My Erin Brockovich Story and how an idea became a huge movie hit! Part 1

by Pamela DuMond

Hi PopCultureDivas and Diva-ettes:

My name is Pamela DuMond and I'm thrilled to be the new chick on this blog. I'm a debut author, a writer, chiropractor and bodyworker. I'm originally from the Midwest, but now live in Los Angeles: home to beautiful beaches, weather, land, talented artists and wackos.

Until now, I've never been able to call myself a "Diva. I was always the shy girl, the bookworm, the nerd. It has taken me many years to embrace my inner diva. I am pleased to say I learned from some of the best. I'd like to tell you about one of my favorites: Erin Brockovich.

In 1992 I moved cross country and left from my home, business, friends and family to marry a Los Angeles guy. I expected marital bliss, a suntan and cushy winters. Then my dad died, and my marriage grew shakier than the Northridge quake. That's when I met Erin.

Erin was tall, pretty, a single mom raising three young kids. She had struggles. She lived and breathed survival mode. And she was a fighter. She'd lie on my treatment table and tell me strange and riveting stories about how she was investigating a huge powerful company that was poisoning the people in several small California towns. She wasn't a lawyer, a trained environmental investigator, or a PI. But she was incredibly determined and had amazing perseverance. During the course of our time together, I realized Erin was one of the sharpest, smartest women I'd ever met.

At first Erin was a client; eventually she became a close friend. Her outfits were colorful - she knew how to work a mini-skirt, high heels and cleavage. She was witty, could swear with the best of them, and had a wicked sense of humor.


Erin refused to be the 'insignificant person' that no one took seriously. When important people said 'No,' Erin said 'Yes.' When the odds were terribly against her and authority figures said, 'Oh you can't do that,' Erin would say, 'Really. Watch me.' Erin Brockovich was the heart, soul and the 'Nancy Drew' behind the biggest class action suit settlement of its time. She didn't expect a bonus. She expected to persevere. She believed that the people of Hinkley California didn't deserve to be poisoned by PG & E.

One day I looked at her and said, "Your life is a movie. Your life can inspire more people than you helped in Hinkley or Kettleman, California." She said something along the lines of 'Well, if you know someone then tell them.' "I think I do," I said. (Not having a CLUE how to pitch a movie, let alone a softball.)

I just knew Erin's story was everything that could make a great movie. So I told another client, Carla Shamberg. Carla was a relatively new producer at Jersey Films. I didn't know she wanted to find a story that would empower women. I just knew I had to share Erin's story with Carla. So I did. When Carla was lying on the treatment table, I basically said something ridiculous, like, 'Hey. I've got a great idea for a movie. Want to hear it..." God bless, Carla, I think she was so relaxed from the bodywork that I was doing, she actually said, yes. A week or so later, I handed Erin a bottle of champagne, (it was her birthday), walked with her into Carla's house and made the introduction. Then, I sat back and listened as Erin told Carla her story.

This is how the Erin Brockovich movie idea began. Three women at different stages in their life who all  believed that hard work, perseverance and good hearts really count for something.

I look forward to sharing more with you. Just remember, sometimes things don't happen overnight. Sometimes perseverance really is your best tool. I know. My debut novel, Cupcakes, Lies, and Dead Guys will be published by Krill Press this fall. Keep moving towards your dreams.

So nice to meet you all.

XO,

Pamela DuMond

Comments

  1. Hi Pam! Welcome to the PCDivas! Wow! What a story. The best kind. A really compelling, true story gets made into a hit movie - and it was all because of this wonderful intersection of people and your initiative! Thank you for sharing it with us - and looking forward to Part 2. :D

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  2. Thanks Joanna. I'm thrilled to be a Diva. The Erin Brockovich movie was indeed, 'the perfect storm!' xo,

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  3. That is frickin' awesome! Welcome, Newest Diva!

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  4. It is frickin' awesome! Tx Julia! I'm honored to be a Diva. xo,

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  5. Welcome, Pam. Nice to have you here and what a great story! It took me a very long time before I let out my inner diva, too. People who know me today probably think I was always this way - in fact, some newbies have called me "opinionated." But it's been a long road and quite a struggle before I realized I had opinions and was willing to express them.

    I'm looking forward to your future posts - very inspiring!

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  6. Pamela, from Nerd to Diva...sniff sniff.

    Great story, from a great storyteller.

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  7. Thank you Kathy for your kind words.

    Ramona - You're already a Diva. You're the best editor, ever, and I wouldn't be here without you!

    xo,

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  8. Now if that isn't serendipty working it, I don't know what is! Wow. It just goes to show you should always listen when people talk because you just never know how it could change one (or three!) people's lives. What a fabulous story!

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  9. Thanks Alli! It is pretty much the crazy 'Kevin Bacon' thing, eh? I guess it wouldn't hurt if we all listened a little more frequently. xo,

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  10. ЎHola!
    www.thepopculturedivas.com - da mejor. Guardar va!

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  11. Dear Anonymous:

    We are trying to address this. Thank you!

    xo,

    Pam

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