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TychoWriter
11-20-2012, 05:16 PM
Long time listener, first time caller.

Firstly, a little about me.

I began writing five years ago, and began working with a partner four years ago. Two years ago we were lucky enough to pick up a manager who now works for an A-list production/management company.

Early this year, one of our specs got us repped at a top 5 agency here in LA, and that spec went into development with an A list production company.

We finished that spec 6 months ago, and agency/company/manager were waiting til after the summer to go out with it. In early November the script went to the studio that the company has a first look deal with, and after they passed (which we were hoping they would) it went wide last week to a whole bunch of territories.

However, my concern is that it's too late in the year for a spec sale to go. We were told by manaager and producer that we would hear back by this week, but it's thanksgiving week and I'm not optimistic. Do you think (in your opinion or experience) that there is a chance of the script getting picked up the period after thanksgiving and before new year?

The waiting for the last six months has been horrible. We've written two specs in that time, but still real hard, particularly as the script is now wide and we're waiting to hear back.

Anyway, I know these are first world problems, but I'd love to know what you think.

Tycho

Knaight
11-20-2012, 05:28 PM
I was in your shoes a few months ago. The waiting is definitely brutal, and you just can't explain it to someone who hasn't been there.

Best advice is to stay busy and try not to focus on it. I'm pulling for you and hope that you get good news before the new year is out, but even if you don't, nothing is ever really dead.

We took my script out to producers in April and immediately attached a big production company. In July, we took it out wide. Everyone passed and even my manager thought we were done at that point. I did get a handful of great meetings out of it, so I considered it a win and was ready to move on.

However, about three months later, it was picked up by a very successful indie producer. Suddenly, we had a deal for this script we'd assumed was dead, and now things are moving very fast (in Hollywood terms) and production is starting to look like a realistic possibility.

We're switching the location to a completely different country, so I have a major rewrite on the horizon (which will be paid, so that's great). However, we're still in the middle of going out to directors, so the producer doesn't want me to work on the rewrite until we've got him/her on board. So right now, it's just more waiting.

Again, it's all about keeping busy. Start another spec. Hopefully you'll get some good meetings off of the one that just went out, and maybe you'll have a chance to do some takes for some of those companies. Enjoy the process and consider everything a learning experience. And most of all -- good luck!

TychoWriter
11-20-2012, 05:30 PM
Thanks!

Yeah that's been the advice of friends too, and yes we've kept busy. But DANG! It's soooooo hard!

Congrats on your project!

Tycho

-XL-
11-20-2012, 05:47 PM
Honestly, the only real advice I can give is "get used to it". It's an @ssbackwards system, and it shouldn't work that way, but very frequently a serious amount of patience is required to keep you sane. You'll pitch on "high-priority" jobs, only for the meetings to get pushed back a month. You'll get hired, only for the contracts to take six months. You'll have a script go to cast/a director, only for them to take months to read. And that's all if you're lucky enough to be in that position.

In statistical terms, the chances of any spec selling are rather small. And, yes, after thanksgiving, the town starts to slow down, and doesn't really pick back up till after Sundance. But there's still a chance.

That said, just because something doesn't sell immediately doesn't mean it's dead. There are always other avenues. I have a spec that's spent the last four years getting close and then not selling.

It's a very good thing that you haven't spent the last 6 months just waiting, and I'd advise you not to start now. There's not much you can do to affect things now, so worry about the things you can: having something new (and great) for when the market opens back up in the new year.

Geoff Alexander
11-20-2012, 06:03 PM
Long time listener, first time caller.

Firstly, a little about me.

I began writing five years ago, and began working with a partner four years ago. Two years ago we were lucky enough to pick up a manager who now works for an A-list production/management company.

Early this year, one of our specs got us repped at a top 5 agency here in LA, and that spec went into development with an A list production company.

We finished that spec 6 months ago, and agency/company/manager were waiting til after the summer to go out with it. In early November the script went to the studio that the company has a first look deal with, and after they passed (which we were hoping they would) it went wide last week to a whole bunch of territories.

However, my concern is that it's too late in the year for a spec sale to go. We were told by manaager and producer that we would hear back by this week, but it's thanksgiving week and I'm not optimistic. Do you think (in your opinion or experience) that there is a chance of the script getting picked up the period after thanksgiving and before new year?

The waiting for the last six months has been horrible. We've written two specs in that time, but still real hard, particularly as the script is now wide and we're waiting to hear back.

Anyway, I know these are first world problems, but I'd love to know what you think.

Tycho

You need to accept that it's out of your hands. Do more work. Eat pie. Spend time with family and friends, get out in nature, jump on your bike, go surfing, go hiking.

Is there a chance that it could sell? Yes. A very slim chance, because it's always unlikely.

8bit Llama
11-20-2012, 06:13 PM
I'm in the same boat. Spec went out wide, got a lot of great feedback, then... haven't heard a lot (to be fair, New York was underwater the week it hit territories). I know it's going to lead to some great meetings, but it's hard to not know anything past that.
Just keep writing. Then, worst case scenario, you have another great spec to take out on the heels of whatever heat this one built up.

carcar
11-20-2012, 09:10 PM
Good post, XL. One of those frustrating, yet comforting ones.

Guinea Pig
11-21-2012, 05:56 AM
We're switching the location to a completely different country, so I have a major rewrite on the horizon (which will be paid, so that's great). However, we're still in the middle of going out to directors, so the producer doesn't want me to work on the rewrite until we've got him/her on board...



Nice Knaight. Very nice. Hope it all works out for you. :)

JoRoss
11-22-2012, 11:37 AM
I've spent a decade in publishing: it takes my agent two months to read a draft. Three months to rewrite. Two months for anther read. Two months for another polish. One month for another read. Then two months for an offer. (If I'm lucky. I've had an offer after eight months. And sometimes, of course, no offer at all.)

And all that is after a year of writing the ****ing thing. So believe me, while I'm new to screenwriting, I'm a stone pro when it comes to waiting.

The only thing you can do is what you did: write more. You've got this handled. Pour everything into new projects.

Well, and if you're psychologically bent in the right way, you can train yourself to hate the project that's out. To really despise it on a visceral level. I find that helps with the waiting--and forces me to try to write something so much better than the old project that I'm embarrassed anyone's actually reading it.

That might be more of a novelist's trick than a screenwriter's trick, though.

Knaight
11-22-2012, 04:49 PM
Nice Knaight. Very nice. Hope it all works out for you. :)

Thanks! I've been working at this game for the better part of a decade, so these are exciting times.