Reason to Breathe is being made into a movie! But not just one—THREE!
Before we all start screaming and jumping around like lunatics (I already have–so I’m not judging) let me tell you the story about how this all happened.
A little over a year ago I met with Ileen Maisel and Lawrence Elman of Amber Entertainment to discuss adapting The Breathing Series for film. They want to create an exciting and innovative experience for the viewers, meaning you! They recognize that in order for the films to be a success, they need to win you over, and the only way to do that is to give you exactly what you want—the entire story. All of it. Without making any major cuts.
Of course a few edits will be made—we want to make certain the pacing holds your attention. But ideally, what you read will be what you see!! Love that? Me too! So, I agreed to become a partner in this venture that will bring Emma’s heartbreakingly beautiful story to life.
Now that I’m allowed to officially announce the films, I plan to share the entire process with you. And there’s a lot that needs to happen before we begin filming!
Where to begin…
I guess what you should know is that everything takes time. Everything. It’s the part of pre-production that I’m still trying to get used to. I’m a results girl. If I want it, I get it done. But that’s not how the movie industry functions. If you want to do it, there’s an army to hire in order to get it done. But before any of that can happen…we need money. Not surprising, right?
In order to get funded, we have to convince the financiers that this is a brilliant project that they want to be a part of, because my fans, YOU, want this to happen. You will watch it. You will love it. Honestly, we can’t do any of this without you. See how important you are to making this happen? VERY!
So a script was written to capture the characters we all love. I was given drafts. Did I mention there will be three movies? Getting ahead of myself, I know. But I’m just so excited about that part! Okay…I’ll come back to it!
I then took those three scripts and shaped them with my words, allowing the characters and scenes to become exactly as I envisioned them when I wrote the story nearly five years ago. And the imagery is just as clear to me now as it was when I was propped up in my bed during the snowstorm with my computer on my lap. Ileen and Lawrence know how important it is for me to be a contributing screenwriter on this film, and I know you will feel the difference when you see my words come to life on the screen!
Now we have a script. (Or three.) But we still need money…
To help convince financiers that this film will be epic, we need to give them a sense of what the film will be about by providing the feel and mood in ninety seconds. So I recruited the ever amazing and talented Mollie Harper of Tough Critic Book Reviews to create what the industry refers to as a “sizzle reel” (essentially…a book trailer). She shared her experience creating this captivating trailer on her blog. And look what she came up with!!
Amazing, right?! We’ve totally convinced them to invest. No problem!
Here’s the part I keep teasing you with…
In order to translate the story in its entirety, Reason to Breathe needed to be broken up into three movie-length (75 to 90 minutes) episodes. So you could potentially have two hundred and seventy minutes (of just Reason to Breathe) to absorb every emotional moment alongside Emma, Evan and Sara! That makes my heart so very happy!!
It was also decided that instead of releasing the episodes on the big screen, you will be able to access them on (hopefully) the digital platform of your choosing (those details are still being worked out). That way each film will be released to you without the super long wait between the sequels that most big-screen films torture you with. So, no…you won’t be forced to wait a year between each release like some of you had to do with the novels. (Don’t tell anyone, but you’re my favorite fans!) Consider this my gift to you for your patience and support! But seriously, I LOVE YOU ALL!!
Not only am I a screenwriter for the project, I’m also a producer. Which means I am a part of the entire creative process. Honestly, I’m still wrapping my head around what this means exactly. But essentially, I get a say in every step. And I will help the production team take the imagery inside my head and make it happen in real life! Well…on a set. But you know what I mean.
So, YES!! Reason to Breathe is becoming three movies. No…I do not know when they will be released. But I will involve you in what’s happening every step of the way. Which means I might get to sneak you behind the scenes…especially when we start casting. So fun, right?! I told you, you are important!!
Next on our list is finding the right director for the project. We’ve begun speaking to a few, and I’m looking forward to hearing their visions. As my readers, you know, there’s so much to this story. It’s a story of love, loss, friendship…and hope. It’s a story about choosing to live. And if we can sign a director with the talent to capture the underlying essence of Emma’s story, the film will truly be unforgettable!
We have to decide where to film it. Choosing a location is not as simple as finding the state that best represents the book. There’s other way more complicated things to consider, that I won’t concern you with. Just know that we do have locations in mind (Massachusetts being one of them – woo hoo!).
And we have a list of potential casting directors to find us unique and talented actors. Don’t worry—I will absolutely be a part of this process. I’m beyond excited for the auditions!! (I just hope I don’t embarrass myself the moment I see Evan and Emma in front of me and start screaming. Ha! I will try not to scream…or cry.) And before you start throwing names my way, I honestly would love a mostly unknown cast. So that they become the roles, and you only see Emma, Evan and Sara before you.
Yes, I know… We need to cast the perfect Evan. Don’t worry. I will make it happen!
I’ve also been listening to lots of music (torture for me, as you know – ha!) to create the ideal soundtrack. Music can affect the entire mood of a scene. We know how important that can be. (Or at least Evan does.)
That’s it. It’s happening! Because of you!! Did you hear me screaming “Thank you!” from my rooftop?! (My neighbors did.)
I’ll post soon with updates… I promise!!
Now you may commence screaming and jumping around like lunatics!! I’m right there beside you…