The wise screen writer is he who wears his second-best suit, artistically speaking, and doesn’t take things too much to heart. He should have a touch of cynicism, but only a touch. The complete cynic is as useless to Hollywood as he is to himself. He should do the best he can without straining at it. He should be scrupulously honest about his work, but he should not expect scrupulous honesty in return. He won’t get it. And when he has had enough, he should say goodbye with a smile, because for all he knows he may want to go back.– Raymond Chandler
Screenwriting is a hard taskmaster. And a screenwriter is also a very patient person, one who slaves away at honing his craft, filling his drawers with many many works-in-progress until one of those hit the jackpot.
Today, I'm very excited to interview my Twitter friend Gabriel Constans, who has been writing scripts for the last 12 years. His first produced script, a LGBT romantic comedy -- The Last Conception -- releases on multiple streaming channels this week. It's the perfect occasion to find out more about Gabriel's journey as a novelist and screenwriter...
Congratulations, Gabriel, on the release of your film. Could you tell us a bit about yourself and your journey as a writer.
The idea for the book, which the screenplay is adapted
from, is in some ways a continuation of my novel Buddha’s Wife, which
explored what life may have been like from Yasodhara’s perspective
(Siddhartha’s wife before he became The Buddha). Historically, their son
Rahula never married or had children and followed his father (and
mother) by becoming a monk in their order. I wondered what would it be
like if in fact he did have children and their lineage was kept secret
to the present day. Traces of the story The DaVinci Code can be seen in
this premise (without the violence). What if someone in today’s world
was suddenly told that she was the last in line of The Buddha and had to
have a baby to keep the bloodline alive? I included several other
factors and twists in the story as well.
How did the book to screen adaptation happen? How easy/difficult was it to find the right producers for the project?
After The Last Conception was published as a book, by
Melange Books (a great publisher and team), it took me several years to
write the screenplay and then another two to find a producer willing to
take it on. All together, about four years. As most writers know,
especially screenwriters, getting a screenplay accepted, let alone seen
or even looked at, is very difficult. It is similar to finding a
traditional publisher or agent, in the amount of time and rejections
involved. Once the script is optioned, it doesn’t mean it will get made
and if it is produced there is no guarantee that it will be distributed
and shown anywhere. The odds are “not” in your favor. One quality that
has helped is that of persistence (in writing and querying).
What are you currently working on?
My current efforts are completely centered around finding
producers/financing for the other scripts I’ve already written. Once
one of them, a coming-of-age story about a girl growing up in the south
in a small town and trying to protect some endangered sea turtles, gets
accepted somewhere, I’ll began writing another script based on a kindred
author at Melange Books.
Good luck with your writing and we hope to see many more books and films penned by you!
About The Last Conception and where you can watch...