View Full Version : Leasing a billboard to get read

01-25-2005, 12:00 AM
So I'm driving east on Sunset Blvd in Hollywood today, and came to a stop at Highland Ave and noticed a billboard that says, "Hey NBC, I wrote Hawgs for you". Has anyone else seen this? It's from someone advertising his scripts on his website called jaythewriter.com.

I understand to each his own, but I guess it begs the question: How far would you go to get your script read?

He's been in the industry, but judging from his area code posted on his site, it doesn't look like he's in the area. Although it's the only billboard I've seen so far, apparently there's more than just the one. I guess it won't be long before an agent takes them all down, doing the same thing he/she does with a query letter.

01-25-2005, 02:13 PM
I would go as far as sleeping with the female head of Plan B Entertainment (though I've been told that this might dissolve) to get my work sold.

01-25-2005, 06:35 PM
Jennifer Aniston?

I don't know how far I would go. When I get my eye on something, I tend to go for it. Not much stops or intimidates me. I tend to see that finish line, and I don't really care how, or at what cost, I get there, as long as I get there.

01-25-2005, 08:10 PM
I saw the billboard too. Seems wasteful since he only has a 6 page treatment for Hawgs. I would've written the thing before springing for the billboard.


01-26-2005, 04:40 PM

I saw it too when I was in town last week. I was impressed just because of the cost.

The billboard on top of the boarded-up building on the corner of Santa Monica and Doheny costs 10k a month. Based on anything close to that, this guy is spending some money.


01-27-2005, 05:41 PM
There's been talk about this guy. Word is though, that's it working and he is getting read.

Do not know if it's true, but that's the buzz on the writing web sites.

01-27-2005, 06:16 PM
But the damn thing isn't even written yet! He says on his site that he only has a 6 page treatment for this "Hawgs" thing. I don't know. Whateva!


01-29-2005, 04:26 PM
Costner requested to read SAM BINGO based on the billboard. And the way I understand it, the guy got that billboard space for free by working his ass off for an ad agency.

01-29-2005, 06:00 PM
:| Why is it sort of depressing that this worked?


01-29-2005, 06:59 PM
I admire his ambition and drive. I wish had half of it. If this person succeeds he deserves it for this fact alone.


01-29-2005, 07:00 PM
I don't understand why someone would go to the trouble of getting all these billboards to get "reads" instead of using his well-connected management firm to simply send out the script(s) to Costner, et. al.

I've had a script read through a friend of a friend recommendation to Costner before I had my current rep. It's no biggie and sure isn't a sale.

Additionally, the 6-page treatment billboard? Seems pretty hokey -- why can't the rep just set up a pitch meeting or three? The current tack can easily fail. (Don't ever tell a network you wrote this for them so loudly -- what happens if they don't want it? )

Don't let 'em smell your desperation. And this smacks of desperation perspiration. "Jay-the-writer" -- I dunno, I hate sounding so negative, but his whole gambit seems ill-conceived, even if well-intentioned.

His work seems all over the board, no clear-cut niche -- maybe that's why the manager isn't really able to market the guy. His humor also seems pretty flat (as in unfunny to me).

I truly don't wish him anything less than achieving his goals (whatever they are -- I'd hope a bit higher than simply a Costner read), but sign me unimpressed.


Edited to add: no flames here, just my measly opinions (not necessary to argue or debate that -- just state it & move on).

02-01-2005, 01:34 PM
Anybody see this billboard lately? Where it says "Hey, NBC I wrote Hawgs just for you."...the N is crosed out and an A is there. To say ABC.

I guess NBC passed. But, wow, does this guy look desperate now.


02-02-2005, 11:42 AM
And then when ABC passes, he'll cross out the A and replace it with a B.

It does seem desperate now. I agree that he has a lot of drive and ambition, it's just that he needs to make sure that all this hype equals a great script... or treatment, or outline, or notes scribbled on a napkin...., whatever. But you only get a few chances to prove yourself and make a good impression in this industry. And bad word of mouth can spread like wildfire when the product doesn't deliver.

02-02-2005, 12:49 PM
Thing is...if he just left it as NBC, the other networks would've been interested anyway, just to steal it before NBC did. But now he's basically admitting that NBC didn't want him. Why would anybody else see that as appealing?


MC ill Logic
02-10-2005, 08:26 AM
I see that sign every day as I drive to work.

I visited his websites and his ideas are uniformly not excellent. He's wasting his money. But I'm sure he'll get on some talk shows and get some meetings just for being delusional.

02-10-2005, 12:16 PM
He's also got one on Caheunga saying John Cusack I wrote Whackers for you. John is now crossed out and replaced by Joan. Sad.


02-10-2005, 03:01 PM

Has anyone heard what become of the guy that made that clever video a few months ago? The one that had the link posted here to it?


02-12-2005, 01:46 PM
I happen to know "Jay the Writer," and all his writer friends and I are enjoying this saga immensely. We have been since he showed us the whole concept back when. He's a wild one, our Jay, and all the publicity has stunned him. I'm wishing him luck, as are we all. Don't know if a sale is in the offing, but the guy's got big ones, and we're laughing our asses off at all the stuff going on from this. We knew people would have a good time...but we NEVER knew how far it would go.

Crackin' up over here in Tucson--yes, Tucson...

02-13-2005, 03:34 PM
Anyone seen Dennis Woodruff in a movie lately? Or ever beside getting his car blown up by a volcano in a movie nobody went to?

Cute idea, might get a read but talent has a way of rising to the top without gimmicks.

Done Deal
02-13-2005, 08:15 PM
The Sunday LA Times has an article on this gentleman. He is a 67 year old retired advertising executive from Tucson.

I won't include all from the article, of course, but here are a few key quotes:

Nick Reed from ICM said about Taylor and his billboards, "This business can be snobby sometimes. There may be some curiosity in meeting him, but if he doesn't have the goods, the trick will actually work against him."

In addition a few other agents quipped that Taylor's billboards "didn't impress them any more than an ad in Variety classifieds."

Taylor did say in the article, "I think at the end of the day it's not the billboards or how old I am that matters. It's the quality of the writing that will decide whether i make it or not. And I wouldn't be doing this if I didn't believe I had it."

certified instigator
02-13-2005, 10:18 PM
He's also got one on Caheunga saying John Cusack I wrote Whackers for you. John is now crossed out and replaced by Joan. Sad.

Sad? Or clever?

It's been a long time since I've seen an article about a writer in the LA Times Sunday.

I think the Kevin (Costner-Spacy-Bacon) billboard is really funny. Makes an interesting comment on filmmaking in Hollywood, don't you think?

MC ill Logic
02-14-2005, 03:29 AM
Sad? Or clever? Neither really.http://www.latimes.com/media/photo/2005-02/16266856.jpg
"It's a self-deprecating joke," Taylor says. "It's like I'm saying, 'The first guy didn't buy my script, so maybe somebody else will.' I think people will see this as clever and funny, not the work of somebody who's desperate." I don't think anybody I know and respect, and think is funny, would think the billboard was funny or clever. It's not clever at all. That cross out a word thing is done all over the place and it's never laugh out loud funny. There's a hamburger place on Santa Monica in West Hollywood that uses that gimmick in its sign and I would be terrified if somebody told me they laughed upon seeing it.But is Hollywood laughing with him or at him?

"The idea that anyone would waste that kind of money doing something so retarded, that shows me they know so little about the business that I wouldn't be interested in looking at their stuff," says one A-list agent, speaking on condition of anonymity. "If that's the best you can come up with, then you're not very smart."
He seems like a really great guy. I sincerely wish him happiness. But I have to somewhat agree with this agent's harsh assessment. The article said that people who would know estimate the amount he spent on his ads to be between 75 and 100 thousand. It's his money, he can do what he wants with it, but to me it's a total waste. There are infinite ways in which IMO that money could have been put to better use. If his scripts were good, they would eventually fall into the right hands. He could have entered every reputable screen writing contest in America and still saved himself about 99 thousand bucks. He said in the article that he didn't want to wait 5 years to find out if his scripts were good, that he wanted to know in 4 months. He could have sent them to people who write coverage for money, or, like I said, entered contests, and why does he have to find out in 3 months??? If he really looks at screenwriting as a craft he enjoys, and not as a get rich scheme/lark, why not say I'll write for as long as it takes to get my scripts to the level they need to be.

If his real objective was simply to get noticed -- which I sort of think it was -- then mission accomplished. I don't know what he's been doing for the past 3 years (the article said he's been writing for 3 years...) but I'm inclined to think he's just another guy who wants to be part of the Hollywood scene, but doesn't really care about writing too much. Just my opinion. Damn, I'm bored. :p

edit: I apologize if I'm breaking any rules here by linking the picture and quoting parts of the article. I totally understand if the moderator edits my post accordingly. I should probably read the rules...

02-14-2005, 09:28 AM
Jay the Writer didn't spend any money on the billboards. He bartered his advertising services for them.

02-14-2005, 12:02 PM
The fact that Jay's going through all of this for scripts that aren't even written shows he's not the real thing. A gimmick will get you noticed. A good script will get you remembered.


02-15-2005, 07:11 AM
Who said the scripts weren't written? It's my understanding that they are.

02-15-2005, 11:50 AM
Maybe I'm shooting too far. I know that "Hawgs" is only in treatment form according to his website. Don't know about the other stuff. Honestly, I don't really care.


02-15-2005, 08:41 PM
Run! It's a set up. Jay doesn't really exist. His scripts aren't getting read. The billboard company is looking to sucker the most desperate group in California-- aspiring writers.


02-15-2005, 09:31 PM
Jay's sure gotten a lot of mileage out of those damn billboards.