Last night, I finally received my review copy of the first draft of the movie script for Hell Holes: What Lurks Below from the scriptwriter. It’s cool to see how he expanded the movie outline into an actual script. It’s progressing nicely, but there is still a lot to do, especially with regard to the character Aileen O’Shannon. I sent off my initial observations and recommendations based off of my initial quick read. I’m planning on spending a lot of this weekend going over it with a fine toothed comb in preparation for a conference call with the producer and scriptwriter Monday. According to the schedule for the script, we are getting pretty close to the end. It should be finalized in about a month and a half. Then, the producer will have a year of shopping rights to find a studio and investors. I’m keeping my fingers crossed and am cautiously hopeful. I think the script will make an exciting fun movie, but few scripts ever make it all the way to a film.
On July 5th, I received the draft outline of the movie script for my book, Hell Holes: What Lurks Below, from Leland Anderson. I’ve worked on it most of today and feel pretty good about the result so far: my version of Leland’s version of my story. It’s definitely been interesting reading someone else’s take on my plot and characters. It’s a little like the science fiction idea of an alternate timeline. And not that I’ve made a lot of small changes to it, Leland’s story has morphed into something that I feel I simultaneously wrote and didn’t write. Very bizarre. I hope if the movie ever gets made (and the story will certainly get changed again if it does), you like it as well as you like the book.
Michael Chamoy, the producer who is leading the effort to produce a movie script for my Hell Holes trilogy and then pitch the script to potential buyers, made two nice recommendations that I have just implemented in new drafts of my first two books. I have modified the magic aspects to make them alien demon technology (using Arthur C. Clarke’s Third Law to tie the sci-fi and paranormal aspects together) and introduced a prime antagonist: the supreme ruler of Hell, the demon homeworld. As soon as my editor finishes her review of the changes, I shall issue new editions of the books, hopefully sometime in the next couple of weeks.
On April 21st, Hollywood producers Michael Chamoy and Nat Mundel acquired the shopping rights to my Hell Holes trilogy with the ultimate goal of turning it into a major feature film. They are currently hiring a scriptwriter to produce the script and movie treatment based on the books over the next four to six months, after which they will pitch the film to prospective buyers such as studio execs and investors. I am particularly happy to have Mike as the producer for three reasons. First, he has experience on science-fiction movies (The Incredible Hulk) and TV series (Alphas) and therefore understands the genre. Second, he has already given me two excellent ideas for improving both the books and making the script more marketable: a way of tying the science fiction, paranormal fantasy, and horror together into a unified whole, and he opening my eyes to the value of having a primary antagonist to put a single face on the horde of nameless demons. Third, we hit it off during our initial telephone call in a collaborative way that convinced us that we can work well together. While the odds are always low that any single script will ever eventually make it into becoming an actual movie given the flood of scripts competing to be filmed, I have a good feeling about this and great hopes. If nothing else, the next year should be an interesting ride.
For the next couple of months, I am going to concentrate my writing on supporting the script writing process and making the associated changes to Hell Holes: What Lurks Below and Hell Holes: Demons on the Dalton. For example, I am putting together a “cheat sheet” for the Mike and the script writer on the characters, the demons, and Hell, the demon homeworld, which I hope will make it easier to capture my vision. I understand that the movie will be different than the books in terms of what’s included, emphasized, and changed to fit the media of film as opposed to books. Still, I’d like to minimize the unnecessary differences between the two.