Also the Comments on this post contain many SPOILERS! Don't read them if you haven't finished the book!!!!
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Q: My friend and I love your books so much, we were fantasizing about your making a movie. Have you ever considered it? If not, please do!
Periodically I am asked this question: Would you consider making the books into movies? Are you making the books into movies? When will you make the books into movies? I've been asked this for a long time. The answer is complicated.
On the one hand, my husband and I would LOVE to make the books into movies.
Although we did have the opportunity to make The Shadow of the Bear into an audio drama, it took us quite a lot of our own personal money (as in, THOUSANDS of dollars) plus several years of work. And we've barely made even a fraction of the money we spent on the audio drama. It was truly a work of love, :) but the cost was such that we can't even consider making an audio drama of Black as Night with our existing resources.
Movies costs MILLIONS of dollars to make. Even low-budget, direct-to-video releases are in the range of hundreds of thousands of dollars. We just don't have that kind of money. We also don't have that kind of time. (We had three kids and mostly free evenings when we started the audio drama: now we're expecting our 7th!)
More to the point, we just don't have enough experience making movies to really take on the complicated and difficult process of creating quality films of the books. And if we were to make the books into movies, we'd want to do a good job. A really good job.
Both my husband and I were radio-tv majors in college: neither of us has studied or has experience with film (though I have been studying scriptwriting). We were able to do the audio drama because we had free professional equipment and free studio space, mostly volunteer actors, and a free sound technician. And my husband had amateur radio drama experience. But movies need far more than that.
Films require business plans, acquring investors, marketing research, distribution channels, and connections in the industry of all kinds as well as the things we usually think of: scriptwriting, hiring actors, expensive cameras, editing equipment, etc. In fact, writing the script for a film of the book would be about the only aspect of filmmaking I'd be qualified to do.
This is why authors generally don't make movies of their own books. So how do books get made into movies? This is an overview of how it works:
Authors, via an agent, offer to sell the film rights of their book to a movie producer or production company. Usually film rights are sold for thousands, sometimes millions of dollars. For a movie company to become interested in aquring the film rights, the book would have to be *very* successful. Right now my books haven't sold enough copies to attract the attention of any of the larger movie companies, so the chance of an agent being willing to take on the job of trying to sell my movie rights is very slim.
And, I should point out, even if I could sell the rights to my books, that's no guarantee that the books would actually get made into movies. Larger movie companies have been notorious for snapping up the rights for any potentially interesting book and then sitting on them for decades and decades before actually filming the movie (this happened with A Wrinkle in Time, for instance, a book far more famous than mine). And some books whose rights have been sold have *never* been made into movies.
By the way, once the rights are sold, I would have no control over what sort of movie would be made from my books. I could ask to have first dibs on writing the script as part of the deal, but theoretically the movie company could change all the characters, change the ending, or do anything they wanted with the story once they own the rights. It's just the way these things work.
So right now, the chance of the books getting made into movies the *conventional* way is very slim.
However, there is another way: if a smaller production company was interested in acquiring the rights to the books, and was willing to work with me, such as by letting me write the script or work as a consultant on the film, I'd definitely be open. My husband and I have our eye on a few such production companies, but really, making a movie is such a complicated, expensive process that involves so many people and is fraught with so many difficulties that I feel safe saying that it would be a long time before movies of my books will be made.
But it sure is fun to think about!
So, if you want to see my books made into movies -- pray. If God wants them made into movies, nothing is impossible for Him.
And if you feel so called, study moviemaking, move to Hollywood, and join the movie business. And if years from now you are working in the industry and still think the books would make great movies, get in touch. :)
Thanks for the question!