On more than one occasion my work has been regarded as too much this or that for what currently passes for filmable genre fare. Even if it hits all the beats, its not black and white enough or there’s too much violence or not enough “warm puppy” moments. To hell with that, I write what I think is good, and if the middle men who make up 50% of the industry aren’t willing to take some small risks, I may have to pay the lonely and quiet consequences. I guess that’s what I get for being inspired by films that started out being box office “challenges” before eventually becoming influential cult classics.
So the pressure is continuously on to compete with the deluge of by-numbers genre pictures that flood Hollywood, and frankly, I’m never going to be able to get an edge unless I happen to marry someone connected. Don’t get me wrong, I do have a few connections, but they don’t seem to be the kind I can use despite their heartwarming efforts to help me. So what do I do? I’m amassing some very high concept ideas to throw at potential managers and agents, but I know myself all too well and there will always be a rub in my work that I think sets me apart, and that someone else gatekeeping my future will see as an obstacle.
Maybe I’m being overly cynical? Maybe my stuff is budgeted too high? Why should anyone take a risk on my stuff if they can’t feel it? There are pitch meetings available at expos around the country, and more avenues to get something read than ever before, so perhaps I should quit whinging and get on with selling them with my heart behind it.
But just in case I’m right, or those experiences don’t pan out, I’ve begun to give deep consideration to producing portions of my works as graphic novels. I’ve got an idea that would make hiring an artist affordable, and perhaps it’s just helping a few folks visualize what I’m seeing that will make the difference. It could be fun, too, and I might learn quite a bit. Graphic novels seem to allow for a lot of narrative and character stretching, as having them safely on a page gives the ideas a tone that is traditionally more experimental. It’s not like my ideas are that off the beaten path, but I don’t want to be long dead before some distant relative unearths something I’ve bequeathed to them and it finally has enough posthumous cachet to excite someone with power.
So if there are any artists out there looking for a rich imagination, or anyone out there at all who has an opinion about this approach to getting one’s story into circulation, I’m listening. I envision a future where many more graphic novels are optioned as films, just like Tolkien and Matheson and their proseworthy ilk with built-in audiences. Heck, Stan Lee’s had to wait how long? I would just love a shot before that time comes and I’m too frail to lift the screen on my laptop.
In the end, it’s up to me to make it happen, top to bottom, far and wide. I’m grateful for even the faintest whiff of an opportunity, and I plan on making the most of it. I love to write. I need to write. So I might as well.