By: Jennifer Brown-Thomas
Publisher Date: January 3, 2013
Publisher: Helm Publishing
Things are often not what they seem in the decadent lifestyles of the rich and famous. Life can be messy and at times people do what feels wrong, because in the end it may turn out to be the best decision ever made. A close bond between 5 lifelong friends, now of college age, find the limits of their relationships are tested when multiple secrets and lies begin to surface, which ultimately leave them wondering if it is all too much to move forward as the family they once were. Forbidden love, drug dealing, date rape, betrayal, cheating, and more begin to unravel the strong ties between friends. Can they overcome secrets which warrant a very difficult life altering response?
The process of turning a book into a film can be incredibly tricky. For the writer, you have to think outside your own mind and adjust accordingly to the different mediums of storytelling. Generally speaking, a novel is adapted into a screenplay. I did things a little differently. I decided I wanted to make the film first… the book was an afterthought. So with Blissful Lies I wrote and directed the film first and then adapted it into a novel. When you’re reading a screenplay, it’s essentially your outline—a skeleton, if you will, of a story. You allow your actors to bring your words to life in a believable and enjoyable manner. But when writing a novel, you only have your words to speak to the imagination of your audience. I found it much easier to take the screenplay and grow it into a novel than it was to take a written novel and cut it down to 110 pages for a screenplay.
I tend to be very wordy; I’ve been told on numerous occasions I should write for television. So taking a very lengthy novel and cutting out only the key elements to include in the screenplay, proved to be a very difficult task for me. With my novel, Vindictive Grounds, I wrote the novel first and then adapted the screenplay. It takes a significant amount of dedication and focus to be able to successfully shift between the two mediums, but it’s something I’ve managed to grasp over time.
My conclusion after doing this both ways? I find it easier to transform the screenplay into a novel, instead of the other way around. This way I get to use the original material and simply expand on it, rather than having to cut out parts I feel are important. Both writing styles are incredible in their own ways and I don’t think I enjoy one more than the other, but trying to take something and trim it down to fit the length criteria of a screenplay is exceedingly more difficult for me.
At just 25 years old, Jennifer Brown-Thomas is a celebrated book author and movie director. Her first novel, Blissful Lies, combines both of her passions.
At the 2012 Cannes Film Festival, she presented Blissful Lies (the movie) starring Emmy award winning actress, Leann Hunley. YTINIFNI Pictures is working to bring the film to DVD and on-demand television this spring.
Jennifer is a married,
graduate and mother of one. Her newest venture, LBT Enterprises, is set to launch a fragrance, a children's clothing line and more. Texas Christian University
Watch for more novels from Jennifer - the next on its way is Vindictive Grounds. In February, Jennifer will begin directing the film version of this novel. She says, "It definitely has more of the explicit sexual contact comparable to Fifty Shades of Grey."
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