Michael Connelly: Q & A about BOSCH

Recently Amazon Studios produced a pilot episode based on the Harry Bosch book series by best-selling author Michael Connelly. Bosch is a veteran police detective with the LAPD who sees his job as speaking for the dead. This strong sense of right and wrong sometimes creates a conflict with authority, which is a theme in all of his books. A very potent characteristic is Bosch’s descriptive eyes that show how he sees the world. I recently had an opportunity to talk to Michael about the pilot.

Elise Cooper:  Was it hard to write the teleplay from the book plots?

Michael Connelly: Normally my answer would be yes but this time I was not the main writer. That was Eric Overmyer and he wrote the first draft without me being involved. So there was already this version that distilled the parts of the books that we wanted to get into the pilot. I was able to come in there and sort of add some meat to the bones. So that is a long way of saying the process from my standpoint was pretty easy.

EC: Why did you choose to go this avenue?

MC:There are 18 books about Harry Bosch. It seemed like the best way to present his character and story was in long form. Distilling Harry to a 2-hour movie would be impossible. If we get this show going then hopefully we are talking about 50 or 60 hours to tell the Bosch story. Much more attractive.

EC:   Did you have more control?

MC:Yes television is definitely considered a writer’s medium while film is a director’s domain. So I had that going for me plus I just wasn’t going to make a deal with anyone who didn’t want me fully involved. That is how Hollywood works 99 percent of the time but it seems illogical. I would think you would always want the originating creator around. But I guess I don’t think like most of Hollywood. So when it came time to make deals and partnerships I was either a full partner on all levels or there was no deal. Luckily, it wasn’t something I had to press with Fabrik, the company that made this for Amazon. I was a welcomed part of the process.

EC: The response has been great so what is the next step in getting an actual series out there?

MC:Amazon will crunch the numbers and decide very quickly whether to go forward on not. My guess is I will know before the end of April. And if it is a go then we put together a writing team and go to work. We should be filming by mid-summer for a fall debut of the first season. 

EC: Which books would you include as part of the series-The Poet possibly?

MC:This is only a Harry Bosch series so The Poet won’t be included. Our goal is to cover two books a season. There are 18 now and I am still writing books about Harry so there will be a lot to choose from for years to come. The first season would be City of Bones and The Concrete Blonde, that much we know for sure.

EC: Are you happy with the actors chosen to portray your characters? Why or why not?

Titus Welliver as Harry Bosch.

MC:I don’t have a single regret when it comes to the casting. I think everybody we chose did an excellent job and matched my hopes from when this was just a project on paper. Leading the cast is Titus Welliver as Harry Bosch and he’s fantastic.

EC: How would you compare this project to a movie or TV show production?

MC:It’s hard for me to do that because I have never been this much involved in other adaptations of my work. All we have filmed so far is the pilot and that was a 13-day shoot. So that was pretty manageable. If it goes to series then it will get interesting because we will move faster and go from one episode to the next and not have the breather we had after completing the pilot.

EC: Thank You!

MC: Thank you for your interest.