The Business of Adaptations for Film and TV – Fall 2023

Agents, Hollywood producers, and publishers are always searching for the next great story, but not all writers start from scratch. Oftentimes, ideas come from the things we see, read, write and hear. The challenge for many is how to transition these materials from their original form of a book, article, and story into a full-fledged viable screenplay and adaptation material for another medium.

Savvy industry professionals love to leverage their time and efforts by capitalizing on a story that can be adapted into many forms. Learn from this experienced panel about ways to locate common sources for your story or script and the power and pitfalls of working with adaptations for your project.

Date: Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Time: 6 PM ET – 8 PM ET

Cost: $15 for NYWIFT Members; $20 for Non-Members



Lane Shefter Bishop is a multi-award-winning Producer and Director who has received numerous accolades for her work including an EMMY and the DGA Fellowship Award for Episodic Television. Currently Ms. Bishop is the CEO of Vast Entertainment, THE go to book-to-screen company since in an online interview, CNN dubbed her “The Book Whisperer” of Hollywood. 
Ms. Bishop has numerous projects, both completed and in active development including: Producing Feature Films, THE DUFF  for CBS Films & Lionsgate and ASSASSINATION GAMES for MPCA (both based on books) as well as Producing, Directing and Showrunning the Backdoor Pilot for Series, HOPETOWN for Hallmark Channel (based on the ‘Blessings’ books by Beverly Jenkins) as well as Producing and Directing THE DARK DESCENT OF ELIZABETH FRANKENSTEIN  for Sony Pictures Television and Tristar (based on the Kiersten White novel). 
Ms. Bishop has also been Executive Producing and Directing Christmas Movies for UPtv and Superchannel including MISTLETOE & MOLLY, SECRET SANTA, CHRISTMAS BENEATH THE STARS, THE HOLIDAY SWAP, CHRISTMAS ON THE ROCKS, and AN ECLECTIC CHRISTMAS (all but one based on Melissa Hill novels) as well as numerous Thriller Movies for Lifetime including TEMPTATION UNDER THE SUN, HUSBAND WIFE AND THEIR LOVER, A LIFEGUARD’S OBSESSION, DESPERATE WIDOWS (also written by Ms. Bishop), HIS SECRET MARRIAGE (also written by Ms. Bishop), HE KNOWS YOUR EVERY MOVE, WICKED MOMS CLUB, BLOOD SWEAT AND LIES, HER DEADLY NIGHT IN PARIS, THE VENICE MURDERS and THE CHOKING GAME – which was the third most viewed program on television the night it premiered. Ms. Bishop also Directed the Streaming Movie A BROTHER’S HONOR, an African American romance for Tosca Musk’s Passionflix (based on NY Times bestselling author Brenda Jackson’s uber-popular novel). 
Lastly, Ms. Bishop is a published Author of the book SELL YOUR STORY IN A SINGLE SENTENCE, ADVICE FROM THE FRONT LINES OF HOLLYWOOD. She also holds a B.A. in Literature from UC Santa Barbara and an M.F.A. in Production from USC’s School of Cinema/Television. She is a director-member of the Directors Guild of America and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. 

Mark DeGasperi has been a writer, lecturer and professional story analyst in New York for many years. He has read and scouted screenplays, plays and books for film and TV adaptation, currently for Sony Pictures Entertainment, Tribeca Productions, LBI Entertainment, Centropolis Entertainment and the Johnson Production Group. He has also covered potential movie and TV material for Paramount Pictures, Universal Pictures, New Line Cinema, the William Morris Agency (WME), International Creative Management (ICM Partners), and past companies like Miramax Films, Jonathan Demme’s Clinica Estetico and Stanley Jaffe`s Jaffilms. He teaches Advanced Film and Television Writing at New York University-SPS. He has received an NYU Award for Service. He has taught the Master Class in Screenwriting at the School of Visual Arts in New York. He is Associate Producer on the award-winning eco-documentary RESCUING THE STOLEN RIVER.  He is the author of THE LAZARUS EXPERIMENT of 2020.

Maria C. Miles is the founding partner of an entertainment law firm with offices in New York. Maria’s practice focuses on all areas of entertainment and media law, including, film (both documentary and narrative), television (scripted and non-scripted), literary publishing and new media. Her clients consist primarily of independent film producers, directors, writers and talent.
Prior to starting her own practice, Maria was general counsel for a multi-media digital start-up working on a diverse range of subject-matter areas including a webseries and editorial content, corporate and financing transactions, technology development and licensing, employment and intellectual property (including a large catalogue of trademarks, copyrights and patents) both in the US and abroad. Prior to her role as in-house counsel, Maria was associated with a large law firm where she served as counsel to numerous award-winning actors, writers, producers, television hosts and multi-platinum recording artists, sports teams, and corporations in the fashion and retail industries related to their entertainment and intellectual property matters.
Maria is an Adjunct Professor at The Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema and The School of Visual Arts. She served on the Board of New York Women in Film & Television for six years and currently serves on the Board of the Hellenic Film Society USA.
Maria is admitted to practice in the State of New York, The United States District Court, Eastern & Southern Districts of New York, and The United States Supreme Court.

Kelly Thomas is an Associate Literary Agent with Serendipity Literary Agency and a Certified Copy Editor with a bachelor’s degree in English from Pace University. She is an associate member of the Association of American Literary Agents (AALA) and a member of the Editorial Freelance Association. She co-runs the monthly “8 Simple Steps to Writing a Successful Synopsis Workshop” alongside Jennifer S. Wilkov through the publishing and entertainment consulting company Your Book Is Your Hook. Prior to joining Serendipity Literary Agency, she provided part-time manuscript analysis for the D4EO Literary Agency. She is a panelist for the New York Women in Film & Television’s (NYWIFT) ‘The Business of Adaptations Panel’ program and a trainer for ‘The Next Bestseller Workshops.’ Kelly has participated in Pitch Slams for writing conferences, including ThrillerFest, Crimebake, Writing Day Workshops, and The Writer’s Digest Conference. She has sat on ‘Ask the Agent’ panels for the AWP Conference and Writing Barn’s ‘Courage to Create’ program, and she has participated in the ‘First Pages Critique’ panel for the Carnegie Center for Literary and Learning’s Books-in-Progress Conference and for the Women in Publishing Summit. She has participated in the “First Ten Lines Critique” panel for The Hampton Roads Writer’s Conference where she also taught classes on synopsis writing and character development. Kelly is a published poet with publications in Tales for the Disenchanted (2008) and Penumbra Art & Literature (2015). She has served as an editor for the literary arts magazine Pen & Brush and as a writing coach for the academic consulting company Brattlestreet.

Jill Michelle Williams is a working television producer and writer who has created content for Broadcast Networks (NBC’s Biggest Loser), Streamers (HBO Max Ellen’s Next Great Designer), and Cable Networks (Lifetime’s Project Runway All Stars and A&E’s Confession of a Serial Killer: BTK). She has sat on panels for the Chelsea Film Festival, been a guest lecturer at Chapman University as well as panels for NYWIFT.
Jill began her television career in news before moving to Los Angeles to pursue entertainment opportunities. She took a production assistant position in development at the now-defunct style network. As she learned the craft of making television, she worked her way up the ranks and transitioned over to style’s sister network E! Entertainment Television, which allowed her to work on all facets of production from pre-production to production through post-production and mastering.
Throughout the years, she’s created more than 200 hours of content across unscripted specials, competition shows, as well as documentary and scripted series including a stint as Head of Development. 

PAULA MUNIER is the Senior Agent and Director of Storytelling for Talcott Notch Literary and the USA TODAY bestselling author of the Mercy Carr mysteries. Over her 20-plus years in the business, she’s conceived, created, produced, and marketed exceptional content in all formats across all markets for such media giants as WGBH, Fidelity, Disney, Gannett, S&S, Quarto, Greenspun Media Group, among others. She represents both fiction and nonfiction; her clients run the gamut from debut authors to New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling authors who’ve won/been shortlisted for such honors as the Edgar, Thriller, Agatha, and Anthony awards as well as the Pushcart Prize, AWP, and PEN awards. Many of her clients’ works have been adapted for stage and screen. She’s the author of three popular books on writing: The Writer’s Guide to Beginnings: How to Craft Story Openings That SellWriting With Quiet Hands: How to Shape Your Writing to Resonate with ReadersPlot Perfect: How to Build Unforgettable Stories Scene by Scene, and the acclaimed memoir Fixing Freddie. The fifth book in her Mercy Carr series, HOME AT NIGHT, debuted earlier this week from Minotaur/SMP to great reviews and was named Library Journal’s Mystery Pick of the Month. 

Jennifer S. Wilkov (Moderator) is a multi #1 international best-selling award-winning author, an award-winning freelance writer, and a respected book and business consultant in her business called “Your Book Is Your Hook.” She supports first-time writers and seasoned authors with the essentials for writing a bestseller: a great project, a strong platform and a well-polished pitch, presentation and hook for their book or project. She has taught classes and produced programs for the School of Visual Arts; Writers Guild of America, East; NYWIFT; Writers Digest; Chelsea Film Festival, and more. She has spoken at myriad conferences, festivals and events for writers of books, screenplays and scripts for film, television and episodic streaming projects. Jennifer is also the creator of The Next Bestseller™ Weekend Workshop in New York, a safe space that provides writers with exclusive access to the dream team to help you learn to talk effectively with industry professionals about your project. Her keen eye for stories that sell for both books and in Hollywood is trusted by industry professionals who appreciate her savvy in seeing the many possibilities a subject can lend itself to.


Produced by Jennifer S. Wilkov

October 18 @ 6:00pm
6:00 pm — 8:00 pm (2h)

This program will take place virtually as a webinar via Zoom. Please register in advance, and all registrants will receive a link to attend the webinar the day of the event.

We encourage you to download and create a Zoom account in advance.


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NYWIFT programs, screenings and events are supported, in part, by grants from New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature.