Hollywood debut awaits local author

August 2, 2011

Storyteller Sarah Gerdes is force behind upcoming films

By Greg Farrar Lucas Foster, Hollywood producer (left), and Sarah Gerdes, local author, discuss their collaboration as they prepare to transform her books into films.

Sarah Gerdes, author and mother to Conor, Porsche and Mercedes, balances motherhood and Hollywood.

The longtime local author is nearing a milestone in a lifelong effort to tell stories to the masses: films based on the books she spent years to create.

The lineup includes “The Kim Sisters” — a musical about a trio transplanted from Korea and hurtling to success in the United States — and adventures based on “Chambers” — a series about time-traveling teenagers. The initial e-book in the “Chambers” series came out in May.

“I am truly excited to see it come to film — and it’s not because of any financial gain, although that would be nice, not to be a starving author forever,” Gerdes said late last month. “It’s because I can’t wait to see it through somebody else’s eyes. I’ve written this work that has all of these characters. I have a theme and I know where it’s going.”

Lucas Foster — the producer behind “Mr. & Mrs. Smith” and other action-packed films — refers to Gerdes as “the Terminator” for the perseverance and passion she delivers on each project. Foster’s Warp Entertainment is producing “The Kim Sisters” and “Chambers” films.

“The amount of money we spend to make a movie, and then market and distribute a movie, is colossal. So, we have to do some thinking about who our audience is very early on and who we’re trying to reach,” he said. “Are we capable of reaching them with whatever it is we’re building? I think Sarah — she doesn’t have to think that way — but I think she’s inclined to think that way as well.”

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Innovative strategy readies local author’s book for film debut

July 19, 2011

‘Chambers’ fans can score a walk-on role in films

The time-traveling teenagers in “Chambers” — a nascent e-book series from local author Sarah Gerdes — use a combination of textbook smarts and street savvy to navigate different epochs in history.

Sarah Gerdes

The team behind the novel is using a similar approach to promote “Chambers” as a multimedia experience. Before the e-book was released in May, plans for a film already materialized — due to a relentless pursuit by Gerdes and a chance to create a big-screen adaptation alongside “Mr. & Mrs. Smith” producer Lucas Foster.

The latest phase in the innovative book release is due to roll out July 22, as Gerdes and Foster host a series of events at area technology sellers. The top prize for attendees is a chance for a walk-on role in a film under development by Foster’s company, Warp Entertainment.

“I like the idea that you can have a cross-media experience,” he said in a telephone interview from Los Angeles. “You can read the book, see the movie, play the game, maybe even go to the live destination, and they’re all different experiences, and they add to each other in some manner.”

The effort to launch “Chambers” and offer walk-on film roles represents a marriage of content, retail and technology — a departure from traditional book and film releases.

“We’re now getting to do something that’s never been done before,” Gerdes said.

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