Should you adapt your own material for the silver screen?
"On Screenwriting" - Part 1
If you are a writer and you’re on social media, you might, like me, have respiratory problems when you see posts from other writers starting with “Some personal news.”
“Some personal news” is usually followed by news that is life-changing for the person in question: a book deal, a cushy teaching job finally nabbed, a huge promotion, or—the subject of today’s newsletter—the reveal that Author X will be adapting their own material for film producer Y.
If you’ve never had the enviable opportunity to adapt your own material for the silver screen, don’t leave us—please read on. Streaming platforms are the Cookie Monsters of contemporary media: their appetite for content is fathomless. They’re hungry at all hours. The Cookie Streaming monster could be coming for you, and I’d like you to be prepared.
In my opinion, the streaming service bubble will burst in the next three years. Already, projects are getting greenlit only to have those lights blow a fuse and burn out after the pilot is shot. In my opinion, Hollywood is in a quantity-over-quality acquisition phase, which makes looking for something good to watch the equivalent of looking for a shirt that won’t smell like BO after one wear at Forever 21.
I’ve been through the Hollywood process a few times and I’ve watched literary friends and colleagues go through it with varying degrees of satisfaction and success, so I wanted to share some recollections in case Tinseltown calls your cell.