The Synchronistic Tale of an Author’s Journey into TV (Part 2)

Guest Post
by Crystal Storm

Getting the call that local Louisiana Producer/Director Aaron Williams wanted to turn Synarchy into a movie was the easiest part of a very long, challenging journey.

The reality of independent productions is like nothing you’re going to read on Google, and my situation was a little unique. Authors usually don’t get to write their own scripts. There are very good reasons for this. As authors we have a severe emotional attachment to our precious words. When your transforming book to film, you need to understand that things are going to change. Sometimes they’ll change in a big way; unnecessary characters, side plots, twisting the story to make it more suitable for the demands of the entertainment industry, it can be a tough pill to swallow. Add to that, that script writing is so utterly different from book writing.

All those page long rants you went on about what your character was thinking no longer apply. Dialogue has to be crisp, to the point, and every word needs to be necessary and move the scene along. Less is more. Show don’t tell applies 1,000 fold. If the Director can’t show it, you can’t write it. If an actor can’t translate it, you can’t write it.

I can say that I’m lucky in that I was brought up tough. I can take the criticism (usually). And if it’s a good idea I have no problem twisting my story to fit that idea, I relish the challenge of it all. But there have been moments in the writing process where I had to woosah, take five, or just put my foot down. The important thing for me to remember was that while I’m very good at telling a story, I needed to trust that Aaron was very good at directing. That meant I needed to listen and more often than not, err on the side of his knowledge.

The first thing that needed to be done was a contract between the two of us. You need one. I trust Aaron implicitly but, we still have a contract. At first we wanted Synarchy to be a movie so we had a yearlong Option Agreement. Here’s the reality of Option Agreements. You may or may not get a lot of money up front for the rights for someone else to tell your story. I got $250 for Synarchy Book 1: The Awakening. The important thing is to make sure to tie yourself into the gross, don’t be afraid to put in stipulations to see financial records when that time comes, and for the love of all things written do not forget merchandising.

If you’ve got a series make sure you’re not screwing yourself into giving the Director the rights to tell all novels. The first option agreement between Aaron and I was for Book 1 only and I made it very clear he had no right to Books 2-8. In turn he made sure to protect himself that if he made another Mafia movie, or alien movie I wouldn’t be able to come after him that he’d stolen my idea. It also made sure that just because I might not be happy with how something had to be changed, I couldn’t stop the production. It’s a give and take.

As he and I got more comfortable with each other, and as we realized that Synarchy was too massive to fit into a two hour long movie, we decided on a TV show. Now we’ve got a completely different contract between us. So, moral of the story is get a contract and if you don’t have a lawyer friend, get a lawyer. Either contract or entertainment law. The latter is better, the former will do.

Once we got past all the business stuff we’re now waist deep in the creative process, and the uphill battle of getting our production to the fans. The difficulty is sometimes found in funding, but we refused to let that stop us. We shot the Synarchy Promo on a zero dollar budget. The problem with getting funding is that in our case we had plenty of big names that were interested in Synarchy, but those money holders wanted more control over the process than Aaron and I were willing to give up. In the end we didn’t have too; he had the resources, and we had the fortitude to begin filming without crazy half a million dollar budgets and it was still a quality production.

That’s why the web series is a perfect outlet for Synarchy. It will be aired online for now on our YouTube Channel and on our website in fifteen minute blocks. Could it be picked up by Hulu, Netflix, or a bigger cable network one day? We certainly hope we’ll get the offer because once those people start calling you, then you get to decide whether or not you still need them.

That is the power of the indie.

[Did you read part one of Crystal’s journey? If not, you can here. – The Editors]

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DCS is the author of The Synarchy Series which includes The Awakening Book 1 and The Ascension Book 2. Currently sucking up the creative energy of New Orleans, she is hard at work at the next book in the Synarchy Series. Visit her website to learn more. You can also follow her on facebook, and check out her books on

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8 thoughts on “The Synchronistic Tale of an Author’s Journey into TV (Part 2)”

  1. Excellent post!!
    I too am going through the Hollywood journey. My script is in the hands of 2 A-list producers, and (fingers and toes crossed) one of them likes it. Hearing what you are going through is very educational for me. I applaud you for getting your story made and I hope it brings you some lovely fame and fortune.
    Please keep us posted on your progress.

  2. Thanks everyone! I’m happy to share the story! We’re still in pre-production right now for episode one. Hit some snags with casting, so still looking for quality actors to fill some of the roles we’ve got. I’ll keep everyone posted!

  3. Power to you, Crystal. The public’s perception of ’an overnight success’, in reality, generally takes a lot of time, blood, sweat and tears. I’m always happy to hear of a fellow Indies good fortune, and send a hearty‘you beauty!’ through the ether by way of a congratulatory thumbs up to a fellow Indie.

  4. Great story. I have a couple scripts off two of my books and know how difficult it is to pitch to that market. However, I did find out after writing those scripts, it really tightened up the rest of my writing. There’s no room for excess!

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