were underrepresented. Perhaps most importantly, she did all this while being a loving mother and wife. She was so important to SO MANY people. She stood for something in a business where many stand for nothing. She was way too young. We lost her way too soon. Rest in Peace and GOD BLESS, Audrey. My PRAYERS go out to her husband Bryan and her daughter, Tatiana.

Peter Roach

I used to think she wrote little movies, but I remember them. Funny, how I remember the stories in her movies years after viewing. There was something in each that spoke to the human condition. It takes talent to tug at people's hearts.

Sentimentality, I wish I had that.

Erik Jacobsen

Audrey Wells, a human of such wisdom, strength and love; she will forever live on. While in this world she could not help but to empower others. She is an example of how I want to be.

Patricia Poulos

I did not know her or of her so I feel quite out of my depth for this seemingly wonderful woman who obviously touched so many. One of my mum's favourite movies was Under the Tuscan Sun so at least I enjoyed some of her work. My deepest sympathies to her husband, daughter and extended family. God Bless them and keep them strong in their memory of her.

Patricia Poulos

Thank you all for sharing your knowledge of Audrey Wells with me. I am all the better for it.

Patricia Poulos

Thank you Bill Costantini for the post.

Bill Costantini

Great thoughts every one, keep them coming, please.

Sam's insightful thoughts on The Truth About Cats and Dogs bring back some memories. Womens' roles in films were starting to change around then, just as womens' roles in American society were starting to change. Prior to the 1990's...well...we all know how women were usually portrayed in film: they were mainly there as supporting characters. I guess Nora Ephron's films first started to break down that door, and Audrey was kinda like her sister in that regard, and her stories were right there with Nora's on the big screen a few years later. In fact, when i first saw Audrey's photo last week, I briefly thought she was Nora Ephron. They look like sisters.

I first saw The Truth About Cats and Dogs with my then-girlfriend, who was a lot smarter than me. Man...they're always a lot smarter than me, and I sure know how to pick them.. It was around the mid-1990's, and we saw a film just about every week. We'd talk about the film afterwards, and the conversations were always short, because like...there was always only one person to talk about, and that was usually the male protagonist. And maybe the male villain, too.

But then things started changing. The female supporting character to the male protagonist was starting to become equal, and just like in my life, even smarter, and.more intellectually superior to men.

And our post-film conversations started changing, too: they were getting longer, and they were getting more balanced between the male and female characters.

I know that...when you look at the state of cinema today...those balances haven't progressed as drastically from the mid 1990's to the current date (a 20-year span) like they did from the mid-1970's to the mid-1990's, but those film doors - like societal doors - really started swinging back then, and mostly because of people like Nora Ephron, Audrey, and Shelly Lansing behind the scenes, and because of people like Jane Fonda, Faye Dunaway, and Glenn Close on the screen. Others were a part of that first wave of Stronger and More Equal Women in Film, too, but I'm a little tipsy here at 3:30 a.m. on a Friday night/Saturday morning, and my memory is a bit fuzzy right now. Corrections would be welcomed.

Kinda sad...not kinda...but REALLY SAD...how Katherine Hepburn was in a lot of equal roles way back in the day...and then there was like this long lull...where "smart women in film" in the 1940's - 1960's were often scheming and even diabolical...and then after the social revolution in the 1970's...and thanks to that first wave of intellectual feminists... things started to slowly bubble in life at home, in the workplace, and in life on the screen....and Nora Ephron and Audrey Wells turned that burner to high, and really got that flame going hotter and stronger for women in film today.

Man....to even be having a conversation like this...just makes me feel bad as a man and as a human, all things being equal. Because they're not "all things equal"...even now. But they at least are better, and Audrey Wells is a big part of why, how and when things got better, and continue to get better every day.

Kinda my Drunk History Lesson for the younger women who may be reading this and who may not be aware of how much things have changed in those years before they were born, and in those years between my 20's and 40's and now...I know at least a few younger women are reading this.....and I hope my Drunk History Lesson didn't distort the period and the evolutions too much. You're all smarter than me anyway...like the women in my life always have been....but it's pretty accurate. And to the young women today....Audrey Wells really should be an important figure for you, and not just because of her great writing and great story telling and great directing...but because of how she helped open that door...like a great fighter....and how she helped make those post-film conversations between a boyfriend and his girlfriend more balanced and more longer. And just a little tip from a long-time boxer....being a great fighter is like maybe 20% strength/skill...and like 80% fearlessness. Anybody can build up and be strong...but without courage and fearlessness...anybody who is just physically strong/skilled always get beat. I didn't know her personally, but I bet she was pretty freaking fearless. She had to be.

So these are some of the reasons why loving and caring - and fearless - people like Audrey Wells never really leave us after they physically pass from this earth, and will always be so important to women specifically, art specifically, and the world specifically. What a great combination: Great Artist; Great Warrior; Great Pioneer; Great Truth-Teller. Man...what a glorious person, you know? Noble Warrior....the greatest character archetype of all. That's as good as it gets in life. Noble Warrior.

This got a little longer than intended, and I apologize for that. And I'm a bit tipsy, and my head is pounding, and I hope I didn't mess any of the facts up her. If I did, I pre-apologize for that (And I didn't drive home, in case you're wondering. Now I'm gonna go...Chet Baker's Almost Blue is playing. and my guitar and keyboard are a 'calling.)

Thank you all for your comments, and please keep them coming. We love you, Audrey, and always will. And Nora, too. Gimme 1,000 people like Audrey and Nora, and we could probably fix all the wrongs in this world, and probably pretty quickly, too.

Rosalind Winton

Bill

I never knew her, but your words give me a great sense of what kind of person Audrey was. A gift to the world and an inspiration to all those that knew her or her works. She leaves an amazing legacy that I'm sure will live on forever.

JJ Frey PhD

Bill, thanks for sharing your remembrance on Audrey Wells.

I wish I could have interacted with her.

Heartbreaking, Audrey Wells will be remembered as a loving angel, as well as for her tiresome efforts on diversity.

I will re-watch The Truth About Cats & Dogs, and Under the Tuscan Sun. I will see The Hate U Give, I hope all of us will.

My regards to family, colleagues, and friends.

Rob Jones

RIP to an immense talent. Examing careers like hers are more important now then ever.

Matthew H Emma

Diversity in any industry (especially the creative arts) is important and the untimely loss of anyone who strives to increase its presence and end hate and prejudice is a tragic one. RIP Ms. Wells.

Rayner Guerra

I still remember the movie Jeorge of the jungle. She knew how to write a movie so that everyone could see it.

LindaAnn Loschiavo

Since even the Motion Picture Academy seems to believe that all great screenwriters are male, I was happy to see this tribute by our own Bill Costantini. Audrey Wells, who died at 58, was the screenwriter behind quite a few motion pictures including “The Hate U Give,” which premiered Friday. A role model as well as a prolific screenwriter who worked for decades, Audrey Wells was known for strong, vibrant female characters.

“The Truth About Cats and Dogs" [1996] starred Janeane Garofalo & Uma Thurman as mismatched besties. "Under the Tuscan Sun" [2003] starred Diane Lane and this rom-com was written, directed, and produced by Audrey Wells based on a memoir by Frances Mayes.

This weekend I am wrapping up my final on-camera interviews for my documentary, "In the Footsteps of Texas Guinan," having finally persuaded her relatives to travel to NYC to take part in this project - - so I haven't seen Audrey Wells' final film yet - - but I admired her focus on strong female protagonists and may she score some posthumous awards because she darn well deserves to.

Thanks, Bill.

Bill Costantini

Thank you, latest group of friends. You're all great people.

I want to especially thank LindaAnn, who took time out from her merry-go-round of a day while shooting her documentary in that merry-go-round of the city that never sleeps. Mary "Texas" Guinan was quite the Noble Warrior, too. She was a filmmaker 101 years ago, and a star of western movies. She went from being "The Queen of the West" to being "The Queen of the Speakeasy's" in NYC during Prohibition, and battled many a patron and many a copper during that time. Future major film stars worked at her club as dancers. During the Century of Progress in Chicago, Texas and over 1,000 other hotel guests at The Congress Hotel - which is 10 blocks from where I grew up - contracted dysentery because of corroded plumbing in the hotel, and many of them died, including Texas. She was 49. If you saw the film The Cotton Club, the character Vera, played by Diane Lane, was based on her, as were another half-dozen or so film characters over the years, and also the character Velma in the musical Chicago. That Texas was quite the person, and I can't wait to see LindaAnn's documentary.

I have a feeling that Texas and Audrey are both watching LindaAnn while she makes her film, and maybe even sending her a little spiritual guidance, too. I know this film has been a long labor of love of LindaAnn's, and has taken quite a bit of her blood, sweat and tears, as all major projects tend to do. Kudos to you for your passion, dedication and perseverance to your art and craft, LindaAnn. You are a Noble Warrior, too, just like your Sister Filmmakers Texas Guinan and Audrey Wells.

Keep the good thoughts and great insights coming, folks. I know that the family and friends of Audrey Wells will really appreciate reading this.

Mark Heartford

Screenwriting : Audrey Wells (April 29, 1960 - October 4, 2018) I can only know her from her work as I never meet her, but to her family and friends and the audience who laughed and cried at her stories she will be missed and loved. I like to think and hope that the life she lived , lives on in others.

Rachel Walker

Hi Bill:-) Thank you for allowing me/all of us to share in this greif, to commune, grow in each others presence as we reflect on the joy and pain that living brings us. I am so sorry to hear of Audrey Wells passing at such a young age, when her daughter and husband still need her. I'm so sorry. I did not know her personally but I have watched several of her creations and so I have met her presence and she has left us this. Perhaps her last film will be very special as her personal situation would have burned off the dross of life and all that matters remained. I am sure she has something to say here. She has challenged life and probabilities, continued beyond the pain that takes the breathe of the brave. If I can say to the family...especially her daughter ...lots and lots of love to you:-) If I could I would say that with a hug. Thank you so much for sharing your mamma with us:-) love Rachel :-)

Divij Kak

Hi Bill, lovely post on Audrey Wells. It truly touched my heart and I'm sad to hear that she has passed away. I also didn't know too much about her but I have seen her film, "Shall We Dance" and was so smitten by it. It struck a chord with me and I found the film to be inspirational and a real feel good film and loved the dialogues too of it. As far as i remember Richard Gere was learning how to dance from a female dancing instructor and everything about the film was done very beautifully and aesthetically.

I remember leaving the theater happy, carefree and inspired that day. She was a lovely person. RIP Audrey Wells!

Patricia Poulos

Bill Costantini. As I read the tributes to Audrey Wells my heart is warmed by the out-pouring of caring tributes from this wonderful Stage32 community. By your tribute you have brought so many together. I'm grateful to you and to RB for making it possible.

LindaAnn Loschiavo

I agree with my friend Aray Brown - - - - my condolences to the loved ones Audrey Wells left behind. . . . . #Cancer is the Big Kahuna. I nursed my mother, as she battled "the unbeatable enemy" in vain, dealing with a new loss every day 'til her last breath. You think you can direct and "stage manage" the disease but you can't. Many many thanks to Bill Costantini for beginning this heartfelt tribute.

Bill Costantini

Coping with the loss of a loved one is one of the most difficult journeys that we encounter in our lifetimes. When I have been on that journey, at times I didn't eat; I didn't sleep; I forgot things; I couldn't work effectively; I blew through red lights; I battled and endured the stages of grief; I had bad dreams; I got into fights with strangers over things like a parking space; I took out my angers on others who were close to me; I got arrested in two countries; I almost lost jobs; I blamed myself for not doing certain things better; I fell into substance abuse trappings; and I greatly struggled during those first holidays, first birthdays, and going to those places that were special, for the first times .....those "first everythings" are such a struggle.. My mom passed away last Halloween, and that's going to be a really tough day for me, I can tell you right now. And she loved to give candy to the kids, and they loved her for many other reasons, too. Those "first everythings" are just so damn tough. Really, really tough.

I encountered all these struggles because the rest of my life instantly changed. I could easily lose myself during these times. - for awhile, or for months. Our body chemicals change during that initial period, and our minds gets altered. And I have to remind yourself....this is natural...and this is a process...and my loved one wants me to get through this in the best ways,, and recover, and go on with my life in the best ways that I can while I'm still here on this blessed earth.

Think about all of the great films that deal with loss, and the consequences of those losses. There are many of them.

I've lost a lot of loving people in my life, and have literally closed the eyes of six of my relatives, and a couple of strangers in an accident, too. Having a great support group of friends and family is pretty essential to coping and surviving, and has always helped me. So has my spirituality. So has writing, music, comedy clubs, kids, pets, growing roses, boxing, fine art and film. So has my work. So has Dr. Bernie Siegel's books. So has When Bad Things Happen to Good People by Harold Kushner, and Joan Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking. Being involved in organizations that address certain medical issues, and that help patients and surviving family members, has helped me, too. Having healthy hobbies has helped me. Walking alone at night has helped me. Looking up at the stars in the sky has helped me.

And even 40 years after my great-grandfather passed away, there are still places that I can't go to, and they were our favorite places. Maybe one day, though. Maybe one blessed day.

Keep all the great thoughts and comments coming, folks....Audrey Wells will always be an important person to all of us.

Paul Zeidman

One of the sad truths about screenwriting is that except for a few exceptions, the general public doesn't know (or really care) who wrote what films. Those of us trying to make it/break into that field dream of the day our name shows up on the screen, preceded by those immortal words "Written By..."

But we don't do it for the glory or the recognition. We do it because we love to write. We want to tell stories that entertain. Another sad truth is that of all the writers striving to make a living at it, only a very small percentage will actually be able to.

Audrey Wells was one of the lucky ones. Not only did she establish a career as a filmmaker and screenwriter, she was able to do so within a wide variety of genres, and over an impressive amount of time. But she also took advantage of her success and used it to make things better for others.

Like many of the commenters, I never had the opportunity to meet Audrey or hear her speak, but the outpouring of love and sentiment for her following her premature passing definitely shows that not only was she respected for talent and abilities, but also for the kind of person she chose to live as. Someone willing to help out. Someone trying to improve things for as many people as possible.

She sounds like she was a truly amazing person, and I sincerely offer my deepest condolences to her family. She will live on in our memories.

Linda Perkins

I've truly admired Audrey's screenwriting career/voice for the voiceless. RESILENCE, was so key for me after witnessing those near and dear to my heart take their final journey. Their fortitude has been a blessing for me to carry on and I pray the same for Audrey's loved ones.

Niksa Maric

I've never met Audrey Wells but when a beautiful creative mind dies, it's a tragedy and a loss. A memory of her can only die if someone presses the refresh button so let's make sure we never press it. My condolences to her family.

Fiona Faith Ross

It's always sad when a creative flame is snuffed out. Audrey Wells wrote in genres I aspire to have success in, so I am a huge admirer of her work. Although her masterpieces live on, she will be sorely missed. R.I.P. Condolences to family and friends.

Sue Lange

I'd never gotten the chance to meet Ms. Wells, but she was a giant and truly inspirational. Her legacy will live on.

Daniel Benshana

I wish her family long lives

David Ingrassano

Audrey....I'm looking for a guardian angel to help me in my screenwriting endeavors....

Lesa Babb

Damn. No more Audrey Wells movies. (Okay so I totally ripped that off from Ron Howard... on the passing of legendary director Tony Scott. Audrey Wells, I feel deserves no less lamentation. Audrey didn’t confine herself to ‘women’s movies’; she wrote movies that girls and boys of all ages could enjoy. ( The Truth About Cats and Dogs? Why didn’t I think of that?! ) The worst part of losing her at such a tender age...? The lovely, gifted Mrs. Wells left before we got a chance to say a proper ‘hello.’ The up side of this, if there is one, is that we never have to say the inevitable good bye. Thankfully her lively spirit lives on... in in the lives she touched, on screen and off. (Including mine!) What a legacy she leaves... Audrey, I hope you are one of the five people I get to meet in Heaven. You are an inspiration to human beings everywhere and especially to screenwriters like me. God bless your family, friends and colleagues. ❤️

Lesa Babb

Please do encourage others to refrain from politicizing this woman’s passing. Something in me strongly suspects that a woman of Mrs. Wells’ caliber and character would want it that way.

Izzibella Beau

First, to family and friends, so sorry for your loss. To the film industry, a great writer and storyteller was taken away way too soon. Audrey will be remembered for many generations to come. Her works will be looked back upon by those just beginning and wonder how they can achieve such greatness. I know that times are difficult right now, but we all have her greatness to look back upon and know that she is smiling down on everyone right now.

Lisa Clemens

Audrey Wells and my sister were both born the same year, which made her passing truly hit home in regard to how young she was and how much more she could have done. Like others gone too soon, we'll never know what else she had to offer. But at least we have her work, forever preserved on film. over twenty years of comedies that made us laugh, thought provoking dramas that made us aware, and more. I can only hope to make the impact she has - to entertain and make a difference - even if it means to breing a smile or tear to an audience member. She'll be missed. And we'll always be inspired.

Ashok Shital

It's a huge loss to all of us who admire the good work of talented screen writers and directors of her stature. May her soul rest in peace! I didn't know so many things about her that you mentioned in your mail Bill. Thanks for the mail! We all are going to miss her truly!

Charles Mathews

To be a writer, and a wholehearted writer as Audrey is an innate gift that not many people take initiative to share nor accommodate as she did; fighting for the planet and its marginalised hosts, and women is a noble course. My condolences

Bill Costantini

Thank you Paul, Linda, Niksa, Fiona, Sue, Daniel, David, Lesa, Izzibella, Lisa, Ashok, and Charles for your beautiful thoughts. I was originally thinking we'd have 100 great people contribute to this by Friday, and now I'm thinking it's going to be more like 200. And if everyone here reaches out to some of their Stage32 friends and lets them know about this, I bet it could be even more, and I would really appreciate that. We're writers, and even though most/all of us didn't personally know Audrey, we know how important she is to all of us, and how important family is to all of us, and how important support is to all of us. Thanks again, everybody.

Evelyn von Warnitz

May her unforgettable work and inspiration she gave be continued by alive great female writers. Even her work will stay in eternity. Blessings and my condolence to her family. May strength be with them during the following days. We receive gifts in our lives, but it is the greatest challenge of life to learn to let those gifts of blessing go....

Monica Fowler

It's a beautiful thing to read all the wonderful messages about Audrey. I went back and did more research on her and from what I've learned, she was truly a fighter and go-getter. I read she got her start years ago as a DJ. From my understanding, she knew nothing about Jazz, but the manager told her to play the greatest hits and she found all the records that were worn and torn and played those. The rest is history!

She has empowered so many people, on so many levels, and even after her passing, she continues to do so. Learning more about her gave me a renewed drive in regards to following my passion. There are so many ways I can relate to her. She was an awesome mother and seemed to have found a balance between family and career. While we're chasing the dream, it might become easy to miss out on the things happening around you. I'll admit, I've dropped the ball more times than I'd like to admit. It can be a struggle to juggle it all, but finding that sweet, sweet rhythm in life is important. And seeing people like Audrey do what was needed, without taking away from the other part of her life, is inspirational. Sometimes that motivation can come from unexpected places! Audrey, you will be missed...

Monica

Kimberly Ruzich

Audrey was a gifted writer with a real talent for creating strong and real women with heart.To this day, "The Truth About Cats and Dogs" remains a favorite of mine. She is a true role model and study in strength for new and existing female writers everywhere.

Bill Hartin

I am honored and sadly humbled to offer a few words on Audrey's passing and our "six-degrees" of separation relationship. Though we never met in person, she touched my life with the insights her writing provided and opened my eyes to a new writing perspective.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, after reading her, "Under The Tuscan Sun," I wrote, "Write Like A Woman" on a post-it note and stuck to to my computer monitor to remind me to avoid writing from a purely male perspective. A short time later, I edited that post-it note with, "Write like Audrey" - a worthy though unattainable goal. I will miss her "words matter" writing approach. Here's to you, Audrey.

Christian Pius

In a world where only a handful of women stand for truth, justice and equality she had to depart. This is truly sad. To learn about her genius, how it impacted and is impacting, makes me feel incredibly hopeless about when the universe will birth another star.

An eulogy isn't just what she is due. The world must carry on her legacy. The world must walk in the path of discovery, the discovery of self and others.

I beseech her loved ones not to feel loss, but joy, joy of a new born because she has birth an Audrey in me, in the rest who uphold her work as a beacon of light.

RIP, Audrey Wells.

Thank you, Bill Constatini. It takes a kind heart to water a hibiscus in Hamattan.

Bill Costantini

Those are some really great comments, Evelyn, Monica, Kimberly, Bill and Christian.

Female writers....and minority-female writers....and female writers who are also mothers and who have regular jobs.....man...I can never feel what life is like inside your bodies, and all the different types of difficulties that you encounter/have encountered in your lives...but I can kinda understand, I guess, at least a little....you ladies rock, rock and rock some more. Every day.

And Christian....here's a guy that lives 8,000 miles away from L.A....and knows who Audrey Wells is. I mean...how freakin' oool is that? Does that really underscore the importance of cinema in our lives...and to the world....or what?

Film..music...painting...etc, etc....Art is what unites us all...and keeps a lot of positive light in a world that is really dark at times.

Please keep the great comments coming...and to the many of you who don't really post here that much...if at all....an extra thank you from me for that, and I look forward to you all contributing more insightful and positive comments here in the Stage32 forums in the future.

Heather Hale

R.I.P. Audrey. Thanks for doing this Bill.

James Drago

This is a beautiful post Bill. Thank you.

Larry DeGala

I apologize if I am not familiar with the work of the late Audrey Wells. I wish to pay respect to a great mind who has left us too soon.

Before the #MeToo movement began, I developed a women-centric feature thriller "Killers at Play" in 2013 and completed post production in mid-2014. I ran into a double-wall barrier where 1) women-centric films with a female lead and a female villain were not openly accepted and 2) that being a male director spearheading a women's cinematic movement, I found myself sidelined and immediately silenced. Overseas I took the 2015 Van Gogh Award for Best Thriller at the Amsterdam International Film Festival for "Killers at Play." It resonated with recent Dutch events.

Later I was told by a fellow (female) producer I could not write a great love story because I was a man. Being a man made me unable to access the sensitivities and nuances of a good romance. "Real Men" were not allowed to have broken hearts. I recently penned a 117-page romance "All My Shades of Blue," a derivative of a 2006 novella "Animalia Angelicus" which asked: Do Cats and Dogs Go To Heaven." This new romance asks the question: can cats and dogs go to Mars. When struggling with drafts to first revision, I found it very difficult to keep my eyes dry.

I am also a person of color. Filipinos normally go into a career in medicine or other profession. I was happy when Filipino DP Matty Libatique had two films on this given weekend where they ranked #1 and #2 in the box office, "A Star is Born" and "Venom," respectively. I familiarize myself in all aspects of production but have found my works constantly sidelined because of my color or lack of multi-generational background in the entertainment industry. And yet I soldier on.

What I could possibly relate most with Audrey Wells is that as a writer, no one realizes the beautiful vision until it is much too late. Unfortunately, we as writers will face such adversity; it will always be like that into time immemorial. However, our passion and drive will overcome. Our occupation is a love-hate relationship. It can be lonely and frustrating. Yet, we braved on and steeled our resolve. And when our time is up, our only comfort is-- we gave it our best. We really did.

Thank you, Bill Costantini, for this opportunity pay respects to a great writer. A woman writer.

Christian Pius

Thank you once more, Bill. You are 100% right about the place of cinema and art in the world and lives of countless individuals. I, for instance, have my life revolve around these things. With this post, you reminded us the true vein of the craft.

Kevin Carothers

I think it's so sad when we lose talented people to cancer.

Of all her movies, I liked The Truth About Cats and Dogs the best but I want to see The Hate you Give.

Frankly, I did not know she had cancer and was shocked - especially when I learned she died the day after The Hate you Give was released the day after she died.

Like prolly most posting here, I have a a relationship with cancer too. In fact my profile pic was taken on my cellphone the day my mom died from T-cell lymphoma. I photoshopped the tears out.

Christa M. Chiriaco

Thanks, Bill. I'm most familiar with Audrey's Under the Tuscan Sun, but geez, what a film that has crossed my mind hundreds of times and influenced my very own life! That change comes out of heartache you didn't expect and family is built out of those you choose to love and make family. I look forward to seeing The Hate U Give. The posters are up everywhere. Thank you for being an inspiration, Ms. Wells!

Ruby Kleinschmidt

Audrey Wells was a woman ahead of her time. She was able to promote women as a force in the filmmaking industry. I am saddened by her loss, I am sure her work will go on.

Bill Costantini

Thank you Heather, James, Larry, Christian, Kevin, Christa, and Ruby. You guys, like all those before you in this tribute to a wonderful person who will be with us forever, really rock. And you also jazz, too. I must say "jazz" now, too, since Moni mentioned that Audrey was also a DJ at a jazz radio station. You all jazz, too.

Just to riff a little on what a few of you said, cuz I"m sitting here listening to some Sonny Stitt C Jam Blues and getting in a riffin' mood.

Larry: man...you are such a Noble Warrior, too (you all are). But here you are...a writer/director who is living the dream that many of us have, and you come here and tell us your story about the adversities that you have faced, and how resilient you maintained. And I bet all those adversities made you even better and stronger. Thank you, Larry, for fighting for what you believe in, and for making the world a better place. And as an aside...I checked you out a little...man...you shot Killers at Play across the street from the hospital that I had spent a little time at last weekend. Small world, you know?

And it's a good thing I wasn't you back then, bro..and that I wasn't living in Nevada at the time....and that I wasn't having a bad day or week...and that I didn't have my assorted arsenal of legal things in my car trunk....because if I would have got caught...man...they give people 60 years in Nevada for stuff like that...and 60 years of oatmeal and an orange at 4:00 a.m.; a bologna sandwich and five cookies at 11:00 a.m.; and a cold slice of mystery meat and another orange at 5:00 p.m. wouldn't have rehabilitated me....I can tell you that, bro. No sir.

Heather, James, Christian, Kevin, and Ruby: you all rock..and jazz, too. And Kevin, sorry to hear about your mother and what she went through. My dad had a battle with Leukemia. He was diagnosed the same week that my internship ended at NBC-Chicago, where I grew up. I had three job offers in CA, and had around until that Friday to pick one. It was a Monday when that happened, and it was a week before Christmas, too. The first doctor said to us "you have Acute Myelogenous Leukemia, and you have about a year to live. Do you have any questions?" Seriously. That's how he said it. That was like 36 years ago, and I remember it like it was 36 seconds ago. Those exact words.

Questions? Like...you just shocked the fucking shit out of us, and you want to know if we have any fucking questions, you pasty-faced and compassionless cruel fucker? Really?

But that's how he said it. He was a great doctor, though, all things considered. You know how doctors have to deal....eight minutes with you...eight minutes with the next one...eight minutes with the next one...they can really have it rough. So I didn't take any of the jobs, and stayed with my family. And my dad fought like he did all his life, and never ever ever complained, and lived 11 years after the one-year prognosis. That was 25 years ago when he passed this world, and he is still with me in my life every day. He was 57, and both of his parents lived into their 90's, and so did his three brothers.

Christa: ain't that amazing...how art can inspire us humans? I mean...your recollections are so amazing...profound, actually....and yet so relatable. That's so great that Audrey's work has...I think it's safe to say...made you a better person for the rest of your life.

Audrey's film Guinevere made me a better person, too. I have the potential to be a real piece of shit at times when it comes to relationships. I realized how much I can be like the male protag (Connie) in that film. I've been him in my past, and more than once. But that film really opened my eyes to how I was at that specific moment. It was like looking in a mirror, and I really didn't like who I saw. It changed me a lot. No therapists' attempts were ever able to influence me enough for me to want to change. None of my relatives were able to do that. And none of my friends or girlfriends were able to do that. I didn't want to, of course.

But while watching Guinevere, I really really really did. It made me feel....so small....and so wrong. So completely and utterly wrong. Like I was a Dogs Playing Poker painting, pretending to be Picasso's Three Musicians. But Audrey wrote Guinevere, and she directed it, too. And it really made me examine myself while I was watching it, and it really helped me jump over that wall and change. (And don't anybody ever try to steal that painting line...it's in one of my copyrighted scripts and I know lawyers all over the U.S..)

But....shit....I paid like twelve bucks for two for that therapy appointment with Guinevere back then, and we even got a free tub of popcorn with it. The big tub, too, and not the cheap little box. But man.... I could have saved a bundle if I had skipped the therapy session and went straight to Guinevere. Man, I can be such an idiot at times, and in more ways than one..

When you start thinking....really thinking...about things that can quickly affect your life outside of the immediacy of face-to-face threats....like those dangerous "my life flashed before my eyes" moments that we sometimes face....I don't think anything other than those dangerous moments has the potential to change lives as easily and as quickly as great art. Think about that for a minute. Your favorite songs...and what they may make you realize about yourself. Your favorite tv shows...and what they may make you realize about yourself. Your favorite films...and what they may make you realize about yourself.

This is like the third Audrey film now, that was mentioned by people here, and that were life-changers -- and all were her screenplays, and not adaptations. And two of the three films were also directed by her. But man...life-changers. Freaking life-changers. And all because of a 90-minute encounter with an Audrey film on a movie screen. And that didn't cost you like 100 bucks a week for three years. Not including parking.

So when people say "how does someone live on forever?". Well....here's one right-in-front-of-our-eyes-on-a-theater-screen way. I'm sure a lot more people had life-changing realizations as a result of Audrey's ideas and stories and...you know... her lessons. They really can be considered lessons, and lessons that are also quite entertaining as well. Lessons that entertain. Entertainments that teach. And make some people have like, epiphanies, and that help them to change their lives. And I bet that those lessons will be learned by future generations, too, and will be life-changers for some of those future folks, too. And all for the price of a film ticket. And that might even come with a free tub of popcorn.

Isn't that as good as it gets, for an artist, you know? And for a person sitting in a theater seat? Yes, and yes. That's as good as it gets. Thank you again, Audrey - you rock and always will! And you jazz, too, and always will!

And you didn't cost me 100 bucks a week for like three years. Not including parking. Man, I'm so freaking pissed now! Well...not really....but, you know what I'm sayin'. Kinda. Heh-heh.

Keep them coming, please, folks. Keep them coming.

Natalee Branham

Thank you for beginning this chain! Audrey was such an amazing and talented writer whom I have nothing but the utmost respect for. When I found out that she would be adapting the novel "The Hate You Give" my heart dropped and then started fluttering with excitement.

I think we all know the current political climate and the horrible side effects that it has on people of color, so seeing Audrey, a white woman, willing to step up to tell a story from the BLACK FEMALE PERSPECTIVE about race and unjust killings of Black people in America..... lets just say she started a fire in me that will not die out.

Audrey taught me not to be afraid to tell stories that will raise the voices of the oppressed and to do so completely UNAPOLOGETICALLY and TRUTHFULLY no matter who it may rub the wrong way. Sadly, the film The Hate You Give was the first film I've seen in my 23 years of life that reflected my reality in such a human way. To the point where an old conservative colleague of mine reached out to me after seeing the film and just said: "I apologize, I get it."

We had fallen out due to the fact that he had become a major Trump Supporter and his new opinions were against everything I stood for! However, Audrey wrote The Hate You Give so well that he may have just taken his first step off of planet Trump and is hopefully on his way back down to earth. That alone showed me the power that screenwriters have, I hope to have an inkling of the power that Audrey had. May she rest peacefully <3

Vince Jeffers

Thanks for the e-mail Bill, I've never met Audrey and before looking her up on IMDB I didn't know the name. The thing about film that for a long time confused me is why some people make it in the industry and some don't. A lot of people have something to say but don't know how to say it. Some people will never get what it means to create their own opportunities in the business. After reading about Audrey and her contributions I feel I know her. "Faking it" to get a job as a DJ. There are other jobs she could have selected, but she had something she wanted to say. Then she made her own breaks. She did her homework to be better at what she was doing.Then she built relationships that supported her through out her career. Then she was a juror to hear what other people had to say and to help nurture them with some feed back. Win-Win. Audrey had a good body of work and was gaining momentum in her career. She left us way too soon. 58 is too damn young to pass away. Hopefully other people will take a moment out of their day to say a few kind words on her behalf. In a business that tends to be competitive more than collaborative at times, thanks for the e-mail and including me. I owe you one Bill.

Bill Costantini

Natalee: once again, another writer - you, this young woman from the other side of the country, and young enough to be Audrey's daughter, probably - just showed how powerful one single writer really is. You blew me away, and I don't blow easy, cuz you hit one of my buttons. If you ever run for political office, and call in all your chips...don't forget me, even though you don't me, this guy who used to run political campaigns in Chicago, and who takes great delights in not just beating his opponents, but in savagely beating his opponents into oblivion and extinction. You really rock, and you really jazz, too.

And I don't think Audrey is resting peacefully. She may take a few breaks now and then, like all great spirits need to do at times...but she is in you, and in many others, and always will be, as long as good people like you and everybody else who posted here are around. And you just added some more fuel to her hot fires. You go, Natalee! Branham 2020! (And how symbolic 2020..20 has many symbolic meanings...and 20-20 has a pretty important literal meaning, too, as you know.) Branham 2020!

Vince: you said it. She was brilliant in a lot of ways, and really clever when she had to be really clever, too. "Faking it" is not an easy thing to do, unless you're real when you fake it. But if you're fake when you're faking it, man...those scaredy-cat posers secrete a certain type of scent, and you can really smell that stuff, bro. (No disrespect to my kitty friends for saying "scaredy cat" Bad Bill!.) And you can check that out...fear really does have a smell, and us trained noses knows that the smell of fear is real.

And I bet all that experience in those areas helped to contribute to her directing skills, too, cuz sometimes a director has to take some of those actors aside and give them a "WTF" kinda pep talk. I bet she did that greatly as well. And she always had a lot of great actors in her movies - she chose well, and had a lot of innate ability and developed skills in those areas, too. But what an all-around great professional individual...man....you give me ten Audrey's, and my studio makes tons of great films, and tons of money, too. Not that I have a studio, but...hey Vince...let's talk about all that family land you inherited, and that's been kinda just sitting there for hundreds of years, and getting old.....okay? Heh-heh.

But you said it. And thanks for doing a little research on Audrey, too! You're a stud, bro.

Keep them coming, folks. Keep them coming. Your experiences and feelings are really something special, and everything that you've shared thus far is because of one person: Audrey Wells.

Petra Jurasova

Wow she was such a incredible woman. Bill you wrote such a exceptional article about her. You have such a nice character like she had. I just start research about her and I will take a look for every script anď movie what she did. Thank you Audrey for yourself. You will stay always between all of us. Big condolescence to her family- daughter and husband. ❤️❤️❤️❤️ R.I.P. Audrey

Willy Sanchez de Cos

An inspiring legacy. Family and close friends must feel really proud of her. RIP

Willem Lodewijk Elzenga

My condolences to her family and friends. She died way to young. RIP

Larry DeGala

Bill, I did not know you checked into Desert Springs Hospital. Hope you are in tip-top health. Yes, I filmed at the Bruce-Rochelle Apartments across the street. I filmed "Killers at Play" at six locations in Las Vegas. I used to be the rough-and-tumble apartment manager of Bruce-Rochelle Apartments and also completed the sale of the multi-family residential to the new owner who was gracious enough to rent us a two bedroom/two bathroom unit for the infamous "shower scene." At the end of each production day, we left all our crafty food for the impoverished residents of Bruce-Rochelle Apartments; many were on Section 8 and dealing with substance abuse and cast and crew really feel for them. We shot 22 days of principal photography with two cameras. Yes, it is a small world, Bill! And maybe we hope to do it again soon!

#TiffanyRoseThomas #AnthmWright #JedCurtis

Dain F. Turner

A real talent has passed through the heavens into another dimension leaving our world a little less bright. Rest in Peace, Audrey.

Bill Costantini

Petra, Willy, William, Larry (again), and Dain...thanks for you kind offerings. She sure is a great star, isn't she? (Larry...it wasn't for me...it was for a neighbor who I drive to places as needed.)

Keep them coming, folks, keep them coming, please.

John Pepin

If the goodness in humanity is the aggregate of our Human heartedness... then humanity was diminished by her passing.

Adam S. MacPherson

Thank you Bill for starting this blog!

I will start by admitting that I am quite unfamiliar with Mrs. Wells work. I have not seen any of the films she had written.

Premise of this reply is to state that it does NOT matter the gender, race, color, creed of an individual, creativity does not discriminate!

Elaine Haygood

Audrey was a real talent obviously. I really loved Under The Tuscan Sun. and I'm sitting here as someone who never met her desperately trying to find the right words.

And I have to then remind myself that for situations like this, words aren't always necessary.

So, to Audrey's family and friends, I will give you this Virtual Hug:

{{{{{{{{{{HUG}}}}}}}}}}

It'snot fancy or eloquent. But, it's all I got.

Marli Monroe

Audrey will forever be an inspiration. I wish I would have had the pleasure of meeting her. The Truth About Cats and Dogs will always be one of my go-to movies. Elaine Haygood, I think you expressed it well...Hugs to Audrey's family and friends.

Aalijah Amaro

I just saw The Hate U Give and it was amazing. I think writers of all types of genre and in general can draw from her as inspiration. This movie and many others she has done are all feel good movies but are so much more than that, they provide a message that audiences need to see. There aren't enough movies and writers out here taking this risk of conveying real world messages.

She will be remembered as a amazing woman and writer.

Mike W. Rogers

Aubrey Well's movies always asked us to be independent so to discover or rediscover the magic life always has waiting for us. Her latest work may show us how children are discovering our world today. The shift in tone from her previous movies to The Hate U Give should be noted and, to me, is made more poignant by her passing.

Eric Christopherson

This is such a sweet thread, and I don't have much to share but that the comments have produced a lot of emotions in me, including, surprisingly, a little anger. We, the US of A, open up our borders to two Jews fleeing Nazi Germany and one big result: the life of Audrey Wells. Take that xenophobes.

Bill Costantini

John, Adam, Elaine, Marli, Aalijah, Michael, Eric...those are some really great thoughts. Thanks, all - you rock, and you jazz.

I just wanna riff a little on what Eric conveyed....when I lived in L.A., I met a lot of people in my neighborhood who had fled Europe during those tragic times. Several had the tattoos with the green numbers on their arms. One of them shared with me that his entire family - 28 members - didn't make it. 28 members. Parents, brothers, sisters, kids. 28 of them..

So this man could have carried on the rest of his life in great anger...hating the world...falling into substance abuse...not becoming a productive human, etc. etc.

But he didn't do that. He chose to live the rest of his life, dedicated to the memory of his 28 family members, and with love, and honor, and compassion..

He became quite successful in America. His name is on food products all across North America. He now has a big family - like four generations of family after him. Last time I saw him...like 10 years ago..I asked him if I could write a story about him, and he told me "no", and that story was reserved for one of his grand kids, who was like 4 at the time. I coulda still wrote it, since most of it was public information, but I chose not to, in honor of him and his family - the family before him, and the family after him.

And that kid better write a good story one of these days, but I have a feeling he will.

I bet that Audrey's way of living was partly inspired by those who came before her, too, and I bet that her daughter will live that way, too.

Keep all the great comments for a great writer, a great fighter and a great human, coming, folks, please. Keep them coming, please.

Heather Grogan

I had never heard of Audrey Wells, and she seemed like quite the revolutionary. While I do appreciate the lengths that she and many others went to, to advocate for women in film, I don't see myself as a "Female Filmmaker." I see myself as a Filmmaker. I don't regard being female as a disability, or an excuse for anything. I certainly don't think I should get preferential treatment due to my gender. And perhaps it's because of great people like Ms Wells that I feel this way.

Rachel Walker

Love, honor, and compassion...He chose...That is human victory and qualities that will live on:-) Very beautiful.

Tony Ginn

Did not know her, but, what caused her death! To Young to leave us, but, I am sure her Legacy will never be forgotten. She is in God's Heaven now and her suffering has ceased! RIP!

Pamela Bolinder

A beautiful life that has touched many and made a remarkable contribution that will last throughout all eternity and time...

Romona Robinson

I had the opportunity to screen The Hate You Give weeks ahead of release date and was just so taken by the film and the strength of the writing (especially as an African-American) and anxiously thought that Audrey Wells' brain needed picking from all the screenwriters with dreams on social media. My hope was that the director, George Tillman could coax her... then was struck with the news of her passing... and was saddened at the thought that she missed out on how much her words touched people in the audience, how she encapsulated so much and wouldn't get to read my gushing words about how she invigorated me to keep at my writing. Please extend condolences to her family and let them know the pursuit of her craft was not in vain. She touched us.

Raughl Kevin Harris

She was such a wonderful and incredible woman and writer. My condolences to her family. She will always be with us through her amazing work.

Annie Mac

Bill, I've known you as a joker, yet the depth of your tribute and responses prove me wrong. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for shedding light into that amazing life passing and her work. Although I'd seen many of her films and they touched me in different ways, her name had escaped me, up to now. I was even going to pass on The Hate film. Now I'm making a point of going to see it, review it and encourage my friends and family to do so. Her husband and daughter must be incredibly proud to have shared their lives with such an empowering woman. May they find healing in the words of the many people whose life Audrey has touched. May they be blessed by her enduring spirit for ever more

Leontien Parlevliet

A touching post about a special woman and writer.. My condolences to her family.with this tragic loss

SR Kuy

So sorry to lose such a wonderful woman who helped so many people along the way. I hope her family will come to find peace in knowing how much good she has done.

Vicki Bawcombe

Thank you Bill - all the way from SouthAfrica. The resonant idea for me in your original post is that by making good entertainment we are changing lives - giving joy, waking people up to new ideas, engaging their feelings in a potent and lasting way. It's a big responsibility, but also gives a great sense of purpose. Today I will write with that sense of purpose.

Beverly Gandara

With respect for a lovely woman with extraordinary talent gone too soon. Condolences to her family, friends, and colleagues.

Bill Costantini

Thank you, Heather, Rachel, Tony, Pamela, Romona, Raughl, Annie, Leontien, SR, Vicki, Beverly...man...there's like people from three different continents in this group....talk about the power of film and the power of the Internet...and thank you to RB and to Stage32 and Amanda and all the other folks there and to Al Gore for helping to make all this happen....just wanna riff a little here....

....So Tony...who posted above....his grandfather was Joe Jordan, who was a legendary ragtime pianist,, and who helped usher in the jazz era, and who played quite a bit at the old Pekin Theater in Chicago back in the day..Sweetie Dear...Pekin Rag....two-steps...slow waltzes...rags...fox trots....Joe did them all...and not only helped usher in the jazz era...he also helped bring black music to Broadway....where he later played, too. From St. Louis...to Chicago...to Broadway. What a great artist..fighter...and citizen of the universe Joe Jordan was....like Audrey...with their hearts and their souls and their fingers.....and he overcame some amazing odds to get there. You think it's hard to sell a screenplay? Try doing what Joe Jordan did....man....

So when I was a little kid...I used to ride my bike down that block, about a mile from where I grew up....and my grandfather, whom I am named after....had Joe Jordan sheet music at home that he played along to on one of our pianos. And my great-grandfather...whose name is my middle name...had a bakery back in those days, a few blocks from the Pekin....and many of the black artists used to eat there. Joe Jordan, Louis Armstrong...they all ate there. And that bakery was on 26th and Wells Street.

Wells Street....Wells....man....and Audrey Wells was a DJ at a jazz station before her writing and film making career. And two of the guys who produced The Hate U Give...one went to film school a couple miles up the street from the Pekin...and the other was inspired to become a film maker after he saw a film (Cooley High) that was based on a school a couple more miles up the street.

If I wasn't all Italian....wasn't an artist...and wasn't a guy who is always kinda trying to make sense out of the universe....I would probably chalk all that up to being mere cosmic coincidences.....but I know better.

Keep them coming folks, please. Keep them coming.....and if you haven't seen The Hate U Give yet...here is the trailer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NXy0H-EZR5s

James Barker

The great thing about art is its ability to reach and affect people far outside one's typical sphere of influence. As Bill said, and excuse the length of the quote but I think it hits the mark:

"...her stories and scripts and directed films put hundreds of millions of hours of happiness and hope into the lives of us people who are part of this thing known as The Human Condition. And I think....how lucky we are to be born in a world where we have the opportunity to make a lasting mark...and how we persevere through our struggles....and how we leave physically....and how we have a chance to always be here in spirit, because we made some lasting marks on those around us personally and on those around us outside of our circle....and I think....isn't this as good as it gets? To give this to others that Audrey gives like Audrey gives - isn't this as good as it gets?"

Thank goodness Audrey chose the path she did. I'm sure she had here struggles and found it difficult to navigate from time to time, but that she accomplished so much with a sense of purpose is surely an inspiration to many.

Clevie J Padmore

Audrey Wells is a legend of her time. Her thoughts, stories and writing reflected in equality and an inspiration for other writers like herself such the LGBT writers. She may be gone in body but her spirit shall live in those who've been apart of her world. I'm one of those who have been touched and moved, giving me the courage to do what must be done and create a script that centers around LGBT and giving that community a hero to look up too as well

Rachel Walker

Oh Bill! That story sounds like a movie! I can picture it and all the wonderful smells from a bakery , and jazz legends at a time when the music scene was so lively! And wow! Audrey was right there in it all!! I can feel it! :-) Thank you for sharing such an inspirational moment to embrace! Drinking my coffee and feeling like a ..pastry!! :-)

Jean Buschmann

Just wanted to say that I was happy to see the film "The Hate U Give" in a packed theater last night. It was obvious that the audience was deeply affected by it. I love that the sensitive subject matter was presented from muliple points of view - while still showcasing the tragedy for what it was. Powerful. Effective. Honest. Moving. - Everything you could hope for in a socially-relevant film.

Kelley Christene Watson

Thank you, Bill. Audrey Wells is an inspiration. It is the work of women like her who motivate me to write my memoir: "the Preppy Vagrancy", and to chronicle a very difficult time in my life in the deep dark valley: "Domo Drama". Finally women characters are their people - just like in real life. Peace. Kelley

Nicole Jones

Thank you for this Bill!

Bill Costantini

Thank you James, Clevie, Rachel, Jean, Kelly, Nicole...you all really rock, and jazz too. Thank you again. I just wanna riff a little on that paragraph that James quoted me on...I hate to quote someone who quoted me...I don't even know what that's called...there must be a literary term for it or something....but that quote, like James noted, is, in a nutshell what life is about, you know?

Yes...Audrey was stricken with something very, very awful...my dad had Leukemia for eleven years...and I could still seem him in this sheet metal company he had...making the shells of the old Photomat booths that dotted America back in the 1960's - 1980's...and I can still see him trying to clean out this pipe out one day.....and he put his mouth on it...and sucked in...and ingested this chemical that is now known to cause Leukemia...which wasn't known back then, but it is known now...and I knew he was gonna get sick from that...when he did that....but not that sick....and a year later he was diagnosed with Leukemia and having a year to live..and he lived 11...and he passed away at 57...a year older than me now...and a year younger than Audrey...and he lived a great life...never complained...instilled in me a lot of great values...and was another family member of many family members who lived that way...and who passed away that way.

He didn't bring joy to the entire world...and didn't give people hundreds of millions of hours of joy like Audrey did...but he lived a great life...nobly...honorably...passionately...and with purpose....and with a lot of love for a lot of people..and they all loved him back...and to this day...25 years later....people tell me how he lives on in their memories..and he sure lives on in mine and makes me want to be like he was...every day....to be like him...and always do the right things...be a great person...and give to people in my life...those same kinds of joys...and those same kinds of codes to live by...like Audrey did...and like my dad did. And if I know my dad....I bet he's watching Audrey dance with my mom as I type this...saying "see how good all those people are in that topic of yours....you and my wife make a good team....we should take this show on the road"...that guy was just so great...and my mom, too. And Audrey, of course.

So a couple miles from my house...there is this memorial for this person that was hit by a car. She was like 16 when she got hit....it was the night after Thanksgiving, 2011...she was in the hospital for like 6 months...then rehab for like 6 months...then she had some setbacks...some more surgeries...and in January 2014 she had brain swelling...and she passed away.

She was a brilliant girl. A happy girl. A beautiful girl. Who never got to become a wife or spouse. Never got to have children or a career. Never got to go to college. Never got to finish high school. Never made it to her senior prom.

So she passed away like....what...four years...nine months ago....she would have been around 23 in a few months...she never even made it to 19....and she was such a brilliant, beautiful, and happy girl.

Some of us...we just don't get to...get there, you know? We don't get to be 90. Or 80. Or 70. Or 60.

Or 19. Or less. Some of us don't even make it out of our mother's alive. Some mothers die during childbirth. Sometimes the mother and the baby die together.

So I don't say this to try to make anyone feel good that Audrey made it to 58 instead of 19. Or that my dad made it to 57 instead of 19. Or that one of my cousins made it to 23. I just say it because...it's what you do here...and the memories that live on...through others...that keeps this spinning world a better place. That doesn't provide solace or kinda brainwash people hurt by losing loved ones...to kinda instantly feel better now and forever...because you don't....it's just...it's what happens in life. We all kinda know that, too. Or most of us do. Or sometimes we forget it...and remember it...and forget it...and remember it...over and over.

So this young girl...she passed away like almost five years ago...and to this day....a memorial is at the side of the road where she was hit. That's a lot of days. And the people in her life...all her friends...her family...neighbors...they go there and keep it clean. Every day. And it's like a mile from where the winds blow down from the hills every day, and where parts of her memorial can fly around every day. They keep her memory and love alive inside of them...and they created this lasting public symbol for her....for all to always see....that this is where Aliesha got hit...and this is where we as people have this....like...visual reminder of that. And we can go see it every day...and so can you drivers who drive by it. And maybe it will remind you to slow down and not treat this street like it's a highway. And maybe it will prevent you from accidentally hitting someone, like someone hit Aliesha.

I walk by there quite a bit. It's kinda hard to look at it at times. Sometimes it's not. Sometimes I'll walk around it...making sure everything is in place. And it's also kinda wonderful....to know how much she meant to so many people...and how she always lives in those peoples' hearts. It's also kinda wonderful to see how speeding cars slow down there, because it's a pretty big memorial...and people speed like everywhere they can these days. How many roadside memorials have you seen? I bet you've seen many. A few weeks ago, somebody was going 106 in a 40 mph zone because that person was late for work, crashed, and killed a 3-year old boy, and severely injured his parents. But...BANG!....that was all for that 3-year old boy. BANG! Just like that.

But I have a picture of Aliesha's memorial..and I have permission to put it here...and it's great that a bunch of new people....you all...will see it...and remember her now, too....Aleasha....and maybe include her in your hearts, too, and remember that....we're all here for a short time...like a blink of the universe's eye...and we all have a chance to do great things...however seemingly small they may be....or however large, like Audrey-Large...that they may be....and it's not what you take...it's what you leave....and when we leave...we can still leave a lot....and our family and friends and those we touched will miss us for sure...and will have some really bad days...and then some bad days...and then some good days/bad days...but they'll always have us forever...and even when we're gone....and they'll all be gone one day, too.

So here is Aleasha's memorial...and please remember her, too. She was a really good girl. And I don't know why the photo is so small here...but if you click on my profile...you'll see how big that memorial for Aleasha really is. It's big, and it will always be big. A lot of people will always make sure of that. And it's right over the Las Vegas wash, so it will never be developed for anything else.

And sorry for the length of this one.....I'll make them shorter next time...and look forward to many more replies coming this week. Keep them coming folks, please. Keep them coming.

Rachel Walker

Thank you Bill! Like Audrey, to use our gifts and talents, like Aleasha, whether big or small but not to waste our precious moments, but to share from the heart what we can:-) Have a beautiful day Bill and all:-) Rachel :-)!!!

Steven Harris Anzelowitz

Cholent Boy- Got your message. From the body of work they she accomplished she was a true trailblazer. She is an inspiration to everyone in the #metoo movement.

Bo. R. R. Tolkien

much respect to her and to you Bill for honoring her. I've only seen Under The Tuscan Sun, and I did enjoy it. I hope more women find their voice and speak out against injustice.

Chris Courtney Martin

Audrey seems like a phenomenal woman. It saddens me that I never got the chance to meet her. May she rest in peace and may her loved ones find comfort.

Bobby Schmidt

Every era is blessed with some great people that innovate and lead in positive ways. And that group is graced with the presence of a few that truly inspire. Audrey's innovative stories and work definitely inspired us all! She will be greatly missed, and we can only hope that we can live up to her standard..

Cheryl Laughlin

On my walk today I passed a poster for The Hate U Give and thought, "Hmm, what's that about? I should check it out." Then I got back to my office and finally clicked on the link on Audrey, having no idea of the synchronicity. Audrey's delightful writing talents in The Truth About Cats And Dogs prompted my own love for watching and ultimately writing romcoms. And I never realized until now what a strong, pay-it-forward women-strong proponent she was. I know now whose strong shoulders have lifted me up as a female screenwriter, and I whisper my thanks to Audrey in the Universe. I will remember her each time I question putting pickles in my tuna. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Audrey.

Suzanne Lutas

Audrey's voice will eternally resonate in our hearts thanks to all her achievements. Thank you so much Bill for honoring her with so much respect, elegance and emotion. My sincere condolences to her family.

Gregory Q. Jenkins

You never know how your life affects others. I didn't know Audrey Wells but I am certainly familiar with her movies. I aspire to use my talents, as she did, share a vision that we as human beings can aspire to be. She will live on in her works and she will continue to shed light on a world that could use it.

Bill Costantini

Thank you, Rachel, Steven, Bo, Chris, Bobby, Cheryl, Suzanne, and Gregory for expressing your feelings. I'm sure that Audrey's family is going to appreciate everyone's offerings in this tribute to Audrey for the rest of their lives.

The amount of life-changing realizations and positive impacts that one story teller of life's lessons disguised as entertainments can make is quite profound, and can go far beyond box-office grosses. I'm grateful and fortunate to live in a world that gave us Audrey Wells, and that let her do her thing.

Not including my 14 replies, there are 100 expressions of love, respect, and appreciation for Audrey Wells here. I was originally hoping for 100, and reaching that amount is a pretty strong testimony of the impact that Audrey has on us citizens of the world. I think I underestimated that number, and look forward to when the next 100 Stage32 folks share their feelings as well.

Keep them coming folks, please. Keep them coming.

Chereze Booysen

I am in awe of Audrey Welles. Rest in peace. You are and will always be remarkable.

Claude Gagne

What a strong woman she was! I've just read an online tribute for her. It's hard to place words that revolve around what she did; she did it all. Words can't express her genius; her hard work and devotion to her family. Audrey didn't look back and took care of everything, until her very end. Now, we will all benefit to watch her last film without her presence to cheer her on. When we do, we will again see the revelation of her soul in her creation. God reached out and took her to be with Him. Let's all say a small prayer for her and family.

Rachel Walker

Thank yOu Bill for giving us all a moment to share and come together. To bring something beautiful to a very sad event, to grow flowers for Audrey and to bring into the forfront the incredible beauty of being human, of starting at zero and discovering the ability to share, create, and test boundaries in the realization that life is a gift and all of it's outcome a gift to behold.

Anthony Moore

Bill. I just got back from Los Vegas, and-- wow. This was a very moving post.

Unfortunately, like many unsung heroes, I didn't know who Audrey Wells was until her passing. I didn't know her by name, but I did know her through her work. I'd seen her films and her writing was moving, entertaining, thought provoking and often touched something deep inside me.

I was unaware that she wrote "The Hate U Give", a film that speaks directly to a very relevant social issue in today's society. A story that shows how much strength a young woman can have in the face of controversy, which is not often shown in film. A trait that I hope that I emulate as well within my own writing.

Like light you didn't notice was there until it no longer brightens your way, she's gone. I was unaware she was a champion for change. I was oblivious to who she was while enjoying her talent. But I appreciate what she'd been working towards and her accomplishments. Its a shame that she was not able to be at the premier and I feel for her family at their loss. The world is a dimmer place without her.

R.I.P. - Audrey Wells

Stanley N. Lozowski

This seems like a labor of love and I'm happy to take some time and participate.

Under the Tuscan Sun (2003) was Audrey's only movie that I saw but I saw it three times without knowing who directed it and this was something that I rarely do unless a movie strikes home with me. My second viewing intrigued my wife so much that she also viewed the movie a second time and I dare say that she has probably seen the feature a lot more times than I have because I caught her watching it (she bought the DVD) and knowing how she feels about movies, she has already seen all of Audrey's films. That will be my future task if I can make the time in my busy schedule.

We win some and we lose some and I have no doubt we lost a winner.

Nada Badra

I am from Egypt, and I would like to express my deep love for Audrey's irreplaceable soul. I can't say that we lost her; because I believe she will always be there talking to us through her movies and her outstanding characters in which she poured her gracious heart.

Personally, she is such an inspiration. She is a role model. The way she managed to deal with her cancer while still being able to enjoy her life and be present for her loved ones is really inspiring. I've been reading what people have been saying about her and it brought me to tears that someone can bear this much pain, yet still maintain their beauty. A kind of beauty that everyone who knew her agrees on.. A kind of beauty that is forever.

Struggling with depression myself, she inspires me to channel my pain and struggle into creativity.

Her movies were so empowering to me, especially the way she portrays female characters; their complexity..their strength..their weakness...it was real. Everything about Audrey is real, that's why her impact is universal and goes straight to the heart.

May God bless her soul.

Zlatan Mustafica

Thanks for the invite to participate and I do so gladly as Audrey´s works such as "Shall We Dance" and "Under the Tuscan Sun" tought me a lot about writing romantic dramas. And "George of the Jungle" sure made me laugh. Too often these days, good ones leave way too early. My heart goes out to her family as I can relate to their pain. My message to them would be, nothing and no one ever really dies. We hold those we´ve lost in our hearts and memories. Much love!

Ashanti Altovese

Thank you Audrey for inspiring so many women to follow their creative passions in the arts. She has touched me personally through her work, Shall We Dance, as I am a professional dancer and now writer/author. She will be missed...

Bill Costantini

Chereze, Claude, Rachel, Anthony, Stanley, Nada, Zlatan, Ashanti - thank you for your personal and touching comments. You all rock, and jazz, too. It's great to see how people from all around the world are contributing their feelings about Audrey, and reinforces in me the realization that....us people from around the world...we're all a little bit different...and yet we're all a lot the same.

Keep them coming folks, please. Keep them coming.

Vincent Paterno

She was a very thoughtful writer, far more versatile than the rest of us. To jump from "The Truth About Cats And Dogs" to "Under The Tuscan Sun" to "The Hate U Give" says something about her remarkable skills. The screenwriting community will miss her.

Don Diego

Audrey Wells was not just a fighter, she was a warrior. I have a lot of respect for people like that. Males or females. Being a Warrior is a major title in my book. She came from a source and she went back to the source. She completed that cycle, that Marry Go Round ride called life with dignity and purpose by helping others and now she is a part of something more than an individual soul. Silence, stillness and universal awareness.

Danielle R Erlich

Her artistry and strength will surely be missed!

Hussein Kopole

Thanks for the post, Bill.A great loss not only to her family,but to the industry,to the world.

Courtney Flynn

I really loved Under the Tuscan Sun and I've been looking forward to The Hate U Give. She was definitely very talented. While I didn't know her personally, her work impacted my life along with many others.

Daniel Figueiredo

Great post, Bill. Thank you !!!

Bill Costantini

Thanks for your great comments, Vincent, Don, Danielle, Hussein, Courtney, and Daniel. Just to riff a little here....when I was way back in 4th grade...we didn't have the Internet...we didn't have cable TV....we didn't have satellite radio or cell phones....we only had 5 TV stations, maybe 20 radio stations, stage theaters, and film theaters....so we had this "International Pen Pal Project"... one day a month... we'd write a letter to another kid in another country... teachers would translate the letters... and each letter had a topic... like "what are your favorite foods?"... "what are your favorite games?"...."what is your family like?"...and our teachers would read the letters aloud that we had received back from the previous month..

So we had these topics...on the surface....but the theme underneath...it wasn't about knowing what a kid in Germany ate....or what a kid in Italy played...it was about showing how...even though we are all different...we are all the same....and it took like two weeks in the mail to get those letters back.

So I'm looking at the names and countries of the people who posted here...thinking there might be like three or four countries represented...but man....United States...United Kingdom...Australia...India...Brazil..Croatia ..Kenya..., Germany...Nigeria... Italy...Netherlands...Ireland...South Africa...Barbados...French Polynesia... ....Canada...Egypt...Sweden....man... that's like 18 countries...and that's pretty freaking amazing....that artists in all those countries...18 countries...can press a few buttons...and within minutes...be showing how we are all different...and how we all the same..

But within minutes....man....how freaking cool is that? Talk about instant gratification...and constructive instant gratification, to boot.

Thanks again for your remarks so far...on the great writer, great filmmaker, and great fighter, Audrey Wells... Keep them coming, please. Keep them coming.

Dan Guardino

The news of her passing is sad, and I extend my deepest sympathy to her family. I know her work will live on and she will be missed by many of us.

Anna Carvalho

Dear Bill,

Thank you so much for your post and words, so beautiful! It's fascinanting how life connect us all. Before I saw your msg ( and I check my Stage 32 once in a while) I was watching video's and reading about the work of extraordinary women in our industry that use their work to create positive impact in our world / Society. People like Audrey.

When I read your message i was really moved, for diferent reasons. I never meet Audrey, just watched some of her movies and with what you wrote I made my research and she become an inspiration to me. I doing 22 years in this industry i love what I do, but I don't want to do it just for myself or just for fun I want to do it to create positive impact in people's life and what a better way than using your art / work. But I never feel that I'm doing enough, This industry can be so "egocentric" that if you not careful you can get lost in all that vanity and that's when you lose your mind and become empty.

Women like her guide us in our path they become models of what we should do to get our balance again and get focus in our main goals of giving love to others with our work. Thank you so much in my Portuguese language Muito obrigada.

Please, tell her parents, whetever she is, she is a Big positive Star in the sky illuminating all. Protecting us.

Cathy Trope

What a lovely thread. I think one of Ms. Wells' greatest strengths as a writer was that she understood that being a strong female character does not mean you have to be infallible. Instead, it is the mistakes you make, the regrets, the wrong paths chosen, the heartbreaks, that ultimately make you strong - and stronger than the woman who has never been tested that way. It's a different kind of strength than writers traditionally wrote, and that's why it's been so important to hear from female voices who can write it accurately, because they have lived it. My sympathy to her friends and family.

Candice Delevante

Bill, thank you for your lovely tribute to Audrey. As a woman of color, I'm deeply filled with gratitude for this woman, who for me, represents the best of humanity. Clearly Audrey not only embraced her gifts and the opportunities she had in life, but she gave so much back in return, and that to me is all-encompassing. I was taken aback when I heard the news, having passed away at such a young age. Yet I have this feeling which I cannot really describe here, that everything is in divine order. Her body of work became bigger than herself and although she could not sustain life in the physical space, her passing before the opening of The Hate U Give sends a clear message to the world to pay attention to this issue and the crisis we're facing as a nation. I hope to accomplish at least a fraction of what she has done in her lifetime. Sending love out to her family and friends at this difficult time.

Liliana Angela Angeleri

Hi,

honor to Audrey Wells and to all the people who fight to bring down all the differences of gender and all the others, whom we thank for the important contribution of ideas and civilizations that has given us and that will remain forever.

I have just published a book BOLLE DI SAPONE (GAGLIAUDO and the HUMILIATES) which is inspired by two of my scripts. The script is: ADELAIDE, BERTA GIUSTINA and the other UMILIATED

I would like to make known that in the order of the HUMILIATES (from the 13th to the 16th centuries)

the women, being equal to the men in the duties, they were also in the rights, that they perceived the same salary remuneration.

We went to the moon but women, in many cases, still do not enjoy the same economic treatment as men, and this is not a result of our civilization.

With my best regards,

Liliana Angeleri

Ramus Labiapari

Audrey Wells was by far one of the best voices of our time. For the past 20 years she was a brilliant screenwriter, producer and director. Under her pen she was able to develop fabulous characters mastering strong female leads. She also had famous male actors like Richard Gere, Bruce Willis and Dwayne Johnson working for her.

TIFF - 2018 displayed her latest movie “The Hate U Give” and was critically acclaimed. Sadly Audrey passed away days before the movie release on theatres. But her work will remain with us as Audrey was a truly great human being.

Bill Costantini

Wow....Dan, Anna, Cathy, Candace, Lilliana, and Ramus...you all rock, and you all jazz, too. Just a quick riff here..

Dan - you can say in 20 words what takes me 100 words to say...I'd hire you as a producer any day...any day, bro...and especially if you bring that Italian sports car with you...

Anna....man...that is so beautiful...what you wrote...and you are such a great actress....you make me wanna be a Fadista...and you inspired me to listen to Fado music all night last night...everybody should go to Youtube and type in Fado music...and get your dancing shoes on....and in my case...a tube of Ben-Gay...man...I'm out of shape...so out of shape...

Cathy...you are so cool....anybody in L.A. who ever needs a break from stress or suffering ..or if you want to do something good for our four-legged friends who were abused most of their lives....Cathy's Polo Pony Rescue place...man...you're like a saint, Cathy...you make me wanna be a better human..and even though horses always bite me for some strange reason...

http://poloponyrescue.com/

Candice and Liliana...while I will never know or feel what it's like to be treated....like a....for lack of a better term...like a non-equal....after reading your words...I think I can feel it a little more than I did five minutes ago....wow....and I'm sorry for what you have to endure...that I don't.

Ramus...I agree...you can look at Audrey's body of work as a writer/co-writer/director/adapter over the last 20 years....The Truth About Cats & Dogs...Under the Tuscan Sun....Shall We Dance...Guinevere...The Game Plan...The Kid...A Dog's Purpose...The Hate U Give...and the upcoming film Over the Moon...an animated story...and a musical to boot...about a girl who builds a rocket to travel to the moon in hopes of meeting the Moon Goddess....even the pro-ist of the pro writers must look at that list with love, respect and even some awe...what a list of great drama..and important work ......

......One of my favorite writers of all-time...Joan Didion....loved Ernest Hemingway so much that she used to type out his stories when she was a young writer, and credits that as making her a better writer. I think I'm gonna type out some of Audrey's stories, too.....

Keep the comments coming, folks, please. Keep them coming.

Seaton Lin

Thank you Bill for the post, that is very sad news on Audrey's passing. She has produced some very notable works. I can only imagine the struggles she's had to deal with on a creative and professional level throughout her career as a woman. I am not familiar with everything she's produced but I am interested in seeing the Hate U Give. I will to look into her repertoire of work as I have heard great things of the films listed in this post.

Katie Spud

Thank you so much Bill,for,including me in this post. I never knew her personally but judging by the kind words and thoughts posted her she was one special lady. God Bless her and my her soul rest in peace.

Emily Kalash

Thank you for allowing me to pay my respects, Bill. The life and legacy Audrey left for young screenwriters, especially women, is one to admire. I am saddened by her passing and feel for her family. Audrey wrote female characters who were strong and embraced their flaws. They represented real women. She created a strong foundation and template for aspiring writers. I thank her for what she has done for us in this industry.

Jennifer Smith

Thank you, Bill, for spearheading this thread of heart-felt thoughts and feelings on the loss of Audrey Wells. First and foremost, I want to extend my deepest condolences to Audrey Wells’ daughter and husband. The pain of losing a loved one can be the deepest and most overwhelming ever experienced, and my heart goes out to them utterly. I hope, however, that their darkest hours may be brightened by remembering the light Audrey brought to so many audiences through the ground-breaking films she penned, produced, and directed. I will always remember the feeling I had when seeing The Truth About Cats and Dogs—wow, this movie has a female protagonist I can relate to! It was a wonderful feeling, and I’m sure many other young women of the time felt it too. I haven’t yet seen The Hate U Give, but from all that I’ve read, I’m pretty sure it will become my next Audrey Wells’ favorite. I love films that communicate a social justice message, and in the political climate of today’s America, we need them more than ever. Thank you, Audrey Wells, for entertaining us, uplifting us, and challenging us to be better human beings. Yours was a life extraordinarily lived, and it is and will be extraordinarily remembered.

Shanghai Jack Neal

In the early to late 90's I was in sales - Beepers / Large Cell phones - Work all day & night - Your life is your JOB & so was films because I went to the Rental Stores to talk to anyone... But that was the life you had as a sales rep... Work & movies late nights - Looks like here it is years later & I never knew Audrey has wrote & worked the stories that helped me through those long years...

Under the Tuscan Sun (screen story) / (screenplay)

2000 The Kid (written by)

1999 Guinevere (written by)

1997 George of the Jungle (screenplay)

1996 The Truth About Cats & Dogs

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Her stories was my mental food to help some of the daily noise go away... Funny during the month of July 2018 I started to get that old 90's feeling come over me...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ISmxLdkZbco - I found a DVD Rental place real close to my area so... Talked to the owner & he loves the idea of me filming some DVD Culture from the 90's in his shop... It will be fun & I will showcase Audrey Wells' Work in this 90 min piece & others as well BUT I believe it will be a nice tribute to her work as I never thought of producing 90 min films BUT will start to produce them ... DVD Culture is / was a thing if you liked or needed films like I did... I couldn't pay for cable tv so it was just DVD's / VHS Rentals... Audrey's culture was written in a time where Cell Phones were not a thing & there was no internet ... There was NO INTERNET!!!! ----

When ISOLATED to invent human worlds that real people could connect with Audrey helped us all connect ... We may be more connected with people today but are less happy than ever... Our friendships have no loyalty or truth in today's world because there's another NEW friend just popped up on your timeline... Audrey's worlds help bridge that gap in real life where people could have a real base to build on as people... Can anyone say that about stories that are all pure CGI?? - Audrey's stories & worlds are about Humanity - Loyalty - Truth & what is hidden deeper than just the surface coat... Now that I know that Audrey's stories were a part of my past & that I'm making films now & would love to feel that one day someone would feel the same from my works as well... Prayers & healing for all who feel touched & blessed by Audrey Wells & her stories... The world is always a better place because you were in it...

Patricia Poulos

Shanghai Jack Neal Thank you for your blessings. Your tribute to Audrey Wells was moving. Thank you.

Patricia Poulos

Bill Costantini thank you for your 'drunken' recitals. Most could not relay such eloquent tributes. I lost my mum at 6.15am on 22 December 2017. I am, only now, able to focus on 'my life without her'. We were so close. I even slept in the same bed with her for fear that she would 'go' without me knowing. But I needn't have worried. In hospital, the drugs they were administering caused her a terrible, horribly painful death. I was with her 'around the clock' and heard her last painful breath taken. I am estranged from my six brothers and sisters. They attempted to force a discussion about mum's burial in her presence whilst she was fighting pain and dying. I rang one of my sisters to tell her I forgive them, just to find there was no remorse. I wear my mum's chain, cross and wedding rings around my neck. We did so much 'living' together all my life, I think it will probably be a long time before I can just 'get on with my life'. But I will, for the sake of my children and little three year old grandchildren. Thank you for providing the opportunity for me to relay this. I've written a poem for her and modified one of my scripts to incorporate some of this. Many may claim this, but I was blessed with the most wonderful parents in the world.

Thank you Bill.

Bill Costantini

ROBIN AND THE 7 HOODS...I don' t really drink, Patrica...that was Boozed-Up Bill from one of my scripts talking....I musta still been in-character from writing that night....I can't even name a booze name or brand...but I don't drink...makes me do things I shouldn't be doing...unless you're buying me a bottle of Johnny Walker Blue or Louis XIII Magnum...or a nice vibrant Dom P2....

THE MOMENT OF TRUTH......Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Seaton, Katie, Emily, Jennifer, Shanghai Jack, and Patricia...very heartfelt...very resonant. You folks rock, and you folks jazz, too. Just to riff riff a little here about coincidence/karma, school and diversity, and life's learned lessons through Audrey's art...my seven-minute timer is now on....

FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM... I was reading the last wave of posts last night...and started thinking...hmmm...this one sounds so much like something that I would think... formulate... and write....how could this be...she's a woman...I'm a man....and then I remembered that there are like 37,000 high schools in America....which makes the odds like 37,000 to 1 that she might have found some of my old writing cheat sheets stuck with gum underneath one of the old desks there...so I sent her an email and asked "Did you go to St. Ignatius in Chicago?"

I mean...what are the odds, right? Remember...I just told you the odds...I'm a numbers guy as well as a word guy, too....and love to bet on long shots...one of my character flaws...or character strengths...all things considered...and it's never the mortgage money...rule number one of gambling....

..... so she sends me back an email stating...."oh my goodness! What a coincidence! Yes..I went to St. Ignatius...."

Heh-heh....small world.

HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL...But that is one great school.....even survived the Great Chicago Fire of 1871....and includes some heavy-duty alumnae like actors Chloe Bennet and Andre Braugher..who sat in front of me for four years...Godfather of House Music Chip E....Bill Daley, former chief of staff for President Obama, and former U.S. Commerce Secretary...great writer/novelist Tony D'Souza...investment whiz Melody Hobson....great scholars and educational leaders like John Chandler, James Wall and Donald Hoffman...Bob Newhart, Gina Rodriquez, Casey Siemaszko and his sister Nina.,. singer/humanitarian Jamila Woods...the list goes on and on....talk about diversity exemplified...times ten....what a great school...and what great teachers. And I'll always hold the single-year record for most detention hours....182 hours detention/162 school days...no future great student will ever touch that one...heh-heh... Hail Ignatius!

MY FAIR LADY...Man....I read the script for Guinevere over the weekend for the first time...Audrey's original story and the first film that she directed....man...that script is so real and so real and so real.....every line of dialogue...the realizations....talk about great cinema verite and relatable human joy and pain....any writer can sure learn a bit about writing...and be entertained as all get-out...reading that story and watching that film. And as I had previously mentioned...that film made me look deeply into myself and made me change some bad ways about myself that I had liked to partake in..... Extra kudos to Audrey forever from me...and just for that alone....and for that great script, that great directing job, and that great lesson in human nature.

Keep the comments coming folks, please. Keep them coming.

Amber Brown

Audrey, you and I shared a massive compassion for animals and this planet and I’ve always wanted to meet you. Your contributions to the film industry and passion for women in film will never be forgotten. Thank you so much for the love and dedication. Your legacy is forever.

Paul Khoshaba

Bill, what a beautiful post.

Audrey, you will be missed and the path you blazed for many of us writers will never be forgotten, under-appreciated or taken for granted. “Shall We Dance” was such a beautifully written script. Rest in Peace and my condolences to your loved ones.

Timothy Christopher Teemal

Kudos to you for doing this Bill. My condolences to Audrey's friends and family.

Kyle Climans

This is a well written tribute. I never got to know Audrey, but she sounds like a truly exceptional woman. My sympathies for your loss, as well as her family's loss.

Danny Manus

Thank you Bill for doing this. Audrey Wells was a wonderful writer who knew exactly how to connect with a reader and audience's emotions. Through her career, she was able to explore the depth of human connection in more ways than most. Whether that was through friendship in my personal favorite The Truth About Cats And Dogs, or parental love in The Kid, or Romantic Love in Under the Tuscan Sun, or the love of music and dance in Shall We Dance, or the perfect undying love of a Dog in A Dog's Purpose... One isn't able to portray love so honestly and powerfully unless they've experienced it in real life, so my heart goes out to her family and friends. As writers, the most any of us can hope for - once you've broken in - is to break out. And to leave a legacy in celluloid that can touch people long after we're gone. That way our voice never dies. And Audrey Wells has done just that. So while she may sadly be gone, a piece of her will always be alive. Thanks for the laughs and tears, Audrey. Rest in Peace.

Patricia Poulos

Danny Manus what a beautiful tribute. Thank you for sharing this with us And Bill for creating this wonderful forum. To RB for making this possible.

Bill Costantini

Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Amber, Paul, Timothy, Kyle, Danny and Patricia. You all rock, and you all jazz, too.

Keep the comments coming, folks, please. Keep them coming.

Bill Costantini

PEOPLE OUTSIDE OF STAGE 32 WHO APPRECIATE AUDREY WELLS, PART ONE

I would like to share that the mayor of my city, Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman, is sending her own personal letter to Bryan and Tatiana, Audrey's husband and daughter.

Mayor Goodman and her husband Oscar are huge supporters of the arts, and probably know more about film than I do. I love, respect and admire both of them dearly. Mayor Goodman is a brilliant mind, and, like Audrey, is a valiant fighter for diversity here in the Live Entertainment Capital of the World.

Roberta Jarrett Iervolino

Don't know who Wells was, but loved Cats and Dogs and A Dogs Purpose. That kind of writing is not only really fun, it is also an important tribute to unconditional love.

Bill Costantini

PEOPLE OUTSIDE OF STAGE 32 WHO APPRECIATE AUDREY WELLS, PART TWO

I would like to share a message from the office of the mayor of Berkeley, CA. Mayor Jesse Arreguin will be adjourning tonight's City Council meeting in honor of Audrey.

Berkeley, CA is the home of UC-Berkeley, the oldest public university in California, and of which Audrey is an alumna. It was founded in 1868, around 18 years after California was admitted to the United States as a "free state". Its status as a free state prevented the expansion of slavery to the Pacific Coast. Berkeley has a neighborhood named "Poets Corner", and all the streets are named after great poets. How can creatives not love a city like that?

Lauran Childs

She sounds like an awesome woman. And like she touched so many lives in a wonderful way. Respect.

Kelly Krause

Ms. Wells, you were exceptional in every way and the world was privileged to enjoy and to be touched by your many wonderful stories. You are not only immortalized on the silver screen, but in the hearts and minds of all who were blessed to know you and your work. With all our love, respect and admiration... Here's to you. <3

Cheryl Allen

We are bodies of energy built from the remnants of a Star. In that regard, no one ever really dies, in that Energy cannot be created or destroyed.

That said, the energy exuded by some is far more connective than others. Enter Aubrey Wells. Pieces of her will remain forever in what she has created. And we are all the better for it.

While I have enjoyed many of her works, I am most thrilled about "The Hate We Give". This labor of love comes at a time when discourse, diversity, and divisiveness is all at the forefront of our minds. Thought-provoking and timely, this gives a powerful lens for all of us to examine our own experiences against the backdrop of people whose experiences do not necessarily mimic our own. This necessary introspection is a necessary step in hopefully healing the things that divide.

Much love to her family and close loved ones as they process their grief. I genuinely hope they find comfort in memories of her and the fact that she was beloved by so many.

Benjie Anderson

Great post, Bill. My condolences to the Wells family for their loss. PEACE!

Sam Borowski

Bill, as you know I posted my lengthy thoughts about what Audrey has meant to so many and her many accomplishments above. Truly a sad loss for all of us. However, here is an addendum: I got a chance to see The Hate U Give last night and Audrey did a wonderful job, adapting this script. Despite the near two-and-a-half-hour running time, the movie NEVER lags. Moreover, it was one of the more well-paced movies I've ever seen. That's not easy to do with a longer script. The characters are richly drawn and once again, I was TRULY INVESTED in these characters. One thing I said in my online review is that I hope this movie opens a dialogue - a dialogue between people with differing views. Not rhetoric, as we will hear with an Election Day coming up, but an actual DIALOGUE. That's what this country is missing. What a wonderful Memorial to Audrey that will be. May GOD hold her in HIS precious hands and may HE watch over Bryan and Tatiana. She will ALWAYS BE AROUND them. GOD BLESS. <3

Linda Seger

Audrey helped us all progress to a more equal world - with her dimensional female characters who represent our own rich lives. She was a great model for all of us - and shows how one person can make a difference. ~ Dr. Linda Seger - script consultant, author, seminar leader

Dan MaxXx

You have a kind selfless heart, Mr. Bill. Movies have a magical way of bringing people together and Audrey Wells' movies speak volumes of her character and grace.

Jake Breidenbach

I appreciate your reasoning for writing in the present tense about those you admire who've passed on. Very poignant and honest. Very well-written piece all around.

Harold Vandyke

And she was only 58. Condolences.

Wendy Jones

Not nearly a fair innings for such a force for good. Such sad news.

David B. McEwan

Thanks for the opportunity to comment on a one-in-a-million talent. Audrey Wells wrote the kind of movies that people need to see. Movies that teach, entertain and challenge the way we live and view the world. A stand out talent in a sea of comic book and slasher productions. Love to Audrey and her family.

Bill Costantini

Thank you for sharing your thoughts Mayor Goodman, Roberta, Mayor Arreguin, Lauran, Kelly, Cheryl, Benjie, Sam, Dr. Seger, Dan, Jake, Harold, Wendy, and David. You folks rock, and you folks jazz, too.

Just to riff a little here on what Sam mentioned about rhetoric and on what David mentioned about films.....I have about 10 minutes....and my timer is on......

......a few important works quickly popped up in my head after reading your statement....Dr. King's I Had a Dream Speech....Newton Minnow's "Vast Wasteland" Speech....Marshall McCluhan's "The Medium is the Message/Global Village" works...and President Obama's "A More Perfect Union Speech"...

.....In Dr. Kings speech....not once did his words call for divisiveness, nor were there any veiled attempts to promote separatism...he overtly preached for unity..55 years ago...and he openly gave love to all races and religions in those words....In FCC Chairman Minnow's speech to the National Association of Broadcasters....he pointed out how television had the power and potential to be great, and how it had the power and potential to suck....in Professor McCluhan's works from Understanding Media, he noted how the medium...the actual channel of communication...had the power to sway and influence much greater than the actual meat of a particular piece of content, and how the entire world was now connected as a result of telecommunications....and in President Obama's speech....he pleaded for Americans to move beyond the "racial stalemate" that still seems to govern some of us living here....

.....so....yeah...Sam is right.....things have changed since Dr. Kings's speech 55 years ago....but try telling that to the many Americans who things haven't changed for, 55 years later.....Chairman Minnow knew 55 years ago that some broadcasters had the power to debase, and 55 years later...some network news shows would rather keep the divisions going...instead of closing those divisions.....Professor McCluhan, 54 years ago, warned how easy it would be for the underlying truths to be glossed over and tossed aside by those whose polarizations and bad drama seemingly are more important than calling for unity....and 10 years later, the pieces on President Obama's chessboard are still mostly sitting in the same spots....and in some spots...they have even moved back a little....

....so...yeah....Sam is right....Sam is so right....and I hope things can really get better in this global village of ours... ...like......before. .....the 10th Anniversary of The Hate U Give approaches....or the 5th....or the 3rd...or the 1st...........

........David mentioned about how a piece of art...a story that transforms into a film....a film that is seen by millions of people around the world....can be a piece of entertainment...and a piece of education...and a piece of challenge....

.....like all of Audrey's works.....she did that...in every story she wrote...and in every film that she directed....she "hid" the teaching....like good teachers who are artists can do.....and she kinda covertly hid her real intention...to challenge people to think..and maybe change if it was needed....

.....Audrey is an artist who is a school teacher who is a psychiatrist...all wrapped in one...and never do her works sound stuffy, and never does she wield a wooden ruler....and her works never sound clinical and never does she prescribe medications.....

......now how freaking way cool is that....like....how freaking way cool is that.....and doesn't that make us writers in this global village...and all artists in this global village....doesn't that make us all want to be like Audrey....like....always?

Keep the comments coming, folks, please. Keep them coming.

Shawn Speake

Touching post and thread on Audrey's incredible life. Her legacy is alive and well. That's what's up.

Bill Costantini

PEOPLE OUTSIDE OF STAGE 32 WHO APPRECIATE AUDREY WELLS, PART THREE

Ric Maddox is the Ventura, CA, Community Development Manager for Making Strides Against Breast Cancer of the American Cancer Society, and he would like to share his feelings here:

(BEGIN COMMENT)

“ I never had the privilege of meeting Audrey in person. As a person , I've been deeply moved by her wonderful work that she dedicated her life to making. All too often I hear of loved ones being lost to Cancer. This only makes me work harder at the American Cancer Society, to raise more money, and to end this terrible disease that has touched every family in America, and the world.

Cancer is unlike any other disease in the world, and the way the cells communicate is nothing short of amazing and evil. Medical professionals and scientists know how unbelievably difficult it is to try and cure, but with some of our breakthroughs in anti-metastasizing medications and a bit more time and money, it is my hope and prayer that we lose no more Audrey’s in the world.

If any of Audrey’s family members read this, please take heart and know that myself and my colleagues at the American Cancer Society are making waves and fighting back against this terrible disease. May God bless you and your extended family as Audrey smiles down from a place where there is no more suffering.”

(END COMMENT)

Ric is an amazingly passionate and tireless fighter, and so is everyone at the American Cancer Society. I once worked as a writer and project manager for a man who was a chemist and developer of organic skin care compounds, and who put millions of dollars of his own money into a university research facility, with the hopes of curing cancer. Everyone in that laboratory were some of the most talented, most passionate, and most caring people that I had ever met. Just being around them inspired me and made me want to do more than I already do. Keep up the good fight, Ric, and everyone.

And everyone else, please support the American Cancer Society with your time or with your donations. One day, the fight will finally be over, and hopefully within our lifetimes.

Sarah Gabrielle Baron

Thanks, Bill! I want to know more about Audrey now! Someone on this giant list said they put a post-it-note on their screen that said "write like Audrey". So, I think I'll check out her screenplays before I watch her films. I wonder if her family is thinking of posting a memorial site where you can download all her screenplays? I lost my mum to breast cancer when I was a kid. Personally, I don't give to cancer foundations, because I'm pretty wary of 'the search for the cure' ethic. Personally, I feel poisons in our food chain and water, and stress-filled lifestyles, are the cause of cancer and we should be attacking this scourge from that angle. That's why I live the life I do, and write the stuff I write. I see a clear link between women's cancer epidemic and Gaia's plight: our lovely blue planet is suffering just the way our mothers and sisters and aunties and daughters are! Audrey was obviously a feminist and a social rights activist AND A POSITIVIST trying to foment joy for all of us. I think it behooves all us writers to try to influence society just the way she did, and to add love of nature to that mix. Writers can have a profound effect on the human collective unconscious, we can actually shape society, perhaps even more than the politicians. Tonight I'll light a candle for Audrey and my new journey to get to know her.

E::Shaun Williams

what words falter

trembled lips

love and life reviewed

graspless myriad millennium's permutations coalescing

this flow shared

what quantum entangled consciousness

logic feel and value as pure as moment oneself

an attainment

ubiquitous measure

flicker fleeting truth

beyond knowing

a place

meet you there

Bill Costantini

PEOPLE OUTSIDE OF STAGE 32 WHO APPRECIATE AUDREY WELLS, PART FOUR

I would like to share with everyone that the San Francisco Board of Supervisors is ending their November Board Meeting in honor of Audrey Wells, and that a Memoriam Resolution honoring Audrey is being sent to her family.

These efforts were led by Supervisor Hillary Ronen, who is not currently up for re-election today. But she is just like Audrey, and the characters that Audrey wrote and gave to the world - an intelligent, strong and positive person, and a battler who leads by example.

It's kinda fitting, too...and probably more than just a coincidence, as well...that I'm looking at the comment above the one I'm typing right now, and I see a poem, and I think to myself..."wow...this E:Shaun Williams cat reminds me of a young Lawrence Ferlinghetti."

Lawrence Ferlinghetti, as you probably know, is an amazing and brave poet and publisher who opened up his own bookstore, City Lights, just a mile or so from Supervisor Ronen's office. City Lights publishes art about or made by San Franciscans, and he even went to trial when he published Allen Ginsberg's Howl back in the 1950's, and he won, and so did our future freedoms as writers today. But those were some brave artists...willing to go to jail for their art. May the heavens continue to bless Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and all of the brave artists around the world who are willing to go to jail for their art and their beliefs.

And San Francisco is such a great city, and City Lights such a great bookstore, and you all are a bunch of great people for honoring such a great writer, fighter and delighter....Audrey Wells.

Okay...so rhyme poems can get a dude in trouble at a Poetry Slam, and I'm no Ferlinghetti, and I'm no E Shaun Williams....but it sure sounded good to my cats. Never trust a cat for anything, these little deviants. Never trust a cat.

Keep the great comments coming, folks, please. Keep them coming.

Artisan James

Sorry to hear. I'm not too familiar with all of her work but after a brief peek into her career, there's no question she exceeded where most of us strive to be... even landing herself in the director's chair and shooting three of her own projects... I didn't know that. I have to watch The Hate U Give now. AJ

Rob Tobin

Bill: I've always been a huge "Under the Tuscan Sun" fan, so I greatly appreciate the beautiful piece you've written here about Ms. Wells. You make me wish I'd known her -- or even better, worked with her on something meaningful, which of course she's done her whole life. Thanks Bill.

Amanda J Asquith

Thanks for this wonderful post, Bill. Audrey Wells was indeed a remarkable woman, writer, and storyteller who used her gifts to highlight and examine the human condition. May her work continue to challenge and inspire us - both as writers and as human beings. She has certainly inspired me!

Karen LaMantia

Thanks to Audrey and all who write, produce and spread the message for the good. Your work lives on beyond you in ways you may never know, just by giving voice to the positive in what you write and produce, it adds to the facet of the Universal that effects us all. Bravo to all who helped her realize her ideas and visions. We are all rewarded.

Ted Westby

It's somewhat staggering when I think what this world would be without the creative contribution of artists through the centuries. Filmmakers, the modern storytellers of our day, have left their mark on me and I'm proud to contribute to this post about Ms. Wells. Her inspirational work will definitely live on and keep her memory alive. Just reading some posts here I can tell she continues to inspire through her words.

David Michael Klatt

"Under the Tuscan Sun" I remember that movie! I saw it once on TV. I don't recall much about it but I know I really liked it. I think I'll try and find a copy of it.

It's always sad when the world loses talent like that. But It's good to remember that she has been immortalized in her work. I'm going to check out some of her other work in honour of that.

Harri-Pekka Virkki

Thanks Audrey: "Peace, Love and Soul!"

William J. Viglione

I was saddened to hear of Audrey Wells' passing. What we lost is not just a voice that championed feminism, diversity and fairness. Much more than that, hers was a voice of humanity. One that spoke to us all, no matter our backgrounds. One that made us think, question, and most importantly FEEL. As a writer you can't aspire to anything greater, in my opinion, than to affect people and to leave an impression that sticks long after the lights come up. And that's what all of Audrey's works do in such an emotionally profound way. Audrey's movies will be timeless because the human need to feel and to be moved by human stories will always exist. Audrey, you made us feel so much. Thank you.

Annie Mac

Wowwowee, this thread keeps going with such heartwarming tributes, Bill, you cup must be full and the soul of so many people lifted. My hope is that it eases the pain for the people closest to Audrey's life. To life, love, and art!!!!!!!!!!!

Bill Costantini

Annie: you said it, Annie. I am figuratively at a loss for words.

Well...figuratively speaking, of course. Literally, I am never at a loss for words. Heh-heh.

Keep the great comments and feelings coming, please, folks. Please do keep them coming.

Peter Roach

Under the Tuscan Sun just showed up on my movie list. Weekend viewing.

Bill Costantini

Peter: You know me as a lunch money stealer...and Annie knows me as a joker....among my many skills....heh-heh....but my mother, who passed away last Halloween after battling multiple illnesses for many years, watched Under the Tuscan Sun at least twice a week...for like...at least during her last 16 months that I'm aware of...that's like 150 times...maybe 180....and Under the Tuscan Sun was one of the films that comforted her when she was in severe pain.....

.......that's one of the reasons why I started this Tribute to Audrey......Audrey provided my mother with a lot of joy and happiness while her body was failing....and I'll always do what I can to honor Audrey Wells for that....

......and that's my mom's pic on my profile there....she was a fighter and an artist and taught happy little kids how to paint and dance...kinda like Audrey, but different....and I imagine that they are having a major blast now. ..and especially watching what all the good creative folks here at Stage32 are doing.... here and elsewhere....keep making art, folks....art keeps the world going!

.....and I just want to thank one more time....Richard "RB" Botto....for making all this happen.....I used to read his magazine before I joined Stage32....that was a great mag....and if it wasn't for him deciding to start Stage32....this tribute to Audrey would have never happened...and creatives from nearly 30 countries from around the world wouldn't have been able to express their feelings for Audrey, and to her daughter Tatiana and to her husband Brian......... ..............so a big major thanks to RB....and thank you Al Gore, too....for inventing the Internet!...............

Keep the great comments and feelings coming, please, folks. Please do keep them coming.

Jackie Letkowski

A great loss in the film world; she was a true visionary and performed the difficult task of creating a world as seen through various multidimensional characters. Her screenplays contained stories of highly conflicted characters, traveling through waves of emotion, all the while trying to find meaning within their lives. Building these arcs are challenging, but Audrey took on these feats and conquered them. Her legend will live on through her stories.

David P Perlmutter

Hi Bill. a beautiful post about Audrey Wells passing. She is a legend in the movie world, one of the most popular that I have heard about. I do need to check out more of her work, that I intend on doing. Once again Bill, a stunning piece of writing from you.

Mark Keigley

I wasn't all that familiar with her work, honestly, but I can't help but feel my heart go out to her family and I also greatly admire every IP creator that takes a stand and engages in our current social dialogue. I'm inspired by reading Bill's thoughts and Audrey's example to do my own bit of research! Aloha, from Hawaii!

Sherline Germain

From all the post some familiar with her work others not so much she sounds like she's a beautiful soul gone too soon but was needed to continue her work on a higher plane took me awhile to come around to say something my daughter read her book put me on too her, couldn't wait see her recent film. Nothing but Respect and admiration she will be greatly missed here but her other journeys just begins for that we are thankful

David Graham

The list of her work stands out. I've seen most of the films, and they are definitely a gift to the world.

Peter Roach

Bill...Watched Under The Tuscan Sun again. More than watched , I listened. It was all conversations real people would have. There was nothing 'forced' no preachy philosophy, no buckets of subtext in every scene.. That is a difficult balance to get. First time around I missed how much Katherine(reflection character) pushed Frances into action.

I wonder if I would get all that reading the script?

Bill Costantini

Peter: I am totally with you on that, and I bet that you would "get all that." I think that in all of Audrey's great stories, that there is a maximum degree of "naturalness" that makes the story seem so real, so "slice of life", so relatable, .and so lacking in contrivances as a result of her writing ways. I bet it would be like reading a Eudora Welty short story; a Joan Didion essay; a Susan-Lori Parks play; or a Nora Ephron screenplay.

Some writers are called "natural writers" because of the way that their stories flow in honest and candid ways, and in the ways that their characters act/react/speak/relate. That's not to say that there are no surprises, since life is naturally full of surprises. But there is nothing contrived or not believable in Tuscan, and Audrey's writing style is so beautifully natural. I bet that everyone who has conveyed in this tribute thus far regarding how Audrey inspires them would agree wholeheartedly how her natural writing style/story lines/characters impact them in the most human, basic ways, and in the most emotionally profound ways - inwardly and externally. And that is one of the greatest compliments a writer who lives in the modern world and in the age of realism can receive: how natural, believable, and flowing that their style/story lines/characters truly are. It's like...take any character in any one of Audrey's stories...and I bet you can say "I know that person," or even, "I am that person."

I mean...like...how much better than that does it get for a writer?

Only a great writer, and a great observer of humanity, and a great conveyor of realism, accomplishes that level, and can successfully strip a story of its contrivances and its pretensions, and Audrey does that in all of her great stories. OMG...I just used the word "great" four times in one sentence...that's like the Grand Slam of Greatness....and Audrey Wells certainly hits grand slams in her stories. There is nothing more inspirational - at least to me as a writer - than to achieve something so...well...you know the word I was going to finish that thought with. Bad Bill! Heh-heh.

Great point, Peter, great point. OMG...I just did it again, but only twice this time. I gotta stop being so lazy and start using my thesaurus more.

Joey Madia

Audrey Wells was a great inspiration to me as I was finishing college and starting out thereafter. Her commitment to social justice was always a light that I followed in my own work. Truth about Cats and Dogs and Disney's the Kid ("Safety in sandwich, safety in sandwich") address age-old questions about love and success beautifully. Her latest film says it all about her contributions to the world. She will be missed by many.

Cherelynn Baker

Audrey Wells - such a quiet storm of a legend! A prolific writer who tirelessly championed the advancement of women and diversity in films. My favorite thing about her stories and the characters is that each has a resonating truth to them. Nothing was forced in the dialogue! Sorry to hear of her passing though, thankful for the legacy she has left in film making and story telling!

Diana Laskaris

So sorry to hear of Audrey Wells' passing. May she rest in peace and may all those inspired by her continue to carry on in her spirit.

Jody Ellis

What a loss. She was a true talent, and Under the Tuscan Sun has long been one of my favorite movies.

SR Kuy

Thank you Bill for doing this post and honoring Audrey's memory.

Mike Coleco

WOW!!! what a great talent. Thank you, Bill, for letting me know about this great woman. I am sorry for your loss.

Lucas Diercouff

Such an incredibly human voice that all too many people won't recognize that they enjoyed her work most of their lives.

Christopher Upchurch

Thanks Bill for your compassionate soul towards these beautiful people who have impacted their families and ours to inspire us to write and follow our dreams “The Hate You Give “ was a movie I’ve seen and it was really good. We appreciate you Aubrey and God bless you and your family. You are honored!

Justine Owens

I watched The Truth About Cats & Dogs at a very special time in my life. Finally settling down, I was overseeing a burgeoning home new friends. So this warm and wonderful tale of difference and familiarity, hostility and acceptance taught me a lot about human relationships. Bless you, Audrey Wells.

Jen Bieser

Hi Bill, thank you for being YOU. This is such a thoughtful gesture and one that clearly comes from the heart. Here are some thoughts for Audrey's tribute.

In 1996 I left Los Angeles and moved to Europe. I was certain that my calling was to be a writer and I wanted to do it in Italy. I was young and had nothing to lose.

I ended up traveling Europe for a good five years with my backpack before I actually settled down, for a brief stint, in Italy. When “Under the Tuscan Sun” came out I thought for sure this film was meant for me.

Audrey became one of my heroes. I was instantly drawn to her. A Berkeley grad (and only the coolest of people came out of Berkeley), a female writer, and an aura of positivity and fun. Her smile was a clear indicator that I wanted to be just like her. She was the perfect role model.

This is a loss for many of us aspiring female screenwriters and directors. I can’t fathom the void it must be for the family. I regret not having the balls to ever ask Audrey to be my mentor and it saddens me knowing that I will never get to know her personally or professionally. The loss of Audrey is truly a loss for all of us who could have learned from Audrey but also who were inspired by her works.

However, I’m certain that Audrey’s light was able to touch thousands of lives with her charm, charisma, and of course, her art. Those who had a chance to know and work with Audrey are indeed lucky.

I remain a fan and wish the Wells family much love, strength, and joy.

Warmth and respect,

Jen Biese

Pavel Samusenka

good post Bill.

J Anthony Ramos

So sad to hear of this great talent passing on. My condolences to her loved ones. She is and always be a great inspiriation to fellow cinema lovers and screenwriters.

Junior Fletcher

My condolences....may your family find peace

Freyja Seren

Audrey Wells was such an amazing person and gave so much to the world. Her writing is sublime and that so clearly came from writing what she believed. It was more than just a job or something she was good at turning her hand to. She was dedicated, articulate and gave so generously of her intellect and passion. And that shone through all her work. It's a sad loss for the world and she will be remembered.

Andrew Martin Smith

Sorry Guys - I have been off the site for some months as I am up to my eyeballs filming linking sequences for a new documentary. In other words obsessed. You know what I mean - you have all been there - and then this morning I have sat absorbed, for two hours, reading your wonderful and moving tributes to this great lady. What I have sussed out - for what it's worth, is that in a world which is so often filled with dark shadows - every so often there comes a flame that burns extra bright. That is what every writer tries to do - and every so often one of us makes it happen.

D.R. Watson

Audrey Wells is a hero, the living truth, an achievement of culture in and of herself, someone we can all be proud of, one whose example offers something eternal that we can all aspire to be, of someone we can all be and be proud of. A visionary of the divine kind, Wells’ contribution to cinema and culture beyond offers that which is so timeless that not even death can take it away. Her life/work offers a special truth that has made and will continue to make the world a better place.

To acknowledge and discover that which is real can be considered as an ultimate aim of cinema/story, and to do so in the talented fashion of Wells work brought to life in THE HATE YOU GIVE is indeed remarkable. The film alone offers a visionary demonstration of what cinema can be. While it all happens so fast, it is truly amazing that we now live a world where one can identify with a Black female protagonist. The cultural impact alone in such a work contributes to the building of a better world with brighter days to come. I am so grateful for the inspiration offered by the life of Audrey Wells.

Kelly Camille Patterson

What a beautiful post. To have created so much beauty and left such an indelible mark on the world - this is why so many of us do what we do and I'm grateful to have women like Audrey Wells to look up to. I'm sorry to hear of her passing and hope that her loved ones are finding comfort in the fact that she touched so many lives.

Mike Hall

It is always refreshing to hear about inspiring people. The older I get the more I am reminded...It's not what you acquire in life....it's more about what you'll leave behind or the positive things you do that will outlive you....and how will you live on through others when you are gone?

Joseph E. "Duke" Miller

Audrey gave a lot to those who had less. She spoke for those who had no voice and gave hope to others. She was a terrific lady and wonderful human being. Audrey will be missed.

Yvonne Kathleen Duncan

Unfortunately I never knew who Audrey was and have deliberately not googled as after reading this post I immediately get a sense of the woman she was and as an empath I feel that would be too much for me.

The Hate You Give sounds so very very similar to a situation IV been in and the importance of that story is a powerful,vital message that will help so many people feel confident in standing up against injustices even if their social circle doesn't support that form of action.

This inspires me and I'm so glad I was asked to read then post my thoughts.

Jason Rogers

I only knew her by her work. And her work was amazing! The hate you give was powerful and a beautiful piece. You can feel her love and emotion in all her films. It is sad to loose someone so full of love in a time when we all need it the most.

Denise Cruz-Castino

Such a beautifully written post. I only saw The Truth About Cats and Dogs and Under the Tuscan Sun. Under the Tuscan Sun I think was one of my favorites. I've traveled a lot and I felt this movie really captured what it's like to discover yourself when you're traveling. I enjoyed your tribute to her. So poetic. Thank you for sharing your journey with her movies and the inspiration it caused in you.

D. Helene

What a great post. Loved Shall We Dance and Under the Tuscan Sun. Inspiring!

Max Rose

This project has touched so many lives already! Blessings to Audrey's family & posthumous congrats for a work well done!

Dwight Jeridore

Great Story!

I have not personally seen any of Audrey Well work just yet; however, after reading about her, I think I will tap into learning more about Audrey Wells. From what I did read though, Audrey Wells seemed very much in touch with her inner being and shared her self, and voice freely as well as creatively with all those who would take a listen to the message.

I think that we need more of what Audrey Wells was delivering to many, both creatives and abroad. Having a positive motivational impact of light, tools, knowledge, wisdom, and a gift to walk through life as all of us do while still growing can pave the way for the better for many.

Thanks for sharing this with me, Bill!

Diana T Black

So sorry to hear of this great contributor to the arts passing. That is one of the worst aspects of death - all that wisdom and experience; it's largely lost forever... but they do live on via the legacy of their work, those who they've influenced and in the memory of those that cared about them...

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