Tuesday, May 29, 2007
To date, I've had 1 agent and 3 managers. Zero Script Sales. 5 Options.
Note: 1st Option (4th script I wrote, it was called Good People) was optioned independently.
Got my first Manager back in '98. Super nice lady, had a good head for the business. At that point, I had been listing my scripts in a Spec Script Marketplace type of thing she was running and she was about to start up her own management company and grab some writers who had been listing there. So I jumped on-board. She gave great notes on some of my earlier scripts and we had some buzz, but no sales or options. Then she got in a car wreck and was unable to continue managing.
She hooked me up with an agent who took me on. Interesting dude. Older gent, the 1st time I met him in Beverly Hills we went for a ride in his fancy car (A 1920ish-style oldie) to chat and he got a case of road rage and almost beat down the driver of a car that beeped at him. Yikes. But I had no other way in at the time, so I hung in there. We had an odd relationship.
He had no assistants and answered his own phone in a different voice, then would always connect me with himself. Yeah, that'd be a red flag. But we did have 2 options (A Couple Of Joes & The Money Shot) so we had some success. I let him go once because we'd go MONTHS without speaking, and he fumbled the buzz I had after almost winning the Austin Screenplay Competition in '03 (set up zero meetings, etc) - and I had some nice buzz!! I decided to go back after a lack of options, then eventually ended it for the same reasons after another year.
Then came my next manager. He was actually one of the producers who optioned Good People, and we kept in touch. So I got with him, but we had 2 problems: 1. He was a friend. 2. He was also working for a pretty major director (still does) and had little time to actually handle my stuff. I mean, I know he sent some of my work out (although I have no proof), but he'd never give me any feedback or follow-ups. Plus, one time I was contacted by 2 production companies about my scripts and he told me he'd send them for me.
I heard nothing back and when I dropped them an e-mail, they both said they were never sent scripts. Thing is, this guy was super busy, and I should have known my screenplays would not be of any priority.
Then came my most recent manager. He found me through the Movie-bytes website called WinningScriptsPro. The Manager/Friend got miffed that I was going to defect to New Manager, however, I thought it best for my career, especially since Manager/Friend seemed way too busy to handle my scripts. The kicker? He hasn't talked to me in over a year now. Sucks, because he was a good guy.
Working with New Manager is great. He's very hands-on with my screenplays and WILL NOT send them out before they're ready, even if it takes countless re-writes. Brutal, but smart in the long run.
In a nutshell, that's my story.
Saturday, May 26, 2007
Instead I went back and worked on older scripts, even started a new one. But I've shifted my focus on 3 of them, a re-write of Cricket Hill, a comedy called Union that I started in December, and yes - The Stand-In. I mean, if he thinks he can sell the damn thing, I should at least finish it. I had some decent ideas for it so I'll work on it, but I won't force it.
Also, finally got my prize for being in the top 10 of a recent screenplay compeition - MovieMagic Screenwriting software (I first mentioned it was coming many posts ago). But I'm a Final Draft guy so I'll just hang on to it I guess. Received news of another recent competition - Nada. Sending out 1 or 2 for Austin. fingers crossed.
Have a good Memorial Day.
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Yes! It's Paul W.S. Anderson time! He also directed the classic films Soldier, Resident Evil, Event Horizon, and Mortal Kombat! Be afraid.
UPDATE-Now I've just read that Fox is remaking TAPS, fucking TAPS, man! Christ! To be written & directed by Frank E. Flowers (Haven). And most of us out here can't break into this business???????
Sunday, May 13, 2007
Red Dawn - Saw this on cable (Prism) a long, long time ago. Loved every minute of it. And it's not the cry of "Wolverines!" that got me, no, it was the eerie beginning: Paratroopers floating from the sky, landing near the high school. The teacher walks out to see what's up. "Hello there my friend" he says, then rat-tat-tat-tat-tat-tat! Down he goes as they riddle him and the school with bullets.
Jaws - When the boy is on his raft one minute, and then the next he's gone, and the raft is getting tossed around the waves, destroyed. Brutal.
To Live & Die In L.A. - Good cop movie, awesome highway chase, but as the movie starts to near its climax, the hero (WIlliam Peterson) is shot in the fucking face! Damn!
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
Thursday, May 03, 2007
Contests? God damn things. Yeah, I still enter them, not as many or as often as I once did. Because in the long run, I truly feel 99.9% of them WILL NOT GET YOU ANYWHERE.
I visited a message board recently, with screenwriters talking about all the contests they've won, and they are NOWHERE. And they had some decent placements in some good contests. I keep seeing the same names pop up as winners of various contests, with the same script, all the time. After winning these contests, they haven't gone anywhere? What the fuck?
Okay, you'll see a news blurb once in a blue fucking moon about a writer who sold their screenplay after it placed in a contest, I'm not saying it couldn't happen, but they may have had something in the works before the contest.
Think about it, did a bunch of do-gooders just wake up one morning and say - I want to help no-name writers!!! No, they didn't. They said - I want to make some fucking money!
Query letters? Useless. I tried that road before, and it's a sucky road. I hate that road. 99.9% of query letters will end up in the trash, or if you're lucky they'll wipe their ass with it (Hey, at least they were holding something written by you before they cleaned off their stink star).
Do you make it yourself with local actors? You can, and if you're actually talented, you might make something worth while. Or if you at least havea budget to work with so it doesn't end up looking like cable access quality. I went this route, makde some shorts, made 3 features, and they all went....nowhere. Sure, we had some local screenings and all, and our family and friends thought they were amazing! But they weren't amazing, they were low-budget crap. Don't get me wrong, I loved the process and I worked with some incredible cast & crew, but I wasted their time, too.
Or, maybe our stuff just isn't good enough. Maybe we're not inspired enough. Maybe we're too wordy, or maybe we put screen direction in our scripts (I NEVER do the last one by the way, it'll get you nowhere and fast). Maybe we do need to live in LaLa Land. But maybe there's too many damn writers there already.
Friend of mine won best Noir at Fade In a few years back. Script went nowhere, but it picked up a few more wins here and there. Still, nowhere. He ended up sending it to a company where you send them a ton of $$ and they'll guarantee you a read & detailed critique/meeting with a producer. And guess what, so far, it's worked. He hasn't sold it yet, but it is out to several agents, and the producer himself is putting himself behind it, so we'll see. But who has that kind of $$? Of course, it may have all been in vain.
You can also try the Inktips & Moviebytes websites. What I find funny is someone will request your script, and then they'll say it's "not for them." Hey cockdog - You knew what the fucking story was when you read the logline & synopsis. Don't make me go through the bullshit of sending it out if you're not gonna consider it anyway. Fucking idiots, man. I had someone request a script (HEADSHOT) back in March. Still haven't sent it to them. My main reason was that I wanted to tweak it a bit, but my inspiration simply wasn't there.
It's times like these where I get a bit annoyed (can't you tell) with this whole screenwriting thing. I haven't written much in the past 2 months (few tweaks here and there, nothing major).
I came up with a new idea for a script this week that I really like and will run with it. My other partially-begun scripts (there are about 40 of them) will just have to wait.
I'm not giving up. Fuck that shit. But I gotta figure out a better way. There's got to be a better fucking way. I mean, not all my stuff can be bad, can it?
How do you guys handle it?