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The Oregonian: Robin Williams starring in movie written by PSU alumnus
Author: Kristi Turnquist, The Oregonian
Posted: March 27, 2013

Read the original story here in The Oregonian.

As happy endings go, this one's a doozy. Douglas Soesbe spent his youth in Portland obsessing over movies. So devoted a fan was young Douglas that, in 1962, the Oregon Journal ran a photo of the lad, accompanying a story about Soesbe running the smallest theater in Portland. 

The "theater" was called the Aida, and it was set up in the basement of Soesbe's family's home in Northeast Portland. Admission for adults was a dime. Kids 12 and under got in for a nickel.

Today, Soesbe is the author of a script that is being made into a movie starring Oscar-winnerRobin Williams. The screenplay, "Boulevard,"begins filming in Nashville in May. 

In the drama, Soesbe writes in an email from his home in Los Angeles, Williams plays "a character named Nolan Mack. He's married and works at a conservative bank, but he's never lived life on his own terms yet.  He harbors secrets.  His encounter with a mysterious character he meets one night on the boulevard triggers a change in Nolan, causing him to re-examine his life and hopefully change it.  The movie Is really about how all of us, at one time or another, need to face whether we're living an authentic life.  Whether his character will be brave enough to take on life in the real world, for better or worse, is the theme of our movie."

For Soesbe, having a talent of Williams' stature involved is, he writes, "one of the great thrills of my life." As Soesbe relates, he'd written the script about eight years ago, and "after several false starts and a couple of options that fell through, I had pretty much given up on it."

But one of the producers, Soesbe continues, had connections in the casting world, and he was able to get the script to Williams' team. "Several people had to sign off on it," Soesbe writes, "before it got to Mr. Williams. He responded to it at once and a deal was made."

"Boulevard" is Soesbe's first feature film, he says. "Up until now, I have written four films for television and cable."

Soesbe's early passion for movies inspired him not only to operate the Aida -- a micro-cinema before anyone ever thought of that term -- but to regularly attend the Laurelhurst and Avalon theaters.

He went on to earn a bachelor's degree in theater from Portland State University in 1971 and a master's degree in playwriting in 1976. Soesbe then moved to L.A., with the intention of going into screenwriting. Soesbe's scripts for TV include "The Wrong Woman," "'Till Dad do us Part," "Blind Terror" and "Look Again." He is also a story analyst and editor for Universal.

"Boulevard" will be directed by Dito Montiel, whose previous work includes "A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints."  Williams won his best supporting actor Oscar for directorGus Van Sant's "Good Will Hunting."

-- Kristi Turnquist on Twitter