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Hollywood 101: The Financial, Legal, and Creative Aspects of Literary Adaptations

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Before any author licenses their work for a TV or film adaptation, it’s important to understand the culture of Hollywood and the business realities of show business. Navigating the terrain of options and production can be difficult, but knowing what to expect can help. In this event, Eddie Gamarra, vice president of literary affairs for Paramount Global Kids & Family, gives us the lay of the land based on his decades of experience as a book scout and executive in the world of literary adaptions.

Join us to learn about:

  • The structure of Hollywood: representatives, scouts, producers, and executives
  • Book scouts and how Hollywood chooses books and approaches authors
  • How book-to-screen deals work for authors: financial and legal concerns
  • What happens when a project enters the limbo of “development hell”

Moderated by Cheryl Davis, general counsel of the Authors Guild, who will explain the key points of our Model Film and TV Option Contract.


Eddie Gamarra is the VP, Literary Affairs for Paramount Global Kids & Family, which covers the Nick Jr., Nickelodeon, and Awesomeness brands. He works across live action and animated film and television coordinating with creative, digital, consumer products, and legal teams to acquire books and other IP for development and production for such adaptations to be distributed across multiple platforms for a global audience.

Prior to this, Gamarra was a Literary Manager at The Gotham Group, a multi-faceted management and production company representing some of the most creative and successful screenwriters, directors, animators, authors, illustrators, publishers, and animation studios around the world. With a primary focus on children’s & family entertainment, he worked with numerous New York Times best-selling authors and illustrators as well as Oscar, Emmy, Caldecott, and Newbery award winners and nominees. He was an Executive Producer of The Maze Runner trilogy from 20th Century Fox based on the New York Times bestselling book series, the Disney+ production of Jerry Spinelli’s iconic love story Stargirl, and Henry Selick’s stop-motion feature with Jordan Peele entitled Wendell & Wild for Netflix.

Previously, Gamarra was a college professor at Emory University where he received his PhD. He received his BA from Vassar College and an MA from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.

Cheryl Davis is the general counsel of the Authors Guild. Prior to joining the Guild, she was a partner at the firm of Menaker & Herrmann LLP, where she specialized in intellectual property and wrote a number of articles and made presentations about how artists can protect their intellectual property.

Special Thanks to Our Supporters and Partner Organizations

Special thanks to the Institute of American Indian Arts for collaborating with the Authors Guild Foundation on this panel.

With support from Penguin Random House and our donors, the Authors Guild Foundation is pleased to make Business Bootcamps for Writers free and open to the public.

Several writers organizations have partnered with the Authors Guild Foundation to help shape these programs. Our deepest appreciation to these organizations.