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From Concept to Screenplay
Peter Hedges was instantly taken with "The Odd Life of Timothy Green" when producers Ahmet Zappa and Scott Sanders brought him Zappa's original story in 2009. "Thematically, it's right where I've always resided artistically, and probably always will," says Hedges. "It's about home and family. As a parent, I definitely feel the tick-tock of time. I have a 15 year old and a 17 year old and the golden opportunity to be their dad in a particular way is running out. This film was a chance for me to make a movie that I hoped would not only entertain and inspire people, but also change me in the process of writing and directing it.

"Fortunately, Ahmet Zappa came up with an idea that marries magic with the question of what it means to be a parent," Hedges continues. "'Timothy Green' asks the question, do children belong to us? I've come to believe that our children don't belong to us, but that we belong to them."

As Hedges' drafts rolled in, it was clear to all the filmmakers that "The Odd Life of Timothy Green" had a universal theme and that this was a very powerful story just waiting to be told. It was a story that crossed all cultural boundaries, as at its core were the simple elemental premises of love and family.

Hedges recalls, "When I first met with Disney, I told them this is a story for anyone who is a child or was one, or anyone who is a parent or has one.

"This film has made me look at the joys of being a parent, and reminded me that the best we can hope for as parents is to make new mistakes," concludes Hedges.

Adds producer Jim Whitaker, "Like so many of our own families, the Greens are an unusual family that emerges and then sort of stumbles along, and then grows into this wonderful family unit as the story progresses. You can't help but fall in love with them because of the way they are as parents and the way they are as a family."

Producer Ahmet Zappa, who had his first child just weeks before filming began, says, "The restoration of family is a theme that keeps coming up in my work. This story, if you really think about it, is about what happens if you get everything you wanted when you thought you couldn't.

"Timothy is a magic mirror into people's lives. He has a mission to teach his parents, and at the same time, give the town of Stanleyville clarity and let them see each other for who they really are," concludes Zappa.

Producer Scott Sanders sums up: "One of the great things about this film is like any community, Stanleyville, the Anywhere, U.S.A. town where the story takes place, has a multitude of families. You have the Crudstaffs, the Best family and the Greens. Then Timothy arrives into their lives and it touches upon all different kinds of themes of traditional and non-traditional families. Love is really what matters in a family, and as long as that's there, a family can be created from anything, including a boy born in a garden."

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