Ink to Film is for readers and film aficionados alike. We read and discuss a novel in a granular way, then move to the film adaptation and talk about all the ways it relates to the book and how it stands on its own. Hosts Luke and James have studied writing and film respectively, and bring an insider’s insight into the show. Whether merely curious about the source material or an avid fan, Ink to Film should appeal to you.
Today, I’m happy to feature Luke and James as they discuss their awesome project. For those of you always on the lookout for new things to listen to, I hope you check them out!
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What inspired you to create this podcast?
James: I’m a consumer of a lot of podcasts, and many of them end up being film/production-related. It’s a community I always wanted to participate in because it seemed like so much fun. Luke and I separately had talked about how we wanted to start podcasting, and eventually because of our different backgrounds (film & writing) we realized we could bring an interesting perspective to the film/book podcasting niche if we collaborated.
Luke: I’d had a few ideas for a different podcast I wanted to start and taken steps with some others, but it just wasn’t coming together. James and I talked it over and it seemed like we were both committed to actually doing this thing. At that point, we figured out what we could bring to a show that would be unique to us and so the idea behind Ink to Film was born. We liked that it spans both books and film and is potentially of interest to either side of the spectrum of book-readers and non-book-readers (and those who like both). Also, James has the background in audio production he could lean on, so we realized the division of labor would work perfectly with me handling written material (show notes, social media, etc.) and him producing/editing the audio.
What background expertise do you bring to the topic?
Luke: I’ve been studying writing for many years, really from grade school on. I have a BA in English from the University of Florida where my focus was on creative writing with a literary focus (as in, not “genre” like science-fiction, fantasy, horror, etc.) After I graduated, I realized my heart wasn’t really in literary writing, although I still love to read it from time-to-time, and shifted my focus back to the types of genre writing that made me fall in love with reading in the first place. From there, I attended Seton Hill University (SHU) and earned an MFA in their Writing Popular Fiction program. I completed my first novel there (a fantasy) and secured representation before I’d even graduated.
That novel is still under submission, but in the meantime, I’ve been working on an SF book that is coming together nicely. I also recently sold a story called “Always Dawn to Forever Night” to Metaphorosis Magazine. All that is to say, I think about storytelling all the time and have studied it at length. I try to bring that knowledge and perspective to our discussions.
James: I’ve always considered myself a student of film as far back as I can remember. When I was young I loved to consume everything in the medium and after a great film I would always try to piece together what the production was like from behind the scenes footage, notes and stories. That led me to pursue a degree in Film Production with a minor in Film & Media Studies from the University of Florida. During my time in college, I directed a few short films and got experience in many other roles on set. Since graduating, I’ve started working in the industry producing and working in post-production. When approaching a project for the podcast, I put myself in the filmmaker’s shoes and try to imagine what their process was during production. As just a life-long reader, I approach the books as someone who isn’t formally trained as a writer.
What have been your favorite books or adaptations that you’ve discussed to date?
James: Blade Runner 2049. The project began with Philip K. Dick’s “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” then went to the original film, before getting to the new movie. The original Blade Runner is one of my favorite films, so getting the chance to analyze the source material and then talk about it, followed by the sequel, really heightened the enjoyment I got out of an already incredible film.
Luke: I’ll say our episodes on The Thing (1982). I was able to have my mentor from SHU, Mike Arnzen, on the show and our discussion was so great that we had to split it into two episodes because we just couldn’t fit it all into one. He really knows his stuff and literally teaches film at SHU. Plus, he’s hilarious, and had James and I both cracking up.
What books or adaptations are you most looking forward to?
Luke: Ready Player One. I’ve read the book and thought it was a ton of fun in a light, popcorn sort of way. It’s definitely a nostalgia-fest, which I know some people are tiring of, but I’m excited to cover it because I think it offers up so many avenues to go down for us as podcasters. I’m interested to see the adaptation too, although I admit I’m a little worried, but hopefully it delivers the goods. Either way, it should be a lot of fun to talk about with James who is coming in fresh to the project.
James: Annihilation. I’ve been eagerly anticipating Alex Garland’s next film because I loved Ex Machina so much. He’s a fantastic creator who has been involved in some great work. When the first trailer for Annihilation came out I knew we were in for a treat, so I’m excited to get started on that project by covering the source material very soon.
What books would you like to see adapted for film or television?
James: Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell. I feel like we’re due for a film based on a classic and challenging piece of work that holds a mirror up to our society. There have been some adaptations of this material, but with the right filmmaker attached this could be a very important film today. And of course, if they do adapt it, we’ll be there to cover it!
Luke: There’s so many. If I had to pick one I guess I’d go with The Stand by Stephen King. I just think it would make a brilliant film or series in the right hands. It’s a bit of a logistical nightmare, and I know it’s been attempted a few times, but I just feel like it is due for a major modern re-imagining. Of course, Stephen King doesn’t really need more love from Hollywood! There’s a ton of great new books out there that are deserving as well, like Paul Tremblay’s A Head Full of Ghosts, for example, that are just itching to be adapted, or something like Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke & Bone.
What books would you hate to see adapted for film or television?
Luke: I’m not really the sort of person who lets a bad adaptation taint my enjoyment of a story. So, in that sense, I say go for it. I do appreciate that a terrible movie can bring down an intellectual property in the general public’s eye though, so I get the concern. I guess I just hope that filmmakers approach any subject material in good faith and try to do it justice.
James: It’s not necessarily a traditional novel that is the source material in this case, but I’m not usually a fan of manga or a subsequent anime being adapted into live-action film. So, I guess my answer in this case is Akira, because there have been rumors of it being adapted in live action recently. With all that being said, I’ve heard Taika Waititi might be in talks, so I think the perfect storm of events and a great filmmaker like that could easily change my mind.
And finally, what personal projects would you like readers to check out?
Luke: The short story I mentioned above (“Always Dawn to Forever Night”) is free to read online. It’s a deeply personal story for me, and a weird one, so I hope people enjoy it.
James: Honestly, just the podcast right now. But keep an eye on my social media accounts where I’ll post about any of my current projects when they are released.
Luke was born in suburban Florida in the 1980s, and by age twelve, his friend group voted him full-time dungeon master. He learned quickly how to write adventures that could entertain much older kids. In his late twenties, he traveled 3000 miles across the country with his wife and two dogs to live in Portland, Oregon, a city for free thinkers set in a region with natural splendor as awesome as any fantasy world. He has a B.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Florida where he studied and wrote both literature and poetry, and earned a MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. He writes mostly science fiction, fantasy, and horror, but will go wherever the inspiration takes him. In August of 2017, he started and co-hosts the Ink to Film podcast, where he discusses books and their subsequent film adaptations. In between writing, podcasting, and occasional gaming, he collects and reviews quality single malts and is always happy to pour a dram for company.
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Growing up, most afternoons James could be found sitting wide-eyed in the uncomfortable stadium seating in front of a massive projection screen at a local theater. From a young age, he developed a love for movies and a fascination with how they are made and the filmmakers who put them on screen. His passion led him to earning a degree in Production and Film Studies at the University of Florida. To this day, James continues to see every movie he possibly can while honing his own filmmaking skills. As a co-host of the Ink to Film podcast, James hopes to inspire others to dig deeper into the art of storytelling, whichever the medium. He’s always looking for a good recommendation for a film he can be inspired by, so reach out if you have any!