What have Michael Bennett (Ngāti Pikiao, Ngāti Whakaue) and Christine Leunens got in common? Well, with the help of Taika Waititi, their stories have or are making their way from the page to the screen, but there’s so much more... their latest novels have also been snapped up by numerous international publishers. Doug Brooks facilitates this ‘behind the scenes’ discussion about the adaptation of Better the Blood and In Amber's Wake.
Michael Bennett is an award-winning screenwriter, director and author. His short films and feature films have won awards internationally. Better the Blood tells the story of tenacious Māori police detective Hana Westerman who is pulled into the search for Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland’s first serial killer. Taika Waititi and Whakatū Nelson-born Carthew Neal’s Aotearoa production company Piki Films is producing a new TV series based on Better the Blood, which is Bennett's second novel. His first, In Dark Places (2016), won the Ngaio Marsh Award for crime writing.
Christine Leunens’ new novel, In Amber’s Wake, is a romantic drama that is as unpredictable as it is heartfelt, by the author of Prix Médicis-nominated book Caging Skies, which was adapted into the Academy Award-winning movie 'Jojo Rabbit' directed by Taika Waititi. The film adaptation of In Amber’s Wake, whose screenplay Leunens penned, is currently being made into a motion picture, by the producer of the Academy Award-winning 'Thelma & Louise'.
Bennett and Leunens will reveal what happens behind the scenes when making a book into a film. Do authors get a say on casting actors? What do you take from the book for the screenplay, what do you need to leave behind? How does the financing of a film work; where do the millions come from? Editing a film, as opposed to a book. Working with hundreds of others, instead of working alone.
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With thanks to HarperCollins and Bateman Books.