This is the prologue from my eBook novel Blaze of Glory (originally titled Once Upon the End, when published by Bloodletting Books in limited edition), which follows with an 8000 word essay warning what not to do in Hollywood. I thought I'd share.
IN THE BEGINNING CAME THE END
Once upon the time, there was Once Upon the End, a novella written by an author of little note but great ambition. The novella was published to moderate acclaim, created a small yet consistent buzz within a small community of horror fans and authors, and made a few people notice this author who wouldn’t normally notice him. As a bonus, because the editors were asking for extras, the author provided a screenplay based on the novella. One long night at a convention, an agent asked this author a question that he’d never been asked before—have you considered selling this as a screenplay? The author remembers taking a sip from a drink before shaking his head.
Once Upon the End as a movie?
He’d written the screenplay, but only as a sophomoric afterthought. For all he knew, he’d done it all wrong. Yet images and dialogues from the novella suddenly took shape in the silver screen of his mind. His sophomoric screenplay took life. Characters were cast. A soundtrack blared the end sequence to a cacophony of applause.
Looking around the busy party, the agent spotted someone more important than this green author and made to go. But before leaving, the agent leaned down and said something that would mold events for this author over the next five years- “You really should. There’s humanity in your screenplay that’s rare. Plus, it’s very visual. Remember when dealing with Hollywood, visual is good. Visual is always good.”
So this is my story of Once Upon the End, a novella that became a screenplay that reached heights I’d never imagined. I’ll detail my successes and mistakes. I’ll list those who showed interest as well as those who blew it off. This is everyone’s tale. Many have been there before me, many will come after me, but this is the story of my journey.
But remember, “Once Upon a Time stories” don’t always have and they lived happily ever after endings. This tale might be a tragic one. There are those of you who still hope to see your name in lights. There are those of you who look at the system with wide-hopeful eyes. For you this tale may be too scary.
But I urge you to follow my main character, Once Upon the End, as it travels from nothing to an agent, to directors, producers and their assistants, and to Wesley Snipes and forest fires and beyond. Experience the highs and lows, the vulgarity and the hilarity, the happiness and the loss of hope, as Once Upon the End was promised, passed, courted, and used like a two-for-one whore at a Shriner's convention.
Beware is all I say. Let it not be said that I didn’t warn you. Consider this the small print on the prescription bottle of your Hollywood ambition.
So poll your thoughts, interrogate your dreams and decide if you want to continue reading. And if in the end you decide to learn the true story of Once Upon the End travels along the Dantean road to movie production, then we are well met.
But first, allow me to introduce what was once Once Upon the End and is now Blaze of Glory. Before you are to know what happened to the screenplay, you have to experience the end of the world as my characters did...awash in death, destruction, marijuana smoke, crack-addled grannies, giant monsters and a garbage man with heroic ambitions.
So sit back.
Grab the popcorn.
Cue the soundtrack.