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nDanger 08-11-2015 10:15 PM

Back Catalog
 
I'm just curious if the following happens very often, if at all...

You're in a meeting, say at a studio or whatever, and you get asked what properties from their back catalog you would be interested in rebooting/re-imagining.

Is this something that happens?

What would be some of the properties writers on Done Deal would like to work on?

Ronaldinho 08-12-2015 12:36 AM

Re: Back Catalog
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by nDanger (Post 926618)
I'm just curious if the following happens very often, if at all...

You're in a meeting, say at a studio or whatever, and you get asked what properties from their back catalog you would be interested in rebooting/re-imagining.

Is this something that happens?

I had something similar, with a producer who had the rights to a bunch of books, and was curious if any of them appealed to me.

The problem with this sort of situation is that you're talking about a low-priority project, and low priority projects tend not to turn into paying jobs. So really that's an invitation to do a whole bunch of work to develop a pitch, and have them then say, "That's a good pitch, we liked it, but we don't love it enough to invest a bunch of money in it. Maybe you want to try another one of our old projects?"

Repeat ad infinitum. Lots of work. No pay.

Inactive projects are usually inactive for a reason. There are a lot of traps there for the baby writer. I'm not saying it never happens, but you need to be very careful, because a development exec saying, "Sure, work up a pitch for that, we could be interested" takes him all of 5 seconds, but it's weeks of work for you.

This is one of those places where you really need an agent or a manager who can figure out if this is a project they might actually be willing to invest in.

cvolante 08-12-2015 04:38 AM

Re: Back Catalog
 
On the other hand, if it's this awesome thing you totally would've loved to write but couldn't because you didn't own the rights, BINGO. Here's your chance to do it with actual possibility.

Think of the person who first wanted to do Wonder Woman, or Jason Segal with Muppets or whatever.

Ronaldinho 08-13-2015 10:18 AM

Re: Back Catalog
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by cvolante (Post 926622)
On the other hand, if it's this awesome thing you totally would've loved to write but couldn't because you didn't own the rights, BINGO. Here's your chance to do it with actual possibility.

Think of the person who first wanted to do Wonder Woman, or Jason Segal with Muppets or whatever.

Sure.

But there's a big difference between Jason Siegel coming to a producer and saying, "I want to do something with the Muppets, and I'll star, are you interested?" - at which point they run some numbers, and say yes, and THEN he works up a pitch - and a producer just sort of shrugging and saying, "anything in our back catalog that you like?"

In the former case, there is some excitement and enthusiasm for the project among the people who are going to have to cut a check. In the latter case, there isn't.

I'm not saying it never ever happens. I'm saying that it happens far, far less than writers who end up wasting their time chasing a project which isn't going to turn in to a real job for anyone.

Development budgets are shrinking. Very few production companies will finance fishing expeditions like this, especially with baby writers.

Just be aware.

Geoff Alexander 08-13-2015 10:24 AM

Re: Back Catalog
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by nDanger (Post 926618)
I'm just curious if the following happens very often, if at all...

You're in a meeting, say at a studio or whatever, and you get asked what properties from their back catalog you would be interested in rebooting/re-imagining.

Is this something that happens?

What would be some of the properties writers on Done Deal would like to work on?

Doesn't really happen--exceedingly rare if at all. The know their own libraries extremely well and I can guarantee they are gone over with a fine tooth comb fairly regularly. I sat in a room at MGM a while back with two massive binders that contained titles and one liners of every single property that they own--I think there were something like six thousand in all took me a half day to go through them.

The few that I found that were interesting were already back in development in some fashion.

I did learn however that MGM owns a mountain of incredibly, unbelievably shitty movies.

Eric Boellner 08-13-2015 11:50 AM

Re: Back Catalog
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Geoff Alexander (Post 926657)
I did learn however that MGM owns a mountain of incredibly, unbelievably shitty movies.

This cracked me up. But I'm curious, what were you there for?

Geoff Alexander 08-13-2015 12:56 PM

Re: Back Catalog
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Eric Boellner (Post 926672)
This cracked me up. But I'm curious, what were you there for?

MGM didn't have money at the time and we had rights to two of their projects and were raising slate financing for three pictures, we were trying to find the third. Didn't work out unfortunately, but so it goes.


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