15 Aug Telesa Movie Option Update
For those who have been waiting and hoping that a Telesa movie would happen sooner rather than later – some bad news.
I did not sign the contract offered by Multinesia, the company that wanted to option Telesa for film. Yes, they were awarded development funding by the NZ Film Commission and that vote of confidence from some of the best in the NZ film industry was exciting to see. But the terms of the deal offered meant that I would have had NO input whatsoever in how my book got adapted for film. I couldn’t accept that.
I have worked too hard and for too long on my Telesa Series – to then give it up completely to someone else to take it to the big screen. I may not know anything about film-making, but I owe it to myself, to my characters and to you my amazing supportive readers – to at least ensure that if Telesa ever goes to film (or television) that I will be able to participate in that process in some small yet meaningful way. How else will we make sure that Daniel Tahi is as dalashiously honorable on screen as he is in the books? Or that Nafanua and her sisters are as bada** and conflicted in action as they are on the page? There were other things in the contract offer that were also a factor but overwhelmingly and regretfully, I had to turn it down.
This was not an easy decision to make. I got legal counsel from my lawyer. I talked it over with Darren. And I was fortunate to be able to get great advice from experienced legends in the field like Witi Ihimaera and my dear friend Erika (E.L James). From all accounts, the film industry is a cutthroat one and I’m thankful for those who have been generous with their time and sharing their insight.
A very big Fa’afetai lava to Multinesia and producer Karin Williams for the option offer. It was humbling (and a huge thrill!) to have a producer as experienced and committed as Karin, fall in love with Telesa and believe in it enough to want to option it. We couldn’t come to an agreement but I have the utmost respect for Karin and I look forward to seeing more of her fabulous work on screen and on stage.
As for Telesa – I’m confident it will one day find the right producer and the right investors. Until then, please keep sharing the books and giving them your continued amazing support. I’m going to keep writing and I hope to have the next book in the Telesa Series out by December.
Fa’afetai tele lava and thank you,