….Let the moviemaking begin!
Dear Readers: So many of you have been so kind to me over the years asking me about the THOSE WHO SAVE US movie. (I remember one reader inquiring at an event, “Do you have any interest in this book being made into a film?” and I said, “Hell yes, I have interest!”) I never thought I wanted to write the screenplay for my book. I thought that required an entirely different skill set than writing a novel–like expecting a cellist to be able to play an oboe because they’re both musical instruments. I thought that as an autocrat–which is what a novelist is, a control freak ruling her own fictional kingdom, as opposed to a screenwriter, who has to play well with others–I’d stick with writing books. I’d thought I’d take the money for the THOSE WHO SAVE US film option (whatever that might be) and run.
Then my producer offered me the chance to write the screenplay, and I did. (More about what that process taught me here, in this column for Grub Daily.)
What does it mean that the screenplay’s done and turned in?
It may very well prove true that I do indeed have a different writing skill set than the one necessary to write a screenplay. The screenplay may not be used at all. My producer might go with another writer, or she might bring in many writers as the translation process from book to screen continues. Even if–as in some ideal world that exists only in my head–she used the screenplay as I’ve written it word for word, it would still morph in the director’s hands, and the actors’, and the editors’, into its own creature.
The movie might not be made at all–at least not this round. The funding could fall through, the producer could change her mind. The option might revert back to me, like a rental property the tenants have vacated, then rented to someone else.
Like all of writing, this is not an instant-gratification scheme.
Still, I’m delighted to have the chance to have developed these new muscles. And I love the way the screenplay turned out. And I dearly, dearly hope the movie gets made, by this producer, with the cast I envision, and before I’m too old to go to the Oscars in a backless dress.
Speaking of casting: YOU decide. Who plays what roles?
Thank you for playing this magical game with me!