It’s my dad Dan Millman’s bestselling novel, a terrific adventure story and a Western of sorts, set in Russia. It tells the life story of Socrates, not the famed Greek but another wise man whom a semi-fictional character named Dan Millman first encountered in a Berkeley gas station. That encounter gave rise to the above film.
2. I loved The Journeys of Socrates! Does this mean it’s definitely going to be a film?
We certainly hope so! A film first requires a screenplay. Then people with talent, wealth, and influence — ideally all three — need to discover that script in the way of an oyster coming across a grain of sand.
3. Why are you the one adapting it?
It’s common knowledge that many collaborations end in arbitration or litigation. Fortunately, my dad’s and my previous collaboration led to a book (and an audio book!) that reviewers have called “wonderfully insightful,” “especially fresh and helpful,” and “a moving experience.”
And, because we’re still speaking to one another, it was as easy for my dad to ask me to adapt his novel for film as it was for me to say: Yes!
4. I’m an aspiring screenwriter — why should I read your dispatches?
On bookshelves, you can find many strong guides to screenwriting (some of which I’ll recommend by name) that offer strategies and principles. You can also read the occasional screenwriting memoir rich in entertaining and informative anecdotes. But where are the scene-by-scene, real-time dispatches on the process and craft of screenwriting?
In writing my own screenwriters’ diary in brief, I intend to share, as I would to a writer friend, what I learn along the way and how I learned it, whether by testing my own instincts or applying the advice of more experienced practitioners.
5. I’m a writer, but not a screenwriter — how will your dispatches help me?
Writing is a continent with many countries, each of which have much to gain from cross-border traffic. One can say the same about the arts in general, and more recently I happened upon a wonderful connection between yoga sequencing and the five stages my dad and I describe in The Creative Compass.
In a way, all we writers do is make connections. Bottom line: It doesn’t matter if you ever write a screenplay. Lesson #1 (and more later on how I learn it, again and again): It all applies.