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cap7
08-30-2012, 01:47 AM
Let's say you've been writing for couple of years and you just finished a script you're really proud of. In fact, it's way better then anything you've written before. Let's say it gets you repped, maybe even sells. When you take meetings and inevitably get asked the "what else you got?" question, would it be a big red flag for people if your answer is "nothing" (because you don't want to show them your previous work, as it's not up to level of your last script)? In other words, is one really good script enough to gain people's trust to offer you jobs and look at you as a potential employee? Or do they really want to see more then one screenplay to know that you're not one hit wonder?

MacGuffin
08-30-2012, 02:07 AM
Good question! I have one script that I feel is "heads and tails" above the rest of mine. Will be interested to see what everyone else says. Probably the consensus will be "get busy and write another one!"

ToddC
08-30-2012, 02:42 AM
In other words, is one really good script enough to gain people's trust to offer you jobs and look at you as a potential employee?

Unless your sold script made a lot of people wealthy, then no. Writers write. Dreamers buy lottery tickets.

cap7
08-30-2012, 03:27 AM
Unless your sold script made a lot of people wealthy, then no. Writers write. Dreamers buy lottery tickets.

I obviously didn't mean to say a writer should stop writing. I guess I was asking about going out with just one script, knowing that you don't have a strong follow-up to show people. Would you consider holding off until you have multiple strong screenplays so that you have something in store for the "what else you got?" question or is that one great thing enough to prove you have the goods?

Mintclub
08-30-2012, 04:46 AM
Even if it doesn't sell it can always be used as a sample but IMHO you should always be writing. This way when you take those meetings and the "what's next?" question comes up, you can say you're working on the next spec at the moment and offer the execs some soundbites to whet their appetite.

My first spec went out to the studios not long back and soon as it was locked and the producers were happy - I was onto the next one.

Jonathan_Bentz
08-30-2012, 04:49 AM
I obviously didn't mean to say a writer should stop writing. I guess I was asking about going out with just one script, knowing that you don't have a strong follow-up to show people. Would you consider holding off until you have multiple strong screenplays so that you have something in store for the "what else you got?" question or is that one great thing enough to prove you have the goods?
Admittedly I haven't sold anything, but I personally believe that as long as you're working on a solid script while sending out queries, and get it registered prior to these meetings, you'll be good. Also, one thing to think about is that they might not like if you 'brag' about your script. So if you have other scripts but you're not sure they're good enough, as long as they're registered or copyrighted, mention them but don't brag about them. Say something like, "well, I've got a thriller I wrote a couple years ago that I thought was pretty good", or if they ask about a particular genre and you have a script you think fits that category say, "well, I think such and such script might be what you're looking for."

Again, I'm no expert, but that's my plan for those scenarios. Never go in with just one script. Have at least one other, even if you think its not very good. ONe thing I've noted about myself and other writers is we're generally our worst critics. What you think is a terrible script that deserves to be burned might, in fact, be something a development exec is looking for. (Unless, of course, it involves a single page where all of it is one person monologuing without a reason. Then yes, I agree, burn it, unless its a comedy).

Anyways, again, I'm no expert, but that's my suggestions. Take them or leave them.

Mintclub
08-30-2012, 07:03 AM
"well, I've got a thriller I wrote a couple years ago that I thought was pretty good".

Again just my opinion but I wouldn't recommend down playing your work in a meeting. You're in that room for a reason. They LIKE what you've already done. Also, everything you've got in your locker is current, it's hot - not something you've been sitting on for a couple of years. Like I said, nothing I'm suggesting is gospel just what I've gaged during my own meetings.

JoJo
08-30-2012, 07:41 AM
If you can re-work those older scripts, bringing them up to your current level of writing faster than you can write a new script, than I say re-work those older projects.

If they're such a mess that it would take a long time, then I say get busy on a new project. I think Hollywood wants to see you're not a one-hit wonder, and that this isn't just a hobby for you.

Ronaldinho
08-30-2012, 11:02 AM
Let's say you've been writing for couple of years and you just finished a script you're really proud of. In fact, it's way better then anything you've written before. Let's say it gets you repped, maybe even sells. When you take meetings and inevitably get asked the "what else you got?" question, would it be a big red flag for people if your answer is "nothing" (because you don't want to show them your previous work, as it's not up to level of your last script)? In other words, is one really good script enough to gain people's trust to offer you jobs and look at you as a potential employee? Or do they really want to see more then one screenplay to know that you're not one hit wonder?

It's a non-issue.

You can always answer the "what else you got" question with an answer about what you're doing NEXT. You should have a next script you're working on. Tell them about that.

I got a job based on a single script.

emily blake
08-30-2012, 11:05 AM
Pretty much everything Mintclub said. Talk enthusiastically about the script you're working on. If it sounds cool enough, they'll tell you they want to read it as soon as you're done.

fanatic_about_film
08-30-2012, 11:17 AM
Ideally, yes, of course you want more than one script.

No one actually wants a one-tricky pony. But yes, if you have one amazing script, it 'could' be enough, but why would you want to chance it?

Why not have four or five quality scripts written and ready to go.

Do you want any heat that you may acquire to burn up and disappear, while you're writing your next script, or do you want to ride on that heat with other projects that are ready to go?

The answer is simple.

You mentioned all of this on the hypothetical chance that you get repped and sell you one screenplay, but do you realize that before getting repped, these managers/agents themselves will ask you if you have anything else.

They don't want to rep someone with only one script. They want to rep someone with many scripts, and someone who can keep constantly wriitng new scripts. They want someone with long running potential, not a one-script, one-trick pony.

The more you have the better (if they're quality that is).

ATB
08-30-2012, 01:09 PM
They don't want to rep someone with only one script. They want to rep someone with many scripts

I've never heard of managers/agents who "want to rep someone with many scripts."

Truth is, writers don't just sit on quality scripts. You don't write a great script and say, "Okay I have one but I need many. I'll wait till I have like 4 or 5 great ones and then I'll find a rep."

You write something you think is great and you try to find a rep. If it's no dice, you write another one. And another. And another. Until you're worthy of being repped.

But once that happens, you don't say, "I have like 10 other great scripts that nobody liked."

Chances are, there's a reason nobody liked them and you couldn't get a rep with them.

It's very rare that a new writer has 5 golden scripts in his pocket. He's got one. Maybe. And then he's off to work on the next one.

fanatic_about_film
08-30-2012, 02:02 PM
I've never heard of managers/agents who "want to rep someone with many scripts."

You haven't?

I can promise you no one 'wants' to rep someone with 'only' one script. Managers/agents want someone who is able to be more than a one trick pony (despite how good that one trick is).

No one (writer or rep) lives solely off one project and one project alone. Therefore, multiple scripts (and the ongoing ability to produce multiple scripts) is what a rep ideally wants.


Truth is, writers don't just sit on quality scripts. You don't write a great script and say, "Okay I have one but I need many. I'll wait till I have like 4 or 5 great ones and then I'll find a rep."

Not necessarily true. Not all writers are obsessively hunting for a rep after writing one script. Some don't have that urge. Some people just don't know how to query effectively. Some people may query a logline and get little or no response (but this is not to necessarily say that their script is bad). Some writers have an innate understanding that they need more than one good script before they start querying.

I'm sure there are many writers out there who queried, and or got representation while having quite a few quality scripts under their belt.

They didn't all start out with just one script.

(obviously, what makes a quality script vs a bad script is open to interpretation, but that's a separate issue.)

Mintclub
08-30-2012, 02:12 PM
You haven't?

I can promise you no one 'wants' to rep someone with 'only' one script. Managers/agents want someone who is able to be more than a one trick pony (despite how good that one trick is).

No one (writer or rep) lives solely off one project and one project alone. Therefore, multiple scripts (and the ongoing ability to produce multiple scripts) is what a rep ideally wants.




Not necessarily true. Not all writers are obsessively hunting for a rep after writing one script. Some don't have that urge. Some people just don't know how to query effectively. Some people may query a logline and get little or no response (but this is not to necessarily to say that there script is bad). Some writers have an inate understanding and will to write a bunch of quality scripts before they start querying.

I'm sure there are many writers how there who queried, and or got representation while having a few quality scripts under their belt.

They didn't all start with just one script.

(obviously, what makes a quality script vs a bad script is open to interpretation, but that's a separate issue.)

I can't vouch for anybody else but my first script got me my reps. I had multiple agents and managers happy to rep me knowing this. Obviously I was busy working on the NEXT spec though.

fanatic_about_film
08-30-2012, 02:19 PM
I can't vouch for anybody else but my first script got me my reps. I had multiple agents and managers happy to rep me knowing this. Obviously I was busy working on the NEXT spec though.

I'm sure many managers/agents have repped people based on them having only one script.

My point is IDEALLY no one actually 'wants' a writer with only one script.

They 'want' a writer with multiple scripts (good quality ones).

They 'want' a writer with the ongoing ability to write good quality scripts.

ATB
08-30-2012, 03:16 PM
I'm sure many managers/agents have repped people based on them having only one script.

My point is IDEALLY no one actually 'wants' a writer with only one script.

They 'want' a writer with multiple scripts (good quality ones).

And I would IDEALLY like to have multiple wives and multiple homes and multiple cars and multiple yachts. But what's ideal and what's realistic are two entirely different things.

Realistically, you're not gonna find a lot of writers with "multiple scripts (good quality ones)" sitting in their drawer.

If those scripts were so quality, they would have caught the attention of someone, somewhere by now.


They 'want' a writer with the ongoing ability to write good quality scripts.

This is true. But ask some reps if they'd rather have a writer with 10 scripts under their belt and only one really great one or a writer with one great script.

It's the exact same thing.

The only way your rep is gonna know if you have "the ongoing ability to write good quality scripts" is by proving it with your next project, and then the next one, and the one after that, and so on and so forth. Not by showing them all the shitty scripts you wrote over the last 10 years.

omovie
08-30-2012, 03:51 PM
Multiple wives! Haha - Jesus Christ dude!

Zed's_Dead
08-30-2012, 04:25 PM
I'd say most writers get signed over the ONE script the manager/agent falls in love with. If you have others, great. Even though they will probably tell you to toss them and work on something else... You get signed because of your one great script and your potential as a writer. You'll have discussions about other ideas and what to do next and if those scripts are worth investing any of your time on.

JeffLowell
08-31-2012, 04:33 AM
One great script, and working on the next one, is all you need. No one thinking about hiring you for an assignment is going to ask for multiple scripts. They'll base it on your best sample and your pitch.

gridlock'd
08-31-2012, 07:34 AM
Good question! I have one script that I feel is "heads and tails" above the rest of mine. Will be interested to see what everyone else says. Probably the consensus will be "get busy and write another one!"

Heads and tails?

mge457
08-31-2012, 09:20 PM
Yes. I was signed by my managers off my first script (hour long pilot). I'm writing my second now, (a feature) which received interest from a management firm that reps a pretty major writer/director.

Mister Maddox
08-31-2012, 11:03 PM
Someone once told me that if you write one script, then you're just a guy who wrote something. If you write multiple scripts then you're a writer.