To use a cliché, this one came out of left field. I found your story Beyond The Pale on flash fiction, the e-mail read. I was curious to know if you are under an option agreement with another producer or if you'd be willing to sell the story or option it to me so that I can make it into a script.
Back in August 2008, I submitted “Beyond The Pale” to Flash Fiction Online. Within the week, I received an e-mail from the editor stating that he wanted the story for the September issue. Throughout that day, I wore a smile that wouldn’t go away. Landing “Beyond The Pale” in an e-zine like Flash Fiction Online was a nice achievement.
Imagine my surprise when nearly eight months later I received the above-referenced e-mail from a student at Columbia University Chicago, wanting to option my story so she could write a script and then shoot a short film based on it. My first thought was, Are you serious? My second thought, after things settled down, was how I should approach this offer. After e-mailing friends in the literary and music industries, trying to understand the difference between a sale and an option, I dove into this like a skydiver taking that final step away from an airplane.
By the time the final agreement was signed, I had secured another fee for the story (once the filming begins), the potential for future royalties, and a complimentary copy of the DVD once the school releases the film. Since the film will be for a school project, it may be until next year before it is produced, assuming that it will ultimately be produced. While the fee and royalties aren’t much, the more tantalizing piece of the deal was the prospect of having a screen credit once the film is complete. As a writer who is trying to break out into the public arena, the sense of joy and the exposure that comes with having my name flashed on screen for potentially thousands to see is worth far more to me.
To celebrate this, then, I would like to play a little game of What If? with you. If you haven’t already read the story, you can find it here, or by clicking the link in the left sidebar. For grins, I’m curious who you would choose the play the role of the protagonist who ultimately discovers that all is not as he originally believed. The role of Rick, the bartender? The role of Frank? Post your thoughts down in the comments.