Self Expression Magazine

Emperor of Mars Comes to Hollywood

By Myfilmproject09

Emperor of Mars comes to Hollywood 
I left off talking about my story, Emperor of Mars and how I started the project. The script was shown around to several Canadian producers who didn't really like it. One did, but couldn't find the money.
Just about then I moved to L.A. and had an agent recommended by my director friend Paul Lynch. That agent didn't really do much for me, actually nothing so I left after two years, which is a standard contract with agents.
After  a few other low-grade agents I got into a good agency and a reasonably good agent and that's when Emperor came to town. Through that agent I had meetings with every studio and network and about sixty or more independent producers.
And they all loved Emperor of Mars. Or at the least said they loved it.
But nobody made it.
Over a period of several years, the script was optioned at least 7 times. It was "almost made" three times but financing fell through. I don't really know why nobody made it, but they surely did try. Someone said it was because there was no name-actor role, as it was mostly kids.
But it did one thing for me.
While nobody made it, I got a lot of writing jobs from Hallmark, ABC, Paramount, Atlantis, HBO, Lifetime, Viacom, Sci-Fi Channel, CBC, CTV and around thirty independent producers. 
And while nobody made Emperor, I still get calls about it.
And that's when I decided to make it a book with the thought that it might get attention that way. I had never written a book and screenwriting is very different as you know, actually screenplays are a little sloppy, a novelist would shudder at how we write action.
I also learned something else. Screenplays are written in present tense while novels are written in past tense. In a screenplay you write "He runs to his car." In a novel you write "He ran to his car and remembered that he had to pick up some groceries."
It was different for me but I finally caught on. In a screenplay everything is now, unless it's a flashback, otherwise you are in the present. A novel allows the reader to go into the mind of the actor, and you rarely do that in a screenplay, and would be called flashbacks.

So back to the Emperor of Mars.

This year, I found a producer who's interested although I've heard of someone having interest in Emperor many times so I'm not exactly excited.

But maybe the Emperor of Mars will come back.

I guess the point of this 2-part story is that screenplays can often take a long time to make, a Hallmark movie I wrote in 2006 was shown around and stayed at Hallmark for nearly four years before it was made.

Most movies are like that, they linger around for years before someone decides to make it.

And here's the other part of a script that gets made.

It's just pure luck.

My Hallmark movie was made in 2010 and when I spoke to the woman producer who gave it a go, why she chose my screenplay, was it because of the brilliant writing?

Well, no, it was because a teenage girl in the movie was very similar to her own daughter.

So it wasn't my magnificent writing and my colorful situations. 

It was because one character looked like her daughter.

So there you go.

Emperor of Mars comes to Hollywood

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