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

 sanger-cover-2-25-17

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: http://bit.ly/MakingTheElephantManTrailer

 

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 http://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 http://www.book-marketing-expert.com or contact Lorenz at scottlorenz@westwindcos.com or by phone at 734-667-2090. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist

Podcast with Business Book Ghost Writer and Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

Scott Lorenz Interview wi Biz Book Ghostwriter

Be honest… did you think you were done with your job as an author when you typed

“The End”?

Have you heard that you need to market your book, but aren’t sure where to start?

Are you overwhelmed by all the book marketing advice out there?

In this podcast where I was interviewed by a business book ghost writer, I’ll share a little about the easy things you can do to market your book—whether it’s been out for a week or a few years.

Click here to listen to the interview http://bit.ly/A–46

How a #SELF-PUBLISHED #Author went from 99¢ ebook to Movie Blockbuster #THEMARTIAN

By Scott Lorenz

Westwind Communications Book Marketing

Did you know that Andy Weir author of The Martian first published a series of blog posts, then an ebook? Yes, it’s true. Before The Martian  became a Hollywood legend it had humble beginnings… on a blog. Here’s the backstory of  this self-published author. andy_weir_the_martian-collage

 

 

Author Andy Weir wrote The Martian in 2011 and it’s now one of the most popular movies of the day. It is a story about fearless astronaut Mark Watney, played by actor Matt Damon, who overcomes several challenges after being left behind by his team on Mars.

How did Weir get the inspiration to write a bestselling novel and Sci-Fi blockbuster extravaganza? With rejection of course…

“I was sitting around thinking about how to do a human mission to Mars, not for a story but just for the heck of it. I started thinking about how I would do it and all the things that could go wrong, and I realized it would make a great story. So I made up a protagonist and subjected him to all of it,” said Weir in an interview with SmithsonianMag.com.

“I had tried before to write novels and submitted them to agents but no one was interested,” said Weir.

Weir grew up with parents who were an electronics engineer and a particle physicist and became interested in science, technology, and of course Sci-Fi classics including Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clark, Robert Heinlein, and let’s not forget Dr. Who, according to an article by Micah White on Biography.com.

Weir was a computer programmer at AOL, but when they merged with Netscape he was let go and with his severance package went on to fulfill a dream of his to write fiction.

In 2009 Weir began writing The Martian as a hobby and posted chapters on his website for interested readers. He gained a few thousand followers, many of whom were scientists that provided technical accuracy of the story. From there, The Martian was completed and posted on his website as a free e-book.

“If it wasn’t for the Internet, the story wouldn’t have been possible at all because I wouldn’t have had any medium to tell stories. I wasn’t even trying to break into the industry anymore, I was doing it as a labor of love,” said Weir in his SmithsonianMag.com interview.

“Chemists actually pointed out some problems in early drafts,” said Weir in an interview with Businessinsider.com. With that he was able to go back and correct some of the chemistry that was crucial for Watney’s survival.

This self-publishing author followed his true passion without any additional help from an agent or marketing team and continued to write even though he received many rejection letters.

“I was afraid it was going to read like a Wikipedia article if I didn’t make it really interesting,” said Weir during a discussion of The Martian at the recent Human MARS Summit in Washington D.C.

In September 2012, the book became available on Amazon for $0.99, selling 35,000 copies and moving it up to the top of Amazon’s Sci-Fi Bestseller List. After topping the Bestseller List on Amazon, an agent contacted Weir and he was soon represented by Random House for a book deal. On top of that Fox contacted him for the film rights of his novel.

Within days of each other both deals closed and the computer programmer had gone from a self-published author to published author (selling nearly 1 million copies) to the creator of Hollywood’s 2015 blockbuster.

Even NASA loved the publicity from The Martian with the following tweets:

  • NASA astronaut and #TheMartian movie actress hope to inspire the next generation of astronauts on our #journeytomars
  • Watching #TheMartian? See how our Deep Space Habitat compares to one in the film: go.nasa.gov/1iUaBKi

“It was such a sudden launch into the big leagues that I literally had a difficult time believing it,” said Weir in an interview on his site. “I was actually warned it could all be an elaborate scam. So I guess that was my first reaction: ‘Is this really happening?’”

Persistence is key in the self-publishing book business. Almost every writer goes through the struggle, some having an agent, some not. The idea behind The Martian is that similar to Mark Watney, Andy Weir did the best he could with the limited resources that he had; no agent, no marketing team and no publisher. He, like Watney, took the creative spark he harnessed and prevailed in his struggle to find success.

The Bottom Line:  There’s a wealth of brilliant self-published authors striving to succeed. For some authors big success awaits. The difference is often getting just a little exposure. If the New York Times and other publications who routinely dismiss self-published authors would take a look at the fine work created by these talented people The Martian will indeed leave an indelible imprint on the self-publishing landscape. To the NY Times: See what you are missing!

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. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist  http://www.Book-Marketing-Expert.com

How Authors Can Use NetGalley For Ultimate Book Marketing

Book Marketing

Using NetGalley for Book Promotion featured in PR Toolkit in Small Business PR

by Scott Lorenz, President, Westwind Communications Book Marketing

Word of mouth sells books.

Unfortunately, one of the most difficult things to do is to get people to read and review your book to help get the buzz going. As an author, how would you like to get your book into the eager hands of reviewers, bloggers, members of the media, librarians, booksellers, and educators before it was published? Ever wonder how some books have 50 reviews the day of publishing? Want to know the tricks of the trade? One way is through NetGalley and their 300,000 readers.

Corrin Foster of Greenleaf Book Group says that their publishing firm uses NetGalley for nearly every title that they publish as a way to reach active and influential reviewers. “The NetGalley community is fair and transparent with their reviews, responsive to collaboration, and an invaluable resource for generating early reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, blogs, and social media which carry a lot of weight with general consumers. We value our relationship with NetGalley and their members very highly,” says Foster.

Read More>>>> How Authors Can Use NetGalley to Promote Their Book

http://bit.ly/1LEmj5V

Should Authors Repurpose their Book Content into an App?

Authors, How About an App for Your Book?Books inside an iPhone

Books are turned into movies all the time. But what about other money making avenues for repurposing content and expanding the reach of the book? How about creating an iPhone or Android app for your book?
The bestselling book What to Expect When You Are Expecting has an app that is a great example of how a book can expand its reach by creating a useful companion app.

More >>>>>  http://bit.ly/1YDNe8A 

Book Fairs & Festivals for Authors Summer/Fall 2014

Book Festivals and Book Fairs important element in book marketing

Thousands of potential book buyers, agents and member of media attend book festivals and book fairs looking for new books.

Book fairs and festivals offer authors an excellent place to interact with fellow authors and publishers, network with book industry leaders, locate the help you need, such as a publicist or book editor, and learn what’s new in the marketplace.

Book fairs usually want speakers. By volunteering to speak, the author not only gains great exposure but can also add that appearance to their resume and press releases. One of my author clients was recently a member of a panel of authors at a Southern Book Festival. I issued a press release about it and added it to her accomplishments on her bio. Not only is she a respected author but she’s now an author admired by her peers. It’s these little things that all add up in the minds of reviewers and the media when they decide who they will write about. If you want to land a panel gig or speaking slot you must plan ahead; dates for panel participants, speakers and autograph sessions are usually arranged months in advance.

For upcoming book events on C-SPAN2 visit: http://www.BookTV.org For more information about book events and book marketing visit http://www.Book-Marketing-Expert.com

Here’s my list of upcoming book fairs and events that are worthy of your attendance in 2014:

The Harlem Book Fair in Harlem, New York will take place July 11, 2014 through July 12, 2014. http://www.qbr.com/harlem-book-fair.aspx

The Martha’s Vineyard Book Festival will take place every Thursday, beginning July 24, 2014 through August 21, 2014 in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. http://mvbookfestival.com/author_lecture_series_2014

The Rocky Mountain Book and Paper Fair will begin August 1, 2014 and finish August 2, 2014 in Denver, Colorado http://www.rmaba.org/rmaba_events.html

The Brooklyn Book Festival will begin September 15, 2014 and run through September 21, 2014 in Brooklyn, New York. Top Book Fairs & Festivalshttp://www.brooklynbookfestival.org/

The Bookmarks Festival of Books will be held in Winston-Salem, North Carolina on September 4, 2014 through September 7, 2014. http://bookmarksnc.org/events/festival

The Kansas Book Festival will be in Topeka, Kansas on September 13, 2014. http://kansasbookfestival.com/general-info/about-the-festival/

The South Dakota Festival of Books in Deadwood, South Dakota will be held September 26-28, 2014. http://www.sdbookfestival.com/

The National Book Festival will take place in Washington, DC on Saturday, August 20, 2014. http://www.loc.gov/bookfest/

The Baltimore Book Festival will begin in Baltimore, Maryland on September 26, 2014 and end September 28, 2014. http://www.baltimorebookfestival.com/

The Iowa City Book Festival will begin October 2, 2014 and end October 5, 2014 in Iowa City, Iowa. http://www.iowacitybookfestival.org/

The Brattleboro Literary Festival will take place October 2, 2014 through October 5, 2014 in Brattleboro, Vermont. http://brattleboroliteraryfestival.org/

The Southern Festival of Books in Nashville, Tennessee will run from October 10, 2014 through October 12, 2014. http://www.humanitiestennessee.org/programs/southern-festival-books-celebration-written-word

The Seattle Antiquarian Book Fair will begin October 11-12, 2014 in Seattle, Washington. http://www.seattlebookfair.com/

The Vegas Valley Book Festival will run from October 16, 2014 through October 18, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. http://vegasvalleybookfestival.org/

The Texas Book Festival will begin October 25, 2014 and end October 26, 2014 in Austin, Texas. http://www.texasbookfestival.org/

The Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair (38th Annual) will be held November 14, 2014 through November 16, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts. http://www.bostonbookfair.com

The Miami Book Fair International will kick off in Miami, Florida on November 16, 2014 and wrap up November 23, 2014. http://www.miamibookfair.com

The Bottom Line: Take a little summer vacation and hit some book festivals. Make it a priority to visit a book festival in the coming weeks and months. You’ll be glad you did!

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 http://www.book-marketing-expert.com or contact Lorenz at scottlorenz@westwindcos.com or by phone at 734-667-2090. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist

Authors: Jump on the #AmazonCart and Twitter Bandwagon NOW!

Amazon and Twitter Make it Easier to Buy Books via #AmazonCart

#AmazonCart Great Way For Authors to Tap into the Power of Amazon and Twitter

#AmazonCart Great Way For Authors to Tap into the Power of Amazon and Twitter

By Scott Lorenz

Westwind Communications

 

A new way to use the power of Amazon and Twitter together was announced recently that should help authors sell more books. It’s called #AmazonCart  and it combines the best elements of Twitter with the shopping and buying power of Amazon.

The way it works is that whenever anyone sees a tweet containing a product on Amazon and wants to purchase they simply reply and type the hashtag #AmazonCart and the product is automatically and seamlessly added to their shopping cart on their Amazon account. Amazon then responds on Twitter and by email with a confirmation message that the item is resting in the shopping cart.

In order to use this tool, available only to Twitter users in the U.S. and United Kingdom (“#AmazonBasket” in UK), the user must connect their Twitter account to their Amazon account. I fully expect that #AmazonCart will be readily accepted and used by impulse buyers. The purchase can be made instantly without switching to Amazon, entering a user name and password, searching for the item and adding to the cart.

Instead of liking the product and thinking about buying when done on Twitter, the potential book buyer simply adds the item to the shopping cart and continues reading and sending tweets. This makes it even easier to buy books and other goods while online and is expressed well by its marketing slogan, “Add it Now. Buy it Later.”

Twitter is not getting any revenue for adding this feature but is adding the tool as a forerunner of its expected venture into ecommerce in the near future. And the tool does help keep users on the Twitter site longer if they use it for shopping as well.  #AmazonCart will most likely increase revenue for Amazon one would hope. The significance is that authors who already promote on Twitter will now want to make sure to add the Amazon URL to all Tweets. That’ll make it much easier to get closer to actual book buyers who see your Tweets and get inspired to buy. It’s really at the perfect inflection point of inspiration and decision so start doing it today!

It would be good to experiment now with #AmazonCart to become familiar with it as a sales tool because in the near future Amazon very likely will also reach a deal with Facebook and/or Google Plus.  So if you are selling on Amazon now it is a no-brainer that you will benefit from the ease that #AmazonCart offers to impulsive buyers.

Now it is true that some upwards of 70 percent of items placed in shopping carts on retail sites don’t make it to checkout. But it still is important to get your book off the shelf and into the cart by using the Amazon URLs. As they say in hockey, you can score unless you SHOOT!

For anyone wanting to rely on #AmazonCart to sell content attention must be given to ensure that the product description provides all the information the consumer needs to push the order button. Beyond the sale, on-page content in Twitter also can result in product reviews or book reviews.

Mediabistro has already tracked the use of #AmazonCart and found that several authors are signing up by including a line in their Twitter content to simply reply and type in the hashtag.

Goodreads also has taken note of #AmazonCart and suggests it can be very helpful for self-published authors. “Self-published authors can now use the social media network to sell books directly to their fan base,” stresses Michael Kozlowski, editor-in-chief of Good e-Reader. “Often books are for sale via the Kindle Store or physical titles using Amazon Createspace, or even the audiobook edition via Audible. Authors can now tweet product links out to their followers or pay famous people to endorse the link to their book. This is a brand new marketing vertical that all authors should be embracing.”

The Bottom Line: #AmazonCart will help authors sell books. Start including your Amazon URL in your tweets. Do it today! Watch this video for more information. www.Amazon.com/AmazonCart

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 http://www.book-marketing-expert.com  or contact Lorenz at scottlorenz@westwindcos.com or by phone at 734-667-2090. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist