Here, There and Everywhere

Posts tagged ‘The Academy Awards’

From Flicker to Film

First things first and that first was a flicker of an idea given by a friend in Sweden.

Next came the research, to find out everything I could about Siddhartha, Yasodhara and their families. That took about 2 years.

Then the writing began. Another year moseyed on bye.

Editing was the next step, which took approximately 6 months more.

Searching for and contacting a publisher that would look at the manuscript took about 2 years, plus another to find one that accepted the story for publication.

The novel, Buddha’s Wife, is finally published in August of 2009.

Before and upon publication, the continuous process of networking and publicizing the book in magazines, newspapers, journals, online, radio, speaking engagements and at bookstores continues.

The idea of having the book made into a film comes into fruition about the same time it is published and I start to contact producers to see who might be interested. Getting contact information for well known producers/actors takes a few months.

After contacting many about making the book into a film and sending the book to over 20 producers (or their agents) and screenwriters, we (Sacred World Productions and myself) find a few that “might” be interested, but who want to see the screenplay first.

Then, the search for a screenwriter begins in earnest about this time last year. 6 months ago, a brilliant screenwriter accepts the challenge on spec, to adapt the book into a contemporary story that takes place in North America.

As of today, we are expecting to see the first draft of the screenplay and treatment at any time.

Once we have the screenplay, we will be approaching several actors and directors to get them attached to the project.

Once we have some well known folks who have agreed to be in the film, we go back to the producers that previously expressed interest, as well as approach some new ones and try to get financing for the film. Getting financing could be another year or two and once it is in place, it will be another 1-2 years before actual filming, editing and production are complete. Then a distributor will have to be found.

After those few easy steps are all complete. Whoa-la! The film version of the novel Buddha’s Wife will be available for everyone to see. It will then be nominated in various categories for several award shows, including The Academy and become a box office bonanza.

Let’s see… if I add this all up, the total time from original conception to completion is ….. a measly 12 to 13 years!

The journey began in isolation and will end up with multiple collaborations and interdependent creative activities. The human and environmental variables that have, can and will effect the process, are countless.

This is definitely a process for marathoners and not sprinters. And as far as instant “fame” or “success”… well…. what can I say?

And The Winner Is?

No matter how commercial, glittery or fake the Oscar’s are, I still love ’em. Guessing who will win or who I want to win, is half the fun, even if I haven’t seen half the movies, actors or screenwriters that are up for awards.

It is ironic, since film, like books, are so different, one from the other, that the idea of comparing one to another is actually quite ridiculous. It’s always nice to have support and praise from your peers, but in many ways it is like comparing apples and oranges to guava, bananas and nectarines. Unlike books, film making is a totally collaborate and team effort.

To say a movie is “A film by….” is quite erroneous, since it usually takes hundreds, if not thousands of people to complete a story for the screen. Writers, producers, directors, editors, actors, drivers, camera operators, cinematographers, lights, sound and more and more and more.

There is also the fact that there are so many more important matters, events and concerns taking place around the world and awards shows pale in comparison to their importance. I’m not ignoring this reality by watching the Academy Awards, just taking a few minutes off. Movies also have the power to inspire, enlighten and transform the way people think and see the world, so I hope some of that is conveyed during the show.

So, in spite of these realities, I still like to watch every minute of the Academy Awards and have for years. Perhaps it is the small independent film or an unknown screenwriter, actor or director that has been working for years who has the chance to finally be recognized and appreciated. Maybe, it’s the appreciation I have for the amazing creativity and cooperation that is required to make a good film. Then there’s my fantasy to one day see my name mentioned, as “a film, based on the book by Gabriel Constans“. Whatever the reason, I know exactly where I (and most of our family and friends) will be at 6:00 pm this coming Sunday.

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