In this piece, I’ll go through the fundamentals of turning your book into a film. Since my post on short film ideas went viral this year, I’ve had a few letters inquiring about it.
This essay will look at the many alternatives available to authors and will include links to some of the greatest pieces I’ve discovered online on the subject.
What is your motivation for pursuing this?
First, we must confront the realities of creating a film. The great majority of screenplays that are created will never be produced into films.
Producers only option a small percentage of screenplays.
If you want a vast number of people to read your novel, you should stick to books. After all, if you become a well-known writer, producers would approach you directly, making things much easier.
The odds are stacked against you for a career as a screenwriter, but if you still want to pursue it, here are five things to take:
1. Consult with your agent
If you are a working writer with a literacy agent, they may have contacts to help you get this process ahead more quickly. So, first, contact your agency or publishing business to see if they can point you in the correct way. They may also be able to assist you in locating a suitable screenwriter to convert the book to screenplay format.
2. Locate a producer
How do you option a book for a film? The phrase ‘option’ in filmmaking refers to a legal arrangement between a producer (or a movie studio) and a source of material for adaptation (book, play, short story etc.). To have your book optioned, you’ll need to pique the interest of a producer or production firm.
Producers are looking for stuff that already has an audience. A producer may be interested in your book if it has already sold thousands of copies. You may identify and contact producers and production firms on your own (through IMDB pro). Look for people who have already done films that are related to your concept and genre.
A novel with no established audience, no well-known director/producer, and no actors connected will be more difficult to fund.
3. Create a screenplay
How do you adapt a book into a screenplay? Think of employing a scriptwriter. Collaborating with a scriptwriter with a track record of success can only help. Commissioning the script yourself is a viable alternative, especially if your book hasn’t sold thousands of copies.
If you can write a novel, you should be able to write a screenplay as well. Reading previous scripts may help you master the format, and if you’re prepared to put in the effort, you can accomplish the job yourself.
4. Submit your screenplay
There are screenplay competitions all across the world. If you write your own script, you can enter these competitions with other screenwriters. Search Google for screenplay writing competitions in your country; there are also Hollywood contests that allow foreign submissions.
Pitch sessions are also held at several film festivals. Look for film festivals that include films that are related to your plot and genre (as this is more likely to attract people who would make your film).
If you ask gently, production firms may view your unsolicited script. If you send a producer a treatment or a courteous email requesting them to consider your script, they may read it if they respond. There are other open submissions calls, such as those at the BBC’s Writers Room.
5. Be Self-Reliant
How can you make your book into a film? If your agency is unable to assist you and the contests do not pay off, the independent way may be your only alternative.
Filmmaking is a difficult industry; even if your script is fantastic, you may find that the only option to have it produced into a film is to create it yourself.