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Old 08-20-2019, 08:16 PM   #241
Friday
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Default Re: Franklin Leonard

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Originally Posted by GucciGhostXXX View Post
True.

It's hella hard to walk into these shops and feel confident. HBO is one of the most intimidating shops IMO. Their 50 foot HBO sign and they have you sit in the lobby directly under a 1,000,000 inch TV playing the absolute fukking best scenes of GoT right before you pitch. Awesome! THANKS! Just what I needed to see right this before I pitch. Nope, I don't feel insecure AT ALL! (My inner monolog "Fukk am I doing here pretending to know what the fukk I'm talking about??? I SHOULD RUN! NOW'S MY CHANCE. NO ONE'S LOOKING. BRO RUUUUN!")

You just gotta suck it up and act. And realize that these creators have been in your exact shoes.

Here's what I say to myself before every meeting: "If it's not me, it'll be someone else, so why not me?" I believe (hope I do) that I go into meetings strong. You hafta try to mentally get there or you'll freak them out, because they're scared too. They don't want to lose their job over your "dumb idea." Confidence is contagious.

I've watched highly successful writers speak at panels and I have to be honest, they seemed kind of awkward - not really the schmoozers/light up the room types. It confuses me as to what being good in a room means.
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Old 08-20-2019, 08:18 PM   #242
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Default Re: Franklin Leonard

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Question: How do you say no in the business? As writers go up the ranks and deal with managers, agents, producers, actors, directors, etc., how do they say no without burning bridges? I am sure they will be put in a position where in order to say yes to someone, they have to say no to others.
Easy answer...

YOU never say "No!" You ALWAYS (and I hate the word always 'cause it NEVER applies... except for here) say "Sounds great! Let me consider it and get back to you." Then you tell you rep "Super not interested." Then your rep gets to be the bad guy and let them down strategically. "They really loved the project, but aren't available." Or whatever... (high class problem)

Never say "No" yourself IMO. Not your job.

Also, it's aways "Yes, if..."

Can you write a treatment?

"Yes, if..."

Can you write a draft?

"Yes, if..."

Can you come up with a take?

"Yes, if..."

Feel me?

Take "No" out of your vocabulary.
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Old 08-20-2019, 08:22 PM   #243
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Default Re: Franklin Leonard

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Originally Posted by GucciGhostXXX View Post
Easy answer...

YOU never say "No!" You ALWAYS (and I hate the word always 'cause it NEVER applies... except for here) say "Sounds great! Let me consider it and get back to you." Then you tell you rep "Super not interested." Then your rep gets to be the bad guy and let them down strategically. "They really loved the project, but aren't available." Or whatever... (high class problem)

Never say "No" yourself IMO. Not your job.

Also, it's aways "Yes, if..."

Can you write a treatment?

"Yes, if..."

Can you write a draft?

"Yes, if..."

Can you come up with a take?

"Yes, if..."

Feel me?

Take "No" out of your vocabulary.

LOL. You can die of encouragement in this town. I enjoyed reading your take. Not saying, writers will have this champagne problem, but what if they are in a situation where they want to sign with a rep, but not the others or do not want to take a deal with such and such producer because other writers have said they didn't enjoy their experience with that producer?
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Old 08-20-2019, 08:33 PM   #244
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Default Re: Franklin Leonard

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Originally Posted by Friday View Post
I've watched highly successful writers speak at panels and I have to be honest, they seemed kind of awkward - not really the schmoozers/light up the room types. It confuses me as to what being good in a room means.
TRUST.

That's it... That's what "good in a room" boils down to. Not style.

You can be hella awkward (Coen Brothers, Charlie Kaufman etc.) but instill confidence in others that you know what the fukk you're talking about and know exactly how to accomplish it. That's all they want "Will this writer save us? Because we have no fukkin clue how to do this."

Look at Stephen Hawking, do you TRUST he was smarter than you? I bet you do. If I have string theory questions, he'd have been the first person I asked.

Maybe a better example: Craig Mazin vs John August. Their styles are completely different. Which one of them would you trust to deliver on a script? Yup, both of them. Why? Because they both know what they're talking about and commend that authority over what they're pitching. The specific style doesn't matter.
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Old 08-20-2019, 08:43 PM   #245
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Default Re: Franklin Leonard

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LOL. You can die of encouragement in this town. I enjoyed reading your take. Not saying, writers will have this champagne problem, but what if they are in a situation where they want to sign with a rep, but not the others or do not want to take a deal with such and such producer because other writers have said they didn't enjoy their experience with that producer?
Then you just politely decline. I've been in both situations.

With the rep you are actually the one who has to say to them "After much consideration, and while I respect your game plan, I've decided to go with ____. Thank you for your consideration."

With saying "No" to a producer, hopefully you're repped by that time and don't have to do it yourself. Rep gets on the phone, something to the effect of "My client really loved your take, but has decided to go with ____. They really enjoyed meeting with you and hope to do business on a future project."

Something like that...

With a particular show of mine that was the truth. I DID like all their takes on how to do it. I just liked one the best. Agent handled the passes. I just said which one seemed like the best fit.
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Old 08-20-2019, 08:49 PM   #246
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Default Re: Franklin Leonard

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Originally Posted by GucciGhostXXX View Post
TRUST.

That's it... That's what "good in a room" boils down to. Not style.

You can be hella awkward (Coen Brothers, Charlie Kaufman etc.) but instill confidence in others that you know what the fukk you're talking about and know exactly how to accomplish it. That's all they want "Will this writer save us? Because we have no fukkin clue how to do this."

Look at Stephen Hawking, do you TRUST he was smarter than you? I bet you do. If I have string theory questions, he'd have been the first person I asked.

Maybe a better example: Craig Mazin vs John August. Their styles are completely different. Which one of them would you trust to deliver on a script? Yup, both of them. Why? Because they both know what they're talking about and commend that authority over what they're pitching. The specific style doesn't matter.

That's the best explanation I've heard. Thanks. Yeah, I'd pretty much trust Charlie Kaufman to just go and write his stuff, after reading his scripts like Adaptation and Being John Malkovich. And I'd definitely trust James Cameron on whatever he wants to do. I guess when writers think about being good in a room, they are thinking they need to be this larger in life character that's electrifying. What I saw with the professional writers were that they seemed to be normal people (a little on the awkward side), but did seem to know what they were talking about--like they had a way with words.
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Old 08-20-2019, 08:51 PM   #247
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Default Re: Franklin Leonard

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Then you just politely decline. I've been in both situations.

With the rep you are actually the one who has to say to them "After much consideration, and while I respect your game plan, I've decided to go with ____. Thank you for your consideration."

With saying "No" to a producer, hopefully you're repped by that time and don't have to do it yourself. Rep gets on the phone, something to the effect of "My client really loved your take, but has decided to go with ____. They really enjoyed meeting with you and hope to do business on a future project."

Something like that...

With a particular show of mine that was the truth. I DID like all their takes on how to do it. I just liked one the best. Agent handled the passes. I just said which one seemed like the best fit.

That's good advice. Yeah, there's always the concern of burning an unnecessary bridge...odds are you probably will see that person down the road. Maybe, you don't do business, but you still want to be on good terms.
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Old 08-21-2019, 02:05 AM   #248
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Default Re: Franklin Leonard

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That's the best explanation I've heard. Thanks. Yeah, I'd pretty much trust Charlie Kaufman to just go and write his stuff, after reading his scripts like Adaptation and Being John Malkovich. And I'd definitely trust James Cameron on whatever he wants to do. I guess when writers think about being good in a room, they are thinking they need to be this larger in life character that's electrifying. What I saw with the professional writers were that they seemed to be normal people (a little on the awkward side), but did seem to know what they were talking about--like they had a way with words.
Right?

There's those writers you just KNOW are going to deliver something special. So it's worth the "risk" to THEM.

Speaking of Adaptation. I was there the night they screened it for the first time at CAA. The head of (who was it, Sony?) got up and praised it. Said "I've never gotten up and spoken about a film, but I'm making an exception. This is NOT the film we hired Charlie to write, but once we read it, we knew we had to make it." It was the feeling of 'I'm about to see something special.' The author of the Orchid Thief read his draft before they made it, she loved it. Essentially "This is art... this is not my book, but this is art." She was happy with it.

I feel like my ex had something to do with it, repped the book, helped? Don't remember. I could be wrong. My memory is sh!t.

But, that was kinda one of those special nights for me. It was a rare moment of unbridled artistry that rarely happens in this soul sucking town. I fukkin LOVED the film. And to this day it's one of my favorite film scores. Clint Mansell? Fukking perfect score!

The good old days...
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Old 08-21-2019, 02:39 AM   #249
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Default Re: Franklin Leonard

Oops... I misquoted Suzan Orlean.

Real quote:

Having been submitted the screenplay for approval, Susan Orlean was strongly opposed to the making of the film; she ended up reluctantly approving its production, and was ultimately very impressed with the final result. In 2012, she stated "[reading the screenplay] was a complete shock. My first reaction was 'Absolutely not!' They had to get my permission and I just said: 'No! Are you kidding? This is going to ruin my career!' Very wisely, they didn't really pressure me. They told me that everybody else had agreed and I somehow got emboldened. It was certainly scary to see the movie for the first time. It took a while for me to get over the idea that I had been insane to agree to it, but I love the movie now."


However, I heard she loved the movie back then. That she was basically like WTF? But ultimately dug it. Although, I don't want to put words in her mouth.

But, I can imagine how utterly shocked she must have been. I'd be like "Dude... WHAT???... this guy jerks off to my book photo... seriously... WHAT???"


Oh and... Columbia not Sony.
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Old 08-21-2019, 03:23 AM   #250
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Default Re: Franklin Leonard

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Right?

There's those writers you just KNOW are going to deliver something special. So it's worth the "risk" to THEM.

Speaking of Adaptation. I was there the night they screened it for the first time at CAA. The head of (who was it, Sony?) got up and praised it. Said "I've never gotten up and spoken about a film, but I'm making an exception. This is NOT the film we hired Charlie to write, but once we read it, we knew we had to make it." It was the feeling of 'I'm about to see something special.' The author of the Orchid Thief read his draft before they made it, she loved it. Essentially "This is art... this is not my book, but this is art." She was happy with it.

I feel like my ex had something to do with it, repped the book, helped? Don't remember. I could be wrong. My memory is sh!t.

But, that was kinda one of those special nights for me. It was a rare moment of unbridled artistry that rarely happens in this soul sucking town. I fukkin LOVED the film. And to this day it's one of my favorite film scores. Clint Mansell? Fukking perfect score!

The good old days...

Don't you just love it when a writer surpasses your expectations? You hand them the Orchard Thief and they come up with something that's so outside the box you can't believe it. If I were the Orchard Thief writer, I'd be thrilled too... it's now going to be a masterpiece that's going to live on in film lore. Being John Malkovich was brilliant, but I thought Adaptation topped it. Nic Cage and his twin hack writer brother just made me laugh so hard. His twin brother gives him the most hacky cliched story ideas ends up more successful than this tortured serious artist, lol. That must play in real life so often. It's nice that you got to experience that.
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