What Working for Directors is Really Like
By S.E. Campbell
As an author, I always thought that getting books made into movies was almost unattainable. Sure, it is a possibility if you are Anne Rice or Stephen King (who I am a far cry from), but then I ended up getting lucky. A director, Damien Dante, mentioned in passing he was interested in new project ideas, so I pitched mine. “Not right now,” he said. “It's good, though.” I, as a writer, am pretty used to rejections. If you want to survive in this business, rejection letters are to me as trees are to forest dwelling animals. I've never managed the heart of steel persona when it comes to being rejected, but I try and love my writing too much to give up. And that's exactly why I stuck to the man like glue and he eventually said, “Now is the right time.” I was overjoyed. My trilogy was being made into movies! Struck by the energy one gets from having something good happen, I ended up approaching other directors. More rejections came. (I did warn you, didn't I?) Then I met Richard Turke who wrote Visible Scars.
He replied in a kind but professional manner. He didn't have enough funds to make a movie at that moment. But fate, and I do believe in that, decided it wasn't through with me yet. Richard and I were destined to work together. (I have never mentioned to him, but I believe that. Probably he would laugh if he heard.) After getting an email from me, Richard went in a meeting for Visible Scars where the PR person mentioned that he should have someone write a novel. That was the night he called me. A night I will never forget because I honestly believe it was the changing point of my career. He asked me to write Visible Scars together with him, and I, giddy with happiness, agreed. I imagined a man on a golden lawn chair sitting out by his pool drinking tequila. The fact I even got to work with such a person was astounding and I was quite frankly intimidated not just by Richard but by Damien as well. What right did I have to even speak to men like these? What right did I have to get to work with them?
But that frazzled feeling faded faster than I could have ever imagined when working side-by-side with Richard. It wasn't that he gave me a reason not to be in awe of him anymore. It was the fact he was so humble. He has connections with Channing Tatum and Morgan Freeman and I'm scared to know who else, but he works harder than anybody I have ever known and never looked down on me for even a second. I hope he won't mind me sharing this, but I learned that he doesn't really get paid for his movies. Instead he pays back the contributors first. He had a movie that took a huge amount of money to make and poured his heart into it, but he has yet to see a penny from it. He works a second job so he can do what he loves, and also expends massive amounts of time for the series books. That is what the director Richard Turke is really like. He has my utmost respect. I am happy to say that because of our book work together, we will be making Invisible Scars, the second book in the series, and it will likely be made into a movie. I will also be writing the novel for Speak to Me and will hopefully get to work on more movies with Richard in the future. It is an honor working with Richard—not because he sits upon a golden lawn chair at poolside, but because he deserves to but doesn't act like it.
I could say similar and wonderful things about Damien Dante. Damien learned of my work adapting films into books and asked me to turn his franchise, Jezebeth, into books as well, giving me creative freedom to do as I whilst. He and his partner, Jeffrey, at SGL Entertainment have worked tirelessly at promoting not only my work with Jezebeth but with Visible Scars as well. I think it takes a pretty selfless person to promote somebody else's movie. It's because of them that Visible Scars and Jezebeth have been on Fox News and CBS as well as various newspapers. Their hard work and love for their projects will make these novels a success.
This is what working for directors is really like. At the end of the day, I am honored to be helping on these projects not because they were movies, but because I have gotten the opportunity to work with and befriend people like Richard Turke who gives one hundred percent of himself to his projects while asking nothing in return. Damien Dante and Richard Turke, you have truly taught me the meaning of the quote, “It's not the destination. It's the journey.” I have enjoyed journeying with you more than anything else I have done in my life. Thank you for believing in me. I will never forget it.
|Meet Boo her adorable bunny!|
Look for Visible Scars early July and Jezebeth (Book 1) mid-August through Keith Publications.