Tuesday, May 30, 2017

From Book to Hallmark Movie 15 Tips and Tricks, Part 2 by Denise Hunter

Last Tuesday, Denise Hunter shared her first seven tips on how to understand the book-to-movie process that she learned when her book, "The Convenient Groom," was filmed by Hallmark. A dream come true, right? Today she shares tips eight through 15. Click here to read the first seven tips. ~ Angie
Denise Hunter

  1. In fact, unless your name is Nicholas Sparks or Nora Roberts, don’t expect to have much, if any, input in the movie itself. Film is a completely different medium than a novel, and sometimes what works well in print doesn’t work at all on the screen. Fortunately I knew this up front and was quite happy to let the film people work their magic.
  2. Getting a book turned into a TV movie is a slow process. I signed the movie option in March of 2015, and The Convenient Groom aired June 18, 2016. A December Bride aired in about the same time frame. That may seem to fairly quick, but when you’re waiting for your book to come alive onscreen, it seems very slow. And you’ll be sworn to secrecy until late in the process. It’s hard to keep the exciting news to yourself. 
  3. Just as with the rest of your career, be a professional. This means working through proper channels. Once you hear that filming is about to begin ask your publisher who will keep you up to date on the process. This person will be the liaison between you and the production company. They might have experience in this role or you might be learning it together. Ask your liaison to get in touch with the film’s production coordinator and ask to be added to the email list for the shoot’s call sheet. A call sheet is sent to actors and crew each day of filming and tells where and what scenes they are filming (and many other details) on any particular day. It’s a terrific way to stay in touch with the filming of your movie. Also ask if they can send you the script. The production manager was happy to provide me with both. If the production company you work with is not as accommodating, you can find behind-the-scenes information through Google once filming is imminent. Follow the actors and director on social media for updates and pics from the set. You can also stay up to date on filming news via the website www.whatsfilming.ca and its corresponding tweets on Twitter. 
  4. Most Hallmark movies are filmed in and around Vancouver. The vast diversity of Vancouver’s landscape make for a perfect movie set, whether the movie is “set” in Nantucket, Indiana, (like mine) or New York. Also Canadian labor laws are much friendlier to the pocketbook than are the United States’. 
  5. While the matters of funding, screenwriting, and hiring actors and crew can take months, the actual filming of the movie is fast. A Hallmark movie takes only about 2-3 weeks to film! The cast and crew put in some long hours. Because it happened so much more quickly than I expected, I missed the opportunity to be on set for The Convenient Groom, but I was able to go to Vancouver for A December Bride. My husband and I were on set for a day and even had a brief appearance in the movie! Everyone from the producer to the director to the cast and crew were so welcoming, and it was exciting to watch those scenes I’d written come to life. Even if you’re an introvert this is a not-to-be-missed opportunity. Ask your liaison about a set visit as soon as you know the filming dates. 
  6. Expect the unexpected. Sometimes filming gets pushed back, and the airing date gets moved (The Convenient Groom did). Sometimes the title ends up changing, even late in the process (mine didn’t). Sometimes your story has significant plot changes (The Convenient Groom did, December Bride didn’t). Remember the whole experience is an unexpected blessing. You set out to write a book and got a movie deal to boot. Keep a positive attitude! 
  7. Once you have the airing date and permission to announce the movie to the world, spread the word on social media and via your newsletter. Your readers will be thrilled and want to celebrate with you. Share information, like who the leads are, as it becomes available. So many readers told me they were going to re-read The Convenient Groom that I decided to host a Book Club Discussion on Facebook just prior to the movie’s airing date. I also gave away prizes and shared behind-the-scenes information about the movie process. Readers loved it! I did the same just prior to A December Bride’s airing date and was able to share about my visit to the set. 
  8. Hallmark doesn’t host a red carpet event so you’re on your own for the premiere. As your movie date approaches, think about how you want to experience your World Premiere Original Hallmark movie. Keep in mind that Hallmark would prefer that you Tweet live (and encourage your readers to do the same). It’ll be hard to do that if you’re staging a big to-do with 300 of your closest friends. But if this floats your boat, go for it. If you’re an introvert like me, you might prefer to simply host a few of your closest friends and relatives. This is a once-in-a-lifetime kind of moment. Celebrate it in your own way!
Tweet: More book-to-movie tips from @DeniseAHunter. http://bit.ly/book-to-movie-tips-2

    About the Author
    Denise Hunter is the internationally published bestselling author of more than 25 books, including "The Convenient Groom" and "A December Bride" which have been made into Hallmark movies. She has appeared on The 700 club and won awards such as The Holt Medallion Award, The Carol Award, The Reader's Choice Award, The Foreword Book of the Year Award, and is a RITA finalist.

    Denise writes heartwarming, small-town love stories. Her readers enjoy the vicarious thrill of falling in love and the promise of a happily-ever-after sigh as they savor the final pages of her books. 

    When Denise isn't orchestrating love lives on the written page, she enjoys traveling with her family, drinking good coffee, and playing drums. Denise makes her home in Indiana where she and her husband have three boys and are rapidly approaching an empty nest. 

    You can learn more about Denise through her website www.DeniseHunterBooks.com or by visiting her FaceBook page at https://www.facebook.com/authordenisehunter

    Mark your calendar: Denise is celebrating her latest release, Sweetbriar Cottage, with a Facebook party, June 13, 2017 at 8 p.m. EDT. 

    Sweetbriar Cottage 
    When Noah and Josephine discover their divorce was never actually finalized, their lives are turned upside down.
    Sweetbriar Cottage
    by Denise Hunter

    Following his divorce, Noah gave up his dream job and settled at a remote horse ranch in the Blue Ridge Mountains of northern Georgia, putting much-needed distance between himself and the former love of his life. But then Noah gets a letter from the IRS claiming he and Josephine are still married. When he confronts Josephine, they discover that she missed the final step in filing the paperwork and they are, in fact, still married.

    Josephine is no happier about the news than Noah. Maybe the failed marriage—and botched divorce—was her fault, but her heart was shattered right alongside his, more than he would ever believe. The sooner they put this marriage behind them, the better for both of their sakes.

    But when Josephine delivers the final paperwork to his ranch, the two become stranded in his cottage during the worst spring snowstorm in a decade. Being trapped with Josephine is a test of Noah’s endurance. He wrestles with resentment and an unmistakable pull to his wife—still beautiful, still brave, and still more intriguing than any woman he’s ever known.

    As they find themselves confronted with each other and their shared past, old wounds surface and tempers flare. But when they are forced out into the storm, they must rely on each other in a way they never have before. Josephine finally opens up about her tragic past, and Noah realizes she’s never been loved unconditionally by anyone—including him. Will Noah accept the challenge to pursue Josephine’s heart? And can she finally find the courage to trust Noah?