A funny thing happened on the way to Istanbul

Sometimes you have to love life’s serendipity. In this age of the internet, in the 21st Century, people from all over the world are being brought together in ways we never could have imagined perhaps even a decade ago.

So when a Turkish short film maker from Istanbul contacted me via my blog contact page a few days ago to ask me if it would be okay for her to potentially use one of my short stories as the basis for one of her short films, well…

I read her email. Then I read it again, to make sure I was really understanding it. Then I read it a third time, thinking I probably still wasn’t following what she meant. But yes, there it was – would I let her use my story as the basis for a short film?

The funny thing is … the story she is interested is about characters and settings in New York City, but it was published in a journal in Europe, and then she read the story in Turkey. How is that for a modern-day connection? Kind of funny, right? I thought so, anyway.

And my answer was, this is such an interesting idea, I want to see where it goes. So she and I have agreed to discuss this more (via the internet, of course – or maybe we’ll Skype some day when I figure out how to do that) and see how we can make it all work.

So I’ll keep you all posted on the progress that we make in our new international artistic collaboration. Maybe it won’t go anywhere, or maybe we’ll collaborate on a really fun short film that will amuse audiences all over the world. Maybe I’ll be writing my first story-adapted-as-a-screenplay for this endeavor, or maybe I’ll watch from the sidelines as this thing evolves and be available to provide artistic input. Who knows?

What I do know is I’m excited about the possibilities. I love the idea that my little story, a vignette snapshot of an interaction between two people, may come to life with a director and actors who may not even be speaking English when the story is filmed, but there it’ll be. Something that came to life off the page and onto a screen. Or screens.

Maybe it’s not a coincidence that I’ve seen short film programs at the Tribeca Film Festival for the past five years running. Maybe it’s also not a coincidence that friends have said some of my stories are very visual for them and they can see the story from a camera’s eye view.

And maybe it’s no coincidence that artists from all over the globe can come together and choose to collaborate and see where it takes them. I know I’m looking forward to where the journey leads.

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6 Responses

  1. I AM SO HAPPY FOR YOU – THIS IS AWESOME!!! Yes, it is an open ‘story,’ one full of possibilities.

  2. Wow – that’s cool! One of my be-all, end-all dreams has been for something I wrote to end up on the screen. And like I said in my blog post – the film “The Grey” is from a short story- so anything’s possible!

    • The number of movies based on short stories is a vast list… I have a bunch of them I love.

      Stand by Me – based on the Stephen King short story The Body

      Secretary – based on a Mary Gaitskill short story of the same name, but the movie is completely different and in my opinion better than the story

      Total Recall – based on the Philip K Dick short story We Can Remember it for you Wholesale (I’m not as big a fan of The Adjustment Bureau movie, but it was also based on a PKD short story of the same name I think)

      Blade Runner – also based on a PKD short story

      I could go on, and on, and on, but you get the idea. Short stories are great complete worlds set out briefly, but in some ways I’d imagine they are easier to adapt into movies than novels where you’re probably compelled to leave a lot more out (and then fans complain because they didn’t include the X, Y or Z part…)

  3. Hey, congratulations! Remember to get a piece of the gross, not the net. I hear Winston Groom is still waiting for his piece of Forrest Gump.

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