HEY, LADY . . . HOW MUCH FOR YOUR KID?
One of the first questions people ask me about Rewrites and the fact that I’m producing it myself as an independent film is why? Why make the movie yourself?
Imagine this scenario. Some guy comes up to you and tells you he likes your little boy. Cute kid you got there, he says. I see potential in him. I think I can make something out of him that you can’t. Here’s what we’ll do. You hand him over to me, sever all ties with him, and give up all say in his upbringing. I’ll decide what kind of people he hangs out with, what kind of values are instilled in him, how I groom him and present him to the world. Your child may become a complete stranger to you or worse yet he may turn out to be someone terrible. Or your child may simply disappear, never to be seen again. In return for giving him to me, I’ll give you a chunk of cash.
It’s a bit of an exaggeration but for a writer this is basically what you do when you hand over your script or option a novel to Hollywood insiders.
With very few exceptions writers have little to no say about what happens to their words once they sell them. They also have no control over the timeline. We’ve all heard the stories of movies that took a decade or more to finally make it onto the screen.
In the course of my career all six of my novels have been shown around Hollywood with promises of being made into movies or a TV series. I’ve been courted and praised; I’ve also been lied to and robbed. None of these projects have ever been made . . . so far. I’m happy to say it looks like a few are finally moving forward, but I’ve been at this for sixteen years. To give you an idea of what the wait has been like for me, when my bestseller, Back Roads, was optioned for the first time Leonardo DiCaprio was being considered to play Harley; now he’s old enough to play Harley’s dad!
I feel very strongly about the quality and the importance of Rewrites and also the urgency behind its message. I don’t want to hand it over to strangers. I know exactly the kind of people I want my script to hang out with and it’s you: the people who believe in me and my work and who value excellence over dollar signs. What’s most important to me is that Rewrites is a film that will make everyone proud who is involved in its creation from cast and crew to investors and champions. There’s no reason why it can’t also make us a bunch of money (that’s my plan) but what really matters is that it’s a movie that will stay in your mind for days and beyond, a movie that will make you laugh out loud and also make you cry, one that will make you want to have a conversation, a real conversation with a human sitting next to you that doesn’t involve emojis.