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I was wondering if anyone has any interest in turning one of my screenplays into a graphic novel. One is a sports drama about sumo wrestling called "The Sumo". The other, "Griffin", is an environmental thriller in a popcorn movie wrapper: it's about a rich and arrogant hunter who meets his match in the form of a unique and intelligent creature. "The Sumo" actually has some of the elements in place - like a former professional wrestling star who is going to play the lead part. "Griffin" has not really been read by anyone yet. Neither script has financing in place yet.
I think they both lend themselves to graphic novels, particularly the second one. You would retain all the rights to the graphic novel (unless I'm involved with additional writing), while I would have all the screenplay/movie rights. I would also be able to use the graphic novel in promotion of the screenplay/getting the movie funded.
I have written, produced and directed one feature film in the past - "The Second Best Science Fiction Movie Ever Made".
The contract explaining that sort of rights division would be a nightmare and probably result in a massive lawsuit if anything was optioned or even made. Further, you're essentially asking someone to adapt your screenplays on spec, still granting you a free promotional tool, but no taste of the real money if a film gets made.
Happily, you misposted this in the art discussion forum and not in the work section, so I'm going to discuss this.
It's an insulting offer. It shows the lack of respect and understanding of the process and the people involved. Graphic Novels are "hot", so everyone wants to have one attached to their property (witness Sherlock Holmes and Spartacus: Blood and Sand both talking up nonexistant graphic novels in their PR).
Drawing is a specific skill set. Visual storytelling is a specific skill set. Writing for comics or adapting something to comics are specific, but interrelated skill sets. These people usually get paid to work with other people's ideas and properties. If the raw story is the only currency offered, then you'd better be Stephen King or J. K. Rowling, or the people will be better off working on spec on their own ideas and owning the whole thing if Hollywood comes calling.
If you want some comics work to help sell your properties, either bring the comics team on as full partners or hire professionals to develop your promotional item.
RSpace: Man, obviously this guy wants proffessional help but you know what, the offer is only 'insulting' and disrespectfull to egomaniacal dimwits.
If he's as good of a writer as he thinks he is, owning rights to his novel is good anough to volounteer, and can prove to be more lucrative than being contracted.
Hell if i wasn't occupied i'd jump on the oportunity, because i have the interelated skills to make this novel "hot", not to mention if the movie ever gets made and it's any good, my novel will make even more money cause everyone will run to read it for the feeling of novelty, (just like it happened with Watchmen, Sin City, Three Hundred, etc..) The novel will promote the movie as much as the movie will promote the novel, both parties will be happy with the smart collaboration.
But beyond that, i wouldn't concider doing a cool art project for free a waste of my time..ever, and especially when i'm an idustry proffessional with deacent money in my bank allready.
Kraus, if you can't see how the offer is insulting to working and would-be comics professionals, then it's unlikely anything written here will change your mind.
Few fun facts though: Sin City, 300, and The Watchmen were all already best-selling comics complilations prior to being adapted. All were crafted by comics professionals operating within a great deal of popularity and with solid publisher support.
Bruce Willis's recent The Surrogates was also based on a lesser known comics property by largely unknown creators from a small publisher. Sales for the GN blipped when the movie came out, but the creators still made more money from the option than from comics sales.
So, no, it's unlikely to impossible that this offer would actually be lucrative in any manner, let alone more lucrative than doing it under contract. You may have the skills required to make either "hot" as you assert, I don't know, I've never seen any of your work, but I do know that an unattached screenplay by an indie screenwriter is only slightly more likely to be turned into a financed, wide-released and promoted film than my dog learning to play Chopin, and if you'd commit to a project based on those long odds it's probably a good thing for any dependants or creditors you may have that you're already busy.
While I know there have been times when I've been egomaniacal, a dimwit or both, I'm very confident that this isn't one of them.
I certainly hope Mr. Epstein is a brilliant writer, that his screenplays are undiscovered gems and he has boatloads of success, but I also hope he learns how to treat professionals working in other media as well as more about IP law.
I am intrigued by your confidence in your work, Kraus -- I'd love to see it.
My point is there are many who heard about Watchmen or Sin City but never read the GNs, and those who did read, lost their copies long ago and got inspired to reread it by watching the movie. And the best crowd are those who were never into comic books and suddenly came the next day to work with a Sin City book like it's the normal thing for them to do.
Surrogates on the other hand while a cool concept, very default sci-fi concept, and if there was any complimenting comic book (And that's the keyword, complimenting) then people might have read it...Otherwise it wasn't intriguing enough to go read the originator.
But besides, I have yet to see a comic book artist getting insulted by getting their hands on material that eliminates the need to go find a writer. The success of the novel (other than dealing with suits) will depend heavily on how good the visual presentation is, but mostly by the writing.
I'm not debating whether his particular scripts are worthy to contribute art to. I just don't consider the offer itself insulting. The IP issues can always be worked out aside, pencil pushing is unrelated to what i'm talking about here.