PROSPECT in Movieland




Chicago, Illinois -- Jon Shestack is a film producer in LA ("Dan in Real Life" with Steve Carell, "Family Man" with Nicholas Cage). He took an interest in my book PROSPECT OF MY ARRIVAL a while back. Interestingly, he heard of my book from a book-to-film scout for Disney Studios who is a champion of my novel. She just happened on my book while browsing Amazon. Turns out Jon was coming into town this week to teach a one-week seminar on film producing at DePaul University. He asked if he could use my book as the book-to-film source material.  Cool beans.  

So this week, my book was stocked at DePaul University with textbooks and required reading for 22 film students.  I had the privilege on Friday to sit in on the presentations.  Jon had them break into three work groups: one presenting a movie production plan for my book as if to a big studio; one presenting as if an indie venture; and one presenting as if it would be a TV series.

There were interesting suggestions for who should direct, casting, musical score, who was the target audience, budget, locations, etc.  They even talked about whether the film should get a G or R rating and which was most profitable. One team proposed teaser ads on bus shelters for the movie. Two teams used powerpoint presentations.  Jon was a gentle giant as the teacher, giving them insights on what actors would be in reach or out, which composers give the most bang for their buck, which tweaks of storyline were most compelling, etc.

It was a lovely experience. I hope all novelists can experience such a thing. And hopefully Jon and I will get to work together on the real production of the movie of Prospect in 2013! Nothing is set is stone but nothing is impossible either.

The top picture above is of some of the students in the seminar. The second picture is Jon Shestack's hand as he points to his notes on the blackboard about Prospect.  Earlier in the week, Mr. Shestack took me out to dinner as we chatted for 2.5 hours about my book and the movie biz and our lives.  It was our first face-to-face meeting and probably won't be our last. The picture below is Jon Shestack having a martini with olives before we had our steak dinner together at Petterino's. Very Hollywood!







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