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Koreatown
12-05-2006, 10:40 AM
Maybe someone with insider experience can help me here. My first script was optioned over a year ago. The money is in place for a $6 million budget, director attached, locations scouted, out to ICM for casting, 30 day shoot determined and there's a tentative start date of next February for principal photography. They haven't signed what could be called "the marketable actor from the U.S." Maybe that's holding it up.
Since this will be my first produced credit, I'm dying to see this hit the trades so I can get some traction for my other scripts, or maybe an open writing assignment. I have a manager, but I don't have an agent. That's another reason I want it to hit the trades. I'd rather have them call me.
So, does anyone have any insight into a production company's strategy for hitting the trades?

Gillyflower Cooms
12-05-2006, 10:45 AM
It's all political. The trades don't publish every story. Someone at the prodco's gotta be in with a writer at the magazine. Sometimes they make a deal to keep it exclusive...and if there aren't big names involved the trades aren't all that interested. Plus you gotta worry about placement. If they stick it in the back of the paper it won't do you much good. You'll probably have to wait until the project's a real go and there's more for the paper to write about. Doesn't sound like much of a story.

Marine66
12-05-2006, 10:55 AM
Your manager should handle it. If you let the production company do it, they'll feature themselves and the director before you.

BWE is absolutely right. What does your manager say about PR?

Koreatown
12-05-2006, 10:57 AM
Thanks - I'll take it up with my manager.
GillyFlowers - It's definitely not a front page story, but it's a better one than I can describe here, having to leave out important details. But an Oscar win from last year is involved so I may see some juice down the line.

Koreatown
12-05-2006, 11:04 AM
Marine 66 - Maybe I'm treading too softly here - I haven't really had that conversation about pr with my manager. I always felt that my going out with a press release could somehow screw up the project if there were delicate behind-the-scenes negotiations going on with actors, etc. That's why I've been waiting on their move, and then planning on capitalizing on it once they made it.

Marine66
12-05-2006, 11:05 AM
I have some experience in the dept. It's definately worthy of the trades. Lean on your manager.

yvonnjanae
12-06-2006, 08:50 PM
Congratulations Koreatown. Tell us more about how you got your script optioned and what the process has been like for you.

Marine66
12-06-2006, 09:01 PM
Marine 66 - Maybe I'm treading too softly here - I haven't really had that conversation about pr with my manager. I always felt that my going out with a press release could somehow screw up the project if there were delicate behind-the-scenes negotiations going on with actors, etc. That's why I've been waiting on their move, and then planning on capitalizing on it once they made it.

Koreatown: So, what did your manager say?

Koreatown
12-07-2006, 09:15 AM
Haven't talked to my manager yet.

The script was about number fourteen that I'd written,over the course of eight years. I'd had stuff optioned but never really sold. I was writing based in New Jersey but had a writing partner in LA. The script was snapped up pretty fast - in about five weeks. In those five weeks the script got us management. A second prodco came on board, real money starting arriving and I made the move to LA last year. The big payday isn't until principal photography, which they're saying is next February, but I have my doubts.
We have three other scripts making the rounds, but it's still a real balancing act economically for me personally until the other script starts filming.
To answer your question, the process went super fast when I had a script that could be understood in a flash. Contacts were also important - to at least get the initial read. It was also the type of script the second prodco was looking for - they compare it to Bend it Like Beckham and Whalerider.

Minibrain
12-07-2006, 03:04 PM
As someone who's "hit the trades" too many times to remember...

You can put out a press release, or call up a reporter, anytime. If there's anything even slightly newsworthy, one of the trades will generally run something. Even if it's short and on page 12. The director? The production company? An actor that has any name recognition at all? Any of those can do the trick.

The thing is -- don't expect a story in the trades to result in any phone calls.

It doesn't work that way.

If something happens on your project that's really the kind of thing that gets people's attention and makes them want to call you --like, say, an A-list star signs on --

-- that kind of news gets to the right people before a trade story comes out anyway.

Trade stories rarely, if ever, change the general perception of a writer's status.

They're good for your pride, though. They do tend to demonstrate that everyone involved in the deal is at least willing to go on record saying they're going forward with it.

And they make a nice clip to send to your parents.

They're also good for showing to mortgage brokers when it comes time to get a home loan. It can sometimes be trickly to prove that one is a "working writer," and many lending executives are impressed by trade articles. But they'll still want to see your bank records and tax returns...

Goon Squad
12-07-2006, 04:54 PM
They're also good for showing to mortgage brokers when it comes time to get a home loan. It can sometimes be trickly to prove that one is a "working writer," and many lending executives are impressed by trade articles. But they'll still want to see your bank records and tax returns...


They're also great for sending 100 copies to the ex who dumped you before you "made it."


So I'm told.