Wednesday, 13 April 2011

New gig

As previously mentioned, I have just been commissioned to adapt some books by Rhys Bowen, called the “Her Royal Spyness” series, for Matador Pictures.  The protagonist is a young member of the British royal family, 34th in line to the throne, who – as you might guess – becomes a spy.  The books are set in the 1930s but we are updating them to the present day.  My personal inspirations (and ambition) for this job are movies like GROSSE POINTE BLANK, TRUE LIES and MR AND MRS SMITH.  Action, comedy, romance – the holy trinity of popular entertainment!

I’ve never done an adaptation before, and so I’m excited to get going.  The challenge is to deliver something that pleases fans of the source material while making it a fun and relevant movie experience in its own right.  Above all, I am currently Being Paid To Write, which is a pretty awesome feeling.

Here is the full article from Screen Daily:

Matador to develop Her Royal Spyness franchise

The UK production company has acquired the rights to Rhys Bowen’s adventure novel series Her Royal Spyness; Chalet Girl writer Tom Williams to pen the script.

UK production company Matador Pictures has secured the rights to Rhys Bowen’s bestselling series of teen comedy-adventure novels Her Royal Spyness, with plans to develop a feature franchise.

The first feature is currently being written by Tom Williams, who penned the recent Chalet Girl. Rachel Belofsky of US-based Candy Heart Productions will co-produce with Matador. It is due to go into production late 2011/early 2012.

Part rom-com, part espionage adventure, the film follows the story of 18-year-old Georgie (aka Lady Victoria Georgiana Charlotte Eugenie) who becomes entangled in a world of international espionage whilst trying to survive in the big city as an ordinary person.

Matador Pictures’ CEO Nigel Thomas described it as a “brilliant project”.

“It marks another step in the evolution of our growing development and production slate. We’re especially delighted to be working with Tom Williams,” he added.



ps I had a flying visit to The London Comedy Writers Festival on Saturday, organised by the tireless Chris Jones.  I was speaking on a panel with Sophie Meyer, Vadim Jean and Jonny Newman, about the spec script market in the UK, or lack thereof.  Conclusion was: write them but don’t expect to sell them.  They’re kind of ‘writing samples with benefits’.  A little weird to be up on the stage rather than in the audience (or indeed filming sessions for my video diary), but a good experience and a lovely crowd as ever.  Well done to the team behind it all, long may it prosper.

pps Chalet Girl coming to the end of its UK box office run, looks like we’ll clear £2 million which should set us up for a long shelf life in VOD / DVD etc.  And apparently we’re big in Russia!  If you haven’t already, then please try to go and see it at the cinemas while you can.

Monday, 4 April 2011

Moving On

Chalet Girl has now been in cinemas for almost three weeks.  We were the highest new opener in our first week and look set to take over £2 million in our box office run.  A decent total, maybe not quite as much as we might have hoped for (damn that sunshine) but certainly no disgrace.  The critical and audience responses have both been gratifying, and what a massive learning curve the whole process has been.  Some of the ‘lessons’ are outlined in this old post.

But now, it’s time to move on.  The cinema run will continue, and the subsequent distribution ‘windows’ will open and shut over the next couple of years.  But I’m looking to the future, and am excited about the many new projects that I am getting stuck into.  I’m talking to the producers Harriet Rees and Pippa Cross about our next joint venture.  I’m doing a detailed rewrite of the ROMEO AND ROSALINE project that I discussed in one of my first posts, while my writing partner Donald Rice completes filming on his own Felicity Jones project.  I’m about to start work on an adaptation project for Matador Pictures, which will be announced shortly, as well as pitching for another couple of jobs.  And of course, there are all the little ideas that are incubating away in my writerly nest, waiting to see if any of them will hatch into something special.  In all of these I hope to apply my experiences from the great Chalet Girl script-to-screen journey, to learn from my mistakes and write better scripts, and to make new and exciting mistakes in the future.

I will continue to blog, when I feel like I’ve got something to say, and in the meantime let me leave you with a few memories of my Chalet Girl adventure.