Thursday, September 27, 2007
MANHATTAN TRANSFER SOLD AND BACK TO WORK
Many years ago when I was in the agency business I represented an amazing novel by John Stith called "Manhattan Transfer". John is an amazing author and this book is a simply incredible adventure. For four and a half years : From 1992 through November 1996 I represented this book to the Hollywood community. The story is great: Imagine if you will that an alien world has created a Doomsday machine that is destroying every other world it encounters. Their many efforts to stop it or destroy it is simply fruitless. And they feel badly (as only aliens might feel badly) that they are responsible for the destruction of other worlds in the universe. They decide that they will visit each world in advance of the Doomsday device and take a piece of it (whole cities etc) and place that "souvenir" in a big galactic "zoo" on their own well developed planet. The aliens come to Manhattan, New York City one quiet Sunday morning and literally steal Manhattan Island and take it into their humongous space craft where they enclose it a giant glass dome, pumping water and air into it. No no one in NYC who is captured here will ever have to go to work. Nobody will ever have any bills to pay. Nobody will have traffic to fight over. But as any New Yorker might tell you, they couldn't stand NYC in a utopia state. People of New York City want it just the way it is-- warts and all! So the people of New York who are captured break into the alien mother ship and after a great battle with each other decide to work together with the aliens to find a way together to destroy the doomsday machine for all time to come. Wow! What a story! We pitched this novel to many studios and the option was finally picked up by (believe it or not) Dodi Fayed's company Allied Stars)-- yes, Princess Dianna's Dodi Fayed. Dodi's company had made FX 1 &2, Hook (with Dustin Hoffman) and The Scarlett Letter. Dodi's company also held the motion picture film and television rights to the character of Peter Pan by Sir James Barrie. The great author in the 1930's had willed all rights to the Sick Children's Hospital in London, but in 1984 had transferred those particular rights to very rich Dodi Fayed in exchange for a guaranteed payment by him to them of ten million dollars a year. This was guaranteed. They had to do nothing to earn this money. They had reasoned that they were in the business of getting and keeping children well and didn't have the means or the time to administer and tend to the business side of promoting James Barrie's famous property to the motion picture and television markets properly. Dodi had produced Hook to good if not spectacular results. At any rate. Dodi's company through Melissa Henning and Allied Stars had optioned the property for all of these years paying John Stith about twelve thousand dollars a year for the option to the property. The option expired and I was out of the agency business and ten years passed. I was informed yesterday that John Stith has sold the film rights for $100,000 dollars. So there you are: almost fifteen years for something to sell. Time can be our enemy sometimes and sometimes it can be just what we need when we need it. So patience is an amazing word. In other news, I go back to work day after a few days off and negotiate with Ritz about becoming manager of the Sherman Oaks store. I wonder how this will turn out? Well, I am simply going to put this into God's hands and trust him completely. He is the center of my life and hasn't done me wrong yet! John Nugent and i are sending "SEVEN" off tomorrow for an ASCAP sponsored contest.