By: Elise Phillips Marguils
Ron Hutchinson is an illustrious writer and producer whose works have appeared on television, in movies and on stage. He visited the Kinnelon Library on March 28 to discuss how combining common observations of life and events in his surroundings with imagination enable him to create his novels.
People who went to hear him speak in the interactive event were encouraged to bring their memories of Kinnelon, stories and old photos to inspire them to spin tales.
Hutchinson spoke of how Kinnelon is full of characters and stories—as all places are. He explained that everyday life provides all the inspiration one needs to write any genre of literature: a romantic comedy, a ghost story, a gangster movie, a period drama or a horror flick. The secret is to think in narrative terms. Being conscious of how whatever we see or experience can be utilized in a story helps writers to conceptualize plot ideas.
Hutchinson was born in Northern Ireland in 1947 and raised in England. His early plays were greatly influenced by his life in Ireland where he witnessed political conflict and violence. He was an author and playwright for years before adding screenwriting to his resume. In England he began writing television and film scripts as well as plays. Hutchinson also served as the resident writer for the Royal Shakespeare Company while in England. He moved to Los Angeles after he had begun writing for television and movies. He also lived in Fayson Lakes in Kinnelon for a couple of years after decades of residing in Hollywood.
Throughout his Hollywood career Hutchinson continued to write plays because they allowed him to explore the ideas he was passionate about and to retain control over his writing. Screenplays involve many other participants and the finished product often strays from the original content.
Hutchinson has written dozens of critically acclaimed and award-winning plays, television shows and movies. Some of his most well-known movies are The Island of Dr. Moreau, The Tuskegee Airmen, The Burning Season, Murderers Among Us: The Simon Wiesenthal Story and Fatherland. Marco Polo and Traffic: The Miniseries are a couple of examples of his famous television shows.
Kim Christian, Kinnelon Library’s Program Coordinator, said that Hutchinson had spoken at the library another time as well. “We love when he visits the library! He’s very funny and engaging. He has an Irish brogue accent. It’s so interesting to hear Ron talk about how a writer’s mind works. He notices people and situations and ideas bounce around in his head as he tries to imagine the story behind them. His lectures are so inspiring that everyone lingers in the parking lot discussing what he said.”
Those who attended Hutchinson’s event were left with the beginning ideas and works for stories and movies. He also stayed and answered questions for the public, many wanting to know about his experiences in Hollywood.