Lee Welles’ Gaia Girls Enter the Earth Adaptation in the Works
Lee Welles learned a lot about nature growing up on a 300-acre farm and it inspired her to write an award winning novel about the environment, Gaia Girls Enter the Earth, and now it has inspired Hollywood producer, Jon Fitzgerald to turn it into a film. Scheduled to be released in spring 2016, the film of the same name will be shot later this year in Harrodsburg, Kentucky. Welles a former fitness and wellness consultant spent three months writing the screenplay with Jon Fitzgerald, the owner of Cause Pictures.
I am excited. Obviously, a little nervous, telling a story on the screen is a little different than on the page. I was paid to help write the scripts. – Welles
Elizabeth Angier was happy to be at the end of the school year. She thought her summer on the family farm would be full of work and play with her best friend, Rachel, and her other best friend, her dog, Maizey. However, Elizabeth didn’t anticipate the Harmony Farms Corporation moving to her town. Her world starts to crumble as her best friend moves away and her parents whisper of farmers selling their land and the effects this factory farm operation could have on them. When she thinks things can’t get much worse, she meets the most unusual creature, Gaia, the living entity of the Earth. Strange things begin to happen to her, around her, and through her! Elizabeth discovers that with these new powers comes responsibility. A dire mistake makes Elizabeth wonder if meeting Gaia has been a blessing or a curse. Will Elizabeth have the strength to fight a large corporation? Or will her upstate New York home be spoiled by profit driven pork production that fouls the air, land, and water?
Welles and Fitzgerald envision Gaia Girls as having franchise potential. She said Fitzgerald has the right of first refusal to make films on the other Gaia books (Welles is now writing the third installment). Pre-production work is scheduled to start April 1, with six weeks of filming to follow in June and post-production work through the end of the year.
What I love is that Jon is very respectful of the story, it is my vision. I am the person with the creative inspiration. He defers to that. Often, when a book is optioned, made into a movie, they say, ‘Now go away. We will invite you to the premiere.’ – Welles
The book which was published in 2007, is one of two that Welles has written and is part of planned series of seven. It is biographical in a sense, told through the eyes of a young girl living on a farm in the Finger Lakes region. Nine generations of the Welles family have now lived on Seven Pines Farm, which was a Revolutionary War land grant to an ancestor and is across Interstate 86 from the Elmira Corning Regional Airport.