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February 16, 2011

Be Part of History
Posted by Jim Macdonald at 03:41 PM * 66 comments

You’ve laughed.

You’ve cried.

You’ve struggled to make it all the way through the book.

Now someone wants to make a movie of Atlanta Nights.

They’ve already paid an option that just about doubled the royalty income-to-date of the book. (All profits from the novel go to the SFWA Emergency Medical Fund.) Now the film makers are looking for backers.

I’ve always wanted one of my books to be turned into a movie. But I never thought it would be this one….

Tell all your friends. If just 25,000 people pledge a dollar, Bruce Lucent can drive down Peachtree Street again .

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1603898280/atlanta-nights-the-movie [Includes video teaser!]

Comments on Be Part of History:
#1 ::: Nangleator ::: (view all by) ::: February 16, 2011, 04:08 PM:

The cinematic school that is SyFy is finally starting to pay off... expect mainstream movies crafted to those exacting standards...

#2 ::: Sylvia ::: (view all by) ::: February 16, 2011, 04:13 PM:

Oh wow. This is one film I'd love to see!

#3 ::: Andrew Willett ::: (view all by) ::: February 16, 2011, 04:23 PM:

The mind doesn't boggle so much as it bursts into flame and sends gears and pistons rocketing around the room.

#4 ::: Marc Moskowitz ::: (view all by) ::: February 16, 2011, 04:35 PM:

Well, if Naked Came the Stranger can be a movie, why not Atlanta Nights?

#5 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: February 16, 2011, 05:01 PM:

Andrew Willett #3: The mind doesn't boggle so much as it bursts into flame and sends gears and pistons rocketing around the room.

I would expect the film projector to do that on attempting to screen it.

#6 ::: Benjamin Wolfe ::: (view all by) ::: February 16, 2011, 05:36 PM:

[incoherent noises of amusement, inadvertent keyboard irrigation and giggling]

The PA sting predates when I started reading MakingLight, so I just caught up on it now... and you've just nuked my productivity. I should be writing code, but I've nearly irrigated my laptop twice, and my labmates are wondering why I'm giggling quite so much. I even fell out of my chair.

Well done, well done indeed.

#7 ::: John C. Bunnell ::: (view all by) ::: February 16, 2011, 05:45 PM:

Andrew@#3:
ROFL. May I add that (duly attributed, of course) to the file of useful epigrams I keep for appending to email and Web-post signatures?

#8 ::: Heather Rose Jones ::: (view all by) ::: February 16, 2011, 05:50 PM:

But ... but ... wouldn't the trimming necessary for reducing it to a movie-length story have the tragic potential for making it ... coherent?

#9 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: February 16, 2011, 06:18 PM:

Heather Rose Jones, 8: On the contrary! Film the chapters sequentially, cutting nothing, and you've got enough material for a blockbuster summer series! It'll be bigger than Transformers! (And smarter, too.)

#10 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: February 16, 2011, 07:04 PM:

Fear not, Heather. Nothing can make Atlanta Nights coherent. The whack-a-mole sex changes alone are enough to ensure that.

#11 ::: Duncan J Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: February 16, 2011, 07:21 PM:

Teresa @ 10:

Speaking of Sex Change, I'm still waiting for my Nickle-back.

#12 ::: Christopher Kastensmidt ::: (view all by) ::: February 16, 2011, 07:30 PM:

Seriously? I mean... seriously?

By the way, in the Faery Taile Project book a few years back, I put in a scene where the main character bought a pack of cigarettes called Atlanta Nights. :)

#13 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: February 16, 2011, 07:48 PM:

Nangleator @ 1... The cinematic school that is SyFy is finally starting to pay off

Coming soon, "Megatlanta"!!!

#14 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: February 16, 2011, 07:50 PM:

Teresa... Is it available in a format I can taint my Nook with?

#15 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: February 16, 2011, 07:59 PM:

Next: a book of fairy tales called 1001 Atlanta Nights.

#16 ::: Darice Moore ::: (view all by) ::: February 16, 2011, 08:06 PM:

Serge @14: Go forth and taint: http://www.lulu.com/product/file-download/atlanta-nights/1503082

#17 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: February 16, 2011, 08:55 PM:

Andrew Willett @3: Well-said, sir!

#18 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: February 16, 2011, 08:56 PM:

Jim, if they're filming any segments in Atlanta and would like some flashy stunt work, my SAG-card-holding stuntwoman daughter and her team would be interested.

(They're called Black Knight Stunts. They're based in Atlanta. How can you NOT use them??)

#19 ::: John Murphy ::: (view all by) ::: February 16, 2011, 08:58 PM:

Oh hell yes. But... I'm confused. Why is it not in 3D?

#20 ::: Jim Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: February 16, 2011, 09:36 PM:

#19 ::: John Murphy Why is it not in 3D?

If you rock back and forth in your seat while watching it, it is.

#21 ::: Walter Hawn ::: (view all by) ::: February 16, 2011, 09:39 PM:

Sadly, was about to learn how Mr. Tea had gone wrong when I learned that travistea.com expired a few days ago. but it was godaddy which said so, so I don't know how tasteful the truth might be.

#22 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: February 16, 2011, 10:11 PM:

That site was maintained by someone who isn't me.

And ... if anyone wants to volunteer their stunt-person daughters to the project, I'm not the person to talk to.

#23 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker to Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: February 17, 2011, 01:02 AM:

Jim Macdonald @ 20:

If you rock back and forth in your seat while watching it, it is.

But if you do that, don't put your hat in your lap or people will give you funny looks.

#24 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: February 17, 2011, 01:27 AM:

Darice Moore @ 16... Thanks!

#25 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: February 17, 2011, 01:38 AM:

If the AN movie isn't the sort where gentlemen will need to put their hats on their laps ... it isn't faithful to the novel.

#26 ::: Brad Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: February 17, 2011, 06:26 AM:

I tried really hard, twice, to read AN. I couldn't even make it through the first chapter either time. I'm still in awe of the skill required create writing _that_ hard to read. It's a masterpiece.

#27 ::: Elissa ::: (view all by) ::: February 17, 2011, 07:13 AM:

While I find the idea hilarious and would be on board with that, I live in Atlanta. Traffic's bad enough without (yet more) movie production crews tying up Peachtree. :)

#28 ::: Dave Kuzminski ::: (view all by) ::: February 17, 2011, 08:29 AM:

Heck, I don't see why they can't film it in Anchorage. After all, that city's name also begins with an A and the nights there can be longer during certain parts of the year.

Also, I think it would be a good idea if every writer puts in a promo for Atlanta Nights in whatever they're writing by having a product with that name or some other means of using the title. Then, when readers come across it more than once, they just might wonder what's going on and look it up in Wikipedia.

#29 ::: Lowell Gilbert ::: (view all by) ::: February 17, 2011, 08:53 AM:

So Jim: if one of your books is going to be turned into a movie that doesn't resemble the book, isn't this the one to pick?

See you tomorrow...

#30 ::: Sarah S. ::: (view all by) ::: February 17, 2011, 09:06 AM:

Serge @#14

"taint my nook" has to be the filthiest thing I've ever heard anyone say here at ML.

Bless your heart!

#31 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: February 17, 2011, 09:26 AM:

Lila @ #18, Elissa @ #27:

Surely it would go against the whole spirit of the thing to film it in the right place...

#32 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: February 17, 2011, 10:38 AM:

Sarah S @ 30... Why, thank you. I think. :-)

#33 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: February 17, 2011, 10:45 AM:

My understanding (which could well be wrong) is that it's going to be filmed in Minnesota and New York.

Pity if they don't at least get stock shots of Bronson Caves, though.

#34 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: February 17, 2011, 11:05 AM:

James Macdonald @ 33... it's going to be filmed in Minnesota and New York

It seems to me that a story set in Atlanta should be filmed in Toronto - in January. (Couldn't be weirder than TV series "War of the Worlds", which had scenes set in Sacramento, but the snowdrifts made it hard to suspend disbelief.)

#35 ::: Andrew Willett ::: (view all by) ::: February 17, 2011, 11:21 AM:

John @ #7: I would be honored.

The way I see it, no building's front door should be used more than once. If they enter the hero's apartment via Peachtree Street in Atlanta, they should exit onto Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn five minutes later. And when they come back later, via Lombard Street in SF? The apartment is utterly transformed, except possibly for the hideous red sofa that signifies yes, this is still his apartment.

#36 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: February 17, 2011, 11:39 AM:

I just want to see how they deal with the penguins of the Sahara.

#37 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: February 17, 2011, 11:47 AM:

Abi @ 36... And there's got to be a scene where Captain Scott fights a lion.

#38 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: February 17, 2011, 11:48 AM:

The whack-a-mole sex changes alone are enough to ensure that.

I don't know exactly what this phrase means, I don't want to know, but I'm fairly sure that it breaks the Hippocratic Oath, the European Convention on Human Rights, and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.

#39 ::: Dave Kuzminski ::: (view all by) ::: February 17, 2011, 12:10 PM:

Which animals?

And by the way, they could then film Knight Spirits as its sequel and Redwing, Dragon Detective as its prequel. ;)

#40 ::: Lenora Rose ::: (view all by) ::: February 17, 2011, 01:05 PM:

Brad Roberts @ 26:

Never fear. if you couldn't make it through chapter one, you can always read chapter two without. or three, or five, or 12 (either one). It's not like there's the slightest bit of continuity.

I read it cover to cover, though not without giggles and winces and not in one sitting, or even two or three. (Right now I only remember one character changing gender)

I can also claim I've read two minutes of chapter 34 aloud with a straight face. (Assuming I have the chapter number right. But you know the one).

I want to know how they film chapter 34. I suggest animation combined with acid. No, not *that* kind of acid. Literal stuff, splashed on the film in spots.

#41 ::: Therese Arkenberg ::: (view all by) ::: February 17, 2011, 01:07 PM:

Delurking after two years to say that I DID read Atlanta Nights cover to cover (skipping only the chapter of complete nonsense, which I skimmed) and I would love for this movie to happen so I can show my friends and family just what they missed. For some reason, they refuse to read it with me... I'm posting the link to the kickstarter page on my facebook and twitter now!

#42 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: February 17, 2011, 03:11 PM:

THEY WHAT

NO

JUST

WHAT

...I don't know I don't even

#43 ::: Dave Weingart ::: (view all by) ::: February 17, 2011, 04:18 PM:

I'm eagerly awaiting the premier!

#44 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: February 17, 2011, 06:52 PM:

Is tainting your nook something like streaming adult content into your laptop?

#45 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: February 17, 2011, 07:25 PM:

Dave Weingart #43: I'm eagerly awaiting the premier!

Oh, did someone invite him too?

#46 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: February 17, 2011, 10:07 PM:

I've sent notes to all the Travis Teas to let them know about this. Alas, I don't have a working address for Ted and Tina Kuzminski. Does anyone know how to get in touch with them?

And I regret to inform y'all that Pierce Askegren, the Travis who wrote Chapter 32, is now deceased.

#47 ::: Rachael Saltzman ::: (view all by) ::: February 18, 2011, 03:29 AM:

You guys are awesome! We're shooting at least part of the film in a small town in Minnesota, because it so closely resembles Atlanta (in no discernible way).

A lot of the suggestions posted are already ideas we have in mind, believe it or not :).

We're planning on going on the convention circuit in addition to the 'normal' film fest channels, and I have a contact or two in online distribution so that every single person who wants to see this movie will be able to.

#48 ::: Vera Nazarian ::: (view all by) ::: February 18, 2011, 04:03 AM:

I am absolutely thrilled this is happening. About time, too! The world needs more films of this caliber. Might premiere at Sundance?

Now "The Worst Book of All Time" can be The "Worst Movie Of All Time!" :-)

Proudly Signed,

Travis #13

#49 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: February 18, 2011, 04:56 AM:

The way I see it, no building's front door should be used more than once. If they enter the hero's apartment via Peachtree Street in Atlanta, they should exit onto Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn five minutes later. And when they come back later, via Lombard Street in SF? The apartment is utterly transformed, except possibly for the hideous red sofa that signifies yes, this is still his apartment.

Ideally the same should apply to characters. The same character played by two different actors - ideally, as different-looking as possible. Make it clear that it's the same character by making them both wear the same hat. Or the same actor playing two different characters.
Five minutes of the film in which all dialogue is spoken in Bulgarian (no subtitles).

#50 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: February 18, 2011, 07:27 AM:

These guys are paying authors for their work.

I hope they succeed.

(The film needs a mariachi band popping up in the background.)

#52 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: February 18, 2011, 10:30 AM:

It could be an interesting challenge to the film's creators to completely, accurately translate the book's literal errors to the visual medium. For example, cut from one character to another and back, and the character has had a sex change... but no attention is paid to the change. And then the audience can try to pick out all of the errors.

See the Facebook page for the movie here.

(I'm recovering very slowly from the back surgery and complications. My stamina for sitting at the computer is still poor, so I haven't been keeping up with most of ML. Working on it. :-( )

#53 ::: Rachael Saltzman ::: (view all by) ::: February 18, 2011, 11:10 AM:

I am planning on sending it to Sundance :) (Heck, why not Cannes?) With a movie of this unique nature, it'll be a feather if we get in, and advertising if we don't. ('This film has been rejected from the following festivals...')

Homonyms are the easiest bit to mock within the script itself, the tough part is that there are so many great flubs and only so much time in a film.

@Joel, the best with your recovery, and I hope you feel better soon.

#54 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: February 18, 2011, 01:20 PM:

#51 ::: James D. Macdonald @ 51: Some info is still available at http://www.sfwa.org/members/travistea/backstory.htm etc. (not the home page, however).

Is there still an e-book version around? It would be good to have it with me on my Psion or netbook as emergency reading material...

#55 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: February 18, 2011, 01:41 PM:

dcb @ 54...

http://www.lulu.com/product/file-download/atlanta-nights/1503082

#56 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: February 18, 2011, 03:00 PM:

Serge: Thanks!

#57 ::: Bruce Cohen ::: (view all by) ::: February 18, 2011, 03:05 PM:

ajay @ 49:

The characters could be identified by T-shirts with their names on them; the sex changes could be identified by shirt color (pink for male and blue for female, just to confuse things). Of course there will be scenes were the shirts get taken off (maybe more scenes with them off then on), so maybe everyone should get a temporary name tattoo on a strategic area of flesh.

#58 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: February 18, 2011, 04:29 PM:

With digital editing, one could have each character have a subtitle nametag, indicating who they were. It's not a standard Hollywood approach, but nothing about this project is standard....

#59 ::: Velma ::: (view all by) ::: February 18, 2011, 04:48 PM:

I will have to watch for the auditions -- this would be a perfect addition to my IMDB credits.

And I have read the entire novel, though, like others, not in one sitting. It was, er, enhanced by tequila and reading it aloud.

#60 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: February 19, 2011, 01:58 AM:

Ok.... I'm available, the timing of finals, and cross country moves permitting (and I'll be in NJ in late April... a PATH train away from Manhattan).

Oh... The cackles of glee.

#62 ::: praisegod barebones ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2011, 12:49 AM:

But appears to be blocked by my ISP. Or possibly the Turkish government. (Stranger things have happened - the sfwa site also appears to be blocked here.)

#63 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: February 28, 2011, 06:03 PM:

Working on an e-book edition of AN.

(And, hurrah! $1k down, $24k to go on the finance project....)

#64 ::: Nix ::: (view all by) ::: March 01, 2011, 07:27 AM:

James@51, the corporate censorware proxy here blocked that as 'unsafe or unsuitable for you to access'. Doubtless the stupid thing has blocked the entire Wayback Machine, but in this one specific case I think it was quite apposite. A censorware proxy with taste!

#65 ::: Rachael Saltzman ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2011, 11:57 PM:

Yes! We are baby steps closer to making this happen!

I just went to MARScon in Minnesota to talk about this project and do a couple of other panels - I suspect there will be some new members of AW and new viewers for Making Light.

As important as this movie to me, is getting this information out - and around 100 new writers have been warned, and gotten some information on the types of publishing, et al.

(One hour is not enough to talk about screenwriting.)

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