Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Getting the call from Hollywood



So, from time to time I get an email from someone talking about films. Often they're enthusiastic amateurs who want to do something with Prince of Thorns. Occasionally they're script writers interested in optioning the rights to a screenplay, and more frequently they're someone on the lower rungs of a media company whose job appears to be buying up the rights to lots of books for very little money just in case they make it big and then they become valuable.

When I got an email from Wolfgang Hammer last year my first thoughts were, "cool name!" and "not another one..." in that order.

Then I googled him. He's the excutive behind Woman in Black, and more recently he found and developed House of Cards, which sold to Netflix, and as an internet-only release went on to earn 9 Emmy nominations!

So, no, not 'another one' ... someone who really can make things happen.

And he wanted to skype with me about his hopes for bringing the Broken Empire trilogy to the screen -- by starting with an experiment.

In a nutshell, Wolfgang wants reader (I still can't call them fans ... it just sounds wrong) involvement at every level. At the earliest stages this might mean canvasing readers on the various compromises/adjustments that are required to move from book to TV series. At a later stage it might involve readers voting on screen tests to influence the selection of actors for particular roles, or suggesting specific actors to invite for screen test. It could even run to reader art and design being included.




To facilitate this interaction some friends of Wolfgang's have created a space for collaborative creation that runs within Facebook, so that conversations can be held, polls taken, ideas and images shared.

So stage 1 of this process is to get a bunch of interested parties to come along and start engaging with the first questions to arise from the 'TV treatment' I've come up with (a document pitching the book as a TV series and laying out the content).

There are no promises here, but the process could potentially lead to seeing Jorg do his thing on a TV screen near you. Additionally it's a chance to see that process from the inside and to contribute.

So, if you're interested, click HERE and let's get going!







16 comments:

  1. This actually sounds pretty brilliant.

    I hope it works out well.

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  2. Hello, my name is William Higor, I'm from Brazil, I want to thank you for this magnificent work that brought us aficionados for reading and good literature, I mean 'Chorg' odiávelmente is a lovely character, while I think their bad decisions I have to agree with them and wait what will come ahead, thanks again for bringing this new world for all of us readers.

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  3. First thought I add when started reading the post was "not another golden compass..!" and then "they actually have good ideas" afterwards "sadly this wouldn't work with Broken Empire".
    Don't want to be pessimist but I find so many problems for the Broken Empire to become a TV series... It is centered in a single character (that grows!) with one plot line, it has varied and big "medieval" settings, much of the character development is not done through actions or talking but simply by us being inside the character head... And in case it would go forward the Author would have to be present on every step to hold the reins from the "creative" TV producers...
    Concluding Broken Empire is perfect! But it is a book and will not win anything from a TV production, and as much as the Author might enjoying getting a bit richer ;-) I prefer if he would keep his focus on writing, in which he's very good by the way.

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    1. what do you feel about books 3,4 or 5 of game of thrones coming on tv? Books are drag as hell and felt like the shock at the ends are just to give fans something after toiling for 500 pages of slow story telling. Book and tv are different yes, but the same characterization can be projected by other forms in tv. I really am excited for broken empire and feel the futuristic titbits(nukes..etc) would make viewers go in awe

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    2. I have no idea...did't read GOT yet.
      But one of the great characteristics of POT is that it doesn't drag at all. There is always something happening, and we jump from one thing to the other.

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  4. What? No "Facebook is the devil!" comments yet? ;)

    Cool stuff. Hope it all turns out for the best.

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  5. Very nice. Congratulations Mark - I hope it all comes together for you.

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  6. I want to give feedback. But I don't want to use facebook. Come on Mark!! not everyone uses facebook

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  7. Wow a Film or TV series either one sounds very exciting

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  8. Love the series! Joining the Facebook page, how cool to be part of this process.

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  9. I like the thought of the books turning into film...I'm just not sure the story will still be the same. You see it time and again with other stories. But I'm willing to give it a go!

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  10. As much as I support the idea and concept and as much as I cheer for your success, I just can't really see that novel translated to a big screen. I don't know, it just feels wrong somehow. The impact your writing has left on me couldn't compare to a visualization, no matter how well executed. There are just things that can't be told in pictures, not like you do with words.
    And I don't even want to start thinking about the probable changes.
    But that's just my opinion. ;)

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  11. Big Screen yes or cable channel series perhaps yes

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  12. Noooooooooooooooooo!!!! Just kidding. Do it for the money. I don't watch TV anyway. Funny thing I've found with Game of Thrones is that my friends, who would never ever be caught reading a fantasy novel, will willingly and devotedly watch one on TV, especially if it is a softporn in disguise.

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  13. My first thought when I read this was OMFG house of cards and then that you have to run to someone at HBO/ AMC to make it so you can have all the "un-decency" in the show and I can get to see jorg be as jorg as I want him to be on screen. But definitely TV I couldn't see this being on the silver screen to be honest I would just look wrong to me personally

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