The Los Angeles Times has an article about the relationship between HarperCollins and indie producer Jeff Sharp ("Boys Don't Cry," "Proof," "Nicholas Nickleby" and "Evening"). Sharp has launched a book-to-film unit, Sharp Independent, at HarperCollins. He’ll be sifting through submissions and picking out titles he feels would be good for adaptation to the cinema.
How and when did this partnership come about? At a 2006 Christmas party, Sharp met with HarperCollins Chief Executive Jane Friedman.
The two friends talked about the need for a better partnership between filmmakers and publishers. He began outlining a possible joint venture with Friedman, who has a reputation for innovation, and the plan was launched last year.
Now, if you’re a potential HarperCollins author and you get picked by Sharp, that may or may not make you happy. You may be hoping for some other production company.
Never fear, you don’t have to sign with Sharp Independent.
No author will be required to sign a film option as a condition of getting a HarperCollins book deal.
This deal with HarperCollins gives Sharp an inside track on material, but he’s not the only runner on the track.
"If they [HarperCollins] can get more movies made from books, it's a win for everybody," said Simon Lipskar, an agent with Writers House. But even though Sharp's access to material is a plus, he added, "it's a little hysterical to think he's got a big advantage. There's no literary submission with any heat in this town that film scouts can't get their hands on."
I’ve said this before, and I’m saying it again, things are a-changing in the publishing world.