Perfect for: Developing existing material – memoir, article, historical and archival material, personal and family story – into a screenplay or TV series.
You have a true story you want to adapt into a screenplay or TV series, and you want to work with a screenwriter. I’ve worked as a story consultant and screenwriter for studios, production companies, and independent directors and producers on multiple feature film and TV pilot projects based on true stories, existing material, and archival research.
The secret is to prepare the project like an award-winning documentary film. We want to explore the wealth of available material before cracking the dramatic narrative for a “based on a true story” feature film, TV or web series adaptation.
Why do you want to tell this story now? Who would benefit from seeing it?
It’s important to know the answers to these questions before screenwriting begins. We will invest time early in the development process to define our goals and set our intentions. Clarity informs every step of the writing journey from conducting interviews to gathering information to crafting narrative structure, dimensional characters, and meaningful dialogue. This is perfect for memoir writers, journalists, directors, and private individuals who have the rights to a story they want to adapt into a screenplay or TV/web series. If you have a project that’s lived with you for years, and you believe now is the time to turn it into a film, let’s talk about it in a Strategy Session and get the ball rolling.
Deliverables, timing, and cost are determined per project and could include:
✔ A narrative treatment or pitch deck
✔ Script breakdown for budget top sheets
✔ Development & producing strategies
✔ An original screenplay or TV pilot and series bible
book a session
Book a Strategy Session to discuss your project and fill out the questionnaire. I’ll research the subject, potential outlets, comparable titles or projects, sub-genres (sports, finance, health, religion, history, etc.), sensitive topics, and anything else that will make our Strategy Session uniquely productive. The path to every screenplay is different, but the process requires similar steps.
What we could work on:
An original story pitch
The pros & cons of adaptation
Your intention & audience
Next steps going forward
You’ve already done the research and written the manuscript or article, and you want to work with an experienced screenwriter to adapt it.
You’re a director who knows what you want from a screenplay, and you want to collaborate with a screenwriter with production experience.
You’re looking for an experienced screenwriter to develop and write your entire script for you.
You’ve already written your script, but it’s not gaining traction. Book the Project Development series for an assessment & strategies to revise it with ongoing coaching & accountability.
You’ve written screenplays and want someone to co-write your personal story. You are most likely the best person to write your screenplay. Book the Project Development series for coaching & accountability to get it done.
You’ve been told “you should make a movie” about a life experience, but you’re not sure it will be entertaining. Book a Strategy Session to find out.
Based on the unique schedule for the project, there will be periods for reading, feedback, revisions, and polishing.
Remember, every project is different, and this step will depend on the terms we established at the start of our collaboration. To follow the industry standards of finishing a screenplay or teleplay, this phase could include giving notes for one pass on revisions plus a polish. We will have already established the expectations for the final delivery of the project.
Book a Strategy Session to receive a questionnaire that addresses you and your project’s immediate needs:
I’ll use your questionnaire as a guide to prepare for our 75-minute Zoom session where we’ll discuss the narrative direction for your material. Think of it as an informal, confidential interview to unpack the story’s full potential for adaptation. We’ll discuss source material, if it’s your story to tell, and how to handle assets & obstacles for a successful outcome.
If we decide to engage in the project, we will discuss deal terms, rates, and timelines.
There are basic industry standards to address for every screenplay on a per project basis. This usually requires consultation with an entertainment lawyer and depends on the material, if there are assets already attached (cast, director, production company, financiers) or if the script is being written ‘on spec’. A screenplay draft can take anywhere from three-to-six months or more. We will create a calendar for milestones & deliverables.
Book a session
Once we agree on our contract terms, the fun begins.
The ideal first step is to develop a narrative treatment that breaks down the arc of the film or pilot script. For TV series, we’ll write an overview of the story bible (every episode is a chapter). Additional research, interviews, and brainstorming occur during this early stage. Once the treatment is approved, I open Final Draft screenwriting software and start writing.
Michelle not only became interested in the story, but was very passionate and personally invested in it. You could tell that she did thorough research before even having each meeting. She took incredible notes, jotted down a slew of great anecdotes, asked good questions. Michelle is always so detail oriented and wants to make sure she has all the dates and timelines correct. She is meticulous about the sequence of events and how important each is to the story. When interviewing people, she makes them feel comfortable, and listens intently. I would highly recommend Michelle for any “based on a true story” projects.
- Grace Koo, Producer