Monday, October 6, 2014

Why hasn’t GREEN DARKNESS been made into a movie?

Fans of GREEN DARKNESS, including both of us, have asked and re-asked that question. We had heard from the publisher that we were not the first ones to take out a screenplay option on the novel.
Why weren't the previous optioners successful? 

While there may be no answer, we can’t help but wrack our brains with the question. We came up with  a few theories:
1) Perhaps they didn't try hard enough? 

2)Maybe they didn't love the book the way we do.

3)When the book was first published, reincarnation was a new and perhaps frightening philosophy. Since then, people have come to accept it and even if they may not believe in it themselves, they recognize that others do. Many films have dealt with the subject.

4)While this may annoy many lovers of the book, the bald fact is that Celia is not terribly likeable. She continues to pursue Stephen in the past even though he tries to keep her at arm’s length. 

5)The novel's method of returning to the past is a real stretch of the "willing suspension of disbelief". We've dealt with that differently and in a more believable way, but to do so we've made a significant shift in the story telling. It's a change that makes the story deeper and more emotional, we feel.

6)The most obvious reason? Cost. But we've taken steps to keep the costs down as well. 

Ultimately, it will be the test of time and our resources to prove whether we were right.

Plunging ever onward~~
Angela & Marla

Monday, May 5, 2014

Reincarnation Is for the Dogs?

At the heart of GREEN DARKNESS are several controversial topics -- reincarnation being one in the mix.
Angela and I would like to share some thoughts with you.

Marla’s Musings: Like the Buddhists, I believe reincarnation happens. Maybe my beliefs are not so deep as those of the monks, however I can't help but think, nay believe, that our spirits are on a learning journey that continues from lifetime to lifetime. That we have to learn from our mistakes, whether in this life or in the next... but that's getting into the realm of karma. I also believe that at some point on this learning curve, your spirit, or soul if you prefer, will have learned all it needs to learn and is granted everlasting bliss in heaven.
My father, who was born and raised as a staunch Catholic, was a man with a mind open to many possibilities. He used to joke that he was "coming back as Marla's next dog" because of the love and care I lavished on my pets. Is it wrong of me to feel a twinge of guilt that life's circumstances have prevented me from having another dog since Dad's death? Scholars could debate that for eons; Freud would be able to analyze that until he blew his own mind.

Angela’s Meditations: From the time I started to wonder why we were here, I felt a deep connection to the past. Why did specific historical periods resonate so strongly with me? Why certain authors? Did I do something in a past life/lives that caused the circumstances I find myself in today? Reincarnation was a natural explanation for me. The laws of physics say that energy can neither be created or destroyed. If that’s true then where does the energy of our “spirit” go? If everything is recycled, why not our energy or spirit? It makes sense to me and it’s the belief of the majority of humans.

My mother was the one I shared these beliefs with. We both found meaning and purpose in the idea of making as much of each lifetime as possible. It's comforting to think that all our trials and tribulations earn points for the next time around. All our talents pass along with us and ...go easy on the karma for our sins please! LOL
Angela and Marla: Perhaps this is why we both love the story of GREEN DARKNESS. For us, finding reincarnation in GREEN DARKNESS and wanting to bring it to the big screen wasn't much of a stretch of the imagination.

The love of Richard/Stephen for Celia present/past would not, could not, simply vanish. It demanded justice. It yearned to be given the chance of redemption.
Please share your beliefs on this issue with us. We look forward to reading your comments.

Until next time~~
Marla & Angela

Thursday, April 3, 2014

How to Market a Screenplay

Our readers have often asked when the GREEN DARKNESS movie is coming to their local movie theater.

Oh, if only it was as 'easy' a process as step 1. option the book's screenplay rights. step 2. write the script... step 4. make the film.

What is missing in that formula is step 3 -- marketing the script to a producer or producers who will champion our script through the financing phase and getting a director interested, casting some big name actors/actresses, putting together a crew with equipment, booking locations, and a myriad of other details. And those are just pre-production and production intricacies. We won't go into the complexities of post-production in this blog.

Marketing, also known as pitching the screenplay, is an art -- a stomach churning, nerve rattling, roller coaster ride of an art. A specialized skill that we hone with every pitch we give. Whether the pitch is done face-to-face with a producer, or by having a producer read a written synopsis, or by paying companies who specialize in getting us access to pitch to big-name producers on the phone ... it's a coin toss whether the producer will ask to read the script.

During the pitch, they can sound totally enthusiastic about our project, but then they may not ask to actually read the screenplay. And if they ask for the script, it feels like forever before we hear their verdict about being involved in the project.

One producer may put down the idea of even reading a period piece, saying it's too expensive to create or not marketable; then, the very next producer may say something like  "Wow! That stuff is really hot right now!."

One may say he wants to research the book's track record more; and then, the next could ask to read the screenplay before the pitch is even finished.

Sometimes they suggest that it might work better as a TV mini-series, but they’re only interested in feature films and so won’t even consider reading it..

Some complain when we give information about the book and the built in audience, others find that information welcome. Some want more time spent in the medieval period of the story, and others are more invested in the ‘present’ part of the story.

The Executives we pitch to have to consider not only their own reactions to the story but the feelings and opinion of their higher ups whom they will have to convince. One producer knew right off the bat that her boss didn’t like reincarnation stories.

Like we said -- a toss of the coin... a roller coaster ride, but whatever the experience is, we won't stop until we find the perfect home to bring our adaptation of GREEN DARKNESS to life at your local movie complex.

Wish us luck!
Until next time --
Marla & Angela

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Naworth Castle - its private and public sides

Hello, to all the patient fans of GREEN DARKNESS. We are still on track, looking for a producer to take the adaptation to the next step toward a film.

We have also been trying to get a response from Naworth Castle. After many attempts, we have done some research of our own. 

In the absence of a Q & A  with the present owners of Naworth Castle, let's talk about the location in part III of our series of GREEN DARKNESS locations.

Naworth Castle, known as "Naward" in historical documents, traces its origins back to the late 1200s or 1335 depending on the source your reference. In GREEN DARKNESS it is located in Scotland, but today it's officially listed as being in Cumbria, England, a mere 10 miles from today's Scottish Border.
Ownership of the 2,000 acre estate changed hands several times over the 700 years of its existence, starting with the Baron Dacre. The present owner Philip Howard is the 13th Earl of Carlisle, one in a long line of Earls.

This romantic stronghold is not open to the public as a day-to-day hotel, but exclusive overnight stays can be arranged for a minimum of 10-18 people who will stay in the bedrooms in the Dacre, Morpeth, and Lord William's towers and the courtyard rooms.

Tours can also be arranged to see the 2 pre-Raphaelite libraries, Medieval dungeons, Great Hall, and Lord William's bedchamber. Philip Howard will serve as your guide. Weddings performed at the estate have been scaled back since 2002 when it reverted to being just a private home. That said, official ceremonies have still been known to happen at Naworth from April - September.

Films and TV productions have used Naworth as a shooting location since the 1980s. The castle's medieval exterior and grounds need little or no dressing for period pieces, as does the adjoining walled garden with its 17th century feel. The 20 rooms in the west wing have been stripped down to the original stonework, making them perfect for authentic, interior sets. 

We wonder what Anya Seton would think of Naworth Castle in the light of today's ongoing improvements -- something tells us, she might have had her characters spend more time at this grand estate.

It looks like a wonderfully atmospheric location. Don't you agree?

Till next time~~
Marla and Angela