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VanceVanCleaf
06-08-2012, 03:43 AM
Hi everyone, still me, still with that ex-terrorist-script :o
(To prevent the bombing of a NATO peace conference, an ex-terrorist must work with the woman whose husband he killed. But the conspiracy he discovers is not one made by his old terror group.)

I know I've given up on this sometimes already, but now I seriously wonder if it's time to SERIOUSLY give up :o
I queried some companies freestyle (using addresses from ImdbPRO), used VPF and Harbak's e-query service. All in all I got maybe 10 or 15 reads. I heard back from 3 of them, the others do not even respond.
So, the thing might just be ... well... crap... or it's just not marketable.
It's now on Amazon studios and so far won 13 out of 28 premise battles. Evaluation period is still going. But I don't have much hope.

Of course I love my story very much. Which writer does not. I think about turning it into a novel, but I wonder as well, if this would be any MORE marketable. Even if I self-publish.

What can I do? I'm sure you've faced similar situations with your projects and know how I feel at the moment. What do you think, is the novel thing an option, shall I just try further with VPF?

Thanks in advance from a very sad writer at the moment...:(

Kwinnky
06-08-2012, 04:52 AM
Did you get anyone's feedback on it? Did you only want to write this one script?

SundownInRetreat
06-08-2012, 06:13 AM
Hey Vance,

Giving up is up to you - and if you constantly battle it then maybe you should - but there's nothing you've said that makes me think you should.

You've read how people toil away for years at this - trying to get a nibble, constantly getting overlooked, and improving their writing along the way so a handful of read requests is not an anomaly AFIK. The figure I hear is 9 scripts on average until that first sale. Can you imagine how much querying had to take place over that time?

And yeah, it could be that the premise (or the story) isn't that great and doesn't grab people, it happens (not just in writing too) but IMO you need more evidence than one script and a few months or shopping it around before you conclude that you or the script is no good.

It's probably going to be a long slog and most don't make it - if you haven't got the stomach for the fight (and many here have hit this wall in the past - some have bounced back, some have walked away for good) then yes, quitting would be a wise move, but it's only a decision you can make and as said, I've seen nothing in your post that gives any indication that your experience is any different to those good writers with good scripts.

VanceVanCleaf
06-08-2012, 06:27 AM
Did you get anyone's feedback on it? Did you only want to write this one script?

I'm currently writing script # 3, with a historical topic. I'd have still ideas for more scripts. This one is just one of my favorite stories. I'd really love to throw something in which has not the black/white terrorist scheme in it we often see.

Feedback: well, I got some encouraging lines from a producer who read the first draft of the thing. Since then, I'm afraid all those answers were just form letters. I'm waiting what the guys from Amazon have to say.

The Road Warrior
06-08-2012, 06:27 AM
Hi everyone, still me, still with that ex-terrorist-script :o
(To prevent the bombing of a NATO peace conference, an ex-terrorist must work with the woman whose husband he killed. But the conspiracy he discovers is not one made by his old terror group.)

I know I've given up on this sometimes already, but now I seriously wonder if it's time to SERIOUSLY give up :o
I queried some companies freestyle (using addresses from ImdbPRO), used VPF and Harbak's e-query service. All in all I got maybe 10 or 15 reads. I heard back from 3 of them, the others do not even respond.
So, the thing might just be ... well... crap... or it's just not marketable.
It's now on Amazon studios and so far won 13 out of 28 premise battles. Evaluation period is still going. But I don't have much hope.

Of course I love my story very much. Which writer does not. I think about turning it into a novel, but I wonder as well, if this would be any MORE marketable. Even if I self-publish.

What can I do? I'm sure you've faced similar situations with your projects and know how I feel at the moment. What do you think, is the novel thing an option, shall I just try further with VPF?

Thanks in advance from a very sad writer at the moment...:(



Cheer up lad! :|

Put that baby away, take some time out, and then come back and write 5 spanking new screenplays in a row, don't think about it, just get on with it.

You'll be over your obsessing, I have been there, we all have, and it's best to just move on.

:)

JoJo
06-08-2012, 07:00 AM
Enter it in a bunch of contests, big and small. See how high it places... and work on another project while you wait for results.

VanceVanCleaf
06-08-2012, 07:26 AM
I'm working on other projects, so it's not the question giving up as screenwriter, it's that script.

By the way, someone just said me the logline is pretty lame. So I came up with a new one. I post it up there where this belongs.

JoJo
06-08-2012, 07:28 AM
I'm working on other projects, so it's not the question giving up as screenwriter, it's that script.

By the way, someone just said me the logline is pretty lame. So I came up with a new one. I post it up there where this belongs.

Loglines don't matter in contests - and you can get notes in some contests at no extra charge. You need to know why your script isn't quite there - contests will answer your questions.

Mr. Earth
06-08-2012, 07:30 AM
What you do next depends entirely on what you have in the hopper. If you don't have much that interests you, then maybe the novel idea is the way to go, although that will take a lot of time to complete.

If you go the novel route, though, you might figure out some places where your script could be better, which might lead you back to rewriting the thing and delaying the novel for a while....which I think is okay.

But, if you have a couple of other screenplays you are itching to write, I say move on to those and come back to this one after you are sick and depressed by the lack of a positive response to those. At least that's what I do.

fotonchev
06-08-2012, 08:27 AM
The whole Hollywood system is broken, if you don't have manager/agent getting a script to a production studio is nearly impossible. And agent/managers usually do not accept new clients if you are a no name writer - Catch-22 anyone?

Big managers never respond, low level ones told me that they do not have contacts to sell such a big tentpole script. It's a no win situation. If you don't have contacts or at least 10% good luck to be read by accident by someone BIG, you're doomed, sad but truth. I don't buy this nonsense spread by many writers in this forum "great writing will always get noticed", rubbish.

What you will do is your choice in the end, there is no receipt. I personally will self publish my novels, found a great painter, and now we've been preparing comic books based on the novels. I also have friends in the VFX industry and will make catchy teaser trailers (when I manage to save money from my daytime job). I may not succeed but at least I'll try!

So basically you're on your own mate, but self-pity is never an option.

emily blake
06-08-2012, 08:34 AM
My opinion: Put it away in a drawer. Forget about it. Go work on other scripts. Build a portfolio. Get some clout. Make a career. And one day, when you're Mister A List, bust that puppy out and give it to your buddy the Studio Executive, who by that point will salivate over everything you have to give him.

In the meantime, forget it, Jim. She's dead.

Geoff Alexander
06-08-2012, 09:54 AM
The whole Hollywood system is broken, if you don't have manager/agent getting a script to a production studio is nearly impossible. And agent/managers usually do not accept new clients if you are a no name writer - Catch-22 anyone?

Big managers never respond, low level ones told me that they do not have contacts to sell such a big tentpole script. It's a no win situation. If you don't have contacts or at least 10% good luck to be read by accident by someone BIG, you're doomed, sad but truth. I don't buy this nonsense spread by many writers in this forum "great writing will always get noticed", rubbish.

What you will do is your choice in the end, there is no receipt. I personally will self publish my novels, found a great painter, and now we've been preparing comic books based on the novels. I also have friends in the VFX industry and will make catchy teaser trailers (when I manage to save money from my daytime job). I may not succeed but at least I'll try!

So basically you're on your own mate, but self-pity is never an option.

Unfortunately, a manager passing on material is not going to be because the project is "too big" or "too expensive". That's just a polite way of saying no. If a manager thinks a project is going to be viable in the marketplace, they will jump on it, great writing really will always get noticed if it is circulated.

JoeDonBaked
06-08-2012, 01:55 PM
The whole Hollywood system is broken, if you don't have manager/agent getting a script to a production studio is nearly impossible. And agent/managers usually do not accept new clients if you are a no name writer - Catch-22 anyone?

Big managers never respond, low level ones told me that they do not have contacts to sell such a big tentpole script. It's a no win situation. If you don't have contacts or at least 10% good luck to be read by accident by someone BIG, you're doomed, sad but truth. I don't buy this nonsense spread by many writers in this forum "great writing will always get noticed", rubbish.

What you will do is your choice in the end, there is no receipt. I personally will self publish my novels, found a great painter, and now we've been preparing comic books based on the novels. I also have friends in the VFX industry and will make catchy teaser trailers (when I manage to save money from my daytime job). I may not succeed but at least I'll try!

So basically you're on your own mate, but self-pity is never an option.

I think there are some accurate ideas here but it's also a bit too pessimistic. I had pursued screenwriting for many years and had been considered and strung along by many managers who after a few scripts, wouldn't take me on. I'd say if you're thinking of giving up, do it. Then come back to it. Take a break. I am now coming back to writing after almost 2 years of taking a break from it and I think I am better for it, and hopefully a more desirable writer.

I'd recommend pursuing another creative pursuit. I happened to be living in New York and not Los Angeles, so I took advantage of the comedy scene here. I have been putting all my energy into comedy because although it was not my principal genre as a screenwriter, people have always said I should go into it. Of all my scripts, the ones I have had the most success with have been Comedies. Now, I've been reviewed by numerous well-respected websites and seem to be on my way which should help in selling myself.

I used to think: well, you can't make it in the business unless you've already made it in another business. Now I am starting to think, maybe that's true.

VanceVanCleaf
06-09-2012, 09:19 AM
Hm... I've already the feeling not to get anywhere with ANYTHING in my life. I try this in the hope to get that... and so on. In the end I have nothing. :(

Nonetheless, concerning this script: I ask my German publisher if he'd be interested in the subject. If yes, I'll start writing the novel AFTER I've completed the screenplay I'm working on right now. In the meantime I can still ponder about the logline and whom to bother with the script.

NikeeGoddess
06-09-2012, 09:50 AM
i just posted my suggestion on your logline thread. flip the protagonists and make it more marketable to a US audience.

Levenger
06-09-2012, 09:59 AM
This business if f*cking brutal. If you don't believe in yourself to the point you seek constant encouragement from a community of strangers...

harbak
06-09-2012, 10:13 AM
Vance,

Don't give up, but for now, move to the next project. Then later revisit this. In the end I think you need a change in the main plot point. What I mean is you need to rethink what this script is trying to tell the world. The theme can still be the same, the main character can still be the same guy but the message you are trying to get out to the world has to be told in a different light than you are going at. Many of the arcs, plot points etc can stay but I think you need a different setting. Just my two cents.

fanatic_about_film
06-09-2012, 10:52 AM
This business if f*cking brutal. If you don't believe in yourself to the point you seek constant encouragement from a community of strangers...

This is weird.

Why you breaking this guys balls?

michaelb
06-09-2012, 06:01 PM
The whole Hollywood system is broken, if you don't have manager/agent getting a script to a production studio is nearly impossible. And agent/managers usually do not accept new clients if you are a no name writer - Catch-22 anyone?

Big managers never respond, low level ones told me that they do not have contacts to sell such a big tentpole script. It's a no win situation. If you don't have contacts or at least 10% good luck to be read by accident by someone BIG, you're doomed, sad but truth. I don't buy this nonsense spread by many writers in this forum "great writing will always get noticed", rubbish.

What you will do is your choice in the end, there is no receipt. I personally will self publish my novels, found a great painter, and now we've been preparing comic books based on the novels. I also have friends in the VFX industry and will make catchy teaser trailers (when I manage to save money from my daytime job). I may not succeed but at least I'll try!

So basically you're on your own mate, but self-pity is never an option.



Managers love finding the next great writer. We love signing new talent.

But the key word is talent. Most writers do not have it. Most are not good enough to have careers as writers.

This isn't 30 years ago when people that wanted to be writers moved to LA and took it seriously (and even then it was hard). Now you have every Joe Blow from around the world with a laptop and a copy of final draft thinking they can be a pro. And that's great because cream rises to the top, but that also means that reps and execs have MOUNTAINS OF **** thrown at them to wade through to find the talent.

Unprepped writers are no different then the tens of thousands of people that try out for American Idol every year. A select few have the talent to make it to the final 10, a vast majority are so average they are forgettable in a day, and some are so awful it hurts. And after all that, only 1 is a winner with a career. Welcome to Hollywood.

Best,

Michael

Mintclub
06-09-2012, 06:58 PM
Managers love finding the next great writer. We love signing new talent.

But the key word is talent. Most writers do not have it. Most are not good enough to have careers as writers.

This isn't 30 years ago when people that wanted to be writers moved to LA and took it seriously (and even then it was hard). Now you have every Joe Blow from around the world with a laptop and a copy of final draft thinking they can be a pro. And that's great because cream rises to the top, but that also means that reps and execs have MOUNTAINS OF **** thrown at them to wade through to find the talent.

Unprepped writers are no different then the tens of thousands of people that try out for American Idol every year. A select few have the talent to make it to the final 10, a vast majority are so average they are forgettable in a day, and some are so awful it hurts. And after all that, only 1 is a winner with a career. Welcome to Hollywood.

Best,

Michael

What Michaelb said +1

I'm a no name writer and was afforded the opportunity to sign with a number of talented reps - managers and agents - this was through a combination of querying, contests and hard work. To those (like me) still knocking on the door of the working writer's green room - KEEP KNOCKING!

hscope
06-09-2012, 10:59 PM
My thoughts on this subject have changed over the 8 or 9 years I've been writing feature screenplays.

Despite my distance from - and unwillingness to move to - Hollywood, I initially had high hopes of success, but as each script went by with only the occasional very low offer, an award nomination, encouragement from producers and managers and the odd close encounter with an agent, I am no closer to a sale than I was at the start. My writing is a lot better, but no sale is still no sale.

I continue to write and submit my feature scripts, but my real motivation is the satisfaction I get from creating stories and characters and producing what I consider to be a well-rounded screenplay. I abso-fvcking-lutely love it! I'm proud of the work I've produced, but I don't live in a world of fantasy. I now look at each script as a lottery ticket. It probably won't win, but you never know...

In the last couple of years, I've started writing and producing short films with a partner and our third is almost complete. Again, there's no expectation of success. It's just incredibly satisfying and we'll see where it goes.

In other words, I consider myself to be a highly successful screenwriter and filmmaker.

NYNEX
06-10-2012, 11:55 AM
Actually, sometimes making money from writing is just plain dumb luck. A friend of mine is a total crackhead and a bum. But he invited me to Occupy Wall Street. I started writing articles on it, and from there I ended up making money freelance writing. I don't yet have a major deal on a screenplay, but I do make money from writing. So just keep an open mind, and work with what opportunities come your way. If something interesting happens where you live or you have access to some stories, WRITE about them, regardless of whether its screenplays, books, news articles, or whatever.

And don't worry about sucking. I've been told that plenty of times on DD, that I suck. And I don't care about it. Doesn't stop me. And I do have fans of my writing (I made money from it).

MLawe
06-10-2012, 12:56 PM
This business if f*cking brutal. If you don't believe in yourself to the point you seek constant encouragement from a community of strangers...

I agree about the brutality of the business, but not the latter part of your comment.

We all go through this. The business is very fickle. I have many friends and acquaintances in the biz. One was nominated for an Academy Award for screenwriting, others are still slogging away at it. Is the Academy Award nominee a better writer or more worthy than the sloggers? Absolutely not. He was incredibly lucky.

It helps to come here and be miserable for a while, because you want the community to reassure you that you'll get past this and move on, if this is what you really love and want to do. That always helps.

Levenger
06-10-2012, 01:48 PM
But that's what moms are for.

VanceVanCleaf
06-11-2012, 03:48 AM
Thanks for all the input!

@Levenger: I asked BECAUSE you are strangers and thus have no reason to pamper me ;) I asked because here in the board are other writers with similar experiences. Mom would probably say "What are you doing anyway with that writing stuff? Get a life, have kids" LOL

I know this is a hard sell with a very uncomfortable premise - but not an unusual one. I just didn't know: is it THAT a hard sell it has really no chance as a screenplay no matter what I do with it or how brilliant my logline is - and it is better to make a novel out of it. So I wanted to hear your experiences and advice. It seems I'd have to switch the protags at least in the screenplay. AND create a better logline.

I think I can write the novel anyway. It doesn't hurt having a novel and a screenplay ;) But only after I have completed the script I'm working on now. (God, I have a timetable with things to write for the next 10 years ;))

mge457
06-11-2012, 04:47 AM
Hi everyone, still me, still with that ex-terrorist-script :o
(To prevent the bombing of a NATO peace conference, an ex-terrorist must work with the woman whose husband he killed. But the conspiracy he discovers is not one made by his old terror group.)

I know I've given up on this sometimes already, but now I seriously wonder if it's time to SERIOUSLY give up :o
I queried some companies freestyle (using addresses from ImdbPRO), used VPF and Harbak's e-query service. All in all I got maybe 10 or 15 reads. I heard back from 3 of them, the others do not even respond.
So, the thing might just be ... well... crap... or it's just not marketable.
It's now on Amazon studios and so far won 13 out of 28 premise battles. Evaluation period is still going. But I don't have much hope.

Of course I love my story very much. Which writer does not. I think about turning it into a novel, but I wonder as well, if this would be any MORE marketable. Even if I self-publish.

What can I do? I'm sure you've faced similar situations with your projects and know how I feel at the moment. What do you think, is the novel thing an option, shall I just try further with VPF?

Thanks in advance from a very sad writer at the moment...:(


In terms of your logline, 3 questions come to mind --
-Who is the woman?
-Who is the antagonist?
-Why is the former terrorist involved?

I think the fact that you're getting reads is a positive sign. Have you followed up with the read requests to see where you stand? It's a fine line between pest and persistent.

To answer your question, it depends on what you're doing now and if you honestly believe your story is good enough to obtain representation.

1) If circumstances allow you to continue pursuing screenwriting, then do it. But this requires commitment, see #2.

2) If you truly believe your story is at its best and you're not getting anywhere, then send it to someone like EvilRbt or ScriptGal for notes. Despite where you stand with the to consult, or not to consult question, it sounds like it could use a second set of eyes. Again, this costs money, but if you're serious about pursuing screenwriting, you will find a way to do it.

After the script is polished, write down your top 10 movies within that same genre (similar to The Jackal or The Peacemaker?). Then query those production cos and the reps of the writers and directors (this was recommended by Mike Esola btw).

Actually, sometimes making money from writing is just plain dumb luck. A friend of mine is a total crackhead and a bum. But he invited me to Occupy Wall Street. I started writing articles on it, and from there I ended up making money freelance writing. I don't yet have a major deal on a screenplay, but I do make money from writing. So just keep an open mind, and work with what opportunities come your way. If something interesting happens where you live or you have access to some stories, WRITE about them, regardless of whether its screenplays, books, news articles, or whatever.

And don't worry about sucking. I've been told that plenty of times on DD, that I suck. And I don't care about it. Doesn't stop me. And I do have fans of my writing (I made money from it).

I've read some of your stuff on here, and I have to ask. You mentioned attending Cornell, but were unable to get read anywhere. Did you ever try to tap the alumni network? Cornell in Hollywood (http://www.cornellclubla.com/cih.html).

VanceVanCleaf
06-11-2012, 05:02 AM
Logline is undergoing reconstruction. I consider shifting the protag from the ex-terrorist to the woman, at the moment. Getting notes: yep. It's out at Amazon studios right now. Might consider other opportunities, but if its that a hard sell, probably no one will take it anyway. The potato is just too hot ;)


After the script is polished, write down your top 10 movies within that same genre (similar to The Jackal or The Peacemaker?). Then query those production cos and the reps of the writers and directors (this was recommended by Mike Esola btw).

I've taken that way and got responses as "interesting but we just had / we just have a similar project" :o

mge457
06-11-2012, 04:25 PM
Logline is undergoing reconstruction. I consider shifting the protag from the ex-terrorist to the woman, at the moment. Getting notes: yep. It's out at Amazon studios right now.

Hmm. What's the exact process there? When I said get notes, I mentioned Andrew & Amanda, as they are both very qualified and work within the industry. I'm not saying you need to get notes from them, but if you're serious, you'll find someone of equal caliber to read your script (which btw, I don't think exists at the price A&A offer). Again, you might not like consultants or think you don't need a set of experienced eyes, but that's the approach I would take once I have re-written to the best of my abilities.

Madbandit
06-11-2012, 06:28 PM
Vance, you have the right to give up, but only if you really believe if you can't make it.

I want you to sit you down and ask yourself: Can I make it? Do I love the art of writing enough to make it? Just do that.

If you believe that you can make it, don't worry about the shortcomings, the missed opportunities, the whole ball of wax. Me, I don't have a manager (almost did), but I have a lot of scripts and short stories (two were published) and novellas (I send one out, unexpectedly dedicated to a man who didn't quit writing, Ray Bradbury). I've worked for my college newspaper as an entertainment. The first job I had was being the assistant at a pathetic magazine that costs $15 to buy (no nude women, and I'm going to curse out the scumbag of a boss if I ever see him again).

I probably have a great chance of making it since I, after a series of nowhere temp jobs, work as a background actor. I've met actors, writers and a showrunner, whose show he worked on got canned (I twittered him my condolescene

SuperScribe
06-11-2012, 06:52 PM
I posted this in another thread, but it's worth another look -- especially the part I've tagged: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=SE4ohkuwdQ8#t=285s (http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=SE4ohkuwdQ8#t=297s)

DavidK
06-11-2012, 07:12 PM
I know I've given up on this sometimes already, but now I seriously wonder if it's time to SERIOUSLY give up.

In that case you should definitely give up. It's the most sensible thing to do, and it will test your commitment. There's no point wasting your life with something when you're not sure how much you want it.

Mark Somers
06-11-2012, 07:16 PM
I posted this in another thread, but it's worth another look -- especially the part I've tagged: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=SE4ohkuwdQ8#t=285s (http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=SE4ohkuwdQ8#t=297s)


You'll have to excuse me now while I give it my all.

NYNEX
06-11-2012, 09:34 PM
I've read some of your stuff on here, and I have to ask. You mentioned attending Cornell, but were unable to get read anywhere. Did you ever try to tap the alumni network? Cornell in Hollywood (http://www.cornellclubla.com/cih.html).

People from time to time ask me this question, so I'll answer.

I've been to Cornell and other Ivy League alumni events a handful of times. The biggest alumni tend not to be at those events. Complete waste of time. I've actually met more upcoming people who were helpful to me in BARS, particularly if some event was held. Keep in mind many people in entertainment have just a high school degree, and some not even that. So no, I have no further interest in interacting with Cornell in Hollywood or the group Ivy associations such as Ivy Entertainment. No offense to my fellow Ivy Leaguers out there, but you don't need a school alumni network. You just don't.


And I just mentioned how and why I make money off freelancing. I started out writing about occupy, ended up doing some other stuff, and it went from there. I find the more stuff you do, the more it attracts other people. And the network I've been accessing has been the gay NYC bar scene. A lot of people there work in entertainment in various aspects, and I've learned a lot from them. (Which I why I'm earning money now from writing). But a huge part of this was luck, so on this I count my blessings.

3brassbrads
06-11-2012, 09:41 PM
Advice on screenwriting from Tony Hawk. :cool:

http://thisibelieve.org/essay/22870/

VanceVanCleaf
06-12-2012, 02:42 AM
Thanks for all your advice!

I've been asked if I love writing. YES! It's the only thing I ever wanted to do and still want, while all other things faded.

The problem is: I have so many ideas and right now I'm stuck with querying and rejection. I know the process helps to polish the writing, and I learn to focus - but having 2 screenplays and a novel I'm just ... a bit... overwhelmed. It's hard to explain. I love those works, I want them out. I'm even willing to self publish. I'm willing to rewrite and polish if it needs to be.
But I'd ALSO love to move on to one of my next projects. Okay, I'm at a new screenplay, but in the meantime my mind is still busy polishing query letters for novel and old screenplays and polishing the scripts itself.

Well, I've decided a strategy =)

script #1 goes out to have notes,
script #2 is on the waiting line for "making a novel", but will go out to either evaluation or new query round after Amazon is finished (thanks everyone who helped me to build a new logline)
script #3 write - write - write
novel - I wait for the decision of the publisher and only think about other queries, when they say no.

I feel better already.

Madbandit
06-12-2012, 11:22 AM
I posted this in another thread, but it's worth another look -- especially the part I've tagged: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=SE4ohkuwdQ8#t=285s


Amen...and I just don't mean the stripper....:rolleyes: