How did you get optioned by Hollywood?

edited July 2014 in The Toolbox
Seriously thinking of cold-emailing the production companies that have optioned books in the past year to try and get Amala's Blade on their radar. How did it happen for the rest of you?


  • In my case... Hollywood contacted me.

    My Image comic Evil & Malice was optioned for TV animation. It went through some development and a test group phase. But the second option was not renewed. I got 3 fat checks over an 18 month option.

    Since then I tried to get an option deal on my own through representation with Image Comics' agent Circle Of Confusion. They sent me an email or two but nothing ever came out of it.
  • edited August 2014
    There's been some talk about developing Doug Freshley for film and TV. Marv and I did about 6 drafts on a screenplay just to pitch, at Archaia's media development guy's request, but that was (I believe) before Boom bought out Archaia and basically said "yeeeeah, the Fox deal doesn't really...apply to you guys"; now we're obstensively with Mark Smylie's production company for pitching either a film or TV show (one of the reasons I'm going to NYCC is to poke him in person about, metaphorically).

    P.S. Adapting your own work to a different medium is super weird, and was a contributing factor to a break-up (for me, at least...pretty sure nobody else involved had that happen?), but it also smoothed out the story considerably, and generated at least one stone-cold super-great idea. There was talk about bringing in an actual screenwriter, which I was fine with, only nobody ever answered my question "how are they getting paid?".

    Related: I've occasionally thought about pitching BBB to Frederator.
  • @Jimmie_Robinson Yep, dude even had a whole pitch document about it that I still have somewhere.
  • I haven't had an option yet. We used to get emails pretty regularly from different production companies, expressing interest in WD. I'd forward them all to Circle of Confusion, who covers the licensing of Skybound books.

    For a while there was a "WD" pitch floating around Hollywood, with a couple big-name producers attached. Nothing ever came of it.

    My literary agent has been my go-to guy for this stuff for a while. If I'd gotten him any new creator-owned material this last year, he would've worked with the people in his company's film and TV department to try and get it set up somewhere. (Alas, he's leaving the company in a couple months, and I'm wishing I'd taken advantage of that while it lasted.)
  • Part of the Archaia deal includes media rights.
  • I was contacted by the studio during the Kickstarter. Not sure if they troll that site for projects or what. 
  • So to answer Steve's question, it seems the bottom line to get optioned is to get noticed and then contacted. Then once your are in the door I guess things might work differently (agents, studio reps, etc.).
  • If your book is overlooked, I wonder if it is possible to be proactive?
  • Good question. Do you have any kind of representation? An agent (like Brandon), or a publisher with media connections?
  • I have no representation ... my publisher does indeed have media connections, but they don't seem to be motivated to pursue this particular project in those avenues. :)
  • edited August 2014
    Yeah, that seems to be an issue a lot of people have... just HOW to get something noticed.

    Hell, even getting a mention in other mainstream media (newspapers, magazines, etc ) is hard. USA today, NY Times / whatever. It seems like they make a mention or a quick review of some comics and I wonder the same thing.... just how can I get that publicity? Because getting attention like that might help get attention for an option. I dunno.
  • I actually have gotten a reasonable number of people nosing about my various projects - but I don't own DBR, so I can't make that deal, and no one has put down money for Strode. We actually are actively pursuing getting representation to sell the Spread rights, so I am by no means done on the idea of being pro active. Generally, when I want something, that's how I get it.
  • @JustinJordan exactly. When I started noticing that comics and graphic novels were getting reviews in papers and magazines I would cold contact the writers / media directly. I wanted it to happen, sadly nobody bit ( though they said they would) but that didn't stop me from being proactive about it. I've done a good number of interviews, podcasts and signings -- but that's usually aimed at the comic reading audience. My problem was having too many balls in the air (as the writer & artist & letterer, etc.) to wave a flag around for Hollywood.

    Those are the times when I would hope the Image Central machine would use its clout behind me.

    But that's okay, I'll still keep trying. Right now I'm not thinking about Hollywood, I'm just trying to repair my standing in the comic industry.
  • You should probably try to repair your standing period, Gimpy.

  • I can't speak for film options but the only time I've really copped any exposure in the mainstream press was the recent situation where a journalist and an editor saw me speak on a panel at a convention. They approached me afterwards and bingo, I got into the Guardian alongside Tom and Nicola and Tristan, Australia's best known mainstream creators. That was because she liked the way I spoke (a shocking development for someone as shy as I am) and because what I said happened to fit the angle she was pursuing for the story.

    I have had journalists from smaller or local papers approach me in the past about doing interviews or stories about me or my stuff but none of those have ever made it to press. 
  • I have to agree. It's about being noticed and who you know. I haven't actively sought out anyone to option any of my work, but I have been approached a few times. Still waiting to see if anything comes out of any of those meetings. (not holding my breath)
  • I haven't sold an option, but I did sign a shopping agreement, which gives a production company exclusive rights to develop and sell the property on my behalf for a period of one year. They put a token sum of money in my pocket for that right.

    Of course, the comic itself is unlikely to see the light of day, now (Image is not interested, and without media rights, neither are most other publishers), but there's a story bible and I just received the second draft of the pilot, so maybe I'll make it to The Show as an executive producer, rather than as a comics writer.

    As for how, that's down to my sister suggesting we collaborate on a project and then putting it in front of her management.
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