twitter google plus linkedin facebook

Hollywood: my failures in the film business


My failures in the film business go right back to my second novel, Tennis and the Masai. It was serialised on BBC Radio 4 soon after publication, but has never been filmed, despite numerous approaches over the years.

Sir Alec Guinness named Tennis and the Masai as his book of the year in the Sunday Times. He also wrote to tell me how much he had enjoyed it. Trevor Howard got in touch too, ringing to discuss a film version. He contacted the BBC, but nothing ever came of the idea, despite the enthusiasm of two such big stars.

I had high hopes too of The Greatest Day in History. To the disappointment of Christian booksellers in America, who returned the book in droves, it isn’t about the birth of Jesus Christ. It’s about the Armistice of November 1918 and takes its title from a contemporary headline.

Again, I have had numerous approaches over the years. My annus mirabilis was 2008, when it looked as if I was going to sell the same book twice: once as a major motion picture in Hollywood, again as a TV spectacular across Europe.

The Hollywood version was to be fiction. The TV version was to be a documentary. It would have been a pretty showy double if I had managed to pull it off.

I got as far as a telephone call from Cannes. It was the call authors long for. The TV version had been taken to the film festival and the money to make it had been found. ‘Good news!’ they told me down the line. ‘We have the cash. It’s a go!’

What went wrong? The clue lies in the date. The year 2008 saw the banking crisis and a worldwide collapse in confidence. The money evaporated overnight and both projects were shelved indefinitely.

The next approach came from director Joe Wright (Atonement, Anna Karenina, Pride and Prejudice, if you didn’t know). His film company had a reassuringly spartan office near the BBC in London.

I duly turned up for a meeting. Surrounded by enormous posters of Keira Knightley, I listened happily as I was told that Wright’s production team would take The Greatest Day in History to the BBC. With a brilliant, award-winning director behind the book, I told myself that the BBC could hardly say no.

They did, of course. They told Wright that they were already planning a film about the Armistice and didn’t need him or my book. From past experience of the BBC, I suspect their version will be pretty pedestrian when it comes out.

Other books? Five Days that shocked the World was a success all over the world when it first came out. I may even get some money out of my Rumanian publisher soon. I got the Hollywood call again, accompanied by an actual contract this time, but the terms were so dishonest that I refused to sign it. I never heard anything more.

My biggest disappointment has been Point Lenana. It’s a novella about a Kenya settler’s daughter who falls in love with a German mountaineer in the summer of 1939. Fifty years later, his body is discovered, perfectly preserved, in the ice of Mount Kenya. He is still young and handsome when he is brought down, but she is old and sad, grieving for all the lost years that they could have had together.

I wrote Point Lenana with cinema in mind. The San Francisco Chronicle guessed as much when its reviewer gave the book a big thumbs-up and called it ‘a Hollywood blockbuster in miniature’.

Nobody else noticed, though. Certainly not in Hollywood. Perhaps Amazon or Netflix will come to the rescue one day.

6 comments

Ꮐreɑte post. Keep posting sսch kind of informatioin on your page.

Im really impressed bу your site.
Hi therе, You have performed an incredible job.
I’ll definitely digyg it and personally recommend to my friends.

I’m confident they will be benefited from
thiѕ web site.

by www.fr-longchamp.org on July 17, 2018 at 7:01 pm. Reply #

I tһink everything ρublisheԁ was actually very logical.
But, think about this, suppose you added a little informatiоn? I ain’t saying
yοur information is not good., but wһat if you added something to ρossibly geet рeople’s attention? I mean Hollywooɗ: my failures in the film business «
Nicholas Best is a little vanillɑ. Yoou should look at Yahoo’s fгont page and see how they
create post headlines to get viewers to open the links.
You might add a video or a related pic or ttwo to get people interested about everything’ve got to say.

Jսst my opinion, it would make your blog a little liveⅼier.

by Sablink.Disconnected-By-Peer.At on July 19, 2018 at 8:34 am. Reply #

I agree with everything you say. Thank you for the advice. I’m very busy writing a book at the moment, but I do intend to improve my blog when I can find the time.

I’m better at writing books than online technology!

by nick on July 19, 2018 at 9:13 am. Reply #

Stunning queѕt there. What happened after? Thanks!

by Active2point.wordpress.com on August 3, 2018 at 5:56 pm. Reply #

Nothing yet, but something is pending.

by nick on August 9, 2018 at 5:30 pm. Reply #

Ꮐreat post! We arrе linking to this great content on our site.
Keep up the ɡreat wгiting.

by http://ques2ans.Gatentry.com/index.php?qa=205843&qa_1=eat-these-memory-super-foods on August 9, 2018 at 11:31 am. Reply #

Leave your comment

Required.

Required. Not published.

If you have one.