Janet Mellor
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Janet Mellor


Full Bio
“˝ JANET M MELLOR Screenwriter

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mellorj@wildblue.net 113 West 85th St. 1A NY, NY 518-637-1263







WRITING EXPERIENCE:



Screenplay: PLEASE WAKE ME UP- based on the true story of a young girl's strength and resilience in the face of the physical, cognitive, emotional, and social trauma of brain injury



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RECOGNITION FOR PLEASE WAKE ME UP:



It's a very powerfully written drama and poignant lesson. Jeanine Bartel



Thank you for sharing Plea

Industry Awards
Top 5 screenplay in the LA Lift-Off Global Network competition for PLEASE WAKE ME UP
Writer's Group works
PLEASE WAKE ME UP
Screenplay (Coming of age, Drama, Family)
Log Line:
A true story of strength and resilience in the face of the physical, cognitive, emotional, and social trauma of brain injury.
Synopsis:
PLEASE WAKE ME UP is the true story of a young girl's successful struggle to overcome the physical, cognitive, emotional, and even social trauma of brain injury. It is a feature screenplay written primarily for pre-teen and young adult audiences, but adults will undoubtedly be drawn to the story as well. It could happen to any of us. Riding a bike, driving a car, and bam- life will never be the same again. How do we deal with those consequences? What if it happened to your kid? The protagonist is nine-year-old Ella. She's a cute, super smart, popular, cool kid whose life is transformed when a day of skiing turns tragic. One moment of bad judgment results in dire consequences and a coma. Before the accident, what she refers to as BA (before accident), Ella saw her life as "pretty perfect", rock climbing and hiking with her dad, traveling with her mom, hanging out with friends. Once out of her coma, she wants that life back but gradually comes to the realization that it is not going to be. She's been transformed into a special-ed kid with no friends, and the struggle is now to accept her new "normal". Mom also has a journey. She feels guilty that she didn't protect her child and so wants to fix everything. She has to learn to let go and accept that her child is forever changed. While Ella is in a coma, we get inside her head, seeing and hearing what she experienced… the fear and confusion, the hope and despair. Those scenes show what a comatose person might truly experience. People in coma do hear, do feel pain and sorrow, and do want to wake up. Just as her parents begin to feel confident that Ella will recover, she develops meningitis and they spend an agonizing bedside vigil as she stops breathing again and again until the antibiotics work their cure. Ella survives yet another near-death experience. As Ella emerges slowly from the coma (nobody actually wakes up all of a sudden – the way it's so often portrayed) she discovers that she has to relearn everything: to sit up, to swallow, speak, walk, tie her shoes, but also to comprehend how drastically her life has changed. Upon arriving at the rehab center, Ella is confronted for the first time with her reflection. Her head is shaved, a scar runs from her right temple to the back of her head, the right side of her face droops, and one eye looks off to the side. Shocked, her mother quickly turns the wheelchair away from the mirror. Ella reaches for her reflection. Realizing that it is indeed herself that she is seeing, and unable yet to speak, she "thinks" to her teddy bear, "That girl in the mirror, that's not me." From this point on the question is… then who is she? The title comes from a moment during rehab. Still unable to speak, Ella is able to communicate only by tapping letters on an alphabet board. One of the first things she taps out is: I'M HAVING A VERY BAD DREAM….. WAKE ME UP……PLEASE. The bad dream of her damaged condition isn't one that Ella can actually wake up from, but her awakening takes on different forms as her healing progresses. Cont…. Ella wants to get back the life that she previously described as "kinda perfect". When she first returns to school, her friends welcome her, but in time they see that her personality has changed. She's awkward. Her face is disfigured. She's no longer considered cool and the kids turn on her, sometimes cruelly, to the point where Ella tells her mom "You should have let me die". Mom's attempts to intervene with the friends prove heartbreakingly futile. So Ella comes slowly to the realization that she no longer wants to be with those kids and sets out to redefine herself. She makes new friends. She learns new activities. In the meantime, Mom continues to try to "fix" things but one by one Ella rejects her mother's interventions and insists on being accepted as she is. People, however, continue to treat her like she's damaged and somewhat incompetent. Upset, Ella rejects the notion that she's brain-injured. She does still have some cognitive impairment but denies it and insists that everything is fine. Ella wants to become a physical therapist. Why not? Her parents are supportive. But not everyone believes that she's competent. The story deals realistically with the topic of not just the physical and cognitive impact of traumatic brain injury but also the emotional and behavioral aspects. Not only did Ella's appearance and abilities change, but her personality as well. As a result, her journey towards discovery and acceptance of a new self was more difficult than it needed to be. People made it harder than it needed to be. It isn't until the ending scene when Ella is able to accept her limitations that she gains the confidence of the people around her. She is then able to move forward in her dream of becoming a physical therapist. It's the fact that she is indeed brain-injured that opens that door for her. She learns that her limitations are actually her strength. She succeeds, not in spite of them, but because of them. This story is a love letter, a tribute to the strength and resilience of an amazing young woman, my daughter.
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