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View Full Version : The Business of rewrting steps


WriterManJimbo
10-02-2012, 11:10 AM
I was hired to do a rewrite. Got a fee, plus an optional step.

Did the rewrite based on an outline I got approved before I got to pages, it executed the notes I was handed and a few others, everyone liked it...

A couple weeks later...

(I'm sure you see where this is going)

There's notes. The notes are enough that they definitely, if done properly, could constitute a new draft.

I want to be a teamplayer. I want to build relationships. But hell, in this case there's no other 'financial benefit' to working these notes. In fact, I'm really competing with myself, since doing them might definitely mean the second step in my rewrite would never happen.

What would you do? And how would you communicate this dilemma to producers/directors who are paying without coming off like 'the problem'.

JeffLowell
10-02-2012, 11:21 AM
Do you have an agent or manager?

ATB
10-02-2012, 11:22 AM
I'm assuming you don't have a manager/agent since you didn't mention them...?

WriterManJimbo
10-02-2012, 11:31 AM
Yep, I do. That said, once the deal is done the relationship is between me & producers. I can 'agent up' at this point but generally my rep follows my lead ...but just curious what the peanut gallery would do...especially those who have been in such a position.

JeffLowell
10-02-2012, 11:35 AM
Well, you can involve your rep. That's their job.

But you don't have to. You can say something like "I agree with all these notes, but it's a pretty big rewrite. It feels like the fair thing is for this to trigger my next step."

They'll probably ask you to do it for free, and that's when you have to make your call: do you say "I love this project, I want to do the steps, but I just can't do it for free?" If you do, you might end up getting fired. If you're okay with that, that might be your only play to get paid.

But really, you shouldn't be afraid of bringing your reps in. They have leverage you don't - multiple clients and a relationship with these producers.

mswriterj
10-02-2012, 01:32 PM
Jeff is right - USE your rep.

I had a very similar situation happen with my last rewrite. I did exactly what the director asked. Then it went to the producer, and he had a different idea, altogether, of the direction of the script. Because they weren't on the same page, I had to do another rewrite. My manager stepped in and got them to throw in a few thousand extra as a gesture. It wasn't much, but it made me feel better.

I've done some tweaks for free, because I really love the project. I'm glad, because now they're assembling an awesome cast (so far 3 great names have signed, 2 pending), and should start production within the next month.

I just thought about where the extra rewrite (which truly took it to another level) would lead, and that's how I made my decision.

Good luck.

BattleDolphinZero
10-02-2012, 02:08 PM
Man, if ever there was a time for reps, this is it.