So, it's been many, many months in coming but I am THRILLED to finally be able to announce the film deal for TIME OF MY LIFE! I cannot express how excited I am by this, not just because of the sale, but because I've been personally involved in the process and feel confident and comfortable with the team behind it.
First, here are some details: the book has been sold to The Weinstein Company, on behalf of Meryl Poster, the former co-president of Miramax, who has produced, among others, Chicago, Chocolat and The Cider House Rules. (Not bad company to keep!) At one point along the way, I was even told that "Harvey loves it." Squeee! My husband and I did a total double-take at each other when we read that email because...uh...like...how is that even possible???
Okay, so, I know that there is a lot of curiosity about how books get made into films, so I'm going to break down the process and what happened as much as I can remember. This has been in the pipeline for about seven months, so I'm sure that I'm forgetting a few details.
The first thing that happened: as soon as we sold the book to Shaye Areheart Books/Random House, my literary agent sent it to my now-film agent. Getting a film agent involves much the same process as getting a lit agent: he or she has to fall in love with the book and believe that it can SELL. So my now film-agent believed in it, and after I'd finished polishing the draft, she went out to the production companies/studios that she thought were the best fit. Again, this is much like your lit agent goes out to the best editors/pub houses that would work best for your book.
We had some interest. Strong interest from more than one production company. BUT. The strike loomed large. What happens when there isn't a strike is this: the production company often (but not always) has a deal with a studio. So, XYZ Films might want to option a manuscript but if they don't want to front their own money, they take the manuscript to, say, Paramount (if that's who their deal is with) and attempt to get them to pay for it. So...several weeks before (or a week before, I can't really remember) the strike deadline, these production companies take it to the studios, all of whom firmly aren't buying. Not because of the material - this is emphasized - but because, they're not buying squat a week before their writers are set to strike.
Oh, I forgot: I need to back up. When these production companies were interested, my agent called and asked if I'd take a meeting with one who was here in NYC. "Of course!" I said, figuring that my agent would go with me and hold my hand through the process. When she told me that I was going alone, I freaked. But I must have freaked internally because evidently, that producer is now my producer - Meryl Poster. The meeting was AMAZING. We talked about who we envisioned in the parts, we talked about the themes of the book and why they resonated with all of us...basically, we talked for two hours or so, and all involved felt like, "Wow, this could really be something great if it could get done." And it was truly incredible how much our visions meshed. I understood, of course, that once you sell the film rights, for all intents and purposes, you also relinquish your involvement/control, but I never once felt that Meryl wouldn't be interested in hearing from me. And so, I left her office feeling like a pretty lucky girl.
Only. Yes. The strike. No one was buying, and so, despite all of this momentum and enthusiasm, I was back to square one. No one was buying, and any plans/excitement/relationship-building was put on hold.
Tomorrow....more details. (Yes, I'm a tease, but to be honest, I'm also exhausted and can't type anymore!! Despite this glamorous news, my son failed to get the memo about his mommy and was up all last night puking...proving that truly, life goes on!) So check back tomorrow for more...