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View Full Version : Harder to get assignments without a spec sale?


LauriD
05-04-2005, 08:47 AM
Although I know there are many working writers who have never sold a spec, I've heard that it's becoming next-to-impossible for a new writer to be considered for assignments without first making a sale.

Can anyone confirm/deny this? Obviously, it raises the bar if a writer needs not only a great sample (or five) but an actual sale.

Thanks!

LauriD

kullervo
05-04-2005, 09:17 AM
Every success makes a subsequent success more likely. So yes, a spec sale makes assignment work more likely. But even then decent assignments are difficult to come by. Well-paid assignments on projects that are likely to move to production are hotly contested.

Raise the bar as high as you can imagine, and then raise it higher.

kullervo

creativexec
05-04-2005, 09:00 PM
Studios have LISTS and you need to be on
the list. (There's all sorts of lists for all
different genres.)

If you write a SPEC that everyone loves
(but doesn't sell), it could get you on a
studio list.

But if you're not on the list, it seems
unlikely that you'll get an assignment.

:D

KidCharlemagne108
05-05-2005, 07:28 AM
Hi

This thread relates to another meetings thread I just posted today.

I have some meeting offers in LA. What can I expect from them if assignments are the Holy Grail?

E.g. Let's say I pitch one or two ideas around (I've done this before), and they say, 'That sounds, great'. The likelihood of a development deal for an unsold writer is extremely slim isn't it?

So what do they say? 'We'd love to see the finished script', then you go away and write the script and the company's remit changes, or the dev. guy/girl has left or they're not as excited about the script as they were the pitch. I've been through some of these scenarios.

You can of course dip your toe in the water and get a feeling as to what response you're going to get to the concept but then if it's fresh and original you are putting it out there into the collective unconcious with the danger that you'll read about another similar project in the trades.

Seems the most you can hope for out of these meetings, as an unsold writer, is to establish long term relationships with the executives so you don't have any issues getting your next script read. Or am I wrong? I'm in a bit of a cynical mood this week ;-)

MWer
05-07-2005, 03:26 PM
creativexec,

Is there an explanation for the different responses to Bertino's spec? If your entire class had an all around unenthusiastic response to the same script that's driving executives wild, what's to be learned from that? Is there something the executives see in the writing that your whole class does not? Or is the point of your story that just because Bertino now has a "track record," execs are clamoring to meet him because of the heat surrounding him and not whether or not they liked his spec?

Thanks.

kidcharlemagne
05-10-2005, 01:18 PM
CE

Thanks for the great feedback!

KC

alipali
05-28-2005, 05:16 PM
I asked this question (about getting assignments without a sale) at a Screenwriter's Online chit-chat with an agent from Innovative Artists a week ago.

He said what CE said, it's not at all likely unless you sell a spec or have a writing sample that someone absolutely loves. LOVES.

English Dave
05-28-2005, 05:33 PM
I asked this question (about getting assignments without a sale) at a Screenwriter's Online chit-chat with an agent from Innovative Artists a week ago.

He said what CE said, it's not at all likely unless you sell a spec or have a writing sample that someone absolutely loves. LOVES.


BELIEVE IT. Nothing has changed for writers since Aristotle. You need a track record or a sponsor!