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Movie Press Conference

Hi guys! Sorry for the radio silence and not having a book club post up today. Things have been a little crazy with my son being sick, The Fiery Heart due on Monday, and some stressful things going in my personal life. So, I don't have a ton of time, but I wanted to take a minute because lots of rumors and news have been going around about the Vampire Academy movie, and I wanted to address those as best as I'm able. Which brings me to the first one...

How much say does an author have in a movie?
On paper? Not much. This is standard across the board, no matter what stories have gotten around about Stephenie Meyer approving a script or JK Rowling screening actors. We have to think of it this way. I'm not paying millions for people to turn my books into a movie. They're paying millions of their own money, so it's understandable they'd want to be very involved in the decisions. They know about making movies. I know about writing books. We each have our thing, and I'm very happy to let Preger Entertainment and their team do theirs, which is why I signed with them in the first place. I totally believe in them and support everything they've been doing.

That being said, Preger Entertainment and their team have been AWESOME about keeping me in the loop and asking my opinions. Do I get ultimate say? No, but they've shown me script and actor choices and asked for my opinions, which is so cool because believe me when I say, a lot of authors don't get that consideration. I'm super lucky.

Is the title changing?
Sort of. It's more accurate to say the title's getting an addition. If you've read past interviews with me, you might know that Vampire Academy wasn't my first choice for the book. I actually sold it as Kissed By Shadows. People at my publishing house weren't sure that title would work for a few different reasons, and eventually, we decided on VA since it's so memorable. When the movie came around, the production team had some concerns about that title, though. For one thing, there's a lot of other "vampire" stuff out there, and we want VA to stand out. Don't believe me? I get constant emails from people saying they love the Vampire Diaries because they get mixed up. The other thing is that VA isn't exactly an accurate title. It makes it sound like it's more about school. If you're a fan of the series, you know that in the last half of the series, they're hardly at school at all. The big focus of the series is Rose and Lissa's bond and ESPECIALLY Rose and Dimitri's relationship. That's what makes this stand out from other vampire books, so it was decided that VA would stay the movie series name but that the first movie would get a more distinctive title.

The team asked me for ideas, and I gave a few name suggestions that they considered. Blood Sisters is a title that other countries use who don't want the first book and the series to have the same name. It's a name I liked, and the team liked it too. It emphasizes the bond and will hopefully appeal to new fans. Because here's the thing: the more successful this movie is, the more likely it is that more can be made. An awesome movie will go nowhere if no one comes to see it. So, VA is the name of the franchise, and each movie gets its own name. This is Vampire Academy: Blood Sisters. If it's a hit, and we move on to the next one, that'll be Vampire Academy: Frostbite. Does that make sense? No one's tryig to diss me or the series in this process, and I assure you, we'll still hear "Vampire Academy" tossed around plenty--just like when Fellowship of the Ring came out, I went and said, "Give me a ticket for Lord of the Rings."

Is the script totally different from the book?
No. I was actually blown away when I saw how true it was to the story. Seriously, it's awesome. I have no idea where this Rose, Lissa, and Dimitri triangle rumor came from, but it's NOT true, unless they completely rewrote the script in the last month. Rose and Dimitri have eyes for each other, and Lissa and Christian are kissing in the church. The only differences are very minor things--like in The Hunger Games, where Prim gives Katniss the mockingjay pin. Is that what happened in the book? No, but it streamlines some things, saves them from hiring an extra actress, and doesn't affect the main plot. Rest easy, there are no crazy changes, like werewolves attending the school or Rose and Christian discovering they're long lost siblings. Although, that last one might be hilarious.

Seriously--the script is great. They've given Dimitri lines that are going to make you swoon, especially in the lust charm scene.

What about the cast?
If you haven't heard already, the cast is Zoey Deutch as Rose, Danila Kozlovsky as Dimitri, and Lucy Fry as Lissa. Reactions are all across the board. Some people love them, some are worried. Some love only one actor, some love another. Here's the thing: there is no cast everyone will love. It's impossible. I could download the characters from my mind, and I'd get hate mail saying they were all wrong. :) The casting agency worked very hard in choosing these actors, and I think they did a great job. I have it on good authority from friends who've worked with the lovely Zoey Deutch that she's an amazing actress. And I think it's awesome that they chose a Russian for Dimitri! I mean, I wouldn't know the difference, but I'd hate it if real Russians saw the movie and were like, "That guy is obviously fake." As for Lucy Fry, she certainly looks the part, and it's fun that she's Australian, since that's one of VA's biggest fan bases. The international cast reflects VA's international following.

One more thing to consider about the cast. None of us witnessed the casting process. Only the movie team did, and they didn't just pick pictures off IMDB. These actors were screened, auditioned, read the script, did action scenes, and had to do a lot of other stuff to prove themselves. We didn't see that. The movie folks have and made decisions because they saw something awesome in this talented trio. Remember when Jennifer Lawrence was cast as Katniss, and people were ready to riot? Then the movie team dyed her hair and gave her a bow, and she was awesome. That's how this is going to pan out too, except no bow. I'm sure they'll grow out Danila's hair, though.

Will this movie ruin the books?
Um, no. The books are the books. Even if this was the worst movie in the history of movies (and it won't be, not with the talent involved in writing, directing, and acting in it), no power will go in and rewrite the books. They're the canon, the original, the truth, and I'm still continuing their story. If you love them, you'll keep loving them. The movies won't change that. Movies are an awesome opportunity for us to see these scenes and people come to life, and I'm extremely supportive and excited to see what the team is going to pull off for us!

Bottom line
This process is still very, very young. Keep calm, and have faith. There's good stuff ahead! And whatever your thoughts are on the movie news, I want you to know that I understand people have such strong opinions because they love the books so much. And you can't imagine how much it means to me that the books I work so hard on can have such a huge emotional impact on you and are so important to you. Thank you for loving them as much as I do.

I really, really hope this helps clear up some confusion! I wish I could write more, but I'm exhausted from some late nights with my son. Those of you who have written with excitement about the actors--thanks so much! And those who are worried--just hang with us and see. :)

For the latest news and articles (because there are certainly tons of them now), check out the Official Vampire Academy Movie Facebook Page.


( 71 comments — Tell me about it, baby! )
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JayLynn Rummel
Feb. 2nd, 2013 09:13 pm (UTC)
Yes!! We got a real sexy Russian to play out sexy Russian god!! I'm so happy about the cast! I wasn't too sure about Lucy fry, but I bet she'll do awesome in the movie so no complaints here! I'm so going to the midnight premiere, I'm going to die!! *squeal*
Angel Pozder
Feb. 2nd, 2013 09:31 pm (UTC)
oh my gosh i can't say how happy i am!!!! so excited for this. glad they chose some one who was russian for dimitri
Katia Alessandra F Alves
Feb. 2nd, 2013 09:41 pm (UTC)
I`m sooo glad you wrote this message....
Everytime I see a book adaptation movie, I`m mostly mad and upset with the huge changes they make on the story and as a fan, it usually drives me crazy...
It`s really reassuring to know you read the script and that you are comparing it to Hunger Games, because that was one of the few movie adaptations that really made me trust screenwriters again.. :P
And to top it off, it is really nice to hear your input and know behind the scenes facts...
Thank you so much!
Feb. 2nd, 2013 10:38 pm (UTC)
In Love
I'm so excited, the cast is perfect and i love the books, i just hope the movie get's here faster than i expect it to lol.
Feb. 2nd, 2013 11:21 pm (UTC)
I'm so excited! I think the cast looks great :))
Feb. 3rd, 2013 12:16 am (UTC)
peaceful, yet strong disagreement
Really, really disappointed that yet again Hollywood can't come up with it's own interesting script so they have to jump on popular book series. This defeats the purpose of reading, no? Why read?????

An author only looses as much control as she wants to relinquish, this is wholeheartedly true. It's what contracts are for. Hollywood shouldn't have disrespected you even more by leading you to think otherwise.

Movie advertising is impossible to avoid. These books will be permanently ruined for fans who don't want the movies!!!!!

Another series I'll never be able to re-read without some productions version of the events streaming through my own imagination completely obliterating the way I see this story.

Why read the books? Just go watch the movie. Don't bother talking to anyone while out at the theater as you can just text the person next to you if you want them to stop coughing and or sneezing. What a wonderful digital world we live in, Shakespeare (and who he copied from) and the likes must be turning in their grave.

Humph. Great....now I'm that much more jaded. :P

This post is no disrespect to you, Mrs Mead. It just shows how much I love your work. I'm eternally grateful to the impact you've had on my life, but it looks like also about to be equally hurt too. Sorry to vent, but the opinions here seem to be pretty one sided and all opinions need to be heard.. even those in the minority....

Shanna Sims
Feb. 3rd, 2013 12:34 am (UTC)
Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to let us know about the movie process. I will admit I was one of those fans who loved the series so much it frightened me to know the movie may ruin the series like the twilight movies ruined my view on twilight. However, you're right. The movie shouldn't ruin the book's because they're not the same thing. I was happy to hear they were keeping the script as close to the actual book and that set my nerves to rest. I think Zoey is a decent choice for Rose, I remember her from the Ringer and she's a good actress although I'm a tad bit worried about how she'll pull off the scenes as a guardian in training. I also think Danila will make a decent Dimitri sure everyone thought of Ben Barnes as the perfect Dimitri but Danila fits well. As for Lucy as Lissa, i'll have to actually see her in makeup and with pale skin because I did picture Lissa a lot prettier. So, until I actually see these characters in action and on screen i'll let you all do your work and hopefully it's as good as you say. :) Fingers crossed!
Feb. 3rd, 2013 12:46 am (UTC)
Feb. 3rd, 2013 12:56 am (UTC)
I absolutely ADORE the fact Dimitri is being played by a genuine Russian guy. That's the only thing I wished for in the casting, so I'm totally stoked. Can't wait to see it! And looking forward to seeing more casting too. Very happy!
Trisha Navarro
Feb. 3rd, 2013 01:27 am (UTC)
So excited
I'm really glad that this is all becoming so real. And I really do like all the cast that have been revealed already. I at first didn't like Danila for Dimitri, until I watched a few videos of him on youtube and now I'm like oh yeah, now I see why they picked him. Now I can't wait until the movie is out. So excited.
Feb. 3rd, 2013 02:17 am (UTC)
Feb. 3rd, 2013 09:44 am (UTC)
:) :)
I like the cast very much, but there's just one thing that's on my mind and I'm dying to know: WHO THE HELL ARE CASTED AS CHRISTIAN AND ADRIAN? :)

Edited at 2013-02-03 09:45 am (UTC)
Feb. 3rd, 2013 11:40 am (UTC)
This is a wonderful idea - Russian actor to play Dimitri! I was a little upset about the movie. My thoughts: I will see that actor is not Russian and I won't be able to believe anything he says. This will spoil all the joy. But now I'm exited!!! Can't wait!!!

P.S. Sorry about my English, I'm not a native speaker:)

Edited at 2013-02-03 01:50 pm (UTC)
Feb. 3rd, 2013 12:31 pm (UTC)
Omg! I am sooooo excited! I love the actors, they look perfect!
Ahh! I just can't wait, I have a really good feeling about this! :D
Feb. 3rd, 2013 09:35 pm (UTC)
To me i like rose and lissa. Dimitri is alright but i cant fix that. All i want to say is that when shadow kiss or something comes out i want adrian to be chace crawford or something :)
Feb. 4th, 2013 09:09 pm (UTC)
HI ma'am.

i really love the cast of hot new movie-to-be, and just like everyone else, i cant wait to see it.!!! congratulations! :)


P.P.S: Hope ur son is doing well. take care.
Feb. 5th, 2013 05:18 pm (UTC)
"I need to say something important.."
I don't know who this is but thought I'd leave it here on the small chance you'd see it. It's the kind of thing that would make my day if I were a writer.

Chloe Parker
Feb. 6th, 2013 12:07 am (UTC)
I'm so excited, and I just can't hide it!
Wow... at first I was extremely worried. VA is one of my FAVORITE series and I wouldn't be able to stand it if it was ruined. I can't say that I'm too happy with the casting choices but I trust Mead's judgement. I'm grateful for the reassurance, truly. Otherwise, I may have exploded with anticipation and dread for what may come. I only had qualms about Danila but the fact that he's really Russian is just awesome. I look forward to this. Hope it turns out how you want!
Mar. 18th, 2013 01:05 pm (UTC)
Wow! This is so exciting!
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( 71 comments — Tell me about it, baby! )
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