Bringing Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility to the screen has been a labor of love. Vividly described by the producer, Lindsay Doran, in her Introduction, the process has taken fifteen years to come to fruition. In Emma Thompson, Doran found her ideal scriptwriter, since Emma Thompson already had a lifelong passion for the novels of Jane Austen and a natural gift for writing, which Doran first recognized when she caught reruns of a comic British television series that Thompson had written. With characteristic rigor and determination, Emma Thompson set about the job, between acting in many films and picking up an Academy Award en route.
The script took her five years to complete. It is unusual for an actress to write a screenplay. It is even more unusual that she should also publish a detailed domestic account of the making of the film in which she played a leading role. Directed by Ang Lee, the Columbia Pictures film also stars Alan Rickman, Kate Winslet and Hugh Grant. Emma Thompson's diaries, which take us from preproduction to the wrap party, answer the questions everyone asks about filmmaking, and provide a clear and often hilarious picture of what it is really like to be part of a film crew living the kind of intense communal life found on board large sailing ships, and yet just as subject to weather, digestive tracts and moods. This rare perspective, together with sumptuous photographs, makes this an irresistible book for all those interested in movies and the making of a great film.