Michael Tullos wrote:
Thank you so much for the great information. I’ll get started on it right away. I’m glad you mentioned someone with connections to Hallmark; I think it would be perfect for that channel.
Right now, I do not have a screenwriter. In fact, I would not know how to find one of those either. That is one project which I would never undertake myself. For some reason, I write in a way that seems to affect people (I hope that didn’t sound conceited; I’m really not - I’m just a teacher who loves teaching and writing stories) but my ability to “turn a phrase” would not help me write a movie. So I’ll leave that to the experts. LOL - If anyone on this site is interested, we can sure talk about it.
You’re right; the book is not published yet. It appears that I might have found a Canadian publisher (subject to approval of the final manuscript), but I have not found a US publisher yet. I’ve only recently begun sending “queries” since I wanted the book to be near its completion prior to contacting publishers. But I’ll admit that I am getting the “Thanks, but we are looking for published authors” replies. I wish they would at least read a sample of my writing! The only one who has read a sample chapter was the lady in Canada, who apparently liked it quite a bit.
Discovery Channel featured the story in 2 documentaries. Paralyzed and Pregnant with Twins was solely about them - this was shown several times in March. In August, their story was #4 on Discovery’s 10 Most Amazing Pregnancies. That might have been why Discovery began showing the original story again. Apparently, it was quite popular.
During the showing of Paralyzed and Pregnant with Twins, we were under the impression that the wreck would not be mentioned. As soon as stark words on the screen mentioned that the Salleys had another son, my wife and I burst into tears.
Thanks again for the suggestions and kind comments. I agree that it is a great story - Claudia and Jamey are unbelievable! And the twins are precious. I leave in tears every time I interview them. Their faith is unreal. If I cannot make the reader share our tears of sorrow as well as tears of joy, I haven’t done my job.
By the way, if anyone wonders why I am so passionate about this book (and why I am the author), Claudia is my wife’s niece. Writing this story has brought me closer to God - what are my hills compared to their mountains??
When Claudia gave me a letter she had written to Levi four months after his death, I knew we had something special. No one knew of the letter, including Jamey. But after reading one of the weekly updates, she sent it to me, asking me to include it in the book and saying “Maybe it’s time.”
Sorry, I am getting longwinded and my eyes are misty again. I am such a sentimental sap.
Within the screenwriting venue, there are requests for “true stories that overcome massive obstacles”. This story fits that request. It’s just the matter of pitching it to the proper company - a lot of research, networking, staying on top of the business.
Generally, because the story will be a published book, legal rights need to be established for the screenplay to be written before being accepted by any writer or production company. The company won’t touch it, unless this is in place.
These types of stories can be optioned/purchased before the actual piece is written and then generally the company hires a screenwriter they’ve worked with in the past to write it on assignment.
On the back end however, if the screenplay is written before the option or sale by a person of choice, you won’t have the Company’s initial parameters or input for the products (yes, they will opin in some way) but you’ll have the presentation of how you want the premise delivered; this will establish what you’re looking for. This should allow the potential Prod Co to assess if it’s really something they want to touch. (imho)
Or it could be written, entered in the prestigious Nichol Fellowship contest or the Kairos Contest and if it wins, you’ll have numerous companies approaching the writer. (Long shot out of 8,000 entries…but God is a big God)
Regardless, the variables for production, budget, actors, equipment, location, venue (TV or Feature) and the ever-so-important “personalities” will all have a say in the final product…so, finding the right deal takes time and perseverance. The greatest preference is to work with people you know you can work with—a certain comfort level.
My humble opinion, yes, there are wonderful professionals, and yes, there are not so wonderful professionals. Pulling off the visual screenwriting craft is difficult and it is a skill that must be mastered but I’ve read many “un-produced” scripts that lay the professional’s work in the dirt,—down…deep…turned over…‘er a garden would grow on top of the filth…
Not to worry, writing is all about emotion and sentiment.