The Book Adaptation Business: Keys to Turning Your Book Into A Film Or Original Series

 

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Keys to Turning Your Book Into A Film Or Original Series – Part 3          

Why Do I Need Short Form Materials?

In Parts 1 and 2 of this series — The Keys to Turning Your Book Into A Film Or Original Series– we discussed how to solve the time (and money) problem for a producer, how to make a producer’s life easy and really attract them to your book, and how to view this entire process as the business that it is – the “Adaptation Business”.

Today in Part 3, we are going to start discussing exactly how to do this. To start, one of the best ways of beginning this process is by creating short form materials. Let’s take a look at what short form materials look like, why they’re important, and how you can create them…

What Are Short Form Materials?

There are a variety of valuable short form materials, but the most effective for promoting your book to producers are:

Logline
 – Loglines are quick, one-sentence summaries of your book written in exciting and visual entertainment speak, can be really great sales tools, and serve a bit like your ‘elevator pitch’.

Synopsis (or Book Summary)
 – This is probably self-explanatory, but a synopsis is a short summary that provides a clear and concise outline of the story. Although longer than a logline, this should be relatively short.

Treatments – In most cases, a treatment is a 7 to 10 page breakdown of the story outlining the beginning, middle, and end.  This document is a great sales tool because it solves a big part of the producer’s time problem, and can even be adapted into a screenplay.

Screenplay – This is the blueprint of the film itself. There is no film without a screenplay. This is also a great tool, because it solves a time and money problem for the producer, because they don’t have to worry about hiring a screenwriter of their own to write the adaptation.

Making it Easy

You want to solve the time problem for a producer – making it easier for him or her to commit to your project — by creating materials that you can use to develop a producer’s interest.  Short form materials are important because producers are busy.  Producers, or any buyer in entertainment for that matter, have a pile of material that they have to get through on their desk and they are inherently going to want to get through the stuff that is either the most compelling or the easiest to get through.

Everything else falls to a secondary or tertiary level.  If you’re a self published or unpublished author, there’s a preconceived idea that your material isn’t necessarily strong and isn’t ready to be adapted for the screen. Now, that may or may not be true, but it does mean it doesn’t come with a compelling and urgent dynamic, therefore, you have to use a different tactic and make your project easy to get through and review.

By creating short form materials, you make it easy for a producer to get to know your story, get to know your characters, get to know if this is a story that resonates with them and with their marketplace or that it is compelling for them –  and that they want to go to the next step of reading longer materials and take that step toward reading and maybe even optioning your book.

So short form materials serve to make a producer’s life easier. (And anything that you can do to make a potential buyer’s life easier is a great way to go.)

Producers Are Busy

Producers, or any buyer in entertainment for that matter, have a pile of material on their desk that they must get through, and they will gravitate towards the most compelling, well-presented work.

The most compelling materials are usually bestselling books that every buyer wants (there great urgency around making an offer on them), projects that are brought forward by well known agents or managers (that might have well known talent already attached), or projects that are being put forth by the top producers in the industry.

Everything else falls to a secondary or tertiary level.  If you’re a self published or unpublished author, there is a preconceived notion that your material isn’t strong enough or isn’t ready to be adapted for the screen.

Now, there are tons of great self-published and unpublished books, so this definitely isn’t always true. But, regardless of how good the book is, it simply doesn’t carry the urgency of a bestseller. So you must find a different tactic to compensate for the lack of urgency…

By creating short form materials, you make it easy for a producer to get to know your story, your characters, and quickly determine if the story resonates with them and their marketplace – the next step is reviewing your longer materials (your book) and then potentially even optioning it.

So, to sum all of this up, short form materials serve to make a producer’s life easier. And anything that you can do to make a potential buyer’s life easier is the most effective thing you can do to increase the chances of getting your project off the ground.

In our next issue, we’re going to really break down these tools and discuss how to create them (and make sure they’re of high quality and in the correct format that producers understand).

 

 

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2 Comments

  1. Thanks for the great tips. I’ve enjoyed reading Parts 1-3 of THE KEYS TO TURNING YOUR BOOK INTO A FILM, and am looking forward to more. Much appreciated.

    Reply
    • I appreciate every learning facet to help me get those pages out of my head and computer and into readers’ eyes. Thank you. JC

      Reply

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