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versed
08-30-2012, 02:57 PM
I've been reading more and more about how important it is to become a "specialist" in one genre. I got my manager with a thriller, and we're planning on going out with it soon, but the next script I haven't yet sprung on him is a comedy. Should I just trunk it? Let it sit for a few years while I work on another thriller (I have a few of those, too - but the comedy is unfortunately the best of the bunch)?

The reason I wrote the comedy in the first place is because my manager LOVED the logline - but pretty much told me I shouldn't write it if I'm trying to establish myself as a thriller writer. So of course I wrote it. Now I'm not really sure what to do with it.

Any advice would be much appreciated.

emily blake
08-30-2012, 03:01 PM
If it were me, I'd give it to him. I'd say, "Look I know you didn't want me to write this script yet, but it was burning a hole in my brain and I just had to get it out."

And then, if he's any good, he reads it. If it's great, he'll come up with a plan. Hopefully it's great.

And while he's reading it, be working on your next thriller.

Note, I haven't sold anything. I'm just thinking about my own relationship with my manager and how I'd handle that.

versed
08-30-2012, 04:17 PM
Thanks, Emily. Your advice is kind of what I was hoping to hear - I'd hate to just ditch a script after so much hard work (my fault for writing it, but still...).

BattleDolphinZero
08-30-2012, 10:59 PM
I sometimes regret not trying to be more of a specialist. A lot of downside to jumping around, especially early in one's career.

fanatic_about_film
08-30-2012, 11:18 PM
I sometimes regret not trying to be more of a specialist. A lot of downside to jumping around, especially early in one's career.

How so?

DavidK
08-31-2012, 01:08 AM
I've been reading more and more about how important it is to become a "specialist" in one genre.

In practise you can write whatever you want but the fact is that most writers have a bent, they have a natural predisposition and talent in certain types of story. If you've got soil that grows good corn, why start growing limes? It's partly to do with being honest about who they are as a writer. It's also about marketing yourself - if you become known for being the best cupcake baker in the street, don't be surprised if people don't flock to your sausages; they'll still call but they'll want cupcakes.

goldmund
08-31-2012, 02:51 AM
I've been wondering about that, too.

What I think I would do is create a pseudonym for one of the two genres which collectively rock my boat.

BattleDolphinZero
08-31-2012, 03:48 AM
How so?

There is a balance to steady work and creative fulfillment. Had I listened to my reps who wanted me to stick with any given arena I was working in, I think the work would have been more steady during the leaner years. And even if I got a little bored doing the same thing (whatever that may have been), you're always gonna find creative challenges in anything you write.

Being "the guy who is a good writer" isn't as comforting to an exec as "being the go to guy for this exact thing." My experience has been, 10 years ago, an exec was more likely to make a leap based on liking a writer's "writing" but that doesn't seem to be the case now. At least not as much. Execs want more and more specificity when hiring. They don't just want the action guy for the Fast Furious movie, they want the guy who has a sample that lines up perfectly: car chases, multi-culti cast, etc. (i'm talking non-A-list here).

BattleDolphinZero
08-31-2012, 03:49 AM
I also think many writers are good in multiple arenas, they just chose not to be because they like to work.

ATB
08-31-2012, 01:34 PM
Yeah, I've heard working in multiple genres can confuse your image. Is he the action guy or the comedy guy? Is he funny action? Cause I don't want funny action. I don't want a comedy guy, I'm looking for an action guy.

It confuses people. They wanna know you're action or know you're comedy. Not wonder whether you're better at one or the other.

Hamboogul
08-31-2012, 01:53 PM
Based on my writing sample (a biopic), I get approached by studios to come up with anything from book adaptations to Vanity Fair/GQ articles. But the OWAs where I have a realistic shot are still biopics... and because I'm cheap.

versed
08-31-2012, 02:11 PM
I totally agree it makes sense to specialize, and my manager made it very clear to me that he expected me to do just that. I was a little resistant at first, but now I'm totally on board. I'm just frustrated by the fact that I have this homeless little script that has a very commercial premise.

Is it unheard of to send it out using a pen name? I also have some strong connections in comedy - should I send it to one of them, see what they think?

CthulhuRises
08-31-2012, 03:15 PM
I totally agree it makes sense to specialize, and my manager made it very clear to me that he expected me to do just that. I was a little resistant at first, but now I'm totally on board. I'm just frustrated by the fact that I have this homeless little script that has a very commercial premise.

Is it unheard of to send it out using a pen name? I also have some strong connections in comedy - should I send it to one of them, see what they think?

I would just stick it in your backpocket until you've made more of a name for yourself. Look at Alex Kurtzman. HUGE Sci-Fi/Action/Thriller guy. And just recently he had his passion project, a little indie drama called "People Like Us" released. You think he gets that project made ten years ago? Not likely. I read an article where he mentioned he had been sitting on it for a long time. Sometimes it's best/easiest to keep something like that for later when you have more freedom to switch genres, do smaller stuff, etc.