I watched a pretty horrible movie last night. I actually stayed up (even though I was tired--that's the critic in me) to finish watching the last 45 minutes or so which I could not bring myself to finish watching a few nights before. I won't name names because as a writer I respect the fact that the writer of this script followed his/her dream and got that movie made and aired (even if it was only on TV). I also don't want to ruin the movie for anyone else who might want to see it and might actually like it.
Now let me clarify, the movie itself wasn't entirely horrible. The premise (and some of acting) was bad: a woman in search of the perfect man at the expense of her dignity and the existence of reality. But the idea for the story was actually pretty good. To be honest I was scared for a bit because the beginning of the movie reminded me of the novel I'm currently writing and for a moment there I thought I was going to have to chuck it, but thank God the rest of it went down hill.
It made me wonder though; if that movie which, based on other reviews I read in addition to my own, was that bad, how did it come into being in the first place. It's my bet that the book it was based on must have been MUCH better. And it's also my bet that the writer of that book could not have been too impressed with the portrayal of his/her (I'm guess her) book as a movie.
This all causes me to wonder what makes a writer decide to let someone make their book into a movie. Is it the money (something tells me no)? Is it the possibility that the movie will make the book become larger than life? The possibility that they'll be the next J.K. Rowling, Stephanie Meyer or Candace Bushnell? I think that might be every writers dream. But what happens when that dream backfires becoming the movie I watched last night? How much does that hurt the author?
I'm beginning to reassess my dreams as I type. Yes, I'd love to experience the rush of someone loving my book so much they want to make it into a script, but at what cost? The sad truth is that in this day and age a writers first impression can often be the movie their book was made into.