HOLLAND, Mich. - A West Michigan college graduate successfully sold a story to the world's most popular streaming service.
Matthew Baker is a Grand Rapids native and a 2008 graduate of Hope College. It was at that small liberal arts Christian college, Baker picked up a pen.
"I can say that the experiences I had there were crucial for me," he told 13 ON YOUR SIDE via FaceTime.
Fast forward 10 years, Baker is now a professional writer, and he just sold his third story for film rights, this time to Netflix.
Baker faced a bidding war this year as multiple production companies went after his sci-fi short story titled 'Life Sentence.' According to Deadline.com, bidders included Amazon Studios, Warner Brothers and Universal to name a few.
But it was Netflix that sold Baker.
The film is being developed by Matt Reeves, the director of "Cloverfield" and the "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes."
"These were just short stories I wrote. I never expected them to be turned into films," Baker said.
"When you write a short story, I mean usually, the best case scenario: you send it out to a bunch of literary magazines. Maybe they'll agree to publish it and maybe they'll give you like $50 or something—that's best case scenario. So this exceeded my wildest dreams."
Dreams he said he never would have had if it weren't for the attentiveness Hope College gave him as he urged others in the Mitten State to chase their own.
"For people in Grand Rapids or in Michigan who have an interest in art or story telling, I think it is really important to make those things," he said.
"If you work hard enough at it and long enough at it, in my experience, I think eventually it'll reach the world."
Baker doesn't know when the Netflix film of his story will debut. He is working on a visit to Hope College some time this fall.
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