How To Be Evil: Indian Seminar On Adapting Novels For The Screen To Open In July
"If only ideas could be plucked from the inexpensive air!" -- F. Scott Fitzgerald, on the thoughts of film producers

So you want to be a fiction writer, huh? And so you want to make money, huh? Sorry: it's pretty much impossible, unless you're evil. Try it all over again and pick a different childhood dream this time, one that people like.

So you want to write for the movies, huh? And you want to make money? It's easy! Just attend the 10th Annual Osian Film Festival in New Delhi and learn how to turn fiction writers' ideas into profit!

According to, the festival should be a bang-up job, involving lengthy discussions between fiction writers and screenwriters on how the latter can best exploit the former. The screenwriters are expected to speak in loud, declaiming tones about how the rhythm of the script demands that the main character only have one brother instead of four, and the fiction writers are expected to wear sensible sweaters and nod too quickly and drink too much at the open bar while asking their friends to help them calculate their option checks.

Other topics will probably include:

- How to heighten existing conflicts in the original work to ensure workable screen tension (HINT: if the novel character is angry at an uncaring God, in the movie maybe he should be torn between two attractive women instead)

- How to translate beautiful, precise, sensory prose into set design (HINT: use camera filters pretty much in every scene to make it look all gauzy and sensitive and stuff)

- How to translate fiercely three-dimensional characters from the page into living actors (HINT: count how many times the character's name appears, then multiply that number by $10,000. Then find an actor or actress who costs that amount of money and hire them)

- How to be faithful to the lingering, imagination-centric, reader-defined pace of prose when you're working in a medium that takes away all control from its viewers (HINT: what?)

Paul Schrader, the guy who made the original prequel to the Exorcist (the one that was too raw for even the studios), will be in attendance. New Delhi, India, July 10. It will be a gas, and you should be there.

In other news, the Fiction Circus is offering classes on how to turn movies into salable novels. Reasonable rates, flexible schedules. No open bar. Inquire with Mr. Miracle Jones if you are a screenwriter who wants to gain humility and dimension, or if you are a novelist who wants to get revenge.

Posted by future on Sat, 21 Jun 2008 16:53:50 -0400 -- permanent link

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