1. The Piper

    The Piper Senior Member

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    Book to Film?

    Discussion in 'Scripts' started by The Piper, Oct 29, 2017.

    Hi everyone,

    I’ve been thinking about writing one of my previous stories as a script for film. The novel is finished and (aside from a few mistakes I made along the way which I should be able to rectify in this version) should be easy enough to convert. I’d love to see it brought to film - writing has always been my passion, but I’d love to see the full potential of this story realised, and I’ve always wondered whether screenwriting is the way to go for me personally or whether to stick to novels.

    What I’m asking here is: does anyone have any advice? Has anyone done this before, or something similar? Should I stick to writing my current book or focus on this new project?

    I hope some of you will be able to help me. So far one of the main questions I have is this: as I’m not particularly bothered about the money, etc., is it with taking my script (once finished) somewhere like Amazon, where it may get less publicity but might well be more likely to see completion? Or would it be better to try big companies (not that Amazon isn’t a big company, but you know what I mean) and producers, where it is less likely to be chosen but might end up bigger and better post-production?

    I know this is a lot to ask but hopefully you’ll be able to give me some great advice and I’d really appreciate any help!

    Thank you,
    Piper
     
  2. IDontDrinkKoolaid

    IDontDrinkKoolaid Member

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    Not to sound too negative, but I never understood why people think watering down a book into a movie is "unleashing it's full potential".
     
  3. Cindyy766

    Cindyy766 Banned

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    The past decade there have been a dozen of books to films, never would have I thought the books I read while I was growing would become movies. Its absolutely amazing to see how others imagined the world I dove in as a child.
     
  4. The Piper

    The Piper Senior Member

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    @IDontDrinkKoolaid thank you for your opinion. I completely understand and respect it, and it’s something I’m wondering myself - would I be doing the novel justice, or letting the story down?

    @Cindyy766 thank you for commenting, it’s good to see pretty much an exact opposite perspective. I really value both your opinions and hope to hear more from everyone.
     
  5. Amber13

    Amber13 Member

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    I've thought about this process before, as well, but don't you first have to find some kind of agent for your screenplay? I know major production companies like Pixar don't accept unsolicited submissions, and I would assume most of the larger production companies would have the same policy. I haven't delved too deeply into how these things work, but I would assume you would first have to find someone to get you in contact with different producers or production companies. If you're wanting to avoid that step, I'd say you'd almost have to go with a smaller, lesser known production company.

    As far as the topic of adaptation goes, I have always thought of the film as an accompaniment to the original story. It highlights a different aspect than the novel itself does, forces you to tell a slightly different story (it's more visual, so you can't necessarily rely on those inner thoughts to inform the audience, and you've got to distill the story down into 120 pages rather than however long the novel is - and that's with the screenplay formatting, which takes up way more white space than a novel). So I think it can go either way, but if it's your story to start with, it can't go too terribly wrong.
     
  6. Poetical Gore

    Poetical Gore Member

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    You would have a better chance of a graphic novel being adapted to a movie nowadays.
     
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  7. Shenanigator

    Shenanigator Has the Vocabulary of a Well-Educated Sailor. Supporter Contributor

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    Yes, one needs an agent. And, not that first timers have a huge selection to choose from, but a consideration in choosing that agent if you're so lucky to have a choice, is that you must consider what other talent that agency has on its roster that may be packaged with your work. Meaning: if you hit the jackpot and are signed to a full-service agency, that agency repping your script is going to have the script, director, and actors all from their talent roster and create a package deal.

    Meaning, if you as a screenwriter are represented by an agent at WME, and you've always dreamed of your main character being played by a heart throb who's repped by an agent at CAA, it ain't gonna happen. The actor on your project is going to be someone from WME.

    The dream scenario is, you want to be at a large full-service agency who happens to have the talent roster you would want on your project.
     
  8. Amber13

    Amber13 Member

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    I've looked into the whole publishing process for books, and assumed it's similar for films. Look to see who else an agent has represented to ensure that they're interested in your type of material and will actually have an enthusiasm for what you write. I wouldn't want to send my YA fantasy manuscript to the agent/agency who represents, like, Dean Koontz.
     
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  9. Shenanigator

    Shenanigator Has the Vocabulary of a Well-Educated Sailor. Supporter Contributor

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    Exactly.
     
  10. frigocc

    frigocc Active Member

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    I always dream of my novels one day being made into movies by the guys that make movies like Hitchhiker's Guide, Hot Fuzz, and Shaun of the Dead. My novels aren't British, but similar style of comedy.
     
  11. big soft moose

    big soft moose The Moderating Moose Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    you are probably out of luck on the latter two - they write their own material
     
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  12. frigocc

    frigocc Active Member

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    Yeah, love Pegg's stuff. Guess I just meant publishers that put out that style of humor.
     
  13. cosmic lights

    cosmic lights Senior Member

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    I see books and movies as two separate things, I see a movie as being inspired by the book not a visual telling because so much gets cut (unless it's a simple story line). They also change things for no good reason.
    I would have no objection to any books of mine becoming films but I would be hesitant at how they would change it and if they did a shitty job. I very much doubt you'll be able to do very much with just a script. I would focus on the book. Novel writing and script writing are different.
    If anyone bought your script it would probably be modified to suit them and unless it's either exceptional or your novel does extremely well,it wont get picked up easily.
     
  14. big soft moose

    big soft moose The Moderating Moose Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    I think in general the way it goes is the novel achieves some success, or it pitched by an agent, or otherwise gets noticed so they buy the film rights then they get a professional script writer to write the script (the author may be consulted or not it varies).
     
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