Originally Posted by AnyOtherName
I'm all for feedback! Gets reads from your peers, from pros, from trusted friends! Listen to notes, take what's useful, discard what's not! Rewrite!
What I'm against is a practice that seems to have developed over the years wherein young writers are expected to do endless free rewrites for wannabe producers-- sorry, "managers"-- who refuse to do the job they've been hired to do until they feel sufficient attention has been paid to their (frequently bad) opinions.
I've honestly never known anyone who rewrote a script for a manager and then sold the script, though I'm sure it's happened, sometime, somewhere. On the other hand, I've lost count of how many people I've known who've wasted years of their lives rewriting scripts for managers, watching their savings evaporate, their spirits dwindle, and their careers fail to launch.
Oh... holy hell... I fully agree with you on the free rewrites into infinity thing. I wouldn't recommend that either, unless you saw validity in their notes.
Although, as we know, it can happen with REAL producers too. I mentioned in another thread that I got trapped in development hell for OVER A FRIGGIN YEAR with a top tier producer. Think a Rudin type (but not him). I lost count of how many drafts I did. Yet, my first meeting was probably the best I'd ever had. In fact he called my rep and said it was one of his best meetings as well, it was a good "hang." His words "I fukkin love this script, I wanna live here!" High praise. I'd never worked with a producer that big up to that point (save for maybe Stoff). So, ya know... I tried to make it work. I'm a nobody. But, nearly a year in and, yup, my savings was dwindling (my rent 5k, money I made from selling other people's scripts. Burned through 100k with zero dollars coming in. Dumb!). I'm like WTF? Why are we still rewriting a script you initially were EMPHATIC was AWESOM? But... that dangling carrot kept me rewriting and rewriting, the list of A-List directors he promised we'd go to if we could just get it there was all the top people. How could I walk away? We're so close, I assumed. Maybe this draft. Nope! Maybe this draft? Nope! Told me if I were Aaron Sorkin this would sell for a million bucks. So I kept going. Finally he pulled off the project. An entire year wasted! The script never went to ANYONE! NO ONE!
Here's what I think happened: He read it himself. Loved it. Sent it over to CAA for second opinions. 3 super agents. He said I want them to help us. I believe they read it themselves based on who he is. I believe they discussed it in house and didn't like it. I think they got in his ear and told him it sucked (which I still don't believe). I think they then did coverage, after the fact, sent it to him. I think that made him second guess. Then he split.
I'll NEVER do that amount of free work ever again. Lesson learned the hard way. So, yeah, I fully agree with you on that part. No matter who it is. Currently (no matter who it is) I'd tell them upfront the amount of time I will do free writes, which is a max of 2 weeks. Save for a manger, I'd go a little longer for a manager, so long as I believed in their notes, seeing as the drafts are so fresh and untested.
Although, I still gotta side with Joe on the other stuff. Seems reasonable to me.