I just got the newsletter from DeSmet and there is a lady who is writing a screenplay for a movie set in Laura's old hometown. Did anyone else get this newsletter? The synopsis of the movie sounds really good.
If Erika Kotite’s dream comes true, area residents will see De Smet on the big screen.
Kotite is working on a screenplay called “De Smet,” and if all goes well, it could be on the road to movie houses everywhere by this time next year.
She was in De Smet over the weekend getting reacquainted with the town and taking a careful look at the place she is using for her story.
Kotite is no stranger to De Smet. She was here about a decade ago as editor of Victorian Homes and spent several days here with a photographer doing a 10-page feature spread on the Ingalls Home, the Surveyors' House, the Homestead site and the Brewster School.
And it was during her first trip here that the idea for the movie she’s writing now began to take shape.
Kotite said she’s a long-time Laura Ingalls Wilder fan and a fan of the TV show, “Little House on the Prairie.” She wondered at that time why Wilder’s books hadn’t been made into a movie. It was also at that time that she realized how difficult it would be to fit the books into a feature film.
So, she’s taking an entirely different approach.
Kotite’s screenplay takes place in present-day De Smet. It centers on a young woman who grew up in foster homes in Minneapolis, comes here mad at the world and struggles to fit in with her small-town classmates.
A bad boyfriend gets her into a little trouble, and after a scrape with the law, she ends up at The De Smet News. It is at the newspaper that she discovers stories about Laura Ingalls Wilder in the archives and she becomes obsessed with Wilder and the life she led here.
Kotite is not tipping her hand completely, but she promises some plot twists, a love interest not entirely unlike Laura and Almanzo’s courtship and an uplifting story that brings the characters through some tough times to see and live the values that Laura Ingalls Wilder portrayed in her “Little House” books.
She said there is a tidal wave of interest nationwide in these values right now and that her main character, by finding Wilder’s family in the past, is able to slowly find her family in the present.
Kotite said the story will focus on the Ingalls Homestead and how it looked in Laura’s time and on modern-day main street De Smet. She is hopeful that if the idea comes to fruition, the movie will be shot in De Smet.
But it may be a long time before a director shouts “Roll’em” anywhere in De Smet. Writing this screenplay is a part-time endeavor for Kotite. Her day job is running a media consulting business, KotiteMediaGroup in Lambertsville, N.J. Her daily goal is to write three screenplay pages a day. Some days the writing goes well; other days it’s a struggle.
But her dream remains clearly in sight.