MYSAM Blog Server Upgrade

by John Robert Marlow

Some downtime is expected during May, 2017, while the site is moved to an upgraded server. We apologize for any inconvenience…

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Post image for Adaptations Are 64% of 2017 Major Oscar Nominations

The long-trending dominance of adaptations continues in 2017, with 28 of 44 (or 64% of) major-category Academy Award nominations. This year, 6 of the 9 Best Picture nominees are based on a book, true-life story, play or short story.

The 5 nominees for Best Adapted Screenplay are adaptations—but so is one of the 5 Best Original Screenplay nominees.

Likewise, 4 of 5 Best Actress nods go to performances in movies based on other works. Ditto 2 of 5 Best Actor noms.

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The same goes for 4 of 5 Best Supporting Actress nods, and 3 of 5 Best Supporting Actor nominees.

Finally, 3 of the 5 Best Director nominations go to directors of adaptations.

Last year (2016), 100% of major category wins (Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Director, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor and Supporting Actress) were for adaptations, or work on adaptations. (See this post for details.)

Given this year’s numbers, adaptations should make another strong showing on Oscar night. (Details on specific adaptations below.) Read more…

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Post image for The 100 Highest-Grossing Adaptations of All Time (2017 Page Update)

Box Office page updated to February 2017. Now listing the 100 biggest film adaptations—of novels, nonfiction books, historic events, faery tales, comic books, short stories, toys, children’s books, theme park rides, songs and more. Click here to see the newly updated Box Office page

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iMovR Omega Everest Desk with iMovR ThermoTread GT Office Treadmill

If you’re like most people, when you hear the phrase “world’s most dangerous jobs,” WRITER and OFFICE WORKER are not the first words that leap to mind. But as it turns out, these occupations are more dangerous than anyone suspected. We’re not talking war correspondents in the latest foreign hellhole, or investigative journalists shadowing the Russian Mob. No; we’re talking Joe or Jane Writer (or Office Worker), who sits at a desk all day every day, or nearly so.

And therein lies the problem.

One might reasonably conclude that sitting in a chair all day is less deadly than, say, dodging bullets in Burma—but as it happens, that may not be the case. Scads of recent studies have brought to light a rather startling fact: sitting can be deadly—and the more of it you do, the deadlier it gets.

All of which begs the question: Short of giving up writing for marathoning—what to do about that?

This piece will explain the problem, and explore an increasingly popular solution to the dilemma it poses: how to get traditionally deskbound work done without risking an early grave. Treadmill desks—which accommodate sitting, standing and walking positions—make it possible to not just prevent sitting-induced maladies, but actually make ourselves healthier while working. Future posts will cover a number of enabling accessories that can help ease the transition, and make the new normal more comfortable/ergonomic. Read more…

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Post image for Adaptation Nation: Adapted Works Rule 2016 Oscars and Box Office

For more than a decade, Hollywood adaptations have claimed a steadily growing share of box office receipts and Academy Award nominations. This year marks a new high point in this long-trending dominance.

As of March 29, 80% of the top 10 (and 76% of the top 50) highest-grossing films of all time are adaptations. Of this year’s 42 major-category Oscar nominations, 39—or 93%—are for adaptations or work on adaptations. Seven of the eight Best Picture nominees are based on books, true stories, or both—and no. 8 is a remake (or adaptation, if you will) of an earlier movie.

The five nominees for Best Adapted Screenplay are of course adaptations—but so are 3 of the 5 Best Original Screenplay nominees (which are based on true-life stories). Add 5 of 5 Best Director nods and very nearly every acting nomination, and 2016 is already a near-total sweep at box office and Oscars. It’s quite possible that, come Oscar night, adaptations will score 100%.

2016 OSCAR UPDATE: 100% of this year’s major category wins (Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Director, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor and Supporting Actress) were for adaptations, or work on adaptations.

With that in mind, here’s a quick look at how this year’s Best Picture nominees—all of them adaptations—made it to the big screen. Read more…

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Ebook “Sales Decline?” Please…

by John Robert Marlow

Post image for Ebook “Sales Decline?” Please…

We’ve all seen the Chicken-Little headlines—some of them in quite prominent publications—lamenting the impending doom of ebooks. But is the sky really falling?

Somewhere after the clickbait headline, these articles invariably state (somewhere) something like this: “…the latest sales numbers from leading publishers show a decline in e-books…” Well, sure—because their ebooks (depicted in purple in the authorearnings graphic at left) are drastically overpriced, and the indie/self-pubbed ebooks (depicted in blue) continue to gain ground with readers, pushing Big Pub’s figures ever lower. The basic proposition—that ebook sales are declining—is false. Read more…

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Post image for Adaptations Sweep 2016 Oscar Nominations

The long-trending dominance of adaptations is now complete. In a
near-total sweep of the top Academy Award nominations (39 of 43 noms), 7 of the 8 Best Picture noms are based on a book or true-life story (or both)—and number 8 is a reboot of an earlier movie (making it an adaptation as well).

Details on the works that spawned all but 4 of this year’s major Oscar nominations (Best Picture, Screenplay, Adapted Screenplay, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, and Director) follow. Read more…

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The 100 Highest-Grossing Adaptations of All Time (2016 Page Update)

by John Robert Marlow
Thumbnail image for The 100 Highest-Grossing Adaptations of All Time (2016 Page Update)

This post now superseded by a later update. Click here to go directly to the current Box Office page.

Read the Book (Free Chapters and Contributor Bios)

by John Robert Marlow
Thumbnail image for Read the Book (Free Chapters and Contributor Bios)

Free book chapters—plus credits list for contributors (authors, screenwriters, producers, directors, publishers, entertainment attorneys and more) whose films have collectively earned over $50 billion worldwide. Click here to visit the Book Page.

The 8-Minute Book Query (That Landed an Agent in 8 Minutes Flat)

by John Robert Marlow
Thumbnail image for The 8-Minute Book Query (That Landed an Agent in 8 Minutes Flat)

In the last post, I wrote about How I Got an Agent in 8 Minutes, Over the Christmas Holiday, Without Asking to be Represented. What follows is the nonfiction book query that made that happen.

    Dear Agent X,

    Make Your Book a Movie
    Adapting Your Book or Story for Hollywood

    BOOK OPENER

    Humans have always been storytellers. Whether gathered around a campfire, painting on cave walls or, later, writing words on dead trees—it’s in our blood. A book is a noble undertaking, capable of reaching tens, even hundreds of thousands of people.

    But movies are the global campfires of our time. They reach millions, sometimes hundreds of millions of people, all over the world. On those few occasions where book sales reach this level, they do so with the aid of movies based on the books.

    For characters to truly come to life, for stories to touch the greatest number of people—that takes a movie. And every movie starts with a blueprint: the screenplay.

    This book will explain what Hollywood looks for in source material (stories to be adapted for film) and adapted screenplays, and how to think ahead by crafting your book or other story in a way that renders it more cinematic and, thus, more likely to attract film-side interest. For those with screenwriting aspirations, it will also offer advice on transforming your story (fiction or nonfiction) into a screenplay. (Booklist‘s review of my own first novel says, in part: “Reads like a big-budget summer blockbuster.”) Read more…