Writer's Movie Now Playing In Video Stores

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Movies buffs interested in mystery-thrillers will find a new flick in video stores this week "The Stepdaughter" written by Payson resident Sue Dolan.

"The biggest thrill comes from seeing these characters that I've made up take form," Dolan said Thursday. "To see these characters saying the lines you've written for them, it's exciting."

Produced by Trimark Pictures, "Stepdaughter" features actress Andrea Roth in the role of Susan, a psychopath who's looking for her long lost family. Along the way, she stumbles across a couple of hapless victims, whom she quickly sends to meet their maker.

"It's so fun when you create a character you don't particularly like, and then see what kind of trouble you can get them into," she said. "You have your antagonist, your protagonist, and it's so fun to see what kind of mischief you can create."

A good-natured grandmother, Dolan said she's not sure where the ideas for her murder mysteries come from, but she had to do extensive research before choosing Susan's particular psychosis.

"I really studied psychopaths to get her down," she said. "In the end, she's a bit of everything. She's paranoid, she's a psycho ... all rolled into one. She really crossed several lines."

Dolan said she sold her script outright to World International Network which means the company had the right to change, delete or rewrite any of her lines. In the end, though, she said she was pretty satisfied with the final product.

"I slaved over writing this script," she said. "I'd say about 90 percent of what I wrote actually made it to the screen."

Among the script changes was the opening murder scene, in which the killer uses an ice pick to kill her first victim a fairly unimaginative means of committing the crime, Dolan said. In the original version, Susan uses the heel of her stiletto pump to dispatch her victim.

Still, Dolan's not complaining. She relishes the finished product the culmination of one of her ideas.

Now she's looking forward to seeing her second script come alive.

"I've sold a second script to WIN Ventures," she said. "This one's called 'Farmer in the Dell' and in brief, it's a thriller about a gentleman farmer." Filming hasn't begun, she said, so she's been sworn to secrecy about the details.

"I can say, though, that this one has more plot twists and turns," she said, "and Pierre (David, the producer) says it's better than my first one."

While the Hollywood moguls hammer out the details of her second movie, Dolan is juggling her job at the Mazatzal Casino, home repairs and her next script, a thriller about a global catastrophe.

"It's not about plants taking over the earth, and I don't write about aliens," she said. "All I can say is that in this one, everybody's in trouble."

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