Lea van der Tak’s musings in media
Hi world, my name is Lea van der Tak. I’m a student at Drexel University working towards a BS in Animation & Visual Effects. I’ve got a million goals and a crazy creative drive and I thought maybe keeping an official chronicle of my life leading up to my career would be a good place to start.
Right now my most prized project is the pilot script that I’m writing for a TV series I’m developing. I’m taking a class in the upcoming term in which I’ll actually have to write a pilot and series bible so I’m working on fully developing the characters, plot, scene ideas, and backstory to be sure I’m well prepared.
In my spare time I also work for Thread Society (www.threadsociety.com) which is a wonderful online clothing company that does a lot of charity work. Recently, we collaborated with Whatever (youtube.com/whatever) and went to NYC to hand out clothing to the homeless. On the mission, we met a man from the Czech Republic who’d ended up homeless because he was robbed on the train so we got him clothed, fed, a hotel room, a hair cut, and a shave. Then we asked what he really wanted and he said he just wanted to go home to Prague, so we bought him a ticket to go home and off he went. Read the story here or watch it below.
The Walking Dead, Bitten, Game of Thrones, Supernatural, True Blood, the Vampire Diaries, Hemlock Grove, Dracula…all these stories came from books, am I missing something, or am I just in the wrong business? Many classic movies also came from books, so what’s going on here? Is it just easier for screenwriters to adapt an already concocted story that to come up with one? I’m interested in the development process of Television and I can see why it might be easier to crunch out your version of someone else’s story than to try and develop it all on the fly. However, I like the process of creating the story and it would be sad if I only ever got to work on other’s people’s work. So am I in the wrong business? No, probably not, because though TV often adapts books it has it’s own freedoms. My boyfriend read all the Game of Thrones books and couldn’t help but tell me all the differences and surprises as we watched the show. If you’re sitting in a room of people brainstorming, there’s no way original ideas don’t get incorporated into the adaptation. Adapting is all about making appropriate modifications, after all.
There is one thing I’m not privy to, and that is how a book becomes a TV show. Well, actually I get it in simple terms but I hope I get to actually experience it one day whether or not I’m even a writer. As long as I’m in on pre-production, on the set, or doing post production, I’ll be happy to get the behind the scenes look. I’m excited for my Literature for Screenwriters class now because I realize maybe then I’ll understand what makes a novel series good for TV.
I found this article by Carol Pinchefsky on how it works for movies quite interesting: Click Me I’m an Article
Here’s how it works: a producer or production company “options” a book — that is, buys the rights (typically for several thousand dollars) to adapt the book for a period of time (typically from eighteen months to two years). If the producers have not adapted the book when agreed-upon the period of time lapses, the rights revert back to the author.  Few books that are optioned are actually produced; some books get optioned more than once. Although most optioned books languish in “development hell,” with promises of big-name stars dangled in front of the author, only to have the project stymied for years on end, sometimes these promises come to life.
I’m assuming it’s relatively the same idea for TV. As usual, any thoughts or wisdoms are greatly appreciated.
I’m so jealous of all my friends traveling and living in awesome places. Two of my best friends live in London and one of them previous lived in Cameroon and Germany. Another friend is tanning in Columbia right now, her native country. My brother lived in Spain and traveled Europe for 6 months. Therefore, I think I’m going to make a bucket list of places I’d like to go when I graduate. I’m lucky enough to have been to Canada, Turkey, Kenya, Tanzania, France, Holland, Belgium, Mexico, the Caribbean, Spain, Italy, and England, but I was mostly very young and all I want to do now is go back, and do it all again on my own as a pseudo-adult.
If you’ve been any of these places, please give me suggestions of things to see and do.
Holland, the fatherland. I went when I was 8, but I seriously doubt that I’d have the same experience if I went back. I’d like to track down my relatives there too, the ones that remain considering many were quite old back when I was 8.
France, back home! I’m starting to really get rusty with my french and I need to step it up. I want to go back to the motherland and hang out with my awesome cousin in Paris. Marseilles is my place and I want to go back and lay on the beach eating beignet and shop at Géant Casino.
South Africa, I don’t know why but after falling in love with Kenya and Tanzania, I feel a unbearable desire to go explore the other side.
Brazil, Peru, Chile, Nicaragua,El Salvador, Columbia etc. One of my friends lives in Brazil, and I really need to get my south/central america on. All of my best girl friends are Latinas and I love them, I want to go explore their homelands. Emma, Yaisa, Federika, Sabina, Gabriela, Laura, I love you. Also why do all our names end in A?
Texas, I’ve been to a lot of places in the US too, but Texas is not one of them. I want to see what the ruckus is all about and I have a friend there.
Ireland, Give me all the pretty horses and a huge memory card, and I will conquer thee. My boyfriend has an extra Irish name so maybe he’d want to be in on this one since he’s never been himself.
LA! I’m planning to move there when I graduate so I really should get to know the place. My awesome cousin lives there and I want to see her and have her show me the city.
[Terry: LOVE this kid. However, if she’s looking for gifts for TV people, she should check out www.zazzle.com/tvgnus. Yeah, it’s done by an extremely close friend of mine.]