How to Adapt a True Story as a Film or Series

Hosted by Kate Sharp

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Kate Sharp

Webinar hosted by: Kate Sharp

Literary Manager & Producer at Bellevue Productions

Kate Sharp is a producer and literary manager at Bellevue Productions. Prior to joining Bellevue, Kate was the VP of Development and Production at Occupant Entertainment, producing short-form content for Showtime, MTV, Verizon, Facebook, and U2, and was an Executive Producer on the Hulu original, Emmy-nominated TV series BEHIND THE MASK. Her film credits include PEEP WORLD, BETTER LIVING THROUGH CHEMISTRY, MADAME BOVARY and THE HALLOW. Kate is currently producing THE BURNING SEASON with Naomi Watts and STRANGER THINGS’ Sophia Lillis attached to star. Kate has worked with countless writers on adapting their true story projects of all types and knows what it takes to turn a true story into a script that producers, reps, studios and execs will be interested in. Full Bio »

Webinar Summary

What do the singer Elvis Presley, the con-artist Anna Delvey and the phycisist Albert Einstein have in common? 

Their true life stories have recently been adapted into major feature films and TV series. 

True story adaptations find success largely because the writers and creators understand where to find the story within these real lives to adapt. They efficiently honed in on an angle that pulled the audience in while developing emotional arcs that kept viewers invested. Writing is a craft, no doubt, and one that must be managed differently when pen hits paper and for adaptations. It takes work and a deep understanding of your story as well as the medium you’re adapting it for, but it’s something you can achieve for your own true life passion project, especially with the proper understanding and guidance.

Kate Sharp is a producer and literary manager at Bellevue Productions. Prior to joining Bellevue, Kate was the VP of Development and Production at Occupant Entertainment, producing short-form content for Showtime, MTV, Verizon, Facebook, and U2, and was an Executive Producer on the Hulu original, Emmy-nominated TV series BEHIND THE MASK. Her film credits include PEEP WORLD, BETTER LIVING THROUGH CHEMISTRY, MADAME BOVARY and THE HALLOW. Kate is currently producing THE BURNING SEASON with Naomi Watts and STRANGER THINGS’ Sophia Lillis attached to star. Kate has worked with countless writers on adapting their true story projects of all types and knows what it takes to turn a true story into a script that producers, reps, studios and execs will be interested in.

Kate will delve into the craft of adapting a true story to a film or series, and how to put words to the page to make this happen. She will define the three types of true story or biopic adaptations so you can determine which option is best for you and give you the tools to decide if your story should unfold as a feature or limited series so you can determine which option is best for you. She will also walk you through best practices for researching, finding your own angle to the story, and how to write your script so it feels authentic while still possessing emotional arcs and narrative liberties to ensure your script is marketable and successful in the market. Through Kate’s rundown, you will walk away with confidence and write an adapted script that gets the attention it deserves.

 

Praise for Kate's Previous Stage 32 Webinar

 

"Kate Sharp was incredible. She's a great instructor, and also looks like a very special person to have as a manager, who loves what she does and would be a great partner for a writer! Thank you for sharing her gifts with us!"

-Ricki L.

 

"The information was straightforward and practical. I made loads of notes to go back over. Thanks!"

-Gillian R.

 

"BRAVO, KATE!!! She provided a wonderful presentation fueled by stellar "real world" facts and scenarios"

-Bill B.

What You'll Learn

  • How Successful Are True Stories Today?
    • And is this a type of script that can get you attention?
  • The 3 Main Types of True Story or Biopic Adaptations
    • And which one is the best fit for you?
  • Approaching Your Own Adaptation
    • Where to find the right story to adapt
    • Tips on how to research to find your story
    • Identifying elements that will make for a solid adaptation.
    • Finding your angle
  • Feature Film vs. Limited Series
    • How to know which approach to take.
    • What to think about when determining a format.
    • Contrast and compare examples of each and why they work.
  • Writing Process
    • Focusing on your larger themes
    • Developing emotional arcs
    • When to stay truthful and when to take narrative liberties
    • Straddling marketability and realism
    • Getting feedback and other ways to ensure your adaptation is respectful and authentic
  • Q&A with Kate

About Your Instructor

Kate Sharp is a producer and literary manager at Bellevue Productions. Prior to joining Bellevue, Kate was the VP of Development and Production at Occupant Entertainment, producing short-form content for Showtime, MTV, Verizon, Facebook, and U2, and was an Executive Producer on the Hulu original, Emmy-nominated TV series BEHIND THE MASK. Her film credits include PEEP WORLD, BETTER LIVING THROUGH CHEMISTRY, MADAME BOVARY and THE HALLOW. Kate is currently producing THE BURNING SEASON with Naomi Watts and STRANGER THINGS’ Sophia Lillis attached to star. Kate has worked with countless writers on adapting their true story projects of all types and knows what it takes to turn a true story into a script that producers, reps, studios and execs will be interested in.

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Reviews Average Rating: 5 out of 5

  • Ms. Sharp definitely helped me out with this webinar (I watched it on-demand). Crikey, I've been pouring through books on the topic of adapting true stories, but having someone talk me through the process of selection, assessment of what lends itself to film or TV, rights, and most importantly what a manager or agent would be looking for, was just what I needed. Her real world examples and experience in this process was brill.

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