How to Turn Your Story Into a Movie and Other Advice for Hollywood

Bruce Edwin is president of Starpower Management LLC, the celebrity management, publishing, production, and public relations firm. He deals with some of Hollywood’s most esteemed producers and motion picture studios and is happy to serve and provide free advice to aspiring bands, actors, and models who contact him via the front page of The Hollywood Sentinel, or by calling his office at 310-226-7176.

The following is a collection of letters to him, and his advice, for those seeking to succeed in Hollywood.

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Wonderful article! Thank you for re-enforcing the thoughts that I always had but at the back of my mind. I now so clearly see that the only way to live is to follow my own intuition and dreams.

– Serafima

– Bruce Ediwn

Serafima responds:

Well, there is one thing that perhaps you might be able to help me with. I would like my book to be made into a movie. I know, I know, many writers do! But not every book is suitable for that, however mine is, its unique characters, settings, twists and turns, distinct voice and almost a classic movie feel is just a few elements that will make it a good movie … My question is: where shall I start or how should I approach this task of my book being turned into a movie?

Bruce Edwin Responds:

OK, the answer to that question is as follows;

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1. Get a professional editor to edit your book if you have not, and make sure it is perfect. Do not make creative changes you do not agree with it, but at least consider them.

2. Make sure your book is copyrighted in the United States, through the Library of Congress. You can go online to do this, and then include the copyright number in the book itself and on any submitted manuscripts.

3. Register with websites and domain names as many elements of your book as you think you should, such as the title, any names of unique characters that you think may become very popular, or similar. Also, register and have your own website for your work if you do not already, as well as the book itself.

4. Get a literary agent or manager, and a publicist. Some agents or managers will help you retain a publicist, and some publicists may help you get an agent or manager. Publicists charge an advance fee, whereas agents and managers do not. A publicist may help point you to a publisher, and any good agent or manager will try to help you get published if you are ready to be. Do not spend any money with an agent or manager in order to be represented by them. Publicists are the only ones who can and will charge a fee in advance for their work.

5. As for how to get an agent, manager, or publicist, go online and do your research. Find some of your favorite authors and see who represents them. Learn what you can about a company and if you like what they do, try and make a connection with someone there and find a way in. There is much more advice I can provide on this, but that will have to wait to be read in my book about success in the entertainment industry. I hope this helps.

Sincerely, Bruce Edwin

And, Serafina responded again:

Thank you for the reply to my question, however most of those things I have already done. The book has been edited. It is perfect. I never make creative changes only linguistic ones. I consider creativity very individual and personal, so others cannot and should not tell artists how and what they should create. Ah, that is interesting, my book is copyrighted in London, UK, but I can do the same in the USA. I do have a website for my book, with the title being a domain name; I also have got a personal site/blog with my name being a domain name.

The only character I would consider becoming popular is the main one. And her name can be registered as a domain name too. Well, I have published the book, I have it sold and distributed on all major international retail shops. I published my book as a paperback (POD) and as an e-book. I do not think I need an agent to get the book published, but perhaps to find a big traditional publisher to buy the rights to publish it … I shall consider that. Good point re: favourite authors and their books and the publishers that publish them. I shall do that! When is your book out, so I can keep an eye on it? But the question is still remains, how to turn the book into a movie and where to start?

Bruce Edwin responds:

Sincerely, Bruce Edwin

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Dear Bruce Edwin,

Every day I wish to be actor in Hollywood, but I don’t know what I can do about this, if you can help me reply in my e-mail. Thank you.

– Omer

Thank you for reading the Hollywood Sentinel and for your love of Hollywood, Omer.

My advice to you is this:

1. Ask yourself, why do I want to be an actor? Is it for money? For fame? For attention? To feel important? Why? Many working people in the entertainment industry will tell actors that if they want to be an actor for fame, then they are in it for the wrong reason. I do not agree with that. If you want something for a certain reason, then, as long as that reason is not violating the rights of any person or hurting anyone or anything, then that reason can not be wrong, if it is real to you. Some say that acting is an art-which it is, but they also say that to want fame more than to want to create the art is wrong because it degrades the art form. Art forms will always be ‘degraded,’ and art forms will always have so called ‘purity.’ The freedom of an individual to follow their will must take precedence over ones notion of being ‘true’ to any art.

The artist is superior to their creation because the creation would not exist without them. And, I happen to be one who feels that fame itself can be a form of art. With that said, one can seek fame as an actor, and also be true to the art of the craft of acting. Andy Warhol is one example of a great artist who merged both art and fame in brilliant ways and who made fame itself an art form. But I digress. So the question is, why do you want to be an actor? First you need to know the real reason why you want to be one, and use this newly found knowledge to motivate yourself.

2. After you find the real reason why you want to be an actor in Hollywood, then you simply need to ‘be’ an actor in Hollywood. The way one does this, is the way one does anything else-they just assume the form. In other words, if you want to be an actor in Hollywood, you need to stop considering that you are not an actor in Hollywood, and you have to start considering that you are one. So, start telling yourself that you are an actor in Hollywood, and-if you want-start telling any one that will listen that you are an actor in Hollywood. If you have never been here to Hollywood-well, that is an obstacle, but one that can be overcome. So the first thing is to assume the form. Think it, feel it, say it, believe it.

3. The next thing is to simply do the action of being an actor in Hollywood. Wherever you are in the world right now physically, you have access obviously to the internet, so you can find online a wealth of information with regard to acting. You can watch literally thousands of free videos on sites including You Tube of top talented actors and stars talking about how they ‘made it,’ how they trained, what it takes, and more. You should make it your job to daily for hours on end watch and learn in this way all you can. Also, order books online or go to the bookstore or library and get books on acting, particularly the three books by Stanislavski-which is the foundation of all acting. Read and study Shakespeare-another great.

Read scripts of your favorite movies, many of which you can find if you look-online. Go to plays, and watch and learn, and volunteer for a local play. Acting is not merely being oneself-as in on a so called reality show-which is not acting. Instead, acting is the ability to assume the role of any person, in any time, in any place or space. It is craft of an art that must be studied for years and learned and constantly trained in-in order to be perfected and mastered and refined. It includes vocal training which in itself takes great work to master.

So the first step is training. Only after you have had at least three years of training in Stanislavski from a certified instructor should you consider that you are ready for the big league of Hollywood. And, as foretasted, read the biographies and study the lives and careers of stars. Learn from their correct actions and also learn from their mistakes.

You also need to study the business of acting. The entertainment industry is called show business for a reason. It is a business. And if you don’t know the business side of the craft to any degree, then you will to that degree be at the mercy of those who do know it.

After you have done all of this, and saved a lot of money and or gotten yourself a good and steady reliable income that you can comfortably live on while you are not acting-because when the show is over-you are in fact-unemployed, then, and only then, would I suggest that you move to Hollywood. But understand, most actors- even talented ones-do not make a living as an actor. However, these odds do not have to apply to you. We are not bound by the statistics of others. Also, you personally should make sure that you have a good command of the English language. Accents from around the world are beautiful. You also however have to be able to ‘lose the accent’ any time you are asked, and switch in to a different dialect as a great actor. Also, be careful not give any one orders that you are not the boss of!

4. After you live in Hollywood, then just do it, start acting here. Again, volunteer for plays, volunteer for student films, build up your reel, get a great agent and manager, get great headshots from the direction of your agent or manager, always be gracious and polite, and always be on time. Get a mentor, and then, after you have “made it,’ be of service to others that you can help along the way. Remember, we succeed best by helping others. Best of success to you, and if I can be of any other service, just let me know.

Bruce Edwin

Omer Responds:

Dear Mr. Bruce Edwin,

I asked my self why I want to be an actor. It is not to be famous but to be an actor and to be important because I have wished to be an actor ever since I was young. I love action acting and I always watch movies of action (made in Hollywood) and I want to be an actor in Hollywood because Hollywood makes one an actor and important, Hollywood is more known in the world, and my hope to be actor is increasing every day, every day Mr. Edwin. What is the action of being an actor in Hollywood? I like the action and films and I want to be an actor in Hollywood and I’m ready for the reading and training and everything to be actor. But the training should be done where? And I hope you will help me to be actor because I’m not in the U.S.A. Mr. Edwin. Thank you.

– Omer

Bruce Edwin Responds:

Omer, I am reading here some conflicting statements that I want you to work out. You said you do not want to be an actor to be famous, but that you want to be an actor in Hollywood because Hollywood is known around the world, and you want to be important as an actor. First of all, there are great actors in all parts of the world that are important. One can be important as an actor, but not be widely known in Hollywood. Some examples are stars of the stage, or stars in places such as London, Paris, or Moscow, where there are many great actors, but who are not widely known outside of their country. Further, there are many actors in Hollywood who are not widely known. Just because one is an actor in Hollywood does not make them widely known. Fame does not equal importance. What is important is if you are following your true path in life- the true calling of your spirit-and if you are doing well for yourself, for your fellow brothers and sisters and the world at large.

Now, if your path is to be an actor in Hollywood, then you need to know one thing; No one can guarantee you success in Hollywood-no one except yourself. And success of an individual is determined first and foremost by their own self determinism. Meaning, to master becoming a world renowned actor-in a positive and sane way, you need to first master your own personal life. The fact that you are seeking knowledge tells me you have potential, because only those who seek can grow. So Omer, do not consider any place you are at too beneath you to start at and learn from. Read books and material suggested above, watch success videos, not just for film, but for life. Then, when you do all of this, and when you are ready to move to Hollywood after you have gotten great training including training in English, successful living, and more, and following my advise above, then make the move with a plan, and know that you, and only you can determine your future.

As for where to train, I do not promote that unless one is a client that I manage who lives in New York City or Los Angeles, California. However, Stanislavski is the foundation of all acting, so begin there with reading those books as I suggested earlier above, and by watching what you can find online in this regard until you can find a school that teaches true Stanislavski that you know and trust. I hope this has helped you Omer. I wish you much success.

– Bruce Edwin