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The Business of Selling Story with Ken Atchity

Today guest is author, publisher, and producer Ken Atchity. Ken recently produced the global blockbuster (Jason Statham) and is the founder of Story Merchant. Ken wrote the best-seller Sell Your Story to Hollywood: Writer’s Pocket Guide to the Business of Show Business. I wanted Ken on the show to discuss the business side of screenwriting, a part of the industry that isn’t spoken about enough. We also discuss the “story market.”

Here some background on Ken.

In 1976, Atchity founded L/A House, Inc., a consulting, translation, book, television, and film development and production company whose clients included the Getty Museum and the US Postal Service. L/A House began by extending Atchity’s teaching of creative writing to manuscript consultation and soon moved on to publishing with the production of Follies, a magazine covering creativity, and CQ: Contemporary Quarterly; Poetry and Art of which he was editor. In the 1980s L/A House moved into television, with a syndicated television pilot of BreakThrough! of which Atchity was executive producer and co-writer.

In 1985, L/A House began development of a set of video/TV romance film projects entitled Shades of Love, which became 16 full-length films, produced in 1986–87 with Atchity as executive producer, that aired throughout the world, distributed by Lorimar, Astral-Bellevue-Pathe, Manson International, and Warner Brothers International, nominated for Canada’s Gemini Award; in the U.S. they premiered on Cinemax-HBO.

In 1989 he sold L/A House and founded AEI (Atchity Editorial/Entertainment International), a literary management and motion picture production company. Atchity sold Steve Alten’s Meg to Bantam-Doubleday at auction in a $2.2M deal; and then to Disney, partnered with Zide-Perry, for $1.2 (later, to Newline Pictures for a similar price). Incorporated in 1996, its name was changed to Atchity Entertainment International, Inc. in 2005.

In 2006, he and manager-partner Fred Griffin of Houston’s Griffin Partners along with a group of investors from Louisiana and Texas, acquired The Louisiana Wave Studio, LLC in Shreveport, Louisiana from Walt Disney Productions. The LWS is the only tank specifically designed to make waves for motion pictures in North America. Films produced at the LWS include The Guardian, Mayday—Bering Sea, Shark Night 3D, Streets of Blood, and I Love You, Philip Morris; along with numerous government and industrial films.

In 2011 Atchity was nominated for an Emmy for producing The Kennedy Detail (Discovery) based on their clients’ Jerry Blaine and Lisa McCubbin’s New York Times bestselling book by the same title published by Gallery/Simon & Schuster in 2010. AEI’s films include Joe Somebody (Tim Allen, Julie Bowen), Life Or Something Like It (Angelina Jolie, Edward Burns), and The MEG (Jason Statham).

In 2010, Atchity also founded Atchity Productions and Story Merchant.

Enjoy my conversation with Ken Atchity.

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