I am a multi-optioned, professional screenwriter, who has recently moved into the writer-director chair. My production company and I are looking for a writing partner to novelize two completed, award-winning feature screenplays that have a very high likelihood of being produced as feature movies and theatrically released in the next 18 months. Ideally, I'd like to find someone with experience creating a novel from an existing, completed story. Compensation and credits are negotiable based on experience.
The novels will be used to help market the movies before they are released, to build audiences for the movies, and to capitalize on the interest of the audiences for a fuller version of the stories in novel format after the movies have been released. Both of these projects are stories with significant elements of faith, rather than stories purely about faith, so they can and should appeal to both an audience of faith, and general audiences.
I've already adapted one of the feature screenplays - "Together" - into a short movie as a proof of concept for the feature. It was my first Directorial role. The short has won multiple awards on the film festival circuit this year, and has been accepted into multiple film festivals in the U.S. and the U.K., including three Academy Award Qualifying festivals so far. The audiences at film festivals have absolutely loved the short film, and when told about the premise for the feature, were excited to hear more and hoped for the story to be made as a feature. We already have significant investor interest. Here's an overview of "Together":
An African-American man whose wife suffers a severe stroke and a white woman whose husband has Alzheimer’s struggle with temptation and must make life-altering decisions while caring for their spouses.
GENRE: A romantic drama feature film with faith-based elements, inspired by a true story.
ROMANTIC DRAMA TONAL COMPARISONS: Away From Her ($3M Budget, $9M Box Office); The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel($10M Budget, $137M Box Office; The Notebook ($29M, $115M Box Office); The Bridges of Madison County ($24M Budget, $182M Box Office)
FAITH-BASED COMPARISONS: I Can Only Imagine ($7M Budget, $86M Box Office); Fireproof ($500K Budget, $33M Box Office; War Room ($3M Budget, $68M); God’s Not Dead ($2M Budget, $65M Box Office); Miracles From Heaven ($13M Budget, $74M Box Office); The Shack ($20M Budget, $97M Box Office); Courageous ($2M Budget, $35M Box Office)
TOGETHER targets several underserved audiences, including:
· Audiences who enjoy films with significant African-American casts
· Adults over 25 who enjoy “prestige dramas” focused on relationships and social issues
· Audiences who enjoy films with elements of faith
The type of films these audiences are attracted to are predominantly driven by story rather than “name actors” or special effects. Therefore, they can be made at very low budgets compared to traditional studio movies. These audiences can be identified, targeted and reached efficiently through social media marketing in a very cost-effective manner. This proven combination delivers highly profitable returns to investors, at low risk.
IDEAL CO-WRITER: Someone of African-American descent, who understands modern day deep South - but African American ethnicity is not an absolute requirement.
The second project is tentatively titled: GUERRILLA WIFE.
After the Japanese invasion of the Philippines in WWII, a group of American missionaries and miners chose to stay behind enemy lines to help the local people and the Guerrilla resistance, risking certain execution if captured. An incredible true story of courage, faith and hope in the face of terror.
Genre: Historical Drama – based on the TRUE STORY of the "Hopevale Martyrs" - a group of Baptist missionaries in the Philippines who died for their faith at the hands of the Japanese.
Comparisons: Hacksaw Ridge; Unbroken; Letters from Iwo Jima
This will be a $30+ million budget film. We are already in discussions with major studios and distributors in the U.S. and the Philippines for co-financing and distribution. We've already signed up two of the biggest names in the Philippines to play key Filipino roles, and we're about to go out to A-list Directors (see the comparisons above for an idea), and then will go to A-list American cast.
Although the Baptist missionaries are a critical piece of this story, it is being told through the eyes of one of the wives of two mining engineers who stayed with the Missionaries while hiding from the Japanese - so that audiences that are not of faith can see and learn the powerful story of the missionaries - and also be entertained and root for the "ordinary people" who were thrust into an extraordinary situation. We have the backing of the head of one of the largest groups of evangelical churches int the world who wants to help promote this story to their member churches. We have also been offered a spot to show the "sizzle reel" for the movie at next year's world Baptist convention to generate interest.
This likely to be a huge box office success, as it hits all the key elements that are hot in the market: female-led action, based on a historical, true story, about WWII but in a setting few have seen or have knowledge of from prior movies, with a built-in audience of tens or hundreds of millions of people of faith. The book could be even bigger.
GUERRILLA WIFE - FULL STORYLINE
After the Japanese invasion of the Philippines in WWII, a group of American doctors, nurses, missionaries and miners on Panay Island chose to stay hidden behind enemy lines to continue to help the local people, and the Guerrilla Resistance on Panay Island. They built a camp deep in the jungle called “Hopevale” and survived there for almost two years under the threat of execution if captured. They were supported by loyal, brave Filipinos - including Filipino Baptists - who put their lives and the lives of their families on the line to help them. The movie “Guerrilla Wife” is based on the memoirs of Louise Spencer, one of the residents of Hopevale.
Just before Christmas 1943, nineteen of the group living in Hopevale were captured by the Japanese. Although they were non-combatants, and included three young children, they were all beheaded – the first known American civilians executed by the Japanese during the war.
Before their capture, the Hopevale missionaries helped Louise Spencer and her best friend, who was over 8 months pregnant, escape the Japanese by a matter of minutes. With the Japanese Army hot on their trail, the two women had to trek over the mountains, through jungle, and cross raging rivers and streams during the rainy season to try to make it to the coast. Ultimately, they and other Americans were successfully rescued from Panay in a daring submarine raid ordered directly by General Douglas MacArthur.
The martyrdom of the residents of Hopevale, and the subsequent rescue of other American refugees, was a turning point in the war in the Philippines. It emboldened the Guerrilla resistance led by Colonel Peralta, and proved to General MacArthur that American forces could and should return to the Philippines.
IDEAL CO-WRITER: Someone who has written both faith-based and historical action. Knowledge of the Philippines and Filipino culture would be a huge advantage.
Any and all suggestions are welcome! You can reach me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org