FROM BOOKS TO FILM — Getting the Hollywood Treatment


Panel
FROM BOOKS TO FILM — Getting the Hollywood Treatment

Monday, March 22, 2010

“Look what they’ve done to my book, Ma!”

This month, the Independent Writers of Southern California presents a special program, on “Getting the Hollywood Treatment” — and what it means for novelists, memoir and biography authors, and journalists.  How can a writer best position his or her work for a screen option? What can a novelist expect when his or her book gets an offer to be adapted into a movie?  Does a self-published and small press author carry professional credibility? If not, how does one establish it? What storytelling qualities help make a novel, biography/memoir, or news article a must-see for the screen? And likewise, how has the lightning pace of movies and TV changed what Larry McMurtry calls “the Culture of the Book”?

These questions and more will be discussed and explained by a lineup of writers who have had their material adapted for the screen (or who have adapted another writer’s work), as well as, literary agents and executives who decide WHICH books and articles garner a movie deal in the first place!  Students, aspiring writers, entertainment scribes, journalists and authors of books or screenplays will find much to learn. A Q&A plus polite networking with the panelists will follow the discussion.

Our panelists:

DAN WATANABE works in scripted and unscripted programming, as well as, international distribution of feature films.  He is a 25-year veteran of Hollywood film and TV development with over a decade in program development at FremantleMedia, the production company behind Baywatch, American Idol, Family Feud, and The Price is Right. Dan also serves as a consultant for CRC Entertainment, an independent production company, and has written audience research reports for clients including Fox, New Line, Warner Independent, and Regency. Watanabe is a Professor of Media Arts at Los Angeles Valley College, teaching classes in screenwriting, production, broadcasting, and low budget/independent filmmaking.

BARNEY LICHTENSTEIN holds a Master’s Degree in Fine Arts and is a UCLA Instructor of Screenwriting. He served as a story analyst for Amblin Entertainment (Steven Spielberg), New Line Cinema, and Largo Entertainment, and has assisted in training story analysts for studios, networks, and independent production companies as well as the Sundance Institute.  In 2006, he received the UCLA Extension “Outstanding Instructor Award” in Screenwriting.

MARVIN J. WOLF is IWOSC’s own award-winning author, biographer, and screenwriter. He has turned two of his books into TV movies and has come close to producing two books he optioned from other writers. As a “recovering” photojournalist and magazine writer, Marvin has taught at Glendale College and Cal State Fullerton, and is a four-time IWOSC past president.

TELLY DAVIDSON moderator.
He has written about TV, film, and culture for Yahoo Movies, FilmStew, 213 Magazine, iF, TV-Now, Guitar Player, Entertainment Today, the LA Daily News, Newsmakers, HollywoodChicago, the American Film Institute, and even the liberal Republican blog The FrumForum.com.  His work in media tie-ins includes the book “TV’s Grooviest Variety Shows,” which was cited by Goodreads, National Public Radio, and the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, as well as several NBC and PBS specials, including the Emmy-nominated Pioneers of Primetime.  He is an active member of IWOSC and PEN and has coordinated panels on “Trends in Publishing,” “Bios and Memoirs,” and “Avoiding Literary Scams.”