View Full Version : Friend of a friend type of deal...

Todd Chainsaw
03-23-2005, 06:44 PM
So a close work friend/colleague of mine is good friends with somebody who happens to be a staff reader at a major studio. My colleague offered to pass my script along to this person with a recco. Obviously I am pleased with the opportunity, especially since this studio in particular is one I think might have a lot of interest in the material.

My question(s) to you fellow brethren is this: How do I play this? What do I ask for? Normally, I'd ask for feedback with the hope for something more. In fact, this particular script is currently in the hands of a few contacts who can, at a minimum, put me in touch with the right people (agents/managers) if they see potential in the material.

I see this situation a little differently in that this is like slipping in through the back door into the backroom. Oh yeah, I have no representation whatsoever. Obviously you can't get a script through the front door in this kind of place without being repped. So I don't think I can hope/ask that this be put into the normal process - can I? My assumption is that my script has no place to go without representation - who would the lowly reader kick it back up to? Should I be specific in what I ask? Or in this case do I just leave it at "read it, let me know what you think. If you like it and can help me out in someway - great."

There is a pinprick of light in a universe of dark matter ladies and germs. I'm getting a little closer. Any advice is very welcome.


03-23-2005, 09:09 PM
Really give this some serious thought from someone who knows. Do NOT fvck this opportunity up. If your writing isn't ready for whatever reason you can think of... do - not - go - through - with - this.

I'll tell you why. Putting a mediocre, or worse, product up on the table with someone reputable before it's absolutely brilliant will ruin further chances at a read. And not just with this company or agent, but with many others. I've been there and my ignorance from years ago still makes me cringe.

I could have had some pretty sweet opportunities if I had just waited. I had one script so close I could smell money. But I got cocky and pushed too hard thinking I HAD the next big thang. It really ruined opportunities later.

BUT... and take this but how you will...

If you do it. And your script isn't that good and pushes you into some "never read again" category. So what? There is opportunity within every problem. I spent the last two years writing, polishing, developing, reading and learning everything I could possibly learn from every source I could get my hands on. And it made me a way better writer. With very little arrogance, and just a concern for story.

So, if the whole thing flops. At least you can take the time to develop your talent because you're unwilling to send second rate people your product. Which I certainly could. The last two scripts I never even sent out. The one I have now will be analyzed by a pro before rewrite. Then I may rewrite another before going back to the market. I'm shy now. I want the best of the best before I jump back in.

I'm glad in a way for the ego that surrounded my writing as a novice. Otherwise I may not have spent so much time developing the actual ability I have now. Worth every minute.

So, win or lose you still win.

Just my couple pennies worth.

03-23-2005, 10:52 PM
Your situation is pretty simple. If the reader likes it a lot he or she will pass it on to somone they think will also like it. If they don't like it, they will tell you that it is "well-written" but not for them and then that will be it.

Don't overthink the situation. There's really nothing to play. Whatever hope you have is already on the page and now it's time for your work to speak for itself.

Also be patient. Readers have so much material to plow through that it's hard to find time for personal reading.

03-24-2005, 09:54 AM
I agree with both the above replies.

If your friend has credibility as a reference, then you might get a quick gloss over with some helpful comments from the reader in respect. If he is just an aquaintance, then you likely have a non-event.

Get your script to some folks who can render some valid opinions on your writing in the meantime and don't ever brand yourself in the industry until you know the work is ready, and represents mastery of craft instead of swiss cheese.

best of luck

English Dave
03-24-2005, 11:17 AM
And if the answer is a pass don't take it to heart. That's the result 95% or more of the time. Learn whatever you can and move on. You'll get other reads. It's not that big a deal after your first, but good luck. Who knows?

Todd Chainsaw
03-24-2005, 12:34 PM
Thanks all for the advice and encouragement.

All I can say is that at this moment in time, this script is my strongest work to date. I'll write more, I'll write better - but right now, several doors (beyond this particular opportunity) have opened around me and I have to take my shot while I have the chance with the best of what I have to offer.

Hopefully in a few months I'll be able to report good news. Very aware that the odds are stacked against me - but you know something, fvck the odds.

It is three brads right...? ;)

03-24-2005, 12:56 PM
Good Luck. I really hope it works out for you.

I was hoping you were going to take the jump.

03-25-2005, 05:52 AM
The danger here is that if the studio passes and later on you find a producer who will champion the project or has a studio deal then his path is blocked by negative coverage on the studio's database.

Studios are 'the buyers' so they are best approached via a producer with credits and studio relationships/deals and not directly.

Still, the reverse is possible - if they really like it they will find someone to produce it for you.

In either case it is crucial that your script has gone through a quality control process.


03-25-2005, 10:25 AM
I have to second Charlemagne's concern.

03-25-2005, 10:39 AM
While Kid's concern has some validity, that's not the situation here.

I get asked to read friend's scripts or friend of friend's scripts all the time. I do not cover them and upload that coverage into the system of my employer. The reader won't do it here. If he really likes it, he'll just pass it on to a producer or manager he thinks might like it as well. It's unlikely that he'll kick it up the ladder at his work because IT"S NOT HIS JOB to find material for the studio, but to read the material they give him. Rare are the instances that execs are even open to hearing about scripts from their readers, it's just not done. It's a huge favor to ask of your boss and those favors (those reads) I guard carefully, saving them for scripts of my own.

Todd Chainsaw
03-25-2005, 02:24 PM
Okay folks - the situation has changed. I was misinformed by my work colleague - but the new news is even better. Turns out this new contact is not a reader for a studio. Rather, a reader for a well-known MAJOR literary agency - one of the very best in town. Yes, my jaw hit the floor.

So here's the deal: I am sending this person a copy of my script to be read at their home. It may take awhile, but I have been promised an initial read. If it's well received, he will definitely kick it up top for me. If not, the script doesn't leave this person's home and I'll receive feedback on what they're (the agency) looking for and how to improve it/etc. Obviously this person's credibility is on the line, so if it ain't happening - I won't show up in any databases. From my perspective, either way I win. Even if nothing happens, I will now have a major contact to begin a dialog with - somebody who really has a finger on the pulse of what's going on behind closed doors. Can I get an amen?

I really appreciate all of your concerns, but trust me, this script has been honed and re-written over the course of two years (I've written other scripts and continue to work on new ones - don't want you to think this is my magnum opus or anything). This script has also been read in various stages by over a dozen friends and contacts that have worked, or are currently working in the biz - including a former reader for Fox. I've tightened it to a point I didn't think possible - the original first ehh hem "final" draft was 127 pages - it's down to 114. Long way of saying that I'm as prepped as I can be for this material at this point in time.

Kissing the cover page now and dropping in the mail.

Thanks again!


English Dave
03-25-2005, 03:13 PM
Best of luck Todd. as you say - it's a win-win.

03-29-2005, 01:43 PM
Todd, I'm in a similar boat, but slightly different circumstances. Nothing like feeling "on the verge", eh?

If you really feel the work is ready, go for it.

And it's actually 2 brads.

03-30-2005, 05:34 PM

hand it over to your friend and thank him. don't ask for anything. put your number on title page and chill