I think every novelist dreams of not only writing a bestseller and having it turned into a movie. So, let me get it this out of the way, I’m no different. And that’s where reality interferes.

Most, if not all, best sellers come from the large publishing houses. Does that mean they have the best writers? Maybe. It does mean they have the most marketing muscle to push the books, generate sales and voilà, the book is on the best seller list.

Some, but not all movies come from books. Many – don’t ask me for a percentage – are the product of a scriptwriter’s fertile imagination. There are also people reading books and unsolicited manuscripts for major movie houses looking for what could be the next blockbuster movie.

Why this sudden fascination about turning one of my books into a movie?  Well, I have taken two very small steps along this path. Out of chance – some would call it is networking – the son of one of my neighbors is in the movie business. After several conversations, he offered to introduce me to someone looking for new story ideas. His friend is a former screenwriter who is now an independent producer with ties to two of the major studios.

The first part of the conversation was disappointing. While he thought the story lines of the two books (Big Mother 40 and Forgotten) I suggested were probably worthy of a possible movie or cable series, Hollywood (in late July 2017) is looking for something ‘contemporary.’

Then we talked about my future books and I ran the plot of Flight of the Pawnee by him. It takes place in 2015. Next question was whom did I envision playing the lead role. After thinking about it for a few seconds, my answer was Matt Damon or Ben Affleck. We talked about Tom Cruise and Tom Hanks and I said no due to their age. The hero in Flight of the Pawnee is in his mid-thirties and Hanks is 61 and Cruise is 55.

Another topic. Hollywood doesn’t like giving terrorists ideas. What about the movie Black Sunday and all the Mission Impossible movies? We went back and forth on this subject for a few minutes.

He dispelled the myth ‘You need to have your novel converted to a movie script’ by telling me if you have one and the production company likes it, it will be edited and/or re-done. And, if they like your book/story idea, they’ll hire a screenwriter to turn it into a movie script.

Another question. Will the manuscript get published? My answer was yes. Now that it is done, I think it is good enough to go to a publisher. He asked when and I said end of August. Then he said he’d like to see it! Holy feces Batman! We agreed I would send him the version I send to a publisher.

Two very small baby steps have now been taken. Do I have hopes he’ll like it? Oh yeah! Do I think Flight of the Pawnee get made into a movie? One can only dream.

Marc Liebman

August 2017

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