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Make Your Story a Movie: Adapting Your Book or Idea for Hollywood Paperback – December 11, 2012

4.7 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Anyone following movie trends can see that adaptations are hot right now, with hit films being culled from best-selling book series (such as Harry Potter or the Hunger Games), comics (Marvel’s The Avengers), or even theme-park rides (The Pirates of the Caribbean films). Novelist and screenwriter Marlow has penned a helpful guide to turning an idea or a book property into a screenplay and getting that script sold. The writing basics are here: Marlow breaks down the elements of a commercial script and offers tips for writing the all-important logline. But Marlow also details how consultants can aid those who need help honing their screenplay, and offers suggestions for hiring a screenwriter for those who would rather have someone else pen the idea. He educates readers on the roles of managers, agents, and studios, as well as explaining the difference between an option and a sale. Featuring quotes from Hollywood success stories such as screenwriter Paul Haggis and producer Gale Anne Hurd, this is a comprehensive and practical guide for aspiring writers and producers. --Kristine Huntley

Review

"John Robert Marlow's new book Make Your Story a Movie examines the process of adapting a story to the screen. John's done a terrific job researching the business side of adaptations, and presents practical advice on writing them."
                                                          --Christopher Lockhart, WME Story Editor 


“A comprehensive and practical guide for aspiring writers and producers.” ―Booklist
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 294 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin (December 11, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1250001838
  • ISBN-13: 978-1250001832
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,120,416 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
If you have written a novel and you think it would make a great movie, you are going to have to read this book. It answers most of the basic questions that you will be asking at the start of the process: What kinds of stories can be adapted? How do I pitch a film project? How do I judge visual potential? What average length are producers looking for? Should I write my own screenplay? Marlow answers these questions (and more) with the help of major Hollywood insiders who bring the real world to this book.
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Disclosure- John is my editor for my yet to be published International thriller novel which is close to completion-
This book is excellent in regards to creating a good story for both screenplays and other formats. The book can be used with Novels and Comics or even video games and in his book he breaks down creativity via loglines and story structure and views it from a practical and almost scientific fashion- Art in essence is science, as science is an art. The book does focus on the Movie aspect since thats its title. The book is a good addition for novelists and screenwriters to add to their library.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very few books have the value of this one -- it's full of easy-to-understand, straightforward, specific, realistic, and yet instructive and supportive information on how to adapt material. I'm currently adapting a novel into a screenplay, and this is exactly what I needed to guide that process. This book would be a bargain at twice the price; I highly recommend it. Congratulations to the author for delivering a book that is really legitimate and useful; it is much appreciated!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The title of this book is too modest. It could be "Develop a Great Story and Adapt it into a Great movie." It's also strong on business essentials from industry insiders. Highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you are considering writing a book, that you want to be made into a movie; this is a good book to start with. it gives an overview of what it’s like to get a book on to the screen. It’s not an in-depth screenwriting book, which is a plus iMO. Basic movie structure is covered, however it’s more of a way to illustrate what is needed than how to write it.

MYSAM gives you a structure to work within so you can take your book, out of your head, put it on page, and sell it to Hollywood. It will walk you through deciding if a movie is worth pursuing, and how to get there. Addressing adaptation from several viewpoints including: playwrights, screen writers, book authors, etc…; gives a well rounded view of what it takes to get a book onto the screen.

MYSAM gives a good overview of what can be made into a film, and what you will have to sacrifice from your book to get it made. You could also use the book as a guide to write a book that appeals to Hollywood.

MYSAM also covers a topic that is routinely ignored, Rights. Do you sell the idea, a screenplay, or option it to someone. How long should an option run? Can I get my Rights back, how? It’s something you have to consider BEFORE you even start shopping your book (or writing it); it’s even MORE important when it comes to a film version of your book. A mistake can cost you BIG.

MYSAM covers the basic wants of studios. Although there is much beyond what is covered, it’s enough for NON Hollywood writers to get a basic grasp of what you need in your story. The “artists” will be offend; but they most likely are not reading this book anyway.

Another overlooked area that is covered by the book, is representation. Most notably, why you need an agent, and a “hollywood" agent at that.
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Format: Paperback
This is an intelligent book full of practical useful advice on the adaptation of stories and books for film. Marlow does an excellent job researching his subject, and has personal experience himself having broken into Hollywood with no connections going in. In addition the book includes many valuable interviews with other Hollywood insiders who share their practical advice within these pages too. A solid choice for any screenwriter wishing to know more about the ins and outs of adaptation as well as what Hollywood is looking for in books and scripts.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a great book every author or writer should read. Why? Because, while every book has a marketplace, a book to movie adaptation provides, in John's words, "every book the ultimate book-promotion tool." Make Your Story A Movie is not just interesting, not just excellent, not just effective, not just about good writing technique, but one of the most enabling non-fiction books I've read.

This book is targeted at writers, authors, screenwriters, agents, managers, movie producers, you get it... anyone associated with providing movie scripts as movie candidates for the movie industry!

John lays out the screenwriting do's and don'ts for the movie industry. He educates the reader about the movie industry roles; agents, managers, entertainment lawyers, producers, financiers, executives and others. He explains the mysterious Hollywood movie industry and how movies are created from books, ideas, and history through screenwriting and brought to audiences all over the world. His objective: to provide knowledge about great script-writing that sells movie contracts and options.

His interviews with industry insiders, his experience as a screenwriter, author and industry consultant are shared with the reader. He explains techniques to insure the rights for movie scripts, concepts for getting industry insiders interested in the adaptation of a book or script to a movie, the structure of a script, and a checklist of each story that is a must for every project to be successful. He shares what procedural steps to take and what to watch for in making a proposal to the movie industry. And he tells you what not to do and to recognize when you need help producing a script.
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