The Business of Adaptations for Film and TV – Spring 2021

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 18

Time: 6 PM ET

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





Marsha S. Brooks is a partner in the New York City law firm of Brooks & Distler. She has worked primarily in the areas of entertainment and intellectual property law for over 30 years.
Ms. Brooks represents producers, writers, directors, rights owners and “for profit” and “not-for-profit” institutions in the fields of legitimate theatre, motion picture, television and “new” technology. She is general counsel for the National Alliance for Musical Theatre and New York Women in Film and Television, Inc.
Ms. Brooks served as co-Vice Chair of the Theatre and Performing Arts Division of the ABA Forum on the Entertainment and Sports Industries. Ms. Brooks has been a guest lecturer on a variety of subjects in the areas of intellectual property and arts-related law at, among others, Stanford University School of Law, Columbia University School of Law, Fordham Law School, New York University School of Law, Hofstra Law School, Commercial Theater Institute, Symposia of the American Bar Association’s Forum on the Entertainment and Sports Industries, Showbiz Expo East and Duke University.


Jenevieve Brewer has been in the business 20 years. In March 2015, Jenevieve opened her own management company Jenevieve Brewer Talent Management. She works with a select pool of children and adult clients. Currently she has a series regular on The L-Word for Showtime. Her clients have booked guest star roles for numerous episodics such as God Friended Me, Blue Bloods, Billions, Power, Chicago P.D. and FBI. She has clients recurring in Wu Tang, High Fidelity, Orange is The New Black, The Deuce, Good Girls, Future Man and Strange Angel. Her clients have booked supporting and lead roles in the feature films such as Southpaw, The Irishman, Adam, and Late Night. Clients will be appearing on Broadway in The Rose Tattoo and have appeared on Broadway in Fish In The Dark and Big Fish. Her clients currently appear in national and regional on camera and voiceover spots for Verizon, Coke, Swiffer, PNC Bank, Merrill Lynch and Nike.

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.

Nina Sadowsky (Producer) is an author, filmmaker and educator. She has written numerous screenplays and produced such films as The Wedding Planner. Her debut thriller, Just Fall, was published in 2016 and her Burial Society series launched in 2018 with the second book in the series, The Empty Bed, published on January 28, 2020. The Burial Society series is in development for television. She is also the author of Convince Me to be published August 4, 2020. In addition to her role as Program Director of NYU Los Angeles, a “semester abroad” program for advanced students considering careers in the entertainment and media industries. Sadowsky also serves as the Director of Educational Outreach for the Humanitas Prize, is on the Leadership Council of Creative Future, and is a founding member of the Woolfpack, an organization of women showrunners, writers and producers committed to community and mentorship.


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 Marriage, He Knows Your Every Move, Wicked Moms Club, Blood 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 built a career as a seasoned television producer, director, and writer based in New York City. After graduating with a degree in Broadcast Journalism she made the leap from local news to network prime time and to date, has produced over 185 hours of television for NBC, ABC, BRAVO, MTV, VH1, OWN, Lifetime, Oxygen, and most recently HBO Max. From established series like NBC’s Biggest Loser to the first season fashion sensation Project Runway All Stars and the most recent Ellen’s Next Great Designer wrangling the likes of Pharrell, Diane von Furstenberg, and Katie Holmes, her range knows no boundaries. Jill has served as Head of Development for a New York-based production company and made the leap to branded content where she worked as an in-house executive producer for a boutique agency/ production company hybrid. She is currently freelancing in television and developing a slate of new projects.

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 #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 teaching the essentials to 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; The Writers Store; and Writers Digest. She has spoken at myriad conferences 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. She writes for Huffington Post Books and the award-winning PUBLISHED! Magazine.


Produced by Jennifer S. Wilkov

May 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.


Join the conversation on social media:
#nywift | @nywift

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.