Thursday, March 13, 2008

The beautiful thing about book to film...

I've been sitting on this for awhile now, but I've been waiting for an official announcement before I made a post. Which there just has been. So...

Ball Don't Lie the film, directed by Brin Hill and based on a novel by my friend, author Matt de la Pena (who also co-wrote the script), will be featured at Tribeca Film Festival.

The film, according to Hollywood Reporter, is part of the Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival, and according to them, is the "most notable" among the films being featured in this category. A coming-of-age story about a foster kid who dreams of becoming a basketball player, the movie stars some pretty big names, including Ludacris, Rosanna Arquette and Nick Cannon (and according to IMDB, also includes that Aussie chick from Lost, the girl with the scary black tears from Heroes and the chief of surgery from Grey's. Ha, I know I'm a loser and probably watch too much TV.).

Tribeca is awful about keeping their website up to date, but tickets, if you're a New York local and wanted to drop by, will be available for purchase there sometime starting mid-April I believe. The festival runs from April 23rd to May 4th, and Ball Don't Lie will be screened several times throughout its duration.

I've been following the production of this film for awhile, via its website. It's exciting to see something like this unfold, because I suspect, a lot of writers sort of dream of this. I mean, okay, yeah most of us think of these other ultimate goals - besides just publication (and oh, how I'd love to just reach that goal), but crazy wild things like landing on the NYTimes Bestseller list, winning a Pulitzer or a Man Booker, getting a favorable Kakutani review... Those are all THE goals.

But I think having a book made into a movie is another kind of accomplishment. There are so many more people out there who watch films than read books. Which means that your story, that world you created and love, will be reaching so many more people. And if you write for the reason I write -- to touch somebody -- then that's a big deal. Plus, it hopefully also translates back to book sales. People picking up your book that otherwise wouldn't have thought to.

So Tribeca is a huge first step for this movie. What an awesome film festival to be part of. And from here, who knows?

I'm so very excited for Matt. Only because, you dream right? You write this little story that occupies your heart and at that time, it's just yours and you live it and breathe it like no one else can or ever will. And when you're published, you hope other people will take your words and feel it the way you do, love it the way you do. You hope you've done that world in your head justice. You hope you've resonated with people. Made them feel something. But then when it's on camera? On a screen? Even though it stopped being yours the day you released the book into the world, on screen, it truly becomes everybody else's. The actors, the directors, the people viewing it through the lens. The people watching. And suddenly, this thing, this story, this idea, all of that world that was born from a first sentence, a first word, a first stroke of a key - it's become real somehow. No, no. Not real. But alive.

And that, to me, is crazy beautiful.

Congratulations Matt, and to all of those people who helped bring Sticky to life.

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