When a Labor of Love Blooms

 

Yes, writing and creating takes time and timing. See below please how a novel became a movie. Best, Christine

Martha Gellhorn (wife 3) and Hemingway.

Alison Owen, Contributor
Producer
When A Labor Of Love Blooms
08/31/2017

Courtesy of The Weinstein Company
Dane DeHaan and Alicia Vikander star in TULIP FEVER.

The passage of time has become synonymous with something negative. For instance, over time we age – a negative. In this age of technology, we’re impatient for instant gratification. But there cannot be time constraints placed on art.

 Take Maxwell Perkins as an example. Perkins, who began his career working for The New York Times, was an editor at Scribner’s and to this day is known for discovering some of the most quintessential classic American authors including Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Thomas Wolfe.

Max Perkins

Before Perkins, editors didn’t normally get so involved in shaping author’s work. He changed the meaning of the job in large part because of his working relationship with Thomas Wolfe. Though ingenious, Wolfe was stubborn. He lacked discipline, overwriting his stories by hundreds of pages, and fought Perkins’s edits at every word.

I first read Deborah Moggach’s Tulip Fever nearly 17 years ago. It was before the book had been published and I fell absolutely in love. I had already read a review of a factual book about the tulip fever of 1630s Amsterdam and was fascinated by the concept of this mania and how it was the first example of the futures market.

Tulip Fever; Alicia Vikander

I immediately bought the option and fewer than two days after I had sent it out, I had received offers from the industry’s greats. Stephen Spielberg, Ridley Scott and Harvey Weinstein were all interested. I felt like I was dreaming. But then the whirlwind slowed. I was devastated initially because I thought we’d missed our opportunity. Little did I know the zeitgeist would only become more applicable. 

The entertainment industry is continually in motion, constantly cranking out the next big project. When people hear how much time has passed between the option of the manuscript and the release, it automatically colors their perspective. The immediate instinct is that something is wrong. If you go into something with your mind made up, the chances of it being changed are incredibly slim.

Earlier this year, we screened the film for a host of best-selling authors including Amor Towles, Anthony Doerr, Dan Jones, Jodi Picoult, Philippa Gregory, M.L. Stedman, Philip Kerr, Sally Bedell Smith, Daniel James Brown, Emma Donoguhe, and Ruth Ware.  They praised the thrilling romance narrative, its humor, themes of female empowerment, the talent, the cinematography, the writing.

Catherine and Frederic the remake
Movie of A Farewell to Arms

In large part, this was why we went to authors for support. We knew they wouldn’t judge the movie based on how long it has taken to get to the screen. They don’t view the film with the same harsh eye that film critics do.  Time does not connote bad. To them, time has no meaning.

And this Friday, I could not be happier to share it with audiences.

ME:  So for those who like period movies, perhaps try Tulip Fever.

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