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“Here’s How to Find a Hollywood Agent” says Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

“Here’s How to Find a Hollywood Agent” says Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

By Scott Lorenz
Westwind Book Marketing

These days, more and more authors want to turn their books into movies. This is no surprise as streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime are more popular today than ever before and always in need of fresh content.

So the question is, how can you connect with a Hollywood agent who can turn your dream into a reality? Below is my list of all the tips, tricks, and resources you need to do just that. No matter what strategies you utilize, be patient. Remember, Hollywood movies don’t make their debut overnight. It will take a great deal of time, creativity, and persistence for your book to reach movie status.

Dr. Ken Atchity, a literary manager who developed The Meg stated that Walt Disney Studios bought the rights to the book in the 1990’s. It didn’t get produced until Warner Brothers did it in 2014. Allan Scott, the producer of the Queen’s Gambit revealed it took 30 years, and 9 rewrites for the movie to come to life. The moral of the story? Never give up.

Write a Script First

Hollywood agents want to see how your book has the potential to become a top movie. That’s why it’s a good idea to write a script yourself. With a well-written script, you’re far more likely to spark interest and inspire those in Hollywood. This is the first step you should take before you look for people to pitch to. If script writing is not your skill set, then hire it out. Here’s an article I wrote about that option. How to Get Your Book Adapted into a Screenplay.

Use a Matchmaking Service

If you were looking for someone to date, a matchmaking service might be a good option. The same holds true if you’re in search of a Hollywood agent. While there are a number of matchmaking services out there, here are my top picks.

  • Greenlight My Movie: This should be on your radar if you have a short film, book, screenplay, or true story. You’ll get a guaranteed response from Hollywood buyers and representatives.
  • Hollywood Pitch Festival: Head on over to the Hollywood Pitch Festival and pitch your book to A-list buyers and representatives.
  • InkTip: You can use InkTip to get your script noticed. It’s been around since 2000 and is currently used by thousands of producers, agents, managers and other pros in the industry.
  • Spec Scout: After you submit your script to Spec Scout, you’ll receive detailed comments on its strengths and weaknesses. If you score above 75 on a 100 point scale, you’ll be listed as a “Scouted” writer and may land some great exposure.

Be Cautious of Trends

All too often a successful movie comes out and writers try to write a similar story with their own twist. The truth is that Hollywood agents don’t want to see the same ol’ plots. Do your best to keep your book original. While it’s easier said than done to think out of the box, doing so is essential if you’d like to stand out.

Ask Agents If They Can Take a Look

It may be tempting to simply send your script to several of agents. According to Richard Walter, UCLA’s screenplay expert, this strategy will likely send your message to the trash. Instead, send an intro letter or email to these agents where you introduce yourself. Then, ask them if they’re willing to take a look at your script. If you get a reply like “go for it,” congratulations, your foot is in the door.

Network, Network, Network

According to Daniel Parsons, bestselling author of several series, networking is the key to finding a Hollywood agent who is interested in your work. Attend writer’s conferences, festivals, and a variety of social events. When you do, be prepared with your short elevator pitch. You never know who you may meet and you only get one chance to make a first impression.

Rank Highly on Amazon Books

Let’s be honest. If you’re popular on Amazon, your chances of getting noticed by Hollywood agents and movie producers are pretty high. While it will take a great deal of effort and determination, do your best to get your book ranked in the top 1% of Amazon Books. This worked for self-published author, Colleen Houck whose book Tiger’s Curse is currently being turned into a movie.

Connect with Agents on LinkedIn and Facebook

There are many authors out there who already have established relationships with Hollywood agents so it only makes sense to find them on Facebook or connect with them on LinkedIn. Harness the power of social media.

Use IMDbPro

Keep your finger on the pulse of Hollywood by looking at a list of directors who’ve been nominated for awards and see which agents represent them and who repped the originating book. Keep up to date on changes in representation with IMDbPro Track. IMDb is THE place to be. Study it. You can find anybody in the film business with IMDb.”

Enter Your Book in Screenplay Competitions

Caren Lisssner’s book “Carrie Pilby” was turned into a film starring Nathan Lane by a Hollywood film director and three producers. She encourages authors to take advantage of screenplay competitions because you never know what will happen. I use FilmFreeway to submit my client’s screenplays to dozens of the thousands of film festivals worldwide. My clients have won 100+ awards worldwide. When we get a win Westwind Book Marketing sends out a press release.

Embrace the Roadblocks

One of my clients, Jonathan Sanger, penned a memoir called “The Making of the Elephant Man, A Producer’s Memoir” He tells the story of the screenplay he received from his children’s babysitter and how he eventually turned it into a classic movie. Sanger explains all of the hardships that he was faced with along the way and how he overcame them.

The Bottom Line: Your book or screenplay will not turn itself into a movie. You must place it in front of the right eyes. An agent can help you do it. Good luck!

About Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

Book publicist Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with authors to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. Lorenz works with bestselling authors and self-published authors promoting all types of books, whether it’s their first book or their 15th book. He’s handled publicity for books by CEOs, CIA Officers, Navy SEALS, Homemakers, Fitness Gurus, Doctors, Lawyers and Adventurers. His clients have been featured by Good Morning America, FOX & Friends, CNN, ABC News, New York Times, Nightline, TIME, PBS, LA Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Woman’s World, & Howard Stern to name a few.

Learn more about Westwind Communications’ book marketing approach at  https://westwindbookmarketing.com/  or contact Lorenz at scottlorenz@westwindcos.com or 734-667-2090 or fill out the form below. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist. Want help titling a book? Check out Scott Lorenz’s new award winning, bestselling book: Book Title Generator- A Proven System in Naming Your Book www.BookTitleGenerator.net


How to Get Your Book Turned Into a Hallmark Movie

How to Get Your Book Turned Into a Hallmark Movie

By Scott Lorenz
Westwind Communications

There’s nothing sweeter than a romance novel in movie form. If you’ve written a romantic comedy, you may be wondering what it takes to get it turned into a Hallmark movie. Fortunately, the Hallmark Channel clearly outlines the steps you must take to bring your heartwarming work to its audience. Here’s an overview of what it entails.

Understand the Hallmark Channel’s Ideal Novels

Hallmark looks for uplifting and inspirational novels related to romantic love, family love, and love between friends. The ideal story ranges from 75,000 to 90,000 words with relatable characters that overcome conflict and an ending filled with hope and happiness. While Hallmark’s stories typically take place in the U.S. the channel is open to American stories overseas.

When it comes to contemporary romance, Hallmark is most interested in beach settings, Valentine’s Day and Christmas stories, laugh-out-loud romance comedies, novels with a unique time element as well as those that involve brothers or male best friends. The Hallmark channel is open to all types of submissions so don’t be afraid to intrigue them with something that’s not on their list.

It’s important to note that Hallmark does steer away from paranormal romance, romantic suspense, young adult, new adult romance, and religious romance. As of 2022, they’re not interested in cozy mysteries. Also, novels with sex, nudity, profanity, or violence are not permitted. The extent of the physical interaction in your story should be hugging and kissing.

Submit Your Rom-Com in the Proper Format

The Hallmark Channel asks that you submit one MSWord document with a four-to-five page synopsis and a second document with the first three chapters of your novel. Make sure your submission is in Times New Roman font, size 12, and double spaced. Also, add the title, genre, and actual or estimated final word count to the subject line. Check the Hallmark website to learn more about the deadline for your submission and where to send it.

Learn From Other Authors

There have been many authors who have been able to turn their rom-coms into Hallmark movies, so it only makes sense to turn to them for some advice. Denise Hunter’s novel The Convenient Groom made it to Hallmark. It’s about a young celebrity marriage counselor that gets left at the altar of her own highly publicized wedding.

“Publish your novels through a publisher that actively seeks movie deals. I’m sure there are many ways producers “find” novels. But in my case, it was through HarperCollins Christian Publishing, whose rights department routinely pitches their novels for film rights,” Hunter says.

“Utilize a romance trope; they’re popular for a reason. If you can take a trope and spin it in a fresh way, all the better. The Convenient Groom is, of course, a modern-day marriage of convenience story,” she adds.

Tracy Andreen is another noteworthy author who wrote six films produced for Hallmark, including Snow Bride, Picture a Perfect Christmas, and It’s Christmas Eve. When asked what her secret sauce to success is, she replied with, “Being professional. When given a deadline, I do everything in my power to deliver on that deadline, especially as the time to start production nears.”

In addition to meeting deadlines, she says that it’s important to love what you do. “I love what I do and am beyond grateful for the opportunity to be able to do it, but at the end of the day it’s still work . . . awesome work I love, so I’m thrilled to do so and, hopefully, that shines through,” Andreen explains.

There’s also Jenny Hale whose novel Christmas Wishes & Mistletoe Kisses got picked by Hallmark. “It seems like romance is easy to write, but it’s a very careful dance between making it magical while also creating scenes and characters that feel real and relatable,” she says.

“People have told me for years that my books would be perfect for a Hallmark movie,” says bestselling romance author Pamela Gossiaux. “So this year I submitted my book The Scent of Love, a sweet, small town romance about the owner of a candle and gift shop, and the handsome man who rents the cottage on the shore. I love the type of books and movies that Hallmark produces. They’re the perfect escape!”

The Bottom Line: The Hallmark Channel produces 90+ holiday and romance films per year. With creativity, persistence, and passion, your novel may be one of them!

About Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

Book publicist Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with authors to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. Lorenz works with bestselling authors and self-published authors promoting all types of books, whether it’s their first book or their 15th book. He’s handled publicity for books by CEOs, CIA Officers, Navy SEALS, Homemakers, Fitness Gurus, Doctors, Lawyers and Adventurers. His clients have been featured by Good Morning America, FOX & Friends, CNN, ABC News, New York Times, Nightline, TIME, PBS, LA Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Woman’s World, & Howard Stern to name a few.

Learn more about Westwind Communications’ book marketing approach at https://www.book-marketing-expert.com/  or contact Lorenz at scottlorenz@westwindcos.com or 734-667-2090 or fill out the form below. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist. Want help titling a book? Check out Scott Lorenz’s new award winning, bestselling book: Book Title Generator- A Proven System in Naming Your Book www.BookTitleGenerator.net


Authors Want Hollywood to Call You? Use These Matchmakers & Turn Your Book Into a MOVIE!

Turn Your Book into a Hollywood Movie

Innovative Services Place Your Script in Front of Hollywood Producers

By Scott Lorenz
Westwind Communications

As a book publicist, I am asked on a regular basis, “Can you get my book turned into a movie?”  With all the streaming outlets like NETFLIX, AMAZON and others who desperately need new content, the demand for creative work has never been higher. Now there are services who can place your book or screenplay in front of Hollywood producers who can, in fact, turn it into a movie.  If you want to turn your book into a movie then check out these ‘matchmakers’ I’ve discovered below.

Greenlight My Movie

If you have a short film, book, screenplay, or true story, you can pitch it to Greenlight My Movie. Once you do, you’ll receive a guaranteed response from Hollywood buyers and representatives. To get started, create a profile, add your synopsis, find companies that may be interested, and submit your project. Warner Brothers states that Greenlight My Movie has a great process and has provided them with some great ideas. 

Pros of Greenlight My Movie

  • Optional Video: If you don’t have video, no worries. It’s optional so you can simply submit your synopsis and logline.
  • Guaranteed Response: A Hollywood buyer or rep will get back to you via a written email response. Their response will likely come with detailed feedback that will steer you in the right direction.

Cons of Greenlight My Movie

  • Submission Charge: You’ll have to pay $29.95 to submit your pitch. 
  • Will Have to Wait for a Response: While most people receive a response in about 3 to 4 weeks, you may have to wait longer to hear back. 

Hollywood Pitch Festival

Attend the 23rd annual Hollywood Pitch Festival and pitch A-list buyers and representatives. This year, the event will be held August 1st through 2nd in the Los Angeles area. It’s the only pitch festival that offers one-on-one pitch meetings in two days with over 200 of Hollywood’s top personnel under one roof. One-on-one pitch coaching via Skype is also available two weeks before the festival.

Pros of Hollywood Pitch Festival

  • No Limits: While you’re at the festival, you can pitch as many companies as you’d like because there are no limits.
  • Pitching Resources: Hollywood Pitch Festival wants you to succeed so they will send you pitching tips and how-to videos right before the event.

Cons of Hollywood Pitch Festival

  • Travel Involved: Since this is a physical event, you’ll have to travel to participate. This can be an issue if you’re limited on time and money. Fortunately, you can buy a virtual pass and submit your pitch online if you prefer.
  • Limited Attendance: The Hollywood Pitch Festival limits attendance to 200 people. So if you don’t sign up early enough, you may not make the cut. 

TaleFlick

Since its debut in 2018, TaleFlick has provided a searchable library of fiction, novels, and short stories. It strives to connect authors with film or TV producers. You can create your own page and match with vetted scriptwriters who can offer tips on how to improve your story. TaleFlick can also help you get discovered by producers looking for new material.

“TaleFlick is an effective, efficient way for your work to be presented directly to those people who may want to make a film out of it. I don’t know why it didn’t exist before but I’m glad it does now,” says Michael Bowker, author of Gods of Our Time.

Pros of TaleFlick

  • Great Exposure: With TaleFlick, you can submit your story online and get in front of the top studios, producers, and production companies.
  • Commitment to Giving Back: TaleFlick has a “1 Million Books 1 Million Children” initiative where they give one million books to one million children all around the world.

Cons of TaleFlick

  • Must Pay to Submit Stories: TaleFlick is not free for authors as you’ll have to pay $88 to submit your story.
  • Not All Stories Accepted: TaleFlick accepts scripts, screenplays, fiction and nonfiction books, manuscripts and children’s stories. The site doesn’t currently support short stories, comic books, and plays.

InkTip

InkTip began in 2000 to make it easy for producers, directors, agents, managers, and name actors to access quality screenplays and professional authors. Believe it or not, more than 375 feature films have been made from scripts and writers discovered through InkTip. One example of an InkTip success story is Fireball, which was produced by Harvey Kahn with Front Street Pictures and  aired on the Sci-Fi channel.

Pros of InkTip

  • Variety of Services: InkTip offers three main services to get your scripts noticed. These include its script listings and script renewals service, InkTip Magazine service, and Preferred Newsletter service.
  • Thousands of Industry Professionals: Over 2,700 producers, agents, managers and other industry professionals use InkTip.
  • Privacy of Scripts: You can’t look at the scripts of other writers as they are reserved for qualified industry professionals.

Cons of InkTip

  • Fees Involved: While you can register an account with InkTip for free, you have to pay for its specific services. Fees range from $30 to $60.

Spec Scout

Spec Scout’s goal is to be the best place to discover and promote the highest-quality screenplays, on and off the market. It hopes to give aspiring writers a way to break into the business. “Spec Scout is my secret weapon. Having the whole spec market in one place, with scores, loglines, and coverage is such a huge advantage. I can’t imagine not having access to this library,” says Stephanie Marin, producer at El Camino Entertainment.

Pros of Spec Scout

  • In-Depth Feedback: Once you submit your script, three readers will provide ratings and a comprehensive analysis of your script. You’ll get 8 to 10 pages of detailed comments that outline its strengths and weaknesses.
  • Script Score: Your “Script Score” will indicate the quality of your script. If you score 75 or above on the 100 point scale, you’ll be listed as a “Scouted” writer for free, forever.

Cons of Spec Scout

  • Pricey: To submit your script, you’ll have to pay $297. Rush service is available for an extra $100.
  • Feedback Takes Time: It’ll take about one month to receive feedback on your script. If you can’t wait that long, the $100 rush service can get it to you in one week.

The Bottom Line: Just like online dating doesn’t guarantee you’ll meet your special someone, there are no guarantees that these services will turn your work into a movie. Just look at them as another opportunity to gain exposure for your book.

About Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

Book publicist Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with authors to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. Lorenz works with bestselling authors and self-published authors promoting all types of books, whether it’s their first book or their 15th book. He’s handled publicity for books by CEOs, CIA Officers, Navy SEALS, Homemakers, Fitness Gurus, Doctors, Lawyers and Adventurers. His clients have been featured by Good Morning America, FOX & Friends, CNN, ABC News, New York Times, Nightline, TIME, PBS, LA Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Woman’s World, & Howard Stern to name a few.

Learn more about Westwind Communications’ book marketing approach at https://www.book-marketing-expert.com/ or contact Lorenz at scottlorenz@westwindcos.com or 734-667-2090 or fill out the form below. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist. Want help titling a book? Check out Scott Lorenz’s new award winning, bestselling book: Book Title Generator- A Proven System in Naming Your Book www.BookTitleGenerator.net


Hollywood Movie Producers Offer Tips to Authors

Hollywood Movie Producers Offer Tips to Authors

By Scott Lorenz
Westwind Communications

“Having an agent skilled in negotiations, rights, and contracts would clearly be beneficial, but even more important is having an agent who believes in you as a writer.”

Peter Miller, producer of  Helter Skelter, Citizen Jane, Kill the Irishman, The Mona Lisa Myth, and Goodbye Miss 4th of July

Find out what movie producers have to say about turning your next book into a cinema worthy masterpiece.

Hollywood Movie Producers

Hollywood Movie Producers Offer Tips to Authors

Many writers dream of writing a book that turns into a movie. If your goal is to turn a novel or memoir into a silver screen success, be prepared for some hard work. After all, movie producers are selective and only the right stories make their way to the big screen. The reality is that very few books even get considered for movies. Fortunately, however, turning your book into a movie is not impossible.

To help you understand just what it takes to get your book noticed and turned into a movie, it only makes sense to share some advice from movie producers. Let’s take a closer look at what reputable movie producers have to say to authors who are on a mission to write books that make it to Hollywood.

“The older I get, the more I look at movies as a moving miracle. Audiences are harder to please if you’re just giving them special effects…but they’re easy to please if it’s a good story.” – Steven Spielberg, academy award winning producer of movies such as E.T., Jaws, The Color Purple, and Schindler’s List.

 Spielberg’s quote illustrates just how important it is for you to ensure you have a good story. An average story cannot get spruced up with some special effects and make it to the big screen. Books with high concepts are typically the ones that turn into movies. These books feature striking ideas that can be easily communicated.

“I think the biggest mistake people make when they’re trying to sell an idea is keeping it too narrow,” Sullivan said. “It speaks to such a small demographic that there’s no way that it can be financially successful. Creatives become so attached to their ideas that they’re afraid to make it bigger, because they think it waters it down. But it doesn’t. It actually gives you a better chance for a sale. The broader and more commercial your idea, the bigger audience you can speak to, the better.” -Jamie Primak Sullivan, executive producer for a brand new movie called Breaking In.

Sullivan explains that while working on a horror movie called Fear Followers, she realized that pitching a U.S. movie that captured Americans’ fear obsession could be successful. However, Sullivan knew that incorporating the way the characters use technology could make the movie more appealing to the global market and increase its chances of selling.

The moral of the story is that when you’re writing a book that you hope to be movie ready, search for ways to make your idea resonate with a large demographic. If your book could only capture the attention of a select group of people, it won’t make it to the big screen.

“Selling a great idea to Hollywood most often starts with effective feedback from a person who understands what top decision makers are looking for.” -Regina Romain, producer of Troy the Train of Car City, Judge Alex, and Cristina’s Court

Romain knows what it’s like to be a writer with the hopes of selling a book to Hollywood. She states that most writers want to hear “That’s nice, honey. Your story could be a Hollywood movie one day.” The truth is that this type of feedback does not show you how you can improve or sell your story. If possible, you should work with an agent with ties to the movie industry who can provide you with effective feedback.

“Human stories have always moved me. I like movies about people who are outliers, who are not in the mainstream for one reason or another, even if they are famous. It’s not something I’m actually seeking, it’s just a trend I’ve noticed over the years, about myself as a producer.” -Jonathan Sanger, producer and director, known for The Elephant Man, Chapter and Verse, Flight of the Navigator, and Vanilla Sky.

Sanger is one of my clients so I know that he is specifically interested in people and what makes them unique. When writing a story for Hollywood, remember this: Ensure there are characters that can evoke emotions in your audience because they’ve overcome adversity, opened up about a serious illness, or saved someone’s life. Focus on your characters and things like their incredible achievements or heroic acts.

In Sanger’s film, Marshall, Chadwick Boseman plays Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American Supreme Court Justice. The film focuses on State of Connecticut vs. Joseph, one of the first cases of Marshall’s career that involves a chauffeur being accused of rape by his white employer. It showcases how Marshall overcame the daily challenges of working in the Supreme Court and inspired others.

Check out Sanger’s book, Making the Elephant Man: A Producer’s Memoir which offers an insider’s look at the creation of one of the first ever indie films. It can provide you with some valuable insight into what it takes to turn your book into a movie. View the trailer here.

“Having an agent skilled in negotiations, rights, and contracts would clearly be beneficial, but even more important is having an agent who believes in you as a writer.” Peter Miller, producer of Helter Skelter, Citizen Jane, Kill the Irishman, The Mona Lisa Myth, and Goodbye Miss 4th of July

In Miller’s book, “Get Published! Get Produced! A Literary Agent’s Tips on How to Sell Your Writing,” he focuses on why it’s crucial to work with an agent. Miller explains that if you find an agent to represent you, you should ask yourself whether the individual only seems interested in your specific project or whether they’ll work with you to develop your career. He states that success in this field is very difficult but those who make it, make it big. Check out Millers most recent book Author! Screenwriter!

“Find something you enjoy and do it. The money will somehow take care of itself.”-Alan Trustman, writer, lawyer, and producer who is best known his books-to-movies, The Thomas Crown Affair and BULLITT staring Steve McQueen.

In an interview, Trustman, another one of my clients, discussed the importance of passion for writers. You have to really want to turn your book into a movie and pour your heart and soul into your story and efforts to get it noticed.

Here are some resources that may help you take your book to Hollywood:

1. How to Turn a Book Into a Movie, Script Magazine – https://scriptmag.com/page/how-to-turn-a-book-into-a-movie

2. The Power Of Theme: Turning Books Into Movies, Writer’s Digest – https://www.writersdigest.com/there-are-no-rules/the-power-of-theme-turning-books-into-movies

3. Books Turned Into Movies, Newsday – https://www.newsday.com/entertainment/books/books-turned-into-movies-1.3596896

The Bottom Line: Writing a book that’s worthy of Hollywood’s attention takes a great deal of time, effort, and dedication. Don’t give up as you may just be the author of the next popular flick.

About Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

Book publicist Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with authors to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. Lorenz works with bestselling authors and self-published authors promoting all types of books, whether it’s their first book or their 15th book. He’s handled publicity for books by CEOs, CIA Officers, Navy SEALS, Homemakers, Fitness Gurus, Doctors, Lawyers and Adventurers. His clients have been featured by Good Morning America, FOX & Friends, CNN, ABC News, New York Times, Nightline, TIME, PBS, LA Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Woman’s World, & Howard Stern to name a few.

Learn more about Westwind Communications’ book marketing approach at https://www.book-marketing-expert.com/ or contact Lorenz at scottlorenz@westwindcos.com or 734-667-2090 or fill out the form below. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist. Want help titling a book? Check out Scott Lorenz’s new award winning, bestselling book: Book Title Generator- A Proven System in Naming Your Book www.BookTitleGenerator.net


The Incredible Story Behind the Movie The Elephant Man

The Incredible Story Behind the Movie THE ELEPHANT MAN

Remember- All Movies Start with the Written Word – All of Them

By Scott Lorenz
Westwind Book Marketing

Movies, like books, sometimes have humble beginnings.

Remember the movie The Elephant Man? It was a true story about a nineteenth-century sideshow freak who was saved by a doctor portrayed in the movie by Anthony Hopkins.

THE ELEPHANT MAN, portrayed by the late John Hurt, continues to be a gold standard for artful cinematic creativity today. The movie is from Academy Award-winning film producer Jonathan Sanger.

How did this movie come about? Was it an agent’s pitch? No.

Was it an award winning script? No.

Did experienced screenwriters create this masterpiece? No.

Was it adopted from a book? No.

I recently met up with Jonathan Sanger in Hollywood when my firm Westwind Book Marketing arranged a book signing and special big screen showing of The Elephant Man at the Egyptian Theatre. Mr. Sanger introduced the movie to several hundred people where he retold the incredible story of how this movie came about.

Where did the script come from?

His babysitter handed it to him to read! That’s right, his babysitter. Sanger took the script and said he’d read it and promptly set it aside… for about a year. Then one day he came back from a trip opened his desk drawer and there it was… staring at him like an obligation.

What did he do? He read it – and he loved it!

His book “Making the Elephant Man: A Producer’s Memoir” gives us an insider’s look at the creation of one of the first ever indie films and a box-office smash, as well as a peek into the early careers of movie greats David Lynch, Mel Brooks and Anthony Hopkins.

MAKING THE ELEPHANT MAN – A PRODUCER’S MEMOIR, in Paperback and Kindle is available on Amazon or on the author’s website www.JonathanSangerProductions.com  View the book trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Ohr4OwPsIk

Few members of a film audience appreciate the intricacies of the myriad aspects of making a film. Sanger takes his experience as the producer of THE ELEPHANT MAN and opens a powerful discussion on the evolution of cinema, how he ‘discovered’ a script written by ‘unknowns’ Christopher DeVore and Eric Bergren finding “it was exactly the kind of story I would want to make, a historical biography about a wretched soul who had nonetheless lived an extraordinary life” – the true story of 19th century grossly deformed John Merrick, known as the Elephant Man working in a sideshow in London who was treated by a kind Dr. Treves.

“When I wrote this, I was teaching a course in independent film and using my experience with this film to teach,” says Sanger. “I realized that it would be great to get these stories down and put them in a book.” For every movie he makes, Sanger keeps a notebook about the crew, the schedules, what they ordered for lunch, and other details. He was able to tap into notes from 30 years ago that brought the whole process up fresh in his mind, including the strong emotions that gripped him upon first reading the script..

“Human stories have always moved me,” says Sanger. “I like movies about people who are outliers, who are not in the mainstream for one reason or another, even if they are famous. It’s not something I’m actually seeking, it’s just a trend I’ve noticed over the years, about myself as a producer.”

Sanger’s latest two movies, both follow similar themes. In Chapter and Verse, a reformed gang leader returns to Harlem where he gets a job delivering meals.  Marshall is based on a true incident in the life of Thurgood Marshall, when he was a young lawyer, long before his appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Written with passion, Sanger’s memoir takes us with elegant prose and many black and white photographs through the presentation to Mel Brooks who helped propel the young Sanger’s project into the hands of neophyte director David Lynch, the details of finding the proper crew, the cast (John Hurt, Anthony Hopkins, Sir John Gielgud, Wendy Hiller, Anne Bancroft), the location, the anxieties of meeting deadlines, the technical hurdles of creating a film about such a character – facing struggles at every turn. Even the final showing of the completed film to an audience of professionals, whose silence terrified Jonathan, until he learned the silence was due to the emotional impact of the story – an unspoken Bravo!

Brooklyn-born Jonathan Sanger is a highly respected producer and director of major films, television series, and theatrical productions, having earned twenty Academy Award nominations, and winning three.

In 1976, Sanger moved to Los Angeles, where he worked for Lorimar Television on network television series The Blue Knight and Eight Is Enough. In 1978 he was Mel Brooks’ Assistant Director on High Anxiety, which led to a long professional association. For Brooks’ wife, Anne Bancroft’s feature directorial debut film Fatso, Sanger served as Associate Producer. During this period Sanger had acquired the rights to the script of The Elephant Man – his first production which led to a successful career in both producing and directing films – films such as Frances, Without Limits, Vanilla Sky, Flight of the Navigator, The Producers, and Code Name: Emerald.
 
The Bottom Line: A good story well written delivered to the right person can be the ticket to incredible success. Remember- all movies start with the written word. All of them.

Check out this New York Post  article about Making The Elephant Man https://nypost.com/2017/02/19/how-the-inner-pain-of-a-circus-freak-became-a-surprise-hit/

About Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

Book publicist Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with authors to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. Lorenz works with bestselling authors and self-published authors promoting all types of books, whether it’s their first book or their 15th book. He’s handled publicity for books by CEOs, CIA Officers, Navy SEALS, Homemakers, Fitness Gurus, Doctors, Lawyers and Adventurers. His clients have been featured by Good Morning America, FOX & Friends, CNN, ABC News, New York Times, Nightline, TIME, PBS, LA Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Woman’s World, & Howard Stern to name a few.

Learn more about Westwind Communications’ book marketing approach at https://www.book-marketing-expert.com/ or contact Lorenz at scottlorenz@westwindcos.com or 734-667-2090 or fill out the form below. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist. Want help titling a book? Check out Scott Lorenz’s new award winning, bestselling book: Book Title Generator- A Proven System in Naming Your Book www.BookTitleGenerator.net