Wolfpack Publishing and Jason Lawson release The Vision
The Vision by Jason Lawson was recently released by Wolfpack Publishing, so we got a chance to talk with Lawson about his new book and the future film we can expect to see!
“There’s a grey area between life and death…
… and it’s a place few people get to visit and return from. When down on his luck, Native American Henry Peters gets tricked into testing an unapproved drug by a corrupt scientist. He’s taken on a journey back in time to an ancient Indian village where he finds his deceased wife alive and well. But once the drug wears off, Henry is unable to cope with reality, and he goes on the run from the scientist who will stop at nothing – even murder – to keep himself from going to prison.”
Q: Tell us a little about how you came up with the idea for The Vision
A: I had been toying with an idea for a while, a ‘what-if’ scenario. What if someone down on their luck got to visit a place that made them happy and gave them a second chance? How would they react when the visit was over? Would they be able to go back to the real world and their less-than-attractive life? Or would the experience push them over the edge? I decided on a modern Native American for my main character (Henry Peters) and that his happy place would be Ancient North America around the time of the first European contact. Once I had two time periods to work with, the novel took off from there.
Q: How did the process of making The Vision a movie begin? Were you approached with the idea or did you initiate it?
A: A filmmaker by the name of Brian Francis approached me and asked if I would like to meet Sam Grana, a famous Canadian Producer with over 40 years in the business. At the time, Sam was on the hunt for a good Canadian Story. We met and I pitched ‘Rum Runners’ to him, a novel of mine that has been very popular in eastern Canada, and one that Wolfpack will be releasing very soon. Sam loved the novel, but was concerned about the budget and shooting costs, so he declined. So instead of letting him slip through my fingers, I pitched The Vision to him. To my absolute delight, he went for it!
Q: If you could pick your dream cast, who would play Henry Peters?
A: The number one, Aboriginal Actor in North America right now is Adam Beach (Suicide Squad, Flags of our Fathers, Windtalkers, Cowboys and Aliens are just a few of his acting credits). Also Adam is Canadian, so I’d have to say he’d be my first choice hands down.
Q: From what you know, does the storyline change at all in the movie?
A: It does. I was and still am involved in the screenplay development, so there are some major changes, insisted on by the producer. In one of our first meetings, he told me something that’s always stuck with me. First he asked me, “How many times have you heard the saying ‘the book was better than the movie?”
“Dozens of times, I guess.” Was my answer.
He agreed, “When you read a novel, you can take as long as you want to enjoy it. In film, we have you for 90 minutes. That’s it. “
So much to my horror at first, a lot of scenes got axed, a lot of changes were made, but that’s part of the process. I’m good with it now.
Q: How much input do you have on the production of the film? Or is it not a collaborative process since you sold the movie rights?
A: Even though I sold the movie rights, the Producers were impressed enough by me to give the job of writing the script. This was no small feat on my part, because I’d never done any screenwriting before. It was a real kick in the butt to say the least. And yes, it is a collaborative process. I would work on a section of the screenplay, which would then be reviewed by those involved. Sometimes it would be a go, other times it would be a bust and I’d have to start all over again. You definitely need a thick skin to be a screenwriter, but I love it as it is such a stark contrast from writing novels. It’s a group effort instead of a solitary one. I was lucky to be able to insert my own ideas, but in the end, the Producer has the final say.
Q: How did you feel when you first heard your book was going to become a movie.
A: Elated, happy, all that great stuff, but it has been a lengthy process. In Canada, most films are made in partnership with different levels of government, ie Telefilm Canada, etc. These are great institutions, as many production companies here don’t have the same pocket books of some of the US giants. However, getting all the ducks in a row doesn’t happen overnight.
Q: So, when can we expect to see The Vision?
A: Hopefully, It will go into production during the fall/winter of 2017-2018, but that hasn’t been solidified yet. When all the t’s and I’s are crossed and dotted, you will be the first to know!
Read more about Jason Lawson, here.