Some of the greatest films in history were actually adapted from books. To Kill a Mockingbird was originally a novel by Harper Lee. The Jurassic Park (and subsequently Jurassic World) series was heavily inspired by Michael Crichton’s novel of the same name. Even Wizard of Oz, the very movie that shot Judy Garland to stardom, is adapted from L. Frank Baum’s 1900 book. Indeed, some of cinema’s greatest hits all started out as books.

While there have been successful adaptations, there are also some not so successful ones. Some of the more recent disappointments include Divergent, The Girl on the Train, The Dark Tower, and The Giver. Which begs the question, what makes a book film-worthy?

One way of envisioning your book as a film is to come up with the script for it. Writing a script is quite different to writing a manuscript. For one thing, scripts contain film sequences, minimal descriptions, transitions, camera shots and angles, etc. But what’s interesting to note is the opening scene in a book might not be the same in a movie. That’s because film language is quite different. And there might even be some scenes that are written too short or too long once adapted into a script. But outlining all these shots, transitions, and dialogue can help you visualize what the movie might look like.

For those who are interested in adapting their book to a screenplay, here are some things you need to know:

  • Font: Courier
  • Font size: 12 point
  • Left margin: 1.5 inch
  • Right margin: 1 inch
  • Top margin: 1 inch
  • Bottom margin: 1 inch
  • Lines per page (any size): 55 lines (Note: page number excluded from count)

This is the standard format in the industry and is followed by most studios.  Once the script is ready, the next step seems to be to option the rights of the film to a producer. During that time, you negotiate how much creative control you get to keep, how much liberties the director can take, and also how much the rights are.

Creative control is especially important. After all, writers want to make sure that the overall vision and integrity of their work isn’t compromised. To achieve this, make sure to sign with an agency that would look out for your best interests, such as Rushmore Press. Aside from helping you adapt the screenplay oversee production, we would even assist you in submitting your final movie as a film festival entry. This initiative is done through our newest initiative, Rushmore Pictures.

So, if you have an aspiration for turning your book into a film, sign up with us today.