Saturday, January 7, 2012

breakout session four: optioning your book for film

I don't know whether this is actually Breakout Session 4 or not. I have lost track.

Look at all the free shit I give you.

Well, kind of free.

I realize that a while back I started talking about the movie option for The Marbury Lens, and then I got sidetracked.

That happens.

I know a lot of people don't really know what it means when a book gets optioned for film, but here's the simplified version:

It is like selling your child to your next-door neighbor for a year or two.

If you are okay with selling your child to your next-door neighbor for a year or two, then you have to be willing to shrug off certain things -- like blood curdling pleas for help in the middle of the night, bad hygiene, and poor fashion choices, like Crocs or hairstyles evocative of Kim Jong Il.

Hmmm... is next-door supposed to be hyphenated?

How about blood curdling?

This is why we have copy editors.

Copy editors are like invisible angels that poop frosted raspberry cupcakes from the heavens.

Did I just hear a scream?

No matter.

I'll just crank up the Andrea Bocelli.

[If you knew me, you would laugh at that. I would rather die than crank up Andrea Bocelli. I do not like to get screamed at in Italian. It creeps me out.]

You can get a haircut when you come home. Now quit complaining.

There is a script.

I have it.

If you have read The Marbury Lens, then you know it is a huge story, with stories inside stories that go back as far as the late 1800s.

I realize that the only possible way you could make that child into a 100-minute movie is by rearranging some of the furniture in the playground.

Do playgrounds have furniture?

This is precisely why my childhood wasn't very fun.

Go outside and play on the coffee table, Drew... Or we'll sell you to the creepy man next door for a few years.

I am not complaining.

Don't get me wrong.

I am explaining, in my usual whimsy-infused manner.

I write books, not movies.

I watched a movie the other night with my family.

This is the truth.

As I sat there watching it (the part I did not sleep through), I thought the following quietly to myself:

If I wanted to write a movie like this, I would have to have a portion of my brain surgically removed, blended with margarine and candy corn, heated to a boil, and then injected back into my skull.

That did not sound like a good idea.

Listen: I am pretty much okay with anything anyone wants to do in movieland once I sign the paper.

It just has to be that way.

I write books.

But I do believe two things:

I believe The Marbury Lens will be a very good movie.

I also believe I would like a cupcake.