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AA Institute
September 6th, 2005, 07:27 PM
Now that my sci-fi/fantasy novel is published and out in the market place, I was hoping to translate it into a screenplay for a feature film (link on my signature below). Incidentally, having it made into a movie was my original intention, :) as outlined in the concept web page here:-

http://www.astroscience.org/abdul-ahad/firstarktoalphacentauri.htm

So anyone here know what my options are now? I prefer not to get too involved in learning the additional craft of writing screenplays, as I want to concentrate more on novel writing, which is what I naturally enjoy most.

Any ideas as to how to get volunteers for script writing?

Thanks,

AA
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http://www.publishedauthors.net/aa_spaceagent/
"The ultimate dream adventure awaiting humanity..."
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Vixen
September 11th, 2005, 02:58 AM
If you do go into writing it yourself (and you prolably won't) I'd recomed the program Final Draft to straiten out all that pesky formating and such.

mammamaia
September 11th, 2005, 03:09 PM
if you're not able to write it yourself, and if it's violence-free, i might consider doing it for you... if it contains violence, i can't, but you'll find plenty of budding screenwriters hanging out at the following sites:

www.twoadverbs.com
www.imdb.com
donedeal at www.scriptsales.com

thing is, no one else i've ever come across does everything for free, and anyone else who's good enough at the craft to write something good enough to have a chance to be sold, will charge the going rate [$50-100k!...

lots of newbies will offer to do it on spec and split the credits/money [if any] later... but they're not likely to know much more than you do about writing a marketable screenplay...

if you do find someone you want to work with, make sure you get a collaboration contract in place before either of you writes a word, or you can well find yourself in the 12 level of legal hell later on... you can find a contract form at www.wga.com ...

drop me a line, if you want a format guide and help with anything...

love and hugs, maia
[email protected]

mammamaia
September 11th, 2005, 07:48 PM
"Screenplays are simple -- just very brief setting descriptions and dialogue. In fact, I think it's easier than writing a novel."

... it might be easier for a seasoned screenwriter who's never written a novel, but i beg to differ with that pronouncement, on a general level...

...it's not 'just' anything, as there are all sorts of dos and don'ts to follow, in crafting a good, competitively marketable, professional-level script... sure, it's easy to 'fake' one... but not to write a good one...

...screenwriting is the most specialized of all the written arts and takes a lot of talent and skill to do well enough to turn out scripts that will sell...

...believe me, i know, since the single largest group of those i mentor, is the screenwriting wannabe one... and most of what i have to plow through is just plain painfully awful!... both in quality/style of the writing and format...

AA Institute
September 13th, 2005, 09:06 AM
There's no real, explicit violence as such in the novel... mostly implied interactions between dream creatures (aliens) and sleeping people. The movie would need a lot of atmosphere and special effects to re-create the subtle tensions, and the dark and sinister "cloud" of fear that hangs over the starship interior...

I have to agree with Maia, this needs to be written with a lot of thought and know-how as it will be for a big budget movie. To create the (6 mile x 9 mile) cylindrical interior world with pine forests, distant settlements, lakes and Eridanus river that flows across the 'sky' and the 'curved' landscape with sub-tropical thunderstorms, little pet robots that fly around, a bridge over the river made up of pure *diamond*... the surface mining of comets... etc. is all going to cost a high sum. So the screenplay will need to be a detailed project that will be demanding to write...

(Of course, there is always room to cut stuff out and simplify things for the sake of budgeting.)

On the question of percentages: how much is a typical split between the screenwriter and the novel writer?
With this project, ideally, I would like to share some of my own ideas that will go into the screenplay. But in all honesty, I'm not skilled enough to write much of the script itself - that I will have to leave to the script writer.


AA
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http://www.publishedauthors.net/aa_spaceagent/
"The ultimate dream adventure awaiting humanity..."
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mammamaia
September 13th, 2005, 12:39 PM
aa...
since your novel has been published, it may not be up to you to cut a deal for a film adaptation... most publishing contracts include the film rights, so the publisher is the one who'd negotiate a sale to studio/prodco, even if you do the adaptation yourself... the publisher would also be entitled to a piece of the pie, as would your agent, if you had one...

so, your first step has to be checking your agent/publisher contracts... if you self-published or went with a pod, you'll still have to see what the film rights clause covers...

if you have free rein in adapting novel or selling the film rights, you have more than one option...

if you pay a screenwriter to write the script, it's work for hire, and there's no split... the writer's fee will be all s/he gets... but we're talking mega-bucks here... wga's basic minimums are $47-87k for a 'non-original' screenplay [=adaptation of other material]

if you cut a deal with a non-wga writer, you'll either pay whatever lower fee makes you both happy, or agree to a back-end split, meaning the writer gets a percentage when/if it sells... that can be 50-50 or just about anything you both agree to...

however... writers good enough to be able to write a marketable script are not going to go for a back-end deal... they write to make a living, and since there's little chance of the thing ever selling, no one's gonna put off months of paid work for such a gamble...

no matter what you do, you'll have to accept that your book most likely won't end up on the screen the way you imagine... you have no control over how it's cast/shot, once you sell the script... it can be turned into something you can't even recognize and there won't be a thing you can do about it...

fyi, there's at least one movie out there already, with just such a space-set world as you describe... can't recall the title or cast, but i've seen it on cable...

for more detailed info, email and i'll fill you in on anything more you need to know...

hugs, maia
[email protected]

AA Institute
October 3rd, 2005, 02:06 PM
<< most publishing contracts include the film rights, so the publisher is the one who'd negotiate a sale to studio/prodco, even if you do the adaptation yourself... the publisher would also be entitled to a piece of the pie, as would your agent, if you had one... >>

According to the contract terms and all the correspondence I have raised with the publisher prior to signing, I retain all film and performance rights. The publisher owns only the literary rights to print and distribute my novel for a duration of 7 years.

So I am going to look for someone who is enthusiastic about the concept and willing to have a go at doing the screenplay...

AA
------------------------------********-----------------------*-*-*-*-*-*---------
http://www.publishedauthors.net/aa_spaceagent/
"The ultimate dream adventure awaiting humanity..."
------------------------------********-----------------------*-*-*-*-*-*---------

mammamaia
October 3rd, 2005, 03:12 PM
aa... i just checked the copy of pa's contract i keep in my files, and found that they have exclusive rights to negotiate for film adaptation, etc., only if instructed to do so by you in writing... so, assuming you gave them no such written approval, it does seem you're not bound to have to include them in any adaptation deals you may want to enter into...

but, as i noted in some detail above, finding someone who's good enough at the craft to write a marketable screenplay isn't all that hard, but you won't find any who will do it for free... i seem to be the only nut around who does such stuff, but that's only because i vowed to never work for money any more, having done enough of that in my 'old life'...

so, those you'll find who will do it for half ownership in the finished product will be amateurs, because no pro works for nothing... and no one who knows the film industry would work for months, taking time from paying work, on the slim-to-none chance that a spec will ever sell, paying them 'eventually' who-knows-what, for all that work...

if you go ahead anyway, and hook up with someone who says they think they can write this for you and who won't want any upfront money to do so, for heaven's sake, get a collaboration contract in place BEFORE you agree to anything, or let them write a single word... if you don't, you run the very real risk of serious legal problems down the road... and, before you sign any agreement, have your own attorney take a look at it... and make sure that attorney specializes in the film industry or at least literary law... otherwise, you're cutting your own throat...

email me if you want any help with this, basic info, or advice on how to proceed... best of luck to you with your project...

love and hugs, maia
[email protected]

glennstewart
March 24th, 2006, 09:41 AM
I've sold the film rights separately, and in concert with the book rights, but nothing has ever been automatically included in any contract presented to me by an agent or publisher....get an intellectual property lawyer, I did...I'm surprised you've already signed a publishing comtract without legal consultation. Good luck...Glenn

AA Institute
March 24th, 2006, 10:23 PM
With Publish America, one has to sign a separate agreement that is separate to the literary contract, which hands over the movie rights to the book. I have not done that with my contract, so I am sitting pretty waiting for some time on my hands to be able to write a screenplay :)

Before signing my contract with them, I checked the conditions via e-mails which I hold for the record. The movie rights are mine, not just for this first book on this long and epic adventure voyage... but also for the numerous subsequent books I am hoping to write in this series.

There's been a few good reviews from the few people that have so far read my book, and they all see this as a good bet for future cinema:


http://www.cybersylhet.com/modules.php?name=Emdad&file=abdul_ahad

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/141379324X/qid=1124361358/sr=8-1/ref=sr_8_xs_ap_i1_xgl14/002-0426244-3991222?n=507846&s=books&v=glance

http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/141379324X/qid%3D1124361861/202-9498475-2098210

http://www.publishamerica.com/shopping/shopreviewlist.asp?id=10530

http://www.amazon.de/exec/obidos/ASIN/141379324X/qid=1143124963/sr=2-1/ref=sr_2_9_1/028-4953814-8824569

AA

RussellN
March 29th, 2006, 12:01 PM
I've written two TV show scripts that are being reviewed by an director at the moment - and it does require a very different mindset. One that I think I have (with two short scripts....... ). I don;t expect my scripts to ever be used (one was written in 24 hours - 22 pages), but I hope to learn from the exercise.

As an amateur I doubt that I could write a film script well enough to make it commercially viable - but I'd love to try converting a chapter for the exercise and you never know - I might find I can do it.

Can I get the book easily in Australia? Or can you send me the first chapter (if you are willing) for me to have a go? If I don;t think I can I will let you know very quickly.

I leave it to you - I can understand if you feel unable to try it or if you'd prefer to go for a more experienced writer. If you want to send it to me, the email address is [email protected] .com, and give me 48 hours to look at it.

*********
And then I scroll down on the provided link and find "ta-da" chapter one. I'll take a look and see what I think

NB. Perhaps I'd better change my sig - idiot for hire.

RussellN
March 31st, 2006, 02:11 AM
I've had a look, and while I will still have a go at it I don't think I could do it the justice it deserves.

When I've written some I'll post it for you to review and see what you think.

AA Institute
April 17th, 2006, 08:21 AM
It'd be great to see how the script looks :)

Meanwhile, here's a chapter from my book for inspiration:

http://www.astroscience.org/abdul-ahad/firstarktoalphacentauri/chapter3.htm

mammamaia
April 18th, 2006, 07:25 AM
i clicked on that link to take a look, but there's no 'chapter' there, abdul... just a slew of photos that seem to have been gleaned from a variety of sources... i see you have a copyright notice at the bottom, to protect your 'script' but whose art work is that?... if those are not all your own photos, don't you have to cite the owners of the copyrights? [i only saw 2 with your signature]...

also, how can they be actual scenes from a movie that hasn't been made yet?... what am i missing?

and i'm confused by your referral to 'chapter' as well, since you seem to be referring to a screenplay, not a book... or do you have this in novel form and as a script?

AA Institute
April 18th, 2006, 09:47 AM
Hi Mamma,

Sorry... just a bit of harmless fun, with a few royalty free pics that my friend dug out for me. It was meant to give a couple of cut scenes from the "novel" to show what a movie could look like... and I got him to change the page to say this now!

(Do you still think it's inappropriate? If you say so, I can get it removed)

No, I don't have a screenplay yet... just day dreaming about the novel :) and polishing up a sequel, which is due out in the summer.

cheers.
AA

hellodolly
May 3rd, 2006, 03:24 AM
With Publish America, one has to sign a separate agreement that is separate to the literary contract, which hands over the movie rights to the book. I have not done that with my contract, so I am sitting pretty waiting for some time on my hands to be able to write a screenplay :)

Before signing my contract with them, I checked the conditions via e-mails which I hold for the record. The movie rights are mine, not just for this first book on this long and epic adventure voyage... but also for the numerous subsequent books I am hoping to write in this series.

There's been a few good reviews from the few people that have so far read my book, and they all see this as a good bet for future cinema:

AA

Maia is right about the publisher handling the movie rights. Most traditional publisher have an inside to Hollywood and the movies rights are already sold or optioned before the book even comes out (if it looks like a potential hit). As a novelist, you probably wouldn't even get a crack a writing the screenplay . . . they have too many seasoned professionals to do that and do it better than a first time writer. Even if you did write the screenplay and had the good fortune to sell it (first time out) most likely it would be re-written by a seasoned professional before it would ever get to the preproduction stage. You might get a "story by" credit.

If you are serious about writing any screenplays, you need to understand that at lest 95% of all screenwriters don't even get any notice until their 5th screenplay (at best). As a novelist and a screenwriter, I can tell you hands down, writing a screenplay is ten times harder than a novel. It's a separate art form which is extremely difficult to master. That's why there are so few good screenwriters and lots of good novelists. If you want to write screenplays, start now so by the time you have your 5th to 10th one done, you might be able to say you can write a screenplay . . . maybe.

writingismyxmusic
May 30th, 2006, 03:56 AM
I think you should wait a while until the book becomes popular. Then, look for screenwriters to make a screenplay out of it. That's how it usually works.

mammamaia
May 31st, 2006, 03:17 AM
not really... the author doesn't usually 'look for screenwriters'... the publisher [who will most likely control the film rights] generally will be approached by a studio or producer, who then will hire a screenwriter to adapt the novel for them...

AA Institute
July 19th, 2006, 09:43 AM
Just to keep people here appraised about the progress of the ark (and my books), Part 2 in this epic 50,000 year long interstellar adventure is called 'The True Price of Immortality' and is due out August 7th!

All the details are on my publisher's website:-

http://www.publishedauthors.net/aa_spaceagent

I am also on the MySpace network, so if you've read my book(s) or generally want to have a chat, come say hello at:-

http://www.myspace.com/aa_spaceagent


My best wishes to everyone here,

Abdul Ahad (from Luton, UK)

mammamaia
July 20th, 2006, 12:52 AM
All the details are on my publisher's website:-

http://www.publishedauthors.net/aa_spaceagent (http://www.publishedauthors.net/aa_spaceagent)

does this publisher pay royalties?... do they put out an actual book, or just post the mss on their site?... i don't see any info on that and would like to know more, as i am always on the lookout for reputable publishers to pass on to those i mentor...

AA Institute
July 21st, 2006, 04:40 PM
Yes, they are a reputable publisher who do not charge a cent to publish people and they do pay their authors royalties, depending on how many copies of books have been sold.

Both of my books are available through all the normal distribution channels worldwide, like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc and are orderable in book stores as paperback books. If you wanted to examine the print quality of PublishAmerica books first hand, you are more than welcome to buy one of mines :)

Sincerely,
Abdul Ahad

K-P
July 22nd, 2006, 12:31 AM
Riiiight. No reputable publisher sells a paperback for $19.95. None. Not unless Fabio is on the cover.

mammamaia
July 22nd, 2006, 12:42 AM
sorry, abdul, but PA is somewhat less than 'reputable'... the prices they set for their books keep sales to a minimum... usually just the family and friends of the writer will buy them... which is how PA makes their money... few [if any] other book buyers will order their books from a bookstore, because they won't know they exist...

generally, the only way you'll see them sold in bookstores, is if you buy them from PA and then personally arrange with the store owners to take them...

but i could be wrong... how many copies have each of your books sold so far?... and how many of those were to strangers?