View Full Version : Execs requesting material --

Lucha Scribre
12-19-2010, 09:53 AM
More for the pro writers I suppose.

An exec likes your idea and wants you to send the treatment/outline/script at any time. Though, they suggest it be sent from you to them personally (bypassing reps) to see if it is something to develop together.

I want to filter everything through my rep, but keep getting pressured to give these guys a "first look" at anything I complete. I don't want to kill a business relationship by saying the wrong things.

What do you do in this situation?

12-19-2010, 10:24 AM
More for the pro writers I suppose...

Yes, but even newbies like to sit in and listen... Your scenarios are always pretty interesting. This one is unusual because it's always the opposite for me ("will only look at it submitted through rep") and I'm in the midst of trying to find a hip-pocket or other arrangement to address this.

I want to filter everything through my rep, but keep getting pressured to give these guys a "first look" at anything I complete. I don't want to kill a business relationship by saying the wrong things...

I'm not entirely sure whom you mean by "these guys". Did you mean the execs requesting the material, or your agents (with whom you seem to be on great terms)?

(I apologize for the thread hijack if that's what this seems to be)

Anyway, if you have such a positive rep relationship, I'd assume it's more professional to say to the execs, just like the execs usually say to us, that I have to have my rep deal with this.

Lucha Scribre
12-19-2010, 10:31 AM
I'm not entirely sure whom you mean by "these guys". Did you mean the execs requesting the material, or your agents (with whom you seem to be on great terms)?

These guys - Execs at big companies with studio deals. Some want the treatment, others want the first draft -- all before anyone else gets a look. I mentioned before that I wanted to send cycle ALL material through my rep, but they've insisted just send it to them.

12-19-2010, 10:45 AM
Is your rep a manager who wants to produce? Maybe him/her being attached to the material would be a turn off to the studio, which is why they want an off the radar first look.

12-19-2010, 11:12 AM
They don't want to loop your reps into the development process, but that doesn't mean you can't talk to your reps about this.

Basically, you've got some producers (execs usually means people at studios) who are interested in developing your specs with you. Then they'll be attached to the specs exclusively when you go out with it.

If it's a really powerful producer, maybe it's a good idea. But more often than not, you're cheating yourself out of one of the main benefits of writing a spec: going out wide with it and getting the whole town reading your work.

Here's what I would do: if you have an idea that you love, pitch it to your rep and tell them the producers who are interested in developing it with you. Your rep should have an idea if any of them are meaningful. Also, maybe your rep thinks developing it with a producer will help your writing, and thinks one of the producers is good at that.

I wouldn't worry about pissing any producers off. They'll be happy if you have a finished spec and give it to them for their home studio. You'll be giving them a chance to sell it at the place they have the most leverage at.

Lucha Scribre
12-19-2010, 11:36 AM
Thanks a lot Jeff. It's real overwhelming from my perspective. It would be a nice thought to have one of the biggest Producer/Directors attached to the project before I start writing the script itself. But, then again, all interested parties are pretty powerful in the action genre and I do need more contacts based off reads.

It's like being at the page of a choose your own adventure book where the next choice can be a "make or break" situation. :(

12-19-2010, 12:55 PM
You're overthinking it. If you have a good relationship with a company and they might be a good fit for the project, go ahead and send. My agent has no problem with me doing that - in fact, he encourages it.

Lucha Scribre
12-19-2010, 01:12 PM
Thanks. But you've been around since 99. I've been around since 09. I assume that I don't have that much freedom to make the wrong choices.

12-19-2010, 01:31 PM
I'd argue you do need to be slightly careful - it sounds like you have multiple producers asking. If you give more than one a script, and they give you notes... they're going to think they're developing it with you. None of them would be happy if they found out you were developing with multiple producers.

12-19-2010, 04:10 PM
Promise nothing.

I would never send anything out without at least letting my reps know. If you're emailing PDFs around, and for some reason the exec wants to get it directly from you, you can email it to him ccing your rep. This is totally normal and if it bothers the exec, stay away from the exec.

No legitimate exec will be scared off by dealing with your rep. You say they "insist" in which case I would politely say I can't do that.

NOTHING goes out without you discussing it strategically with your rep. Period.

Of COURSE they all want a first look. Of course they all want to see it ahead of everyone else. The correct response to this is, "Well, this is something I'll have to discuss with my reps. I can promise that no-one else will get it before you will, however."

It's important to understand how giving them material ahead of anyone else hurts you. It ONLY hurts you.

If they want to buy it, it means they get to do so in a non-competitive situation.

If they don't want to buy it, it means their "pass" may float around town, and everybody will know that "oh, that's the script that so-and-so passed on." Because other people aren't reading it, it's very hard to overcome negative word-of-mouth. (And look, no script is loved by everyone. You need multiple rolls of the dice).

If they offer notes and you implement them, they can try to muscle in on any deal you set up. They probably won't succeed, but it could mess up another deal.

Setting someone and outline or a treatment? I think that's a really really bad idea. Avoid it if you at all can. (I only send in treatments when they are absolutely 100% required to make something happen - treatments are never as good a read as the script).

If they're interested in the outline stage, they'll still be interested in the script stage. It's not like they're going to say "we love the idea, but only as an outline. If you go to script we no longer want to read it."

You're balancing this against the chance that they'll say, "oh my god, we love this," and buy it pre-emptively, but really, that's a very small chance. And the exec probably won't read the script if he doens't liek the outline, so if the outline isn't as good a read as the script, you're hurting your chances.

-If- your agent feels that the exec is a position to hire you, I could see turning the treatment-stage into a pitch, and pitching it around town. But this is contingent upon your rep thinking that's realistic, based on who the exec is. It can be very, very hard to an exec to hire a writer - or buy a pitch off a writer - without a track record. If you have a finished script, it's easier for them to buy it than it is for them to hire you to write it based off a pitch.

Lucha Scribre
12-20-2010, 12:43 PM
Thank you so much guys for your input, especially Ronaldinho for your last reply. Lots to digest and take in -- thanks. Luckily it's the holidays so I won't have to stress about sending anything to anyone and bang out this draft instead.

For future reference, I think I'll CC to my manager any communication I have with anyone regarding my own projects and the stages of development. I'd rather keep it all a surprise myself, but these guys come off pushy sometimes. Any other personal ****, I'll just post it on their Facebook.

I by no means have a track record yet. That's why I'm anxious at getting back to an exec on a project. Personally, I'd love to have any of these guys develop/attach to the project. But businessly, I really want to go wide with something and see where it falls. My last two specs got me off to a good start, but only a limited amount of reads. Writing something that a lot of people want, a high intensity action/thriller, I think I can establish a bigger fanbase of my writing. I like to hear other input on the subject to help my overall decision. Thanks again guys.

night fugue
12-22-2010, 11:19 AM
Odd request. Did you initially connect with these execs through your rep's efforts?

Lucha Scribre
12-23-2010, 03:03 AM

12-23-2010, 06:32 PM
If you are repped and still querying execs on your own, it's probably time to get a new rep. That, or it's time to start letting them do their job and you concentrate on yours.