Book to film meetings…

Posted: March 10, 2012 in Publishing

So, all the chatter about my book, ‘Malice in blunderland’ becoming a film became reality this week. I had two big meetings scheduled in London with a big international team, and a smaller UK company. What became apparent almost instantly, my sense of humour was a fantastic tool for me to identify people I wanted to work with. At reception, booking in, I have my surfboards with me, as I didn’t want them left in a car for a week, so wanted them in my room. I also wouldn’t let the porter take it to my room… nobody touches my surfboards but me. So there I am, at reception and the Big team are booking in at the same time. There is a lot of them… and I mean A LOT! Behind me, are my ‘Three Amigo’s’ from the publisher Cutting Edge Press, Paul, Martin and Josh. There is a pretty girl checking me in, I’m making small talk with the American team. Paul shouts over to the receptionist “Lock the minibar. Actually, can we take the minibar out of his room?” “Yes, anything you would like.” She replied. I leaned forward and asked,
“Does my room have porn?”
“Yes Sir”, she replied while grinning, then looked at the mass of business people around me, and said “You can have it disabled.”
“Ooh that’s kinky”, I said, “Yes, I will have the disabled porn.” There was one of those awkward silences, like when you stop during sex to fart. Then chuckles and bursts of laughter. I look and it’s my team, my publishers that are laughing. The film company looked horrified. And this is how it continued. We are around a big table. Bigger than my living room. I feel like it’s an x-factor style audition, a line of suits, who got straight into the money and power they had, distribution. When I sign, what control I would have, if any. There seemed to be an expectation that I, being the fuck up I am, would just sign. Right then it felt just like when I was in court, before getting sentenced to jail time. Not many know, once you get sent down, they take you right there to holding cells. No goodbyes. It is immediate. I didn’t like this one bit. I looked over to my three gunslingers. Now I have to give a little mention to Martin, the big cheese at Cutting Edge Press. He is like a mafia don, he doesn’t say much. “Before we talk any further about signing anything, we want to know what you think you can do with Malice”. He looked at me, and gave me a wink. Luis from legal opened a folder and told me what would need to be cut, to all of which I said ‘Nope!’ This team wanted to dial down the drugs, the sex, the violence. It turns out you can show graphic sex, but not someone watching graphic sex. Things were not going to plan. It’s like soft porn, that suggestive stuff where a sexy chick and a dude who looks like Fabio make wistful sighs. Who watches that? No, when I watch porn I want do see medical detail to the sound like someone running through thick mud, but wetter, a woman with bite marks and a guy who looks like a Greek waiter, grunting like a troll. You take the dumb, rude and stupid out of the book and there is fuck all left.
“Oh, and it isn’t female –centric enough, you will have to add or develop a female character” I was told, then “What are your thoughts on women?”
“That’s okay – I’m a tit man”
“Uh,” then a pause, I was then informed “That’s not very politically correct.”
“Oh, I am sorry,”
I said, “I’m a tit person.” Only my team laughed. We didn’t sign.

Next we had a meeting with a much smaller indy company from London, with connections in all the right places. First things first, they said, was how much they loved the book. They liked how you never get the guys name. We laughed a lot. But is still felt odd, not the people but the sterile environment. One hour later, we are all crammed around a table at InSpiral, a vegan café. We laughed a lot more, they talked about how ‘WE’ could do the film. Nothing much sanitised. It felt organic. They got my sense of humour. We ate with our hands, drank coffee and laughed. These were my kind of people. So, we said yes.

I just want to take the opportunity to mention again the Guys at Cutting Edge. They are a small Indy publisher. From what I believe, never before has a stupid book like mine, written by a fuckwit nobody like me, get the attention from film companies even before it’s officially launched. Martin should have been rubbing his hands together and waiting for the money to wire into his account, faced with a film company with what seemed like limitless resources.. But he didn’t. He had my back. I say I like not having an agent, and flying without a safety net. But here is the benefit, I believe, of working with an Indy publisher. Martin is as smart and shrewd as they come. He also still believes in content. He is a reader, a lover of art, but more importantly people. Integrity is in short supply these days. Martin didn’t have to schedule the meeting with the smaller team, he could have taken the money. But he didn’t. He didn’t have to step in and take control with the big boys, and steer the conversation to the things that were important to me, but he did. He didn’t have to throw me that sly wink that said ‘Don’t worry , we are right here behind you.’ And All at Cutting Edge Press didn’t have to endure London traffic to let the meeting continue in a café in Camden where I felt more comfortable. So, I do have a safety net. A good team, who put their Authors first. That is my experince thus far in publishing. Who you work with is as important as what you do. I’d rather have people who stand inside the tent and piss out, than people who stand outside the tent and piss in!

Malice, is going to be a film.

  1. chrismorton says:

    Wow, congratulations.

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