Actions

Work Header

The Hiddleston Particle

Chapter Text

  • Don’t you EVAH check your email????
  • I’m trying to work, Gail. Remember, that advance you got me?
  • OK, OK, but look now. LOOK!!!!

 

*

 

To: Natalie Banks

From: gfgirling@jrbagency

Subject: EXCITING NEWS

 

Nat

 

You’re a genius! WHAT DID I TELL YOU? I KNEW that story had legs. I’ve had an email this morning from a production company. Company is new but seems legit. They want to buy the rights to The Harris Particle. There’s been no talk of Ts&Cs yet, let alone money., They’ve just asked for a meeting. But this is good. This is VERY GOOD!!!!!

 

Your grateful agent (and happy friend!)

G

 

*

 

To: Gail Girling

From: nhbanks365@hmail

Subject: Re: EXCITING NEWS

 

Gail

 

I don’t know what to say. I suppose I should say thanks - the book isn’t even out yet. That stuff you did about getting the word around must have worked, then. Sincerely, thank you, darling.

 

Have you dealt with this company before? Who are they? Do they have a track record I could look at? Any info?  A website? I know, I’m fussy and that’s monumental cheek from a first-timer - but the novel is my baby, you know that.

 

And ‘tis I that am grateful, my dearest

 

N

*

 

  • Sorry, love! I’m fine
  • Mother, you are impossible! How long should I wait before I get in the car and drive over there to check you’re not at the bottom of the stairs or in a ditch somewhere?
  • Drama queen. I forgot to charge my phone, darling. Sorry. Why didn’t you just ring?
  • I did. I also sent you a FB message.
  • Oops. I see it now.
  • What’s so important you’ve stopped checking your phone AND answering machine?
  • Ah. Well.
  • Mother?
  • I’ve been working, of course
  • And?
  • Apparently someone wants to film my book
  • Already??? Fucking amazing!!!
  • Sorry to have worried you, love. I’ll try to keep the phone with me. This is rather exciting tho
  • I’ll say! FT later?
  • Of course. Love you xx

 

*

To: Natalie Banks

From: hty@hcrfilms

Subject: Offer for the rights to The Harris Particle

 

Dear Ms Banks

 

My name is Henry Young, and I am the Director of Business Development and Talent Management at HCR Films. I have been asked by our CEO to contact you directly as I understand from Ms Girling at JR Burgess that you wish to know a little more about us before you can consider our offer.

 

I would like to impress you with a list of HCR Films’ accomplishments, but I am afraid that we are a brand-new company, with no productions to our name, as yet that is. Yours is one of four title properties we are hoping to acquire currently - two of the other three are very close to final agreement. Our Executive Management team have a proven track record in the business of film and television, including stacks of nominations and awards including Oliviers and BAFTAs, two Emmys and a Golden Globe, not to mention an impressive collective body of experience in production, distribution and creative work on both sides of the camera. We are a group of like-minded friends and colleagues who have come together to form this company in order to be able to nurture our own projects and bring them to fruition.

 

I must apologize for not being able to provide you with detailed information about our bios at this time, as the team has the intention to keep these new ventures highly confidential for the time being. We hope you are open to continue our conversations so we could run through all the required paperwork and start disclosing as much information as you require and we see fit.  With that in mind, our CEO will be contacting you shortly, to introduce himself and have the opportunity to share with you his preliminary ideas for the adaptation of your novel. I hope that they will meet with your approval.

 

Henry Young

Director of Business Development and Talent Management

 

*

 

To: Henry Young

From: nhbanks365@hmail

Subject: Re: Offer for the rights to The Harris Particle

 

Dear Henry

 

Well, this all sounds rather mysterious, I’m sure, but I can appreciate the desire for confidentiality at this stage of a new venture. I understand from my agent that we are signing non-disclosure agreements, so I look forward for a more open conversation in the near future with your CEO, yourself, or any of your business partners. I will be pleased to hear from your boss - he is a man I see from your use of the male pronoun. Are any of the other partners women, may I know that much?

 

Natalie Banks

 

*

 

  • Well, this is all rather cloak-and-daggery, isn’t it? What do you make of it? Is this normal?
  • Dunno, tbh. There’s a bit of goss, a few names being bandied around, I do know that the Cornwells are involved, but as investors, not in direct management of operations. You know Stephen and I go back a long way. Other than that, idk.
  • What other names then? Such as?
  • Ya know, the current objects of British pride, the Camden pack of those whose names start with an H and C...
  • Oh fuck
  • ;D
  • But like I said, it’s all just rumour
  • OK, well, I spose I’ll find out soon enough.
  • H & C???? R???? HALPPP

 

*

 

To: Natalie Banks

CC: hty@hcrfilms; gfgirling@jrbagency

From: twh@hcrfilms

Subject: Our offer for the rights to The Harris Particle

 

 Dear Ms Banks

 

Henry Young contacted you a few days ago in connection with our offer to buy the film and television rights to your novel. He tells me you had asked your agent to investigate our company further. May I say I understand completely that you would want to know more about us before even considering entrusting us with the adaptation of your work. I hope that between us, Henry and I will be able to put your mind at ease.

 

Firstly, I would like to tell you how much I have enjoyed reading The Harris Particle. My agent was intrigued by the premise and obtained a galley copy for me, thinking quite rightly that it was exactly the kind of story I would be interested in developing as a project. It is very imaginative, clever, hilariously funny as well as charming. The characters feel real, not the easiest thing to achieve in a fantasy story, and I was so caught up I read it in one sitting. Yours is a truly original voice.

 

I can imagine you are by now tapping your fingers, waiting for me to drop the flim-flam and get to the point: who are we as a company and what are my plans for filming your story? You may already be familiar with my work as an actor. In this new venture, I intend to explore properties that I can direct and produce, not necessarily appear in. Which is not to say I am ruling out a small role, but my main focus in this particular instance is as director.

 

HCR films is a new venture for me and a few old friends and colleagues. I see from your reply to Henry that you want to know if there are any women among us; I am happy to say that there are several. One of the partners is a highly talented director with whom I have worked in the theatre (she is the ‘R’ in our name); another senior colleague is an experienced screenwriter who wishes to stretch her wings a little. She wrote a TV film I appeared in some years ago. The third full partner is a fellow actor, who like me wants to expand his repertoire into production and direction, and to move into new areas. All of us have established careers which we expect (or at least, we hope) will enable us to raise the necessary funds for the sort of small-scale projects we are planning.

 

Brass tacks time: I have no wish to change your story in any substantial way - by which I mean not in terms of the plot or the characters. I see no need; it seems to me to offer precisely the kind of tight storytelling which characterises the best films. There are only a few main characters, another plus factor in my view. One of the most appealing aspects of The Harris Particleis the fact that it is already a perfect fit for us as it stands. All of this is a roundabout way of promising that, should you decide to agree terms with HCR Films, we will look after your baby.

 

May I be rather cheeky and un-English and ask a personal question? All that your agents are telling people is that you are British and this is your first published novel. I find it hard to believe that such an accomplished writer has appeared from nowhere. Have you worked as a writer in some other form? As a journalist or in non-fiction, perhaps? Don’t feel you have to answer; this is just my natural curiosity showing. I hope it goes without saying that you are completely free to respond in kind. Anything I can say to set your mind at rest, please ask. I hope that you will look kindly on HCR’s offer. Please, do not hesitate to contact me or Henry if you have any further questions about the offer, our company or our plans for The Harris Particle. In the meantime, we will prepare our formal proposal and send it to Ms Girling at JR Burgess.

 

I have just one last request of you: that you will continue to keep our discussions highly confidential. It is early days for our company, and we need to protect our creative and commercial interests by avoiding excessive media coverage that would make our company face intense competition at this formative stage in our existence.

 

I look forward greatly to working with you.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Tom Hiddleston

CEO, HCR Films

 

*

 

  • OMG Nat
  • I KNOW
  • Gail, I truly LOVE YOU

 

*

 

  • Helen, you are NOT GONNA BELIEVE THIS
  • Oh Mum, what now??!?!?!
  • Can’t tell you yet
  • Mother :I
  • Sorry, but I think I am going to burst
  • That good, eh?
  • Sursly, you HAVE NO IDEA
  • Please don’t. Just...don't
  • LOL

 

*

 

To: Tom Hiddleston

From: nhbanks365@hmail

CC: hty@hcrfilms; gfgirling@jrbagency

Subject: Re: Our offer for the rights to The Harris Particle

 

Dear Mr Hiddleston

 

Thank you so much for your very enlightening email. Please, let me set your mind at rest at the outset: I have no intention of blabbing to a soul about HCR Films. Even if we had not signed the NDAs I would have done as you ask.

 

I must confess I am extremely flattered that you are interested in my novel. Thank you for your kind words. Of course I am familiar with your work as an actor. To answer your extremely impertinent question (I am teasing, of course), I am afraid I must disappoint you. I have only become a professional writer in the last couple of years, and it still seems rather unreal. I had written nothing other than academic papers when a student and professional documents and letters after that, until very recently. I began to write fiction a few years ago, purely for my own amusement, as a pastime and therapy to some degree, and it was only when a friend submitted a manuscript on my behalf (and without my prior knowledge) that I even considered publishing my work. That became my first novel, The Tear Garden. I hope that might be published too, one day. Also, much of my apparent skill is probably attributable to that of my editor at Gipping, Vincent Campodifiori. He has been ruthless but right on so many occasions that I am able to forget precisely how bad my dreadful original draft was in comparison to the improved version incorporating his handiwork.

 

That said, there are days when I am still not completely sure this isn’t all some elaborate dream, to tell you the truth.

 

All of the above must tell you that I am new to this process. I hope you will forgive any faux pas on my part. I am sure that Ms Girling will guide me, and I look forward to hearing from her when your formal offer reaches JR Burgess.

 

Thanks again.

 

Warmest regards,

 

Natalie Banks



*

 

  • ‘Warmest regards’??? RU fucking KIDDING ME???
  • Shut it, Gail
  • Cool, tho. NIce work
  • This isn’t one of your elaborate jokes, right?
  • Christ no! I’d never think of anything this mega.
  • Sometimes I wonder how you got to VP. You talk like a student
  • You love it

 

*

 

To: Natalie Banks

From: vcc@gipping&co

CC:gfgirling@jrbagency

Subject: Re: Update.

 

Dear Natalie

 

I trust you are well. Thank you for your update regarding the new novel. The pages you sent look very promising. I hope all the excitement about the upcoming publication of The Harris Particle isn’t proving too much of a distraction. Meanwhile, I have some notes for you about Chapters 7-11 of The Tear Garden. I will send them in the next few days and we can discuss them at our next meeting.

 

Our Rights Dept tell me there has been interest expressed in acquiring THP. I must say that TV and film rights being - possibly -  picked up prior to publication is a feather in any author’s cap! I do feel I should warn you that companies do this a lot, and only a proportion actually get purchased in the end. And even fewer end up on screen, sadly. Even so I must say well done you! I have asked Gail to keep me posted but please, if I can help in your deliberations, or if you simply want to touch base, then don’t hesitate to drop me a line, or to call if you prefer.

 

See you in a month

 

Vinnie

 

*

 

To: Natalie Banks

CC: hty@hcrfilms; gfgirling@jrbagency

From: twh@hcrfilms

Subject: Re: Re: Our offer for the rights to The Harris Particle

 

Dear Natalie

 

As you may already know, Henry has sent the formal offer to Ms Girling today.

 

Thank you for your reply. I too am familiar with that feeling of dislocation - it can be hard to believe people are willing to pay you to do what you love and would do anyway, and for nothing, can’t it? And I doubt - most sincerely - that your first draft was ‘dreadful’.

 

I am sure I can trust you. I look forward to meeting you in person.

 

Tom

 

P.S. I can’t wait to readThe Tear Garden

 

*

 

To: Natalie Banks

From: gfgirling@jrbagency

CC: ghu@gipping&co; admin@gipping&co

Subject: Formal Offer from HCR Films for full international rights to The Harris Particle

Attachment: Proposal TH/HY/2018/03

 

Dear Natalie

 

Well, here it is. I am sure that much of the wording will be gobbledygook to you, but let me tell you right now that the bottom line is this: this is a very good offer, especially for the as yet unpublished first novel of an unproven writer(no offence intended as I am sure you know).

 

But I know that money has never been your main motivator, so the other important thing you need to grasp right away is that HCR Films state that they want to keep as many of your words in the script as they can. They are offering you an executive producer credit, and full consultation on the final screenplay. Before you get too excited, this is pretty standard, and may not mean much at the end of the day, in most cases. But taken alongside what has already been said in previous communications, I think they are being sincere.

 

Read through the attached and get back to me. Henry Young has asked for a face to face the week after next. That should give us and Gipping Books long enough to look through the proposal in detail and for Gary Unwin to comb out any possible legal snags.

 

Congratulations, Natalie. This looks very promising indeed, and a film adaptation can only help sales of this and indeed all your work!

 

Gail

 

*

 

  • I’m home
  • Good. How ru now
  • I’m fine, H. I always was
  • Mother
  • It’s true. It was just a silly flutter
  • Which of us is the medical professional and which is the patient?
  • OK
  • Now, please tell me you have your feet up and a cuppa beside you
  • Yes and no. It’s a Chardonnay
  • Mother
  • Remind me, which of us is the parent and which is the child
  • MOTHER
  • I rest my case

 

*

 

  • Darling, don’t worry but I’m at HCH
  • What’s happened??
  • I had another funny turn that’s all. Slightly worse one. Called the surgery and Dr H called an ambulance
  • Are you in the CCU?
  • Yes, wired up like a Xmas tree, feeling a fraud
  • Youre NOT a fraud. They have to check you out, you know this
  • OK, sat nav says I’ll be there in an hour
  • You don’t need to come Helen!!!
  • Mother, I do