Saturday, June 11, 2011

Lights, Camera, Action by A.P. Miller

Lights, Camera, Action!

It has been through my experience over the many years that as an author, I am finding there are many other authors who would love to see their books in film.

Today I am here to inform you it’s not as simple as you might think. Most producers look for scripts either written by screenwriters they know or they write them on their own. It isn’t easy to get your book in front of a producer unless you have the experience and the knowledge of keeping up with the times. It has to be EXCEPTIONAL. And by that I mean eye popping, jaw dropping amazing and something they haven’t done, redone, turned inside out and slapped back on the screen.

For instance, I have been noticing Hollywood seems a bit bored, so they are bringing out movies from the past to rework or closing in on the comic book characters in an attempt at making them better and more realistic. It has been accomplished to a point, but enough is enough. How many Batman movies can you make before the audience looses interest?

After the world of Harry Potter, I believe it will be a difficult run to follow.  Pirates of the Caribbean with swashbuckling Pirates are always a thrill. Let’s face it; who doesn’t want to be reminded of the suave, utterly charming and extremely handsome Captain Jack Sparrow? It reminds me of Rudolf Valentino or the Errol Flynn films back in the day. Even then that was a difficult feat.

Today Hollywood is looking for something it hasn’t yet had. Ideas are being tossed around but there is never really anything solid. In the world of writing we have many talents and ideas. It isn’t that hard to delve into a pile and pull out that diamond. Yet in the film world, it has to be perfection. Take a look back at The Gilmore Girls, Dirty Little Liars, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. What do they all have in common?
Kick butt heroines that go through hell and back to get what they want.

Let’s take a look at the world of Horror, what did Nightmare on Elm Street, Halloween and Friday the Thirteenth have in common? A bunch of screaming wimpy little teenagers who couldn’t fight their way out of a paper bag which is why they died. But they captivated their audience and scared the daylights out of them. So we go to extremes never knowing what will really work. It’s chance, either you make it or you don’t. Much like getting your book published.

The reason Hollywood is re introducing films is because they don’t have new material, yet the new generation of producers refuse to look right where it all began, in a book.

If you want to see your name in lights, do your homework, research your project well and tell a compelling story. Those are the books that get noticed. You won’t become a star over night, but chances are if you write what you know and are lucky enough to land a film contract then you will see it happen. It’s nice to dream, but better to be realistic. I know it’s a great feeling, we are there. But it all has to do with hard work, perseverance and many years of experience behind you before you will ever see it happen. That’s the reality of it.

Keep plugging away until you get it right, that’s my only suggestion.


Joylene Nowell Butler said...

Thanks for the encouragement. Max Barry sold Syrup back in 2006 and it went into production as a movie this week. He was confident from the beginning that it would be a movie one day. I'm inspired by that show of confidence. And you're right, if only Hollywood would take a closer look, they'd see some wonderful talent. Maybe that's why so many of their movies are adapted from the UK and Europe.

Christopher Hoare said...

Sometimes I think I'd want to have a novel of mine turned into a movie but mostly I see it as a lot of hassle, less money than the camera man's assistant makes, and a possible nonsense after the screenwriters have mangled my story.

I just turned down a possible contract that would have invited some people to look at my novels (among many others). Not enough control from my end as I see it---I'd just be a helpless passenger along for the ride.

Arlene said...

Great post. I imagine if you do manage to write that jaw dropping book that hits and stays on the best seller list, Hollywood is smart enough to allow the author to maintain some control. I thought the HP series has been exceptionally well done considering the time slots.

Wendy said...

What a wonderful dream
I had Heath Ledger chosen to play my MC, Stefan, but he outgrew the role before my book was finished. Then he died. I don't know who can play Stefan now, but someone will. I know it, for sure.
An unknown, preferably, who will become a major star because of the role. Then we'll all be winners!