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View Full Version : How Did Mark Boal Get To Be Producer On Hurtlocker!


rob1234
03-11-2010, 09:27 AM
Am I right in saying that this is his first screenplay. Having looked at his imdb credits, it's only Hurt Locker he has written, with only half a story by credit on a previous film... If so, how did he get the PRODUCER credit and scoop a best film Oscar too? Good on him, but just wondering how?

LIMAMA
03-11-2010, 10:32 AM
I am sure he is very talented. He's also Bigelows BF.

carcar
03-11-2010, 10:37 AM
It was based on his source material as well, right?

wcmartell
03-11-2010, 10:44 AM
Slept with the director.

Somewhere in the way this deal came about, it was probably pitched... and then speced *after* they had some sort of deal. Or maybe written for pocket change until a deal was set up. Something that made him kind of an investor in a project that was already set up.

- Bill

LIMAMA
03-11-2010, 10:49 AM
Slept with the director.

Somewhere in the way this deal came about, it was probably pitched... and then speced *after* they had some sort of deal. Or maybe written for pocket change until a deal was set up. Something that made him kind of an investor in a project that was already set up.

- Bill


Aw, I was putting it nicely.


:love:

joe9alt
03-11-2010, 10:57 AM
http://www.firstshowing.net/2009/06/02/interview-the-hurt-lockers-mark-boal-and-kathryn-bigelow/

Ron Aberdeen
03-11-2010, 10:57 AM
It's so easy to research:-

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Boal

That should explain how.

jeannie517
03-11-2010, 11:31 AM
Interesting. Hm, maybe the way to cultivate a screenwriting career has less to do with learning to write and more to do with "cultivating a relationship" with an A-Lister. Damn, is that the real reason everyone moves to LA?? :p

joe9alt
03-11-2010, 11:40 AM
Mark Boal is a fine writer. Another article he wrote before the one that HURT LOCKER was based on was used as the basis for VALLEY OF ELAH.

RichMike
03-11-2010, 12:10 PM
or how about embedding in one of the most dangerous places in the world with a military unit risking their lives? in the name of journalism.

and getting sh*tty money for it. and crap money to write freelance aritcles because you love reporting?

boal is/was a journalist first.

screenwriting is the icing on his cake now.


Interesting. Hm, maybe the way to cultivate a screenwriting career has less to do with learning to write and more to do with "cultivating a relationship" with an A-Lister. Damn, is that the real reason everyone moves to LA?? :p

Laura Reyna
03-11-2010, 12:12 PM
http://www.firstshowing.net/2009/06/02/interview-the-hurt-lockers-mark-boal-and-kathryn-bigelow/

I think the above article gives the best clue as to how Boal ended up with a producer's credit:

"... I knew Kathryn Bigelow from before that experience. Anyway, I told her about it, and she said, "Hey, that's a movie." Or, "That might be a movie." And I said, "Really?" And she encouraged me to work on a script, and then we developed a script together that was a fictionalization of what I had seen over there ... "

Boal & Bigelow were a team from before they went after financing. Whoever gave them the money had to take both of them, along with the script.

I listened to part of the DVD commentary and was stuck by how confident Boal sounded for a first time writer/producer. He sounded a lot more experienced than he actually is. Usually first timers are more "aw shucks, i really didn't know what I was doing" about their experiences & about the business.

I may be wrong, only those involved know for sure, but it sounds like Bigelow could have taken a co-writing credit-- she was there right from the script's inception.

I am sure he is very talented. He's also Bigelows BF.

This is the first I've heard about this. I'm kinda disappointed. I was hoping Bigelow would have no romantic ties to anyone involved. Oh well.

RichMike
03-11-2010, 12:23 PM
why does it matter if Mark is with Kathryn? this wasn't a big spec sale for a million dollars. she had to force that script down people's throats.

the guy was a journalist for years. he's 36 or 37 now.

he was writing freelance for a bunch of rags for years before screenplays.

http://www.wga.org/content/default.aspx?id=3662

CColoredClown
03-11-2010, 12:28 PM
or how about embedding in one of the most dangerous places in the world with a military unit risking their lives? in the name of journalism.

and getting sh*tty money for it. and crap money to write freelance aritcles because you love reporting?

boal is/was a journalist first.

screenwriting is the icing on his cake now.

It's just easier to sleep with the director.

RichMike
03-11-2010, 12:54 PM
props to him for baggin a hot, talented, successful 58 year old.
props to her for baggin a writer to work with her on spec :love: "honey, i think we need another rewrite, what can i do to make it up to you"???????

LIMAMA
03-11-2010, 01:15 PM
I think the above article gives the best clue as to how Boal ended up with a producer's credit:

"... I knew Kathryn Bigelow from before that experience. Anyway, I told her about it, and she said, "Hey, that's a movie." Or, "That might be a movie." And I said, "Really?" And she encouraged me to work on a script, and then we developed a script together that was a fictionalization of what I had seen over there ... "

Boal & Bigelow were a team from before they went after financing. Whoever gave them the money had to take both of them, along with the script.

I listened to part of the DVD commentary and was stuck by how confident Boal sounded for a first time writer/producer. He sounded a lot more experienced than he actually is. Usually first timers are more "aw shucks, i really didn't know what I was doing" about their experiences & about the business.

I may be wrong, only those involved know for sure, but it sounds like Bigelow could have taken a co-writing credit-- she was there right from the script's inception.



This is the first I've heard about this. I'm kinda disappointed. I was hoping Bigelow would have no romantic ties to anyone involved. Oh well.

I read about it after the Oscars, but do a Google search, they've been together for the past several years.

sc111
03-11-2010, 01:44 PM
I find this funny. Over in films, some folks - wait, let me be more accurate - some GUYS are more than implying Bigelow won the Oscar, not due to her talent, but because she used to sleep with James Cameron and that's the reason she got some juice in Hollywood.

Not many GUYS are challenging that line of thought. (Although some have challenged it and you wise men are not going unnoticed by me and other women.)

Now here we have some raising the possibility that Boal's success may have less to do with his talent than the fact he's sleeping with Bigelow!

Now GUYS are rushing to his defense: No way - pure talent got him where he is today!

Ironic, no?

LIMAMA
03-11-2010, 01:57 PM
I find this funny. Over in films, some folks - wait, let me be more accurate - some GUYS are more than implying Bigelow won the Oscar, not due to her talent, but because she used to sleep with James Cameron and that's the reason she got some juice in Hollywood.

Not many GUYS are challenging that line of thought. (Although some have challenged it and you wise men are not going unnoticed by me and other women.)

Now here we have some raising the possibility that Boal's success may have less to do with his talent than the fact he's sleeping with Bigelow!

Now GUYS are rushing to his defense: No way - pure talent got him where he is today!

Ironic, no?

No. I mean, you can't be saying that there's a double standard?

:)

sc111
03-11-2010, 02:05 PM
No. I mean, you can't be saying that there's a double standard?

:)

Girlfriend -- I think we're way beyond double standard. :)

jeannie517
03-11-2010, 02:05 PM
Oh please....Cameron and Bigelow divorced in 1991. If she hadn't been productive on her own since that time, she would have faded off the scene in six months.

The issue here as I see it (according to the title of the thread) is how Mark Boal ended up as producer on this project. Boal may be a very fine writer, but realistically, what are the chances of a first time writer 1) writing an Oscar worthy script 2) getting the script produced and 3) getting a producing gig along with it? Forget the Oscar nomination/win, just getting the damn thing made would be a miraculous event.

Maybe it's his karma to have hooked up with Bigelow, thus leading to a screenwriting career, who knows. And the age difference thing is, well, Hollywood. But the fact of the matter is, he had a huge leg up given that he knew Bigelow before he ever wrote the script and she undoubtedly had a hand in the writing of this script.

It's great that he's met with success, but there's no denying that huge doors opened for him as a result of his "partnership" with Bigelow. It's a fact of life in Hollywood -- contacts count.

sc111
03-11-2010, 02:12 PM
Oh please....Cameron and Bigelow divorced in 1991. If she hadn't been productive on her own since that time, she would have faded off the scene in six months.

The issue here as I see it (according to the title of the thread) is how Mark Boal ended up as producer on this project. Boal may be a very fine writer, but realistically, what are the chances of a first time writer 1) writing an Oscar worthy script 2) getting the script produced and 3) getting a producing gig along with it? Forget the Oscar nomination/win, just getting the damn thing made would be a miraculous event.

Maybe it's his karma to have hooked up with Bigelow, thus leading to a screenwriting career, who knows. And the age difference thing is, well, Hollywood. But the fact of the matter is, he had a huge leg up given that he knew Bigelow before he ever wrote the script and she undoubtedly had a hand in the writing of this script.

It's great that he's met with success, but there's no denying that huge doors opened for him as a result of his "partnership" with Bigelow. It's a fact of life in Hollywood -- contacts count.

Very well said.

But I have to say, it amuses me that guys may now have to think about who they may have to ... well, you know. :rolling:

joe9alt
03-11-2010, 03:05 PM
I find this funny. Over in films, some folks - wait, let me be more accurate - some GUYS are more than implying Bigelow won the Oscar, not due to her talent, but because she used to sleep with James Cameron and that's the reason she got some juice in Hollywood.

Not this GUY :cool:

sc111
03-11-2010, 03:09 PM
Not this GUY :cool:

Agreed. They know who they are, though. And the rest of us only know the anon handles they post under.

The thing is Joe, statistically, if even three or four guys who posted believe the biological-argument has a scintilla of merit, there's probably a huge number of other guys who believe the same. The question is, how many of them may work in the film industry?

MrEarbrass
03-11-2010, 03:09 PM
The issue here as I see it (according to the title of the thread) is how Mark Boal ended up as producer on this project. Boal may be a very fine writer, but realistically, what are the chances of a first time writer 1) writing an Oscar worthy script 2) getting the script produced and 3) getting a producing gig along with it? Forget the Oscar nomination/win, just getting the damn thing made would be a miraculous event.

Maybe it's his karma to have hooked up with Bigelow, thus leading to a screenwriting career, who knows. And the age difference thing is, well, Hollywood. But the fact of the matter is, he had a huge leg up given that he knew Bigelow before he ever wrote the script and she undoubtedly had a hand in the writing of this script.

It's great that he's met with success, but there's no denying that huge doors opened for him as a result of his "partnership" with Bigelow. It's a fact of life in Hollywood -- contacts count.

I find this more than a little dismissive of Mark and his talent. He had already worked with Haggis on "In the Valley of Elah" and Bigelow on "The Inside" and was a well-respected writer of creative non-fiction. Bigelow, meanwhile, hadn't directed a feature film since 2002. You could argue that they were taking a chance on each other--especially given that the material was likely to require independent financing.

Regarding the original question: if you write a screenplay based on an article you also wrote and it's made into an independent movie (meaning you probably aren't getting paid studio rates) your agent is going to fight pretty damn hard for you to get a producer credit. And given Mark's reported role on set and the research this story required, he deserves it. Any suggestion otherwise seems out of place on a board that supposedly exists to support writers.

joe9alt
03-11-2010, 03:14 PM
Agreed. They know who they are, though. And the rest of us only know the anon handles they post under.

The thing is Joe, statistically, if even three or four guys who posted believe the biological-argument has a scintilla of merit, there's probably a huge number of other guys who believe the same. The question is, how many of them may work in the film industry?

I peaked into the "And the Oscar goes to" thread just now and was going to post but then my head started to hurt after reading some of the moronic comments. One thing I did notice, though, was that most of the people advancing the "women just haven't done it" argument are posters I don't recognize at all...so maybe they're trolls, ya know?

A lot of the regulars on here disagree about a lot of things as you know, SC, but I think most of the regulars would stand with you on this one. I'd be curious to get amandag's perspective on how what observations she's made in terms of gender bias as she's cut through the ice these past few years.

jddobkin
03-11-2010, 03:21 PM
I'm going to guess it has something to do with his upfront pay on the project. Small budget on this thing means little cash up front for writer and director. If its a passion project... which this was, you take a back end deal. In this case producing credit.

And who the hell has implied that Bigelow got the Oscar cause she was married to Cameron. I have YET to hear that, the talk in tinsel town leading up to the Oscars was completely in favor of her work and her film. Not once have I heard anyone in this food chain imply it was because of any relationship.

SC111... Does it always have to come down to a battle of the sexes?

She made an amazing film, thats it. And if I was presented an opportunity like Boal, sleeping with Bigelow the icing on the cake... I would have leaped at it.

She is strikingly beautiful, and 60... one hell of a woman.

sc111
03-11-2010, 03:26 PM
I peaked into the "And the Oscar goes to" thread just now and was going to post but then my head started to hurt after reading some of the moronic comments. One thing I did notice, though, was that most of the people advancing the "women just haven't done it" argument are posters I don't recognize at all...so maybe they're trolls, ya know?

A lot of the regulars on here disagree about a lot of things as you know, SC, but I think most of the regulars would stand with you on this one. I'd be curious to get amandag's perspective on how what observations she's made in terms of gender bias as she's cut through the ice these past few years.

I agree that these posters are in the minority but I won't go as far as saying the're all trolls.

However, I thank them for posting because in the process of disagreeing with them a lot of good points and information has been put out there. SBS's posts especially and the new poster, slashboy, who gave inisght into the atmosphere in film school (which confirmed the experience of my friend's daughter).

It's all good. BTW: I know I often come across in posts as militantly feminist but in person nothing is further from the truth. In fact, put me in a room full of card-carrying NOW members and I'm likely to pi$$ them off too.

Truth is, most women I know goodnaturedly accept the reality of what we're up against. We don't cry in our beers. We don't hate men. I personally look at it as a game -- how can do an end run around this or that persons inate biases or preconceptions? I use humor a lot. I'm actually a kittycat in RL - purrrr.

Geoff Alexander
03-11-2010, 03:35 PM
I think the above article gives the best clue as to how Boal ended up with a producer's credit:

"... I knew Kathryn Bigelow from before that experience. Anyway, I told her about it, and she said, "Hey, that's a movie." Or, "That might be a movie." And I said, "Really?" And she encouraged me to work on a script, and then we developed a script together that was a fictionalization of what I had seen over there ... "

Boal & Bigelow were a team from before they went after financing. Whoever gave them the money had to take both of them, along with the script.

I listened to part of the DVD commentary and was stuck by how confident Boal sounded for a first time writer/producer. He sounded a lot more experienced than he actually is. Usually first timers are more "aw shucks, i really didn't know what I was doing" about their experiences & about the business.

I may be wrong, only those involved know for sure, but it sounds like Bigelow could have taken a co-writing credit-- she was there right from the script's inception.



This is the first I've heard about this. I'm kinda disappointed. I was hoping Bigelow would have no romantic ties to anyone involved. Oh well.

Also, Boal had a pretty solid understanding of how to operate on the ground in Jordan, with lots of ties that he, unless he is lying about what he did, actually had to call on in order to handle some of the logistics of the production. He may actually have earned the producing credit.

sc111
03-11-2010, 03:37 PM
I'm going to guess it has something to do with his upfront pay on the project. Small budget on this thing means little cash up front for writer and director. If its a passion project... which this was, you take a back end deal. In this case producing credit.

And who the hell has implied that Bigelow got the Oscar cause she was married to Cameron. I have YET to hear that, the talk in tinsel town leading up to the Oscars was completely in favor of her work and her film. Not once have I heard anyone in this food chain imply it was because of any relationship.

SC111... Does it always have to come down to a battle of the sexes?

She made an amazing film, thats it. And if I was presented an opportunity like Boal, sleeping with Bigelow the icing on the cake... I would have leaped at it.

She is strikingly beautiful, and 60... one hell of a woman.

And you were doing so well. Still, I agree with you, I'm with you all the way. Consider yourself hugged.

Geoff Alexander
03-11-2010, 03:48 PM
I'm going to guess it has something to do with his upfront pay on the project. Small budget on this thing means little cash up front for writer and director. If its a passion project... which this was, you take a back end deal. In this case producing credit.

And who the hell has implied that Bigelow got the Oscar cause she was married to Cameron. I have YET to hear that, the talk in tinsel town leading up to the Oscars was completely in favor of her work and her film. Not once have I heard anyone in this food chain imply it was because of any relationship.

SC111... Does it always have to come down to a battle of the sexes?

She made an amazing film, thats it. And if I was presented an opportunity like Boal, sleeping with Bigelow the icing on the cake... I would have leaped at it.

She is strikingly beautiful, and 60... one hell of a woman.

Well, the producing credit is more than a token offered to a writer who isn't making much money. You have to actually substantiate your efforts on the development, pre-production logistical side of physical production, and post production and marketing in order to earn it. An EP credit would be more in line with the scenario you are discussing. The Producer's Guild is cracking down on the assigning of credits, so for Boal to get the producing credit they had to show that he contributed to the physical production of the movie. I was very skeptical on his credit, until I heard him talk more in depth about what he did during the shoot.

Landis26
03-11-2010, 04:03 PM
I was embedded once for nine months. I told a producer friend about it... The tight quarters, the explosions, the gases that erupt, all the blood and bodily fluids are enough to make you sick. I didn't think I'd make it out alive. My friend immedately said "that's a movie!"

I didn't write it yet but I have the title.

MY MOMMY'S WOMB

LIMAMA
03-11-2010, 04:04 PM
I read that KB is 57 and MB is 37.

instant_karma
03-11-2010, 04:36 PM
I read somewhere that Mark Boal used to be a stripper.

Mark Boal probably isn't even his real name...

sc111
03-11-2010, 04:40 PM
I read somewhere that Mark Boal used to be a stripper.

Mark Boal probably isn't even his real name...

:rolling: Good one. ;)

sc111
03-11-2010, 04:44 PM
I read that KB is 57 and MB is 37.


Way to go Bigelow! I personally never dared to cross the "old enough to be his mother" age-line. Men 10 years younger was as far as I dared to go. You go Kathryn, go!

Limama -- have you noticed that women who never give up, continue to persue their dreams against all odds, tend to look younger than their chronological years? I swear it's better than Botox.

Laura Reyna
03-11-2010, 04:57 PM
Also, Boal had a pretty solid understanding of how to operate on the ground in Jordan, with lots of ties that he, unless he is lying about what he did, actually had to call on in order to handle some of the logistics of the production. He may actually have earned the producing credit.

That's a great point. The same thing occured to me. From the DVD commentary it seems Boal functioned as a technical advisor on the shoot. He knew the area, had the experience.

IMO, he most definately pulled his weight & deserves the credit. Didn't mean to make it sound otherwise.

:)

SuperScribe
03-11-2010, 05:03 PM
I was embedded once for nine months. I told a producer friend about it... The tight quarters, the explosions, the gases that erupt, all the blood and bodily fluids are enough to make you sick. I didn't think I'd make it out alive. My friend immedately said "that's a movie!"

I didn't write it yet but I have the title.

MY MOMMY'S WOMB

:rolling:

LIMAMA
03-11-2010, 05:07 PM
Way to go Bigelow! I personally never dared to cross the "old enough to be his mother" age-line. Men 10 years younger was as far as I dared to go. You go Kathryn, go!

Limama -- have you noticed that women who never give up, continue to persue their dreams against all odds, tend to look younger than their chronological years? I swear it's better than Botox.

Yep. Even though KB looked very uncomfortable in her Oscar gown.

rob1234
03-11-2010, 05:12 PM
The following statements don’t add up, sorry:
Stnlra says – “Boal & Bigelow were a team from before they went after financing. Whoever gave them the money had to take both of them, along with the script.” - taking both of them is one thing, but blackmailing them to get him a producer’s credit....?

MrEarbrass. – “if you write a screenplay based on an article you also wrote and it's made into an independent movie.” – I say, to me, that doesn’t justify a producer’s credit. I’ll explain more in a moment.

And also others saying in their posts - “he had been a journalist before, he had done lots of research”

None of these statements make sense....???? Every writer who has to send out their original screenplay is there from the start, they have to do the research. They gather notes... Writing a previous article doesn’t warrant a producer’s credit, any more than a novelist writing the screenplay version of their own work... In fact, it is no different to anyone writing an original screenplay whom does their own notes beforehand....

Listen, if he’s getting a ‘produced by’ credit for his first screenplay (and he has an agent and manager to help him), damn, what about those who have no agent or manager and have to promote the screenplays themselves...what do they get ...a ‘super producer’s’ credit...!!!!! I mean they would be more deserving than an agented first screenplay writer like BOAL... In truth, any first time screenplay writer who wanted a producer’s credit, would be told to get out and don’t come back, and would be banished from Hollywood. In fact, the director and producers would probably beat the writer out with a stick.... So how on earth did he get it...? I could only assume it was between the sheets the contract was mutually agreed. What will be next, sleeping with the producer...the agent...the actress So please someone please clarify, how did he get it, and how should new writers go about getting the same credit too...

Also, jddobkin says: “I'm going to guess it has something to do with his upfront pay on the project. Small budget on this thing means little cash up front for writer and director. If its a passion project... which this was, you take a back end deal. In this case producing credit.’

I say – I’ve never heard of a writer being able to take a producer’s credit on this basis... An ‘executive producer or associate producer or a co-producer,’ - YES! which are known as vanity credits, and which are given to writers with some monkey points - but a full blown ‘PRODUCER’S CREDIT!!!!!!!!!’ which will entitle him to some serious BACK END POINTS, it’s a first for me seeing this...but so is the writer and director sleeping together and making a film at the same time when they are in a relationship... So, let’s get this straight folks...as long as you are going at it with somebody high up the chain of command, you get automatic entry consideration for a full ‘Producers’ credit. Damn.

And as for SBS script saying ‘I was very skeptical on his credit, until I heard him talk more in depth about what he did during the shoot...’

I say - How many original screenplay writers are thrown off the set and told not to come into the studio...lots... And those that are alowed on the set, are there for that very reason....to give guidance and assistance throughout. Also, a technical advisor is not a PRODUCER!!!... Afterall, how many people are advisors or constantly giving advice on the set...nearly everyone.... And how many get a PRODUCERS CREDIT!!!!! For a first time produced screenplay...I’d say not a single one.... It all just doesn’t make sense.... Just what does a writer have to do to get a PRODUCER’S CREDIT these days...? Please someone explain.... My head is going round...what do us writers need to do to get it...? is Is this the start of a new trend of writer POWER!!! If it is, I want it in my contract...and I'll be on set to advise too... I guarantee!!!

Laura Reyna
03-11-2010, 05:15 PM
Truthfully, I don't really care who's sleeping with who, or who was married to who. People make too much of all that ****. If Boal & Bigelow are a couple, so what? I don't think Boal should be criticized for it.

But historically women have been criticized for sleeping with business associates. It's used as a way to demean their accomplishments.

When I heard that MB&KB were a couple I thought that might give some idiots ammo to criticize KB-- "Look, she needed her boyfriend to make this movie. She couldn't do it on her own."

But we all need someone. We don't do it alone.

This seems like a good symbiotic relationship. They each brought talents & value to this project. I don't have anything bad to say about either one. I wish them continued good luck.

:)

rob1234
03-11-2010, 05:23 PM
I wish them lots of luck too... But somebody tell me if we are now all entitled to a full 'PRODUCERS' credit if we all wrote an original script... The script was based on our own notes, and we would all be on set to advise, as the script is based on our own notes... Damn, us new writers have got some hope.... Gross points for FULL PRODUCERS here we come!!

sc111
03-11-2010, 05:26 PM
Yep. Even though KB looked very uncomfortable in her Oscar gown.

Really? I hadn't noticed. Maybe I was distracted by the Oscar she held in each hand. :)

I have a confession, I rarely notice or remember clothing other people wear unless it's really "out there."

LIMAMA
03-11-2010, 05:32 PM
Really? I hadn't noticed. Maybe I was distracted by the Oscar she held in each hand. :)

I have a confession, I rarely notice or remember clothing other people wear unless it's really "out there."

I had noticed it, and then I read in some of the gossip sites that others had noticed it too. She might have been just nervous, and understandably so.

vstm10
03-11-2010, 05:47 PM
not rob, you sound so green.

Boal is one of the producers because he ACTIVELY found financing and had the capability to put the project together. That's what a producer does.

You do what he did -- and I'm not talking being the BF of the director or just writing the script -- and you'll get the title too.

Come to think of it, your green color works in two levels... inexperienced and envious?:D

Jenny
03-11-2010, 06:54 PM
not rob, you sound so green.

Boal is one of the producers because he ACTIVELY found financing and had the capability to put the project together. That's what a producer does.

You do what he did -- and I'm not talking being the BF of the director or just writing the script -- and you'll get the title too.

Come to think of it, your green color works in two levels... inexperienced and envious?:D

This post sums up my thoughts on this thread. Rob, why are you so surprised? You make it sound like a producer credit is some great honor. It's not. It's a job title. You do the job, you get the title. If Boal helped get this film made by finding financing and keeping the production on-track with his knowledge of the Middle East, then he did the job of a producer.

Ulysses
03-11-2010, 08:41 PM
I find this more than a little dismissive of Mark and his talent. He had already worked with Haggis on "In the Valley of Elah" and Bigelow on "The Inside" and was a well-respected writer of creative non-fiction. Bigelow, meanwhile, hadn't directed a feature film since 2002. You could argue that they were taking a chance on each other--especially given that the material was likely to require independent financing.

Regarding the original question: if you write a screenplay based on an article you also wrote and it's made into an independent movie (meaning you probably aren't getting paid studio rates) your agent is going to fight pretty damn hard for you to get a producer credit. And given Mark's reported role on set and the research this story required, he deserves it. Any suggestion otherwise seems out of place on a board that supposedly exists to support writers.

I like your attitude of respect towards other writers and creatives.

Terrance Mulloy
03-11-2010, 08:55 PM
Boal is one of the producers because he ACTIVELY found financing and had the capability to put the project together. That's what a producer does.

You do what he did -- and I'm not talking being the BF of the director or just writing the script -- and you'll get the title too.

Well said.

nic.h
03-11-2010, 09:15 PM
I wish them lots of luck too... But somebody tell me if we are now all entitled to a full 'PRODUCERS' credit if we all wrote an original script... The script was based on our own notes, and we would all be on set to advise, as the script is based on our own notes... Damn, us new writers have got some hope.... Gross points for FULL PRODUCERS here we come!!

This is really common in the independent film world. Maybe not in the US, I'm thinking, given the surprise you've all registered, but a large % of the successful scriptwriters making indie films here produce their own work. It's not a token thing - they find the money, convince backers to get involved, submit grant proposals and write budgets...

Sounds like a producer to me.

Is it so different in the indie industry in the US?

rob1234
03-12-2010, 08:27 AM
I’m not envious of Boal. Just want to know how he got it. As I said, congratulations to him. More power to writers I say... He's putting it up for the writers:bounce:It could be the start of something big here... And the writers could see the benefits:bounce:

To ‘VSTM 10.’ – Indeed you seem very envious that I wrote this thread...and I am honoured by yourself seeing myself worthy in you needing to reply to it.

To Jenny whom says : ‘You make it sound like a producer credit is some great honor. It's not. It's a job title.’
Are you crazy Jenny...? Are you crazy....? (are you crazy Montana, are you crazy....!)The title of a producer is BIG BIG BIG!!! Bigger than a writer....They are higher up the chain....and the money you get as PRODUCER upfront and at the back end, makes a writers salary look like peanuts... With the award of full producer, you can get some serious GROSS POINTS, writers get MONKEY POINTS... Writers are in the shadow in comparison to producers... Then, the award of best film...the oscar goes to the producer. The best film Oscar is more important than the best screenplay... Geez....can’t believe some don’t know that, ah well. Producers get the accolades more than writers Jenny!

To VSTM10, I say to you this... - In respect to BOAL finding finance...let’s get this straight... He did journalism on the subject and wrote the screenplay... How on earth would anyone grant a $11 million dollar budget from doing that. It would be impossible... In your case though, every journalism whom writers a screenplay should have a good shot at getting $11 million dollars to make their screenplay... Do you really think that would have been achieved without the director being involved as producer too and doing what needs to be done to get the film financed... They would have thrown BOAL out the front door!

25 O'Clock
03-12-2010, 02:08 PM
Lotsa screenwriters start as journalists -- Ryan Murphy was a journalist early in his career. Ditto David Simon. If you come from some profession that is highly respectable, esp one that is writer-based, and you sell your screenplay for next to nothing, you can usually angle a producer credit (usually EP or associate producer).

vstm10
03-12-2010, 02:39 PM
Lotsa screenwriters start as journalists -- Ryan Murphy was a journalist early in his career. Ditto David Simon. If you come from some profession that is highly respectable, esp one that is writer-based, and you sell your screenplay for next to nothing, you can usually angle a producer credit (usually EP or associate producer).

Yes, 25, but this was NOT the case.

Boal DID produce the project. Otherwise the producers would have just given him the EP or AP credit.

Geoff Alexander
03-12-2010, 03:23 PM
I’m not envious of Boal. Just want to know how he got it. As I said, congratulations to him. More power to writers I say... He's putting it up for the writers:bounce:It could be the start of something big here... And the writers could see the benefits:bounce:

To ‘VSTM 10.’ – Indeed you seem very envious that I wrote this thread...and I am honoured by yourself seeing myself worthy in you needing to reply to it.

To Jenny whom says : ‘You make it sound like a producer credit is some great honor. It's not. It's a job title.’
Are you crazy Jenny...? Are you crazy....? (are you crazy Montana, are you crazy....!)The title of a producer is BIG BIG BIG!!! Bigger than a writer....They are higher up the chain....and the money you get as PRODUCER upfront and at the back end, makes a writers salary look like peanuts... With the award of full producer, you can get some serious GROSS POINTS, writers get MONKEY POINTS... Writers are in the shadow in comparison to producers... Then, the award of best film...the oscar goes to the producer. The best film Oscar is more important than the best screenplay... Geez....can’t believe some don’t know that, ah well. Producers get the accolades more than writers Jenny!

To VSTM10, I say to you this... - In respect to BOAL finding finance...let’s get this straight... He did journalism on the subject and wrote the screenplay... How on earth would anyone grant a $11 million dollar budget from doing that. It would be impossible... In your case though, every journalism whom writers a screenplay should have a good shot at getting $11 million dollars to make their screenplay... Do you really think that would have been achieved without the director being involved as producer too and doing what needs to be done to get the film financed... They would have thrown BOAL out the front door!

You don't get it. He, apparently, got the producer credit because he was on set every day, not only functioning as a technical advisor, but functioning as another line producer handling logistical issues. For example, they don't have sufficient production vehicles in Jordan. Boal, because he has contacts and a skill set, found the vehicles in neighboring countries and brought them to Jordan. As I said, unless he is lying about what he did on the movie, he was functioning as both a creative producer and line producer. And, guess what, these credits went to the PGA for arbitration, and it wasn't Boal's credit that was in question, it was Chartiers'. So, clearly, the PGA was convinced that Boal was an actual producer on the movie, it wasn't a token credit or vanity credit.

Mad Mat
03-12-2010, 03:49 PM
You don't get it. He, apparently, got the producer credit because he was on set every day, not only functioning as a technical advisor, but functioning as another line producer handling logistical issues. For example, they don't have sufficient production vehicles in Jordan. Boal, because he has contacts and a skill set, found the vehicles in neighboring countries and brought them to Jordan. As I said, unless he is lying about what he did on the movie, he was functioning as both a creative producer and line producer. And, guess what, these credits went to the PGA for arbitration, and it wasn't Boal's credit that was in question, it was Chartiers'. So, clearly, the PGA was convinced that Boal was an actual producer on the movie, it wasn't a token credit or vanity credit.

And that, as they say, *is all folks!*

Job done; OP's question answered (many times by many contributors); End of discussion.

Period.

(Probably)

-XL-
03-12-2010, 04:52 PM
And that, as they say, *is all folks!*

Job done; OP's question answered (many times by many contributors); End of discussion.


There goes my DD amusement for the weekend. Who knew feather flapping and overuse of ellipsis could be so entertaining?

Mad Mat
03-12-2010, 05:06 PM
Who knew feather flapping and overuse of ellipsis could be so entertaining?

That's nothing. You should see what can be done with exclamation marks !!!!!!!!!! ;)

scripto80
03-12-2010, 11:20 PM
Can't lie, who you know helps. It gets you the opportunity. But then only you can prove whether or not you deserved it, and will get it again.

In my case, the producer who's working with me on bringing my screenplay fruition is a friend. A friend whose seen what I can do first hand as both a writer and potential producer and thus when we pitch to studios, he's going to fight for me to get a producing credit. And when I do, believe me I'll earn it. I'll be on set every day helping both creatively and logistically, and be involved from pre to post to promotion. So while I may not be his biggest fan, Boal wasn't a writer who was thrown an empty credit. He worked hard for it every step of the way. And I say kudos to him. Sure, "knowing" the director gave him the opportunity, but he ultimately showed why he deserved it.

I think far too often, writers want a producing credit when they've not contributed anything beyond just the script, and thus they make it harder for people who might truly deserve it to be taken seriously by studio executives who are used to everyone and their mother wanting a credit of some kind. Best thing you can do if you seriously want a producing credit, is research like crazy. At least learn the basics of the business/financial side of filmmaking. Keep an eye on what's hot in terms of the market and box office trends, actors, directors, studios, etc. Basically, just garner as much knowledge as you can and be observant and develop good instincts both in business and creativity, and then turn around and make informed suggestions and provide and unique insight to those around you, because if your ideas are valuable, then you're looking at being taken seriously as more than "just a writer".

rob1234
03-13-2010, 10:36 AM
To SBS Script, who says – ‘You don't get it. He, apparently, got the producer credit because he was on set every day, not only functioning as a technical advisor, but functioning as another line producer handling logistical issues.’

I say - Well in the event you did not know, a ‘line producer’ and ‘producer’ are two completely different roles and job titles. The former manages/supervises the finance, the other raises it, along with a whole host of other differences. Where a line producer has a creative input to the production, he or she is often credited as a Co-producer. Since when does becoming a line producer get you a PRODUCER credit???? Since when does a technical advisor get you a producer credit... If you think none of this had anything to do with his partner being involved...then if you say so.

Another point... Has anyone also noticed a trend of best original screenplays going to writers writing their first screenplays... Is that what it takes to get a script produced these days...?

scripto80
03-13-2010, 11:37 AM
No, it just takes a combination of writing a good script and knowing the right people to help you bring it to fruition. If anything, telling people "this is my first script" often hinders an effort, as new writers are often viewed, especially by their fellow writers (which is ironic), as somehow "less than". There seems to be the perspective in the aspiring/low-level working writer community that unless you've been at the craft for ten years and paid a mountain of struggling dues and written a dozen scripts, your writing simply isn't going to be very good. I say, you either have it or you don't. Talent is talent. Practice and time only gives one the ability to hone their skill and develop technical proficiency.

The people carrying home statues for their first screenplays clearly have "it", and being a first time writer doesn't really have anything to do with "it". Whether it's a first or a hundredth script, if it's good it's good, and if you work hard and make connections, you'll eventually get it made if it's meant to be.

rob1234
03-13-2010, 12:14 PM
Michael Arndt: Little Miss Sunshine (2006)

Dustin Lance Black: Milk (2007)

Cody Diablo: Juno (2008)

Mark Boal: The Hurt Locker (2009)

Each of these had written little (some shorts) or nothing regarding a feature length screenplay beforehand. One key though, I think I’m right in believing they all had agents to submit the script for them.

scripto80
03-13-2010, 12:29 PM
Dustin Lance Black had previously written/directed a film, shot a documentary, and worked as a writer for HBO. So Milk wasn't his first script nor maiden voyage into Hollywood by any means. He was already well into the beginnings of a solid career, likely with people behind him, so no doubt he was easily able to land a producing credit.

Diablo Cody. My explanation for her getting a producing credit and all the attention she has is that she's a publicity dream come true. She was presented as somewhat of a gimmick if you will. She was different from most writers and she had a funny start up story of "stripper to author to screenwriter", so because of that her value was multiplied beyond just that of a talented writer to that of a celebrity, and yes even producer. Not to say she didn't deserve it. She's earned her credits, believe me, but in the beginning she was an ideal all around creative package.

Arndt and Boal are pretty good examples though. Though it's important to point out they both had "ins" either via their careers or contacts. Arndt was a script reader based out of NY with a lot of industry contacts and Boal was a journalist and "close" to the director. So none of these people were exactly a fish out of water Joe Schmo from Kentucky who wrote his first script, found overnight success and snagged a producing credit along the way.

The Road Warrior
03-13-2010, 12:54 PM
Who cares.

wcmartell
03-13-2010, 02:41 PM
Who cares.

There we go... now it's really over and we can get back to doing something important... like sitting in Starbucks and pretending to write this scene while I scope out the hot women headed to the gym.

- Bill

Geoff Alexander
03-15-2010, 09:48 AM
To SBS Script, who says – ‘You don't get it. He, apparently, got the producer credit because he was on set every day, not only functioning as a technical advisor, but functioning as another line producer handling logistical issues.’

I say - Well in the event you did not know, a ‘line producer’ and ‘producer’ are two completely different roles and job titles. The former manages/supervises the finance, the other raises it, along with a whole host of other differences. Where a line producer has a creative input to the production, he or she is often credited as a Co-producer. Since when does becoming a line producer get you a PRODUCER credit???? Since when does a technical advisor get you a producer credit... If you think none of this had anything to do with his partner being involved...then if you say so.

Getting the "Producer" credit require a range of activities, including contributing to the physical production of the film. If you don't do that, then you are an EP. Basically, you're wrong. Boal satisfied the PGA that he had contributed creatively AND materially, AND enough in pre-production AND post and marketing that he deserved the credit. Is it a grey area that can be influenced by others pulling for you, sure. But, you're basic point, that he got it and therefore other writers can get it, without being an integral part of the production through all its phases is wrong. Anyway, this is my last remark on this, i'm starting to think you're a troll.

slashboy
03-15-2010, 04:49 PM
Getting the "Producer" credit require a range of activities, including contributing to the physical production of the film. If you don't do that, then you are an EP. Basically, you're wrong. Boal satisfied the PGA that he had contributed creatively AND materially, AND enough in pre-production AND post and marketing that he deserved the credit. Is it a grey area that can be influenced by others pulling for you, sure. But, you're basic point, that he got it and therefore other writers can get it, without being an integral part of the production through all its phases is wrong. Anyway, this is my last remark on this, i'm starting to think you're a troll.

The PGA (unlike the WGA) has nothing to do with establishing credits. They have no power to do so. Credits are negotiated. Taking rob's example of a line producer who was "creatively involved" -- that person would have whatever credit they and their reps could finagle. Maybe Co-Producer...maybe EP...maybe just Line Producer.

The PGA only becomes involved in terms of establishing who is eligible for an Oscar.

Rob...if you think you deserve a Producing credit on your film...just try and get one. Was it easier for Mark Boal to get a Producing credit because of his relationship with KB? Maybe. But he was obviously found worthy of it.

Geoff Alexander
03-15-2010, 05:13 PM
The PGA (unlike the WGA) has nothing to do with establishing credits. They have no power to do so. Credits are negotiated. Taking rob's example of a line producer who was "creatively involved" -- that person would have whatever credit they and their reps could finagle. Maybe Co-Producer...maybe EP...maybe just Line Producer.

The PGA only becomes involved in terms of establishing who is eligible for an Oscar.

Rob...if you think you deserve a Producing credit on your film...just try and get one. Was it easier for Mark Boal to get a Producing credit because of his relationship with KB? Maybe. But he was obviously found worthy of it.

My point was that PGA made a decision as to who would be eligible. I suspect that Boal would have been knocked out if he had not fulfilled the duties of the Producer as defined by the PGA because it would have been easier to take him out than to add an extra producer, i.e., Chartier, being that the PGA has been making efforts to counteract the whole producer dog pile that had become so common. Maybe not, maybe they never even looked at Boal when deciding who of the four of them was going to be eligible for an Oscar. Maybe they just took someone's word that he had fulfilled those duties, but I doubt it. Of course, I could be wrong. It wouldn't be the first time.

tiktokman
05-18-2010, 06:51 PM
easily the worst film I saw all year. the fact that it was even mentioned at all in the Academy Awards only goes to show how rigged and corrupt the Oscars are...

TheKeenGuy
05-18-2010, 08:14 PM
easily the worst film I saw all year. the fact that it was even mentioned at all in the Academy Awards only goes to show how rigged and corrupt the Oscars are...
Could you go into more detail about the rigging and corruption? Or is this a theory based merely on your dissenting opinion about the film's quality?