The Business of Adaptations for Film and TV – Spring 2022

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: Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Time: 6 PM ET – 8 PM ET

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



Maria C. Miles, Esq. is the founding partner of an entertainment law firm with offices in New York. Maria’s practice focuses on all areas of entertainment law including, film (narrative and documentary), music, publishing, fashion and new media. Her experience also includes a diverse range of matters including webisode production, technology licensing, trademarks and copyrights. Maria has worked with award-winning producers, directors, writers, actors, television hosts, multi-platinum recording artists, and corporations in the fashion and sports industries related to their entertainment matters. Maria is an Adjunct Professor at The Feirstein Graduate School for Cinema and the School of Visual Arts.

Mark DeGasperi has been a freelance writer, lecturer and professional story analyst in New York for many years. He has read and scouted screenplays, stage plays and fiction and non-fiction books for film and TV adaptation — currently for Sony Pictures Entertainment, Tribeca Productions, and independent producers. Previously, he has covered material for Paramount Pictures, Universal Pictures, New Line Cinema, the William Morris Agency (WME), Miramax, and more. He teaches Advanced Television Writing and Advanced Screenwriting at New York University. He has received an NYU-SPS Award for Service. He was also involved in the non-profit theatre world as a theatre and literary manager and contributed to the Off-Off and Off-Broadway community.

Lane Shefter Bishop is a multi-award-winning producer/director who has received numerous accolades for her work including an  Emmy, six Telly Awards, a Videographer Award, three Communicator Awards, a Sherril C. Corwin Award, an Aurora Award, a Davey Award, a New York Festivals Award and the DGA Fellowship Award for Episodic Television. Currently Ms. Bishop is the CEO of Vast Entertainment, the go to book-to-screen company, with 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. Producing TV series, The Brain Trust for NBC, Confessions of a Sociopath for Universal Cable Productions, and The Forgetting for Netflix – all based on books. Producing the limited series, The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein for Sony Pictures Television – also based on a book. Writing, producing ,and directing numerous TV movies for Lifetime including His Secret MarriageHe Knows Your Every MoveWicked Moms ClubBlood Sweat and Lies, and The Choking Game. And directing the streaming movie A Brother’s Honor for Passionflix, based on NY Times bestselling author Brenda Jackson’s novel. Bishop is also a contributing writer to both Boss Magazine and Entrepreneur Magazine, is a three-time speaker at the WGA and numerous writers’ conferences, and is author of Sell Your Story in a Single Sentence: Advice from the Front Lines of Hollywood.

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 began her television career in news. After covering the back and forth on the Bush-Gore Presidential election, she became disheartened about this medium so, she relocated to Los Angeles (where she knew two people) and networked her butt off. It took six months of perseverance until she was offered three entry-level positions in one week. She felt like she had hit the jackpot! 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. 

Kelly Thomas brings 15 years of sales and business expertise to the literary world as a champion for writers. Kelly is a certified copy editor who has a Bachelor’s degree in English (Literature) from Pace University. Prior to joining Serendipity, she provided manuscript analysis for the D4EO literary agency. Kelly is a published poet with publications in Tales for the Disenchanted’(2008) and Penumbra Art & Literature (2015). She serves as a freelance editor and ghost writer in her free time. Kelly is a ferocious reader, lover of books, and has a passion for writing. Indeed a writer at heart, no matter the form (essays, articles, blogs, poems, short stories, marketing literature, resumes, or manuscripts), she will quickly put pen to page. Kelly is eager to build her client roster and is actively seeking the next bestselling author! Kelly is most interested in nonfiction (narrative nonfiction, memoirs, true crime), and adult fiction (psychological thrillers, mysteries, suspense, comedies). She enjoys fast-paced, plot-driven fiction with twists, turns, and jaw dropping moments. She is drawn to stories about leadership, overcoming adversity, and beating the odds. Stories that are told from a unique psychological vantage point are always of interest. The truth is often stranger than fiction, so Kelly is actively looking for the next great true crime manuscript with a murderous and methodical plot.

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

May 17 @ 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.