Book ‘Em North Carolina’s third annual Writers Conference and Book Fair is shaping up to be the best event yet, with four headliners: New York Times bestselling authors Bob Mayer and Haywood Smith; the Emmy-winning host of The Tarheel Traveler, Scott Mason and Hollywood producer Adam Cushman.
Adam says his interest in movie making began when he was 5. He was alone a lot as he was growing up in Miami, and he arranged to work at local video stores in return for free movies, which he would use to learn the craft of movie making by watching anything and everything that was released.
He became hooked on storytelling and what time he wasn’t watching movies was spent reading. He was introduced to writing fiction in the third grade, and he knew he wanted to write novels and short stories as well as write screenplays and direct movies. As an undergraduate, he majored in film and creative writing.
Adam’s company, Red 14 Films, is focused on creating cinematic book trailers — one- to three-minute films similar to movie trailers — to use the power of cinema to make reading, writers and books a sensation again.
He became interested in book trailers about two years ago when a friend who was writing a novel asked if Adam could produce a trailer for him. He agreed and began by researching other trailers. Finding there were no standards and most were pretty terrible, he decided rather than create a slide show type of presentation as most were, he would direct a scene out of the book. The result was something so compelling that soon other authors asked for similar trailers, and Red 14 Films was born.
Adam’s advice to authors is to use visual mediums to attract readers’ attention. Today’s audience has a short attention span and Hollywood in particular is better approached with a visual medium when authors want their books made into film. Getting a high quality trailer done with actors and directors is best, but if that is not affordable, experiment with making your own. And if a trailer is beyond the author’s abilities, a high quality poster is very helpful.
Part of the benefit, Adam contends, of having cinematic book trailers is it shows producers the author knows a thing or two about producing, and they like that. He believes as high quality, cinematic trailers become the norm, it will lead to more and more books being made into movies.
Adam’s trailers have been lauded by Hollywood, including Jerry Bruckheimer, producer of “Top Gun.” He directed the trailer for “Jarhead” by Anthony Swofford. Eric Roberts starred in the trailer for “The Whipping Club,” which used a poignant scene from the book to interest Hollywood; the trailer won Best Short Film at The New Media Film Festival.
He will be speaking at Book ‘Em North Carolina on Feb. 22 at Robeson Community College about how authors can attract Hollywood’s attention. The event is free and open to the public. Adam’s first published novel, “CUT,” will be available for sale as well. The book offers a glimpse into the world of knife-fighting in suburbia and the people from all walks of life who get caught up in it.
Book ‘Em North Carolina is free and open to the public. For information, visit www.bookemnc.org and for information about Adam Cushman, visit www.red14films.com.
p.m.terrell is the founder of Book ‘Em North Carolina Writers Conference and Book Fair and the author of more than 18 books, including the award-winning Black Swamp Mysteries series set in Lumberton and Robeson County. For information, visit www.pmterrell.com.