View Full Version : Open Directing Assignments

Lyle Estevan
12-27-2004, 04:07 PM
I just went through my first round of meet and greets set up by my brand spanking new agent. Various execs and producers wanted to meet me based on a DV feature I wrote and directed which is currently making the festival rounds.

The meetings must have went well because I'm being sent scripts to consider as directing assignments. Most of them are simply god-awful. I mean, really, how do some of these writers get agented and sold??? It boggles. BTW, screen directions ARE really annoying when you're reading with a mind to direct.

I just read one, set up at an indie prod-co with a studio deal, that is just simply the bee's knees (sorry, I just spent the holidays with my elderly parents). I'd eat a bucketful of live bugs for the chance to direct this script.

Seeing as my agent isn't back from the holidays until next week, maybe some of you can alleviate, or maybe, elevate, my anxiety by answering a couple of questions:

Do scripts generally get sent to a number of directors at once for consideration or one at a time based on preference?

If I attach myself to this script, what happens?

If the prod-co likes me, but the studio doesn't, what happens?

If the studio approves, what can I do to make sure the script doesn't die in development?

There's a lot of variables in there but any discussion, speculation would be of great interest.

KD The Wubat
12-27-2004, 05:58 PM
I know nothing from personal experience, but I have roommates and friends.

Specifically, a former roomie whose USC student film had some heat met with everyone in town, and everyone loooooved her and her energy blah blah blah, but she never got the job. Is that because she wasn't good enough? I don't know. I suspect that it has something to do with the fact that, even for a low-budget film, you're still gambling a couple million dollars on someone who's essentially an unknown factor.

I would guess that most of your questions would have different answers for different "tiers" of directors: if a studio has a script they love, and they're interested in Ridley Scott, they probably send it to him first. See what he says. And then maybe work down their list.

At first-time feature director level, however, it seems more like it's a job opening. They put out the word, and take meetings with a bunch of people, and then make a decision based on mysterious factors or their psychic's advice.

What do you mean, what happens if you attach yourself to the script? If the production company loves you, and takes it to the studio, as, listen, we've got this totally awesome script, and we want Lyle to direct it, but then the studio is like- no! We're getting Brett Ratner, you're probably out of luck. Unless you have some kind of ace in the hole, like you're close friends with Scarlett J. and she wants the lead, and she's going to walk if they fire you.

Finally, you said:

If the studio approves, what can I do to make sure the script doesn't die in development?

Not to be facetious, but if I knew the answer to that one, I'd write a book and make a million dollars.

All of the above is based on assistant-level scuttlebutt and may be wildly wrong.

Good luck! Enjoy the bliss of anticipation!

Lyle Estevan
12-27-2004, 06:25 PM
OK OK, "attach myself to direct" makes no sense whatsoever. I meant humbly ask for the opportunity to be attached. Whatever, your answer still applies.

Thanks for the thoughts, hearsay or not.

By the way, do you have Scarlett J.'s number? Natalie P's could also do in a pinch.

Adam Isaac
12-28-2004, 03:17 PM
There's a lot of variables in there but any discussion, speculation would be of great interest.

Dude, your shoes is where I dream of being before falling asleep every night.

You're A#1 if they want you Directing, move-now on all of the above. Studio dislikes you, then see if the Producer's 'ready to invest on a winner-out of pocket.' Man, this is exactly my point of being alive....good script-tell the studio you're ideas for improving it. Great script....be the first they see about it once your agent returns.

Best of luck, but if you like the project.....it can go as far as you want it too. I would just be ready to do most of the talking once you're in the meeting with the studio x's.

Damn.....few more things go my way(keep and polish my writing), I'll be right there with you man.

Lyle Estevan
12-29-2004, 01:45 AM
Thanks for the positive post, Adam. It's all still so intangible though. It don't mean a thing until you say action (and the check clears).

Good luck m'man. You'll get there.