WE WANT RALLY CAPS TO BECOME A FILM. PERHAPS A MADE-FOR-TV MOVIE ON THE DISNEY CHANNEL. BELOW ARE SOME QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS FOR FILM PRODUCERS OUT THERE – TO GIVE YOU A START!!
QUESTION: Please confirm the category that you would like your book included in:
ANSWER: Children’s (Disney or Family Channel)
QUESTION: Does your book have characters? If so, whom would you consider the main characters?
ANSWER: The main characters are Jordan, Luca and Niki. Other characters are listed below.
QUESTION: How would you best describe the characters, including age, physical description, and distinct personality traits?
ANSWER: Jordan – 10 almost 11 years old from Baltimore, Maryland; he lives for baseball and his favorite team, the Orioles; his hero/idol is Oriole Hall of Famer, Cal Ripken Jr. Jordan’s bedroom is decorated Oriole style in orange, black and white and filled with Ripken memorabilia. Even though Jordan is short, he dreams of making it to the big leagues. Jordan loves to pitch, that is until his unfortunate and frightening accident while trying out for the Little League Travel team.
Luca – 11 years old and very tall, 5’9”; he is from Grosseto, Italy; he is deaf and wears a cochlear implant that allows him to hear. Luca is impressive with his frankness and self-confidence and his “nothing-is-impossible” attitude. Luca loves the catcher position because it keeps him involved in the whole game.
Niki – 9 years old and Luca’s sister (who disguises herself as a boy so she can be included on the team). Niki is cute at 5’3” with very long straight black hair (that is until she cuts it all off); she is thin, has piercing green eyes and tan skin. She’s got “attitude” that girls can do anything boys can do! Niki is the leftfielder.
2nd baseman Jimmie “Mouth” Goldlenberg from Washington D.C., 9 years old
Shortstop Barry “Scoop” Shapiro from Washington, D.C., 9 years old
3rd baseman Richard Rosen from Washington, D. C., 9 years old
Rightfielder Ted “Say a Prayer” Simpkins from Boston, 9 years old
Utility player Dave Silverman from New York, 9 years old
Centerfielder Ryan Roenicke from Philly, 9 years old
1st baseman Skip (who loves to eat never “skipping” a meal) from Catonsville, Maryland, 9 years old
Rob – Jordan’s brother, the bunk’s counselor and the coach of the team. Rob is 19, nine years older than Jordan.
Other smaller part characters: Jordan’s mother, grandfather, camp nurse, and Frankie, the camp bully etc.
QUESTION: If you could have your choice of current actors to portray the characters, which would you chose for each?
ANSWER: The characters, Jordan, Luca and Niki should be current actors that the audience would recognize. They could also be rising 9-11 year old actors looking for a break to begin their career.
Current actor suggestion: To play Jordan – Raymond Ochoa; to play Skip – Aaron Zachary Phillips; to play Frankie, the camp bully – Rile Thomas Stewart.
Others – Colin Barocchi, Jacob Nathaniel, Payton Rodgers, and Parres Mosteller.
Current actresses that could play Niki: Mika Abdalla (Saige Paints The Sky), Alexa Gerasimovich, Jasmine Alveran, or Maggie Elizabeth Jones.
Also, the new TV show, “Camp” may have potential actors for RALLY CAPS. (See next question below).
QUESTION: Does your book take place in a particular location? Or in a particular time period?
ANSWER: Baseball Camp USA, 2008. There is a new TV show called “Camp” that premiered on NBC on July 10, 2013. RALLY CAPS setting would be similar to that show with a baseball diamond of course. The camp setting will also need a huge “bell” and “CB Rock” in front of the Mess Hall. Liz Heldens, award-winning TV producer and writer, is the creator of “Camp.”
QUESTION: If your book is to be pitched as a documentary or true story, would you be able to provide any film footage or photographs?
ANSWER: Yes. The factual/true parts of our story are the baseball accident (that happened to Stephen Cutler at 10 years old), the camp setting (Camp Belgrade in Maine where Stephen attended for 12 summers), and the motivational character, Luca, who is Jodi Cutler’s son (Stephen’s grandson) who was born deaf and wears a cochlear implant.
RALLY CAPS website might be helpful: www.rallycaps2007.wordpress.com.
Also, the RALLY CAPS video: www.YouTube.com/watch?v=nP56JPBcfv8
QUESTION: If further writing were required to continue the storyline as either a prequel or sequel would you be available for consultations?
QUESTION: If your category is Children’s, do you envision your book to be animated or with actual people?
ANSWER: We envision the book’s story as a “made-for-TV” movie with actual characters from the story. RALLY CAPS appeals to the whole family and a vast population just like other successful movies such as Bad News Bears, Major League, The Kid from Left-field, Rookie and The Perfect Game.
However, we are certainly open to a computer animated project with the same characters.
QUESTION: If your story is inspirational or religious is there a certain denomination that you feel it would appeal to?
ANSWER: The story is inspirational and specifically targets baseball fans (children and adults alike and especially families who can watch the movie “together”); and a hard-of-hearing population that uses or is thinking of using a cochlear implant.
Note: It is relevant for all as ninety percent of deaf babies are born to hearing parents.
RALLY CAPS is a humorous, fun-filled baseball and camp story.
QUESTION: If your story is one of inspiration or self-help for others what would the main topic be?
ANSWER: This story teaches us how children with a disability, based on their experiences and increased sensitivity, are able to apply their journey into helping other children overcome personal difficulties not necessarily related to a disability. The book portrays a strong, independent deaf child with a cochlear implant. He uses his “disability” and transforms it into an “ability”.
Luca’s compelling “nothing is impossible” attitude gives Jordan the courage to return to baseball with a passion.
Sport, especially baseball, is the greatest setting to teach children important life-lessons. Jordan draws inspiration from his idol, Cal Ripken Jr., who gives Jordan strength to overcome his fears and anxiety.
Cal is one of the last great living heroes; it’s time a film pays homage to him. RALLY CAPS “helps teach valuable lessons of acceptance and resilience to kids and adults alike.” These are Cal Ripken Jr’s own words from his endorsement of RALLY CAPS.
QUESTION: Is there a certain age, ethnic or other group of people that your story would best be suited to?
ANSWER: Our book has been read from eight to eighty year olds and each and every person has loved the book because the messages it transmits to the reader is in the form of a good old American baseball story.
QUESTION: If your choice is a possible appearance on Talk TV, why do you feel you would be a good guest?
ANSWER: Jodi Cutler is an advocate and public speaker on educating and inspiring deaf children and families. (her bio on the back cover of RALLY CAPS).
Jodi has an excellent “back story” because of her own life-experiences with her son (born deaf) and many other families through her professional blogs (in English and Italian). All of her stories and expertise make her an excellent guest and public relations advocate for the movie. Her son could also appear on Talk TV with Jodi – a unique slant to promoting the film.
QUESTION: Would your story be inspirational, self-help or what type of show would it best fit?
ANSWER: Inspirational, Kids, Families
QUESTION: Why do you think others would be interested in your story on Talk TV? One part of a pitch is called the “logline”. This is a one or two sentence description of your show designed to sell the networks on your idea or concept. It typically tells the main agenda of the show and/or main character. It is best if your storyline can easily translate to a logline as sometimes you only have that moment or two to catch a busy TV executive’s eye. Your logline should tell us what we’re watching, and what clever hook or premise there is in the show.
QUESTION: If you had to write the “logline” for your book and limit it to one to three sentences, what would you say?
“Life’s curveballs teach life’s greatest lessons. Summer baseball camp pranks and raids form lasting friendships. Turn your hats inside out and wave your “rally caps” in the most unforgettable come-from-behind baseball story ever.”
QUESTION: In two paragraphs or less, summarize what you feel would be the high points or the most interesting parts of your story.
ANSWER: RALLY CAPS high points are the scene on the pitcher’s mound where Luca motivates Jordan to finally overcome his fear of playing baseball; Niki cutting off her hair to look like a boy and become part of the team; the funny camp pranks and raids; and the final inning in the biggest game of Jordan’s life.
QUESTION: In closing, is there any information that you feel would be imperative to your story?
ANSWER: Since RALLY CAPS has been published in the USA and in Italy, Jodi has been working globally to support Family Centered Intervention in Hearing Loss. The book has paved the way for more support for families and Cochlear Implant Awareness throughout the world. Her son Jordan, who is deaf, wears a cochlear implant and is bilingual Italian-English, also performs public speaking with his mother to assist other deaf teens and offer support.
RALLY CAPS has been endorsed by Curtis Pride, the last deaf major league baseball player as well as Cal Ripken, Jr, Brooks Robinson and Tim Kurkjian.
“RALLY CAPS is a heartwarming book about perseverance and courage. Congratulations to Steve and Jodi for taking the challenges in their lives and turning it into a wonderful book that helps teach valuable lessons of acceptance and resilience to kids and adults alike.”
–Cal Ripken Jr., Baltimore Orioles, 2007 Hall of Fame
“RALLY CAPS is a story that really hit home with me. Growing up, my hearing friends quickly learned being deaf makes no difference, just like the character Jordan discovers in this book. There is a very real message here – nothing is impossible!”
—Curtis Pride, ’07 LA Angels of Anaheim (the first full-season deaf player in the modern era of Major League Baseball); ’09-Present – Head Baseball Coach Galluadet University.
“RALLY CAPS celebrates the game of baseball as it’s meant to be played by teaching kids fundamentals and teamwork with a few entertaining old-fashioned pranks. This is one story I’ll be reading to my grandchildren!”
–Brooks Robinson, Baltimore Orioles, 1983 Hall of Fame
“I really enjoyed the book RALLY CAPS. It is a compelling story of a boy who learns to never give up in overcoming some of the difficulties that life brings. It is important reading for all parents, especially Dads. As a father of two children who play multiple sports, I was truly inspired by this book.’’
–Tim Kurkjian, Senior Writer, ESPN The Magazine and Baseball Tonight Analyst
…RALLY CAPS is a humorous, fun-filled baseball and camp story. Ten year old Jordan is injured in an unfortunate and frightening accident while trying out for the Little League Travel team. At summer camp he struggles to conquer his anxiety and fear in order to return to his beloved game of baseball. He forms a friendship with a deaf Italian boy, Luca, who wears a cochlear implant. Luca’s compelling positive “nothing is impossible” attitude, along with the inspiration he draws from his idol, Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr., gives Jordan the courage to return to baseball with a passion. Find out what happens as “rally caps” are raised in the bottom of the final inning in the biggest game of Jordan’s life.