Monday, January 26, 2009

Novels to Hollywood?

Kelli Mix sent me an email on the subject of trying to turn my novel into a movie, and she graciously consented to my publishing it. Thank you, Kelli! 

Here it is:

My husband owns an independent film company.  Check out  They are always searching for scripts.
Most production companies will not consider a book manuscript.  It
must be in script format.  So if you are serious about your manuscript
being transformed, you should contact a scriptwriter.  As a slush pile
script reader, I will give you the following pointers to consider
before attempting this monumental task:

1.  A large production company such as Universal will not typically
touch such a project.  They have an arsenal of multi-million dollar
scripts and writers constantly cranking out scripts.  So, unless you
are a cousin to Julia Roberts, stick to small independent film
companies.  It's not impossible, but similar to getting a Random House
2.  Period pieces are very expensive so most independent film
companies will not touch them.  It is preferable to have a film set in
current times (1980 - 2009).
3.  It is best if your setting is nowhereville.  Can it be produced in
any city or is it set in Rome or NYC - also costly & nearly impossible
to recreate.
4.  Consider your genre when soliciting.  Just like the book industry,
independent film companies have targeted genres where they make the
most money.  If a company has produced four horror movies, they will
likely not take on a romance.
5.  Does your book have any high action scenes such as cars blowing up
or bombs exploding - if so the cost of your production will be very
6.  You can sell the rights to your book and have the film company
hire scriptwriters, but you will lose all say in how the script is
7.  The "funny" market is good right now, but do consider that humor
scripts are one of the hardest sells because they do not typically
sell well to the international market, who makes up a good portion of
profit for film companies.  Humor does not translate well across
cultures.  On the flip side horror markets are huge overseas because
action & blood is internationally understood:).

Those are a few that come off the top of my head and have been drilled
into me when forwarding a script up the line of readers.  Let me know
if I can answer any other questions.  Again, check out my husband's
website because he just finished a television project (The Dukes of
Hazzard 30th Anniversary) after doing a movie set here in Georgia and
he just commented to me that he was ready to take on another film
project if he could find a good script.

Kelli Mix
Author of the Game Day Alamanac Official Rules of Poker


Helen Ginger said...

Good Tuesday morning! I wanted to let you know that I'm passing on to you the "When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Lemonade" Award. I hope you'll pass it on to 10 other deserving blogs! Yours is a very informative and interesting blog.


Anonymous said...

She's made some excellent points in her email. This is good stuff.

Bob Sanchez said...

Oh my gosh Helen, thank you! My very first web award!

On first glance at your email, I just saw "lemon," and I thought, uh-oh. Is my site a lemon?

Of course I will share it.

Anonymous said...

Good post and sound advice - thanks for sharing!

Helen Ginger said...

I gave you the award and forgot to comment on the post. Really good information. Thank you Kelli for the information and thank you Bob for sharing.

cindy said...

I loved this post. Many of my students dream of writing screenplays and this is just the kind of info they need!