Create Your Own Familiar

We've been traveling around the country visiting schools and at each one the students have created their own Familiar Story.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Not Another Middle Grade Book

GUEST POST on YA Bookshelf

Back in 2000, when we were writing screenplays into the wee hours at various coffee shops around LA, the two of us decided to try our hand at a spoof of teen movies. As fortuitous timing would have it, that script would become 2001’s “Not Another Teen Movie.” This led to years of writing on the MTV Movie Awards, working with comedic talents such as Jimmy Fallon, Jack Black, and Andy Samberg. For much of the 2000s, we continued to write comedies geared towards the teenage audience. But the funny thing about the two of us becoming comedy writers was that we never really thought of ourselves as writing in that genre. We kind of fell into it. And in Hollywood, once you have success in a particular niche, studios pigeonhole you into a box. After “Step Up” turned out to be a sleeper hit, we got a call on Monday morning from two different producers asking us to write a spoof of dance movies. With the huge success of “Harry Potter” and “Lord of the Rings,” it was inevitable that we would be asked to write a spoof of fantasy movies. And sure enough, we were.

But it wasn’t a spoof of those movies that we wanted to write. It was those movies. Fully aware that no studio or producer was likely to come offering us an adaptation of a fantastical book or property, we decided to create one ourselves. That’s what led us to write The Familiars. Finally, we were creating the kind of material that the two of us really came to Hollywood to create. Something imaginative and adventurous, like the fantasy books we grew up loving and Spielburg films we’ve watched dozens of times.

The moral of the story is simple. We’re writers, which gives us the unique ability to write. Someone puts you in a box, write yourself out of it. You control the way people perceive you. For years, we were the spoof guys and the teen movie guys. Well, now we’re the author guys who wrote that middle grade fantasy trilogy and are adapting it into a 3D animated movie.

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