From Book to Film
In October of 2010, Christopher Forbes of Forbesfilm and I began discussing the possibility of bringing my novel BLOOD RIVER to the big screen. Several months later in January of 2012 an agreement was signed and the project moved forward. Chris said the project would move fast.
And it did.
We agreed to co-write the screenplay. Chris wrote the first draft and I followed with a second. The screenplay arrived to me via email in three installments. I'd receive each installment late Sunday night, read through it during the week, noting my changes or additions, and send it back to Christopher by mid-week. He'd then comment on those changes, answer any questions I may have about a particular scene and together we'd agree to keep it, change it, or discard it. In almost every case each scene was retained. Almost all the dialogue was taken from the novel. The script was written in approximately four weeks.
One of the challenges was compressing a 70,000 word novel into a ninety minute film. While a novel has the luxury to take its time building to a climax, the movie must have something happen every few minutes to keep the audience engaged. To capture their attention a prologue was written especially for the film.
Were changes made form the novel to the film? Absolutely. What works on paper may not translate well on screen. Some minor characters in the novel were expanded to help flesh out the story on film that was told through narration in the book. Since filming took place in Georgia, the destination of the characters changed from Las Vegas to a beach concert. The biggest change from the book to film is the film's ending--it's a good ending for the film and the integrity of the story remained intact. That's what was important to me.
Filming on BLOOD RIVER began in February of 2012. My part in the screenwriting process was finished and I stepped aside to allow Christopher to do his thing. Throughout the shoot, he was kind enough to send me production stills and keep me informed of the film's progress. Principle filming was completed in mid-June 2012. Editing began shortly after that and continued throughout the summer.
I will see the finished film along with the others attending the 2013 Poison Peach Film Festival on Saturday, January 5th, 2013 at 7:30 pm when it premieres at the Imperial Theater in downtown Augusta, Georgia. I'll watch the movie while I watch the film-goers.
The entire process from the film's inception to conclusion was exhilarating, exciting, and stressful, which begs the question: Would I do it again?
Well, let's just say evil really never dies and BLOOD RIVER 2 may be lurking just around the next bend in the road.
One final note, the vampires in BLOOD RIVER do not sparkle.
September 3, 2012