June 23, 2015 by admin
For those of us who slouch, have you ever noticed the signal that gets sent from your brain to your back, when you are asked to sit in that upright position? I can tell you exactly what happens next-"ouch! it hurts to sit up straight." Momentarily you slide back in that comfortable unnatural state or you try to hold your back to endure the pain of readjusting your body to how it was intended to be. Then comes the voice of reason, be it parent, spouse, friend, your inner self, "well if you were sitting upright in the first place all these years, you wouldn't be going through this pain now." I know this all too well as I have been on the receiving end asking where is the sympathy and I have been on the scolding end saying I know you don't expect any sympathy from me. When it comes to attaining our goals, we have to be on the scolding end commanding us to sit up straight, as the pain in the grand scheme of things is temporary. For me, sitting up straight is listening for God's cues as to where to go and with whom to connect. That has been difficult for me because my default setting is that of being stubborn and truth be told when I know it's God's direction, I started the negotiation conversation regarding an easier route. But as a parent, He speaks and that's final. I have two choices, listen and reap the benefits despite the discomfort of being molded or don't listen and bear the consequences of going my own way, just to come back and take the route originally directed. When I started my journey as a writer, I automatically assumed that I was to go the traditional publishing route. I fought for over seven years trying to break in through those doors, while God patiently waits for me to come to my senses, as those were not His instructions. Finally, I came back to him tired and worn out from years of fighting. I was reminded He said to write and publish your novel, not to have another publish it. Help came from all high ends of the industry for that process and though the process was extremely painful, I was able to publish a high end novel with all the bells and whistles I would have had from a top publishing company. I said, okay God, now what? He said write a screenplay. I huffed and puffed and tried endlessly to find a screenwriter, but I hit a dead end as they started from $30k-$100k. I went back to God and said, I can't afford that. I was reminded, the instructions were not find a screenwriter, but to write the screenplay. So, like the novel, I learned and help came from the top of the Hollywood industry in making that happen. Of course, that journey wasn't without its heartaches as well. I then went back to God and said, okay, now what. He said make the movie. I said no, you mean shop the movie. He sent me help to make the movie, and I said no, that's not for me, I don't do independent films. I will go straight to the big studios, one will give me a check and I'm out. Years linger, nada happened. One morning in tears, I repented, and I said, okay, where you lead me, I will follow. That day, I was connected to a famous filmmaker from an independent movie company who decided to make the movie. As I soon learn in this industry, independent films are first made and then many get sold to the major studio companies. I said to God, okay, now what. He says hold on. The filmmaker then told me they will make the movie under the condition that I am heavily involved on the business and production end, as they had no interest in just buying the script, though they could. I went back to God and protested. "Are you for real? What do I know about movie investment packages and film commissioners and everything else, I am just a screenwriter. I have no capital to invest in any film, nor is it my desire. I just want to sell my screenplay and be out and on to my next novel." Silence. Like a child, I threw a tantrum and reluctantly agreed with the filmmaker. The filmmaker says, don't need your money, need only your screenplay (for free), your time and your willingness to learn and grow beyond who you are at this stage in your life. Oh, here we go again...more agony. Since then, I have learned the skill of writing movie packages, learning the art of negotiating monies to be paid for length of music heard throughout the movie; my business relationships have expanded tremendously. I interact with celebrities like I do my students as now I have a deciding role as to who may be joining the cast. I also have learned that when the studio company purchase this project, the screenwriters will receive the worth of the screenplay, plus interest, because they would be deemed investors. Moreover, I have learned that this metamorphosis I am enduring is the training ground for an Executive Producer. When Deadly Instincts hit the big screen, it will say, Based on a novel by Racquel Brown Gaston, Screenplay by Racquel Brown Gaston, Executive Producers or Producers--Racquel Brown Gaston and xxx ,xxx, xxx. The compensation received from various avenues will be far beyond that of selling my screenplay and walking away. Why? I have the rights to my novel and not a major publishing house, I wrote the screenplay and not another and I am learning implementing the skills of a producer on this project. I went back to edit one of the services my company, RSG Publishing will offer. I added the service of converting "Book to Screenplay." If only I had sat up straight all along. I turned to look at God, he smiled. I smile back.