In a few short weeks, multiplexes everywhere will be flooded with massive robot brawls and superhero smackdowns. But there’s still time to see something a bit quieter like the beloved 2008 independent film “Wendy and Lucy.”

The film is adapted from the short story “Train Choir” by Jonathan Raymond, who also collaborated on the screenplay with director Kelly Reichardt. An interview with the author revealed the struggles and joys of bringing an indubitably unconventional story to the screen.

Raymond explained how he and Reichardt converted his heavily descriptive, 50-something-page short story into a feature-length film.

“(The screenplay of ‘Wendy and Lucy’) was maybe 65 pages or something.” Raymond said. “I think for a typical director that would probably (pose) a problem, but I think that Kelly has a process that doesn’t translate into the normal one-page-equals-one-minute kind of equation.”

He added, “She builds in such pauses and holds shots so patiently that those ratios kind of cease to be applicable.”

Raymond had met Reichardt through their mutual friend, director Todd Haynes (“I’m Not There”). Before “Wendy and Lucy,” the two had worked on 2006’s critically revered film “Old Joy,” another stripped-down, pensive movie exhibiting the gorgeous vistas of the Pacific Northwest. The film’s screenplay was another derivation from one of Raymond’s short stories, also titled “Old Joy.” Raymond admitted that he never envisioned the story, a first-person narrative that was only 20 pages long, as a film.

“I mean, it seemed absolutely bonkers to me,” Raymond said. “I never even saw the filming of that one, so I wasn’t sure whether it was going to have enough time to hold a feature.”

Raymond continued, “But before I saw the movie, I didn’t understand Kelly’s sense of pacing, which is just so radically slower than most movies.”

With its simple story, developed characters and graceful pace, “Old Joy” is a strong indication of what to expect from “Wendy and Lucy.” The success of their first partnership allowed Reichardt and Raymond to work together again, which resulted in the “Wendy and Lucy” film.

“The story itself was written specifically with the eventual adaptation in mind,” Raymond said of “Wendy and Lucy.” “It was always aiming towards Kelly and her purposes.”

“Wendy and Lucy” has been lauded for its stark portrayal of a woman besieged by financial woes; a reflection of the average American fighting through the current economic downturn. Unfortunately, the film’s production was also burdened by financial difficulties.

“The economic strife of the story was mimicked in the making of the movie. Working with that level of financing is just stressful and terrible,” Raymond said. “There was this sort of painful echo of the plight of the characters and the daily production work.”

Despite appearing on countless critics’ yearly top-10 lists and gaining early Oscar buzz for Michelle Williams’s performance, “Wendy and Lucy” only found recognition at the Independent Spirit Awards, notching nominations for Best Feature Film and Best Female Lead. But Raymond was far from dismayed by his film being shut-out of most major award consideration.

“I was shocked about the reception that it got — the fact that it was even thought of in an (Oscars race), that seems so implausible,” said Raymond, striking down any notions of disappointment. “It would be churlish to feel like we didn’t get enough. We got plenty of attention.”

As for the future, Raymond has several projects lined up. With a new novel, an original screenplay for Kelly Reichardt and a screenplay collaboration with Todd Haynes on the horizon, Raymond has only begun to stake his claim as a driving force in independent cinema.

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