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"I would rather sit on a pumpkin, and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion."

~ Henry David Thoreau


Pumpkin Party to Watch Premier of "Growing the Big One"

     October 24, 2010: Family and friends of Diane Mettler filled Jebinos Saturday, October 23 to help celebrate the premier of Diane's first movie, "Growing the Big One" a romantic comedy about growing giant pumpkins. The movie's heroine, Emma Silver, played by Shannen Doherty, is dedicated to saving her late grandfather's land and her family's heritage from foreclosure and development.  To achieve this Emma enters a contest to "Grow the Big One." See a brief, happy video of the merriment - Giant Pumpkin Party for Diane.
     To read more about local screenwriter Diane and the story behind the story please see
About Diane's Journey.

"Growing the Big One” by
 Diane Mettler Airs Saturday... 

                                                                                                                                                          (stock photo)

Saturday Evening, Hallmark Channel  Beginning at *9 p.m. Pacific Time...

                                                                                                                                        (photo by Dixie A. Walter)

       by Bob Walter - October 21, 2010: Sitting in her spacious, airy, whimsically-appointed home during an video interview with ENN. Eatonville Native Diane Mettler chats about the experience of writing, and re-writing, a screenplay, of having it shopped around by an agent, considered, rejected, critiqued, and then - at that magical point in its journey - purchased by a producer. But the work wasn't over, because then came many more re-writes - in some cases, a re-working of some of the basic character relationships.
      During the interview, Diane told about the inspiration for this screenplay. How her brother, Lincoln, entered giant-pumpkin growing contests. How he fed 20,000 gallons of Miracle-Gro fertilizer to his 974 pound prize-winner, and kept it warm and cozy with an electric blanket so the mammoth gourd could devote its energy to growing, and growing, and growing. The entries in these contests are so huge that carving one in the past produced 17 pies just from the carved out pieces.
     She writes stories that are warm and humorous in nature, rural in setting, "romantic comedies." They're not "high-concept," says Diane, explaining the fast-action, special-effects-laden, male-lead  genre of films that play to the broadest cross-section of moviegoers.   
     It was all worth it. Diane is genuinely elated that her story, written in words on pages, inspired by her family  and upbringing in Ohop Valley, has been taken to "3-D," and brought to life with actors. She and her husband, Chris Bivins, were invited to visit the set in Vancouver, B. C.  It was a memorable and exciting experience.
    Diane graduated from Eatonville High School in 1981, then spent a year in Norway as an exchange student. She has taught screen writing at Pierce College for years and will begin teaching once a week at the University of Washington.
  Diane's first movie will play three times in a row this Saturday beginning at 9 p.m. our time. It stars Shannen Doherty as Emma. Her acting credits include Aaron Spelling's Beverly Hills 90201 and Charmed. She also played one of the leads in a black comedy The Heathers. Her co-star is popular Canadian actor Kavan Smith who has appeared in numerous science-fiction shows. Check the Hallmark site for more information and schedules -
Growing the Big One | Hallmark Channel.
    Watch a video of an animated, and articulate, Diane discussing some of her experiences. 
Diane Chats with ENN.  For more about Diane and her journey please see stories below.
*Be sure and check your cable/dish networks for movie times. Some satellite channel's are beginning the movie's run at 6 p.m. Pacific time.

Hallmark Bought Diane Mettler's Screenplay,
  "Growing the Big One"
Eatonville Grad Living Her Dream
Courtesy Photos from Diane Mettler...

     One of the posters for the TV movie written by Eatonville's own Diane Mettler, EHS Class of 1981. Growing the Big One is a romantic comedy about growing giant pumpkins in the Northwest. The movie will premiere on the Hallmark Channel October 23 at 9 p.m. Pacific Time. Diane explains, "The movie was shot in Vancouver last October. The filming took days, the writing, rewriting and development took years." The movie stars Shannen Doherty and Kavan Smith, a notable Canadian actor. Doherty signed to play the lead in the original movie back October 14, 2009.

On Set with Fiberglass Pumpkins...

      Here's a picture of my husband, Chris and I at the shoot last fall. These pumpkins are fake and were made for the movie. They'd pick them up and run them around. They  were made of fiberglass and easy to heft around. Nothing like the real thing. I got to go up there one day and it was a blast watching your characters come to life. See trailers from the movie - Growing the Big One - Video | Hallmark Channel Growing The Big One (2010) Trailer - Shannen Doherty, Growing The Big One Scene - Pumpkin Seeds
      Diane says, "One cool fact. In the movie the town's name is Valleyville. That's a combination of Eatonville and Ohop Valley."
Diane grew up in the valley and now makes her home there again. Diane's parents are Kathy and Louie Mettler, longtime valley residents.

Diane Mettler Brings Us the Giant Pumpkin Just in Time for Halloween...

      by Dixie A. Walter
      October 3, 2010

     After years and years of hard work Diane is about to become an overnight success when her original screenplay, Growing the Big One, premiers Saturday,  October 23 on the family oriented Hallmark Channel. Production of the movie has taken a very long time, but in a few weeks Diane will be able to experience what most aspiring writers dream of experiencing. And that's watching their creation come to life -  from human characters, imagined communities and, in Diane's case, gigantic pumpkins.
     The story takes place in the Northwest where the main character, Emma Silver, is a radio host in Seattle. The death of her grandfather, and the inheritance of the family farm bring Emma smack up against the terrible realities of today as she faces losing the family land to foreclosure. Needless to say, Growing the Big One is her only hope of preventing the loss and, with her handsome partner, enters a contest to see who can grow the most monstrous pumpkin. With a prize of $25,000 competition is stiff and our heroine is a city girl. Tune in to see the movie's outcome. Jebinos is having a premiere night October 23 and will be showing the movie on their TV sets. According to Diane the restaurant is already mostly reserved, but if you call Tammi, 253.678.8727 and check to see if reservations are still available.

A Dream Comes True...

     It's just hard to imagine how much work Diane puts into her chosen career. She describes some of what happened, "I usually write a script a year, and sometimes two if I'm really into it. This particular one I wrote a while ago. I won some contests and it ended up getting picked up by a producer.
     "I rewrote if for that producer (takes a couple months to do a rewrite). Nothing happened. Then another producer picked it up, which was another rewrite. It went out to loads of folks, including actors like Tom Hanks and Matthew
McConaughey. When Hallmark finally picked it up, I rewrote it a number times throughout the next year -- taking it more from a mainstream movie to a Hallmark flick.
     "I lost count how many time I rewrote it, but it was enough times that I got enough credits to get into the WGA [Writer's Guild of America]. Weird fact, Hallmark didn't actually buy the script until they were ready to role the cameras. I guess in case something went bad, they would save money on the screenwriter.
    "My dream has been to have a produced movie and be a part of the WGA. So I guess I'm living the dream. Also found out the first year that if you're in the WGA you get to vote for the Oscars. Is that cool, or what? I'm still kind of shocked when I get my ballot."
     Diane and husband, Chris Bivins, live another dream in Ohop Valley, where Diane grew up.  Even now Diane is working like crazy, "Trying to get 10 pages rewritten each day of my new script. On page 7, so I better get back to work." That's discipline. Their three dogs, Molly, Cooper and Chloe complete the family. Chris is a web designer and graphic artist and
you can also find his sculptures at Two Vaults Gallery in Tacoma. The couple also own and run Spilled Ink Marketing, see their site at  Spilled Ink Marketing.
     Promotion for Diane's movie says it leaves a great message. We won't know that message until after the premiere. But,
Diane's persistence and sense of purpose leaves us with a super life message. If you have a dream, keep it alive and work toward it in everyway. Love your dream and if you work hard enough it can come true like Diane's did. And now she begins another, more fascinating, and labor intensive, chapter in her already productive life. She broke through all the barriers thrown her way and hit the homerun.

A Few More Photos and a Little About Diane's Brother Lincoln, a Master at Growing Huge Pumpkins...

     by Dixie A. Walter

     The adage "Write what you know about" worked very well for Diane Mettler as her brother, Lincoln, is a champ at growing giant pumpkins. Bing or Google "Lincoln Mettler Giant Pumpkin" and you will inundated by web sites mentioning Lincoln. He's famous in the giant pumpkin growing sub-culture.  In 1998 the Eatonville man "shattered the previous Great Pumpkin Weigh-Off record by carting down [to Half Moon Bay, California] a 974 pound monster gourd, smashing the previous record by nearly 100 pounds."
Lincoln's baby was two feet nine inches tall and thirteen feet seven inches around. He packed the colossal pumpkin to Half Moon Bay in the back of his pickup truck. Absolutely way, way more heavy than the fiberglass pumpkins made for Lincoln's sister's movie.
     Read more about Lincoln's spectacular win at 
Lincoln's Giant Pumpkin.
Billed as the Super Bowl of  Pumpkin Weigh-Offs the Half Moon Bay contest winner will be held October 11. Learn more at Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival.  

More Set Shots of Growing the Big One
Courtesy Photos...



Stars Shannon Doherty and Kavan Smith share a laugh with kids on the TV movie set last fall.


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