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Old 08-23-2009, 03:35 PM   #1
Charisma
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Default Manager request for reads- how many are to be expected?

Hi all.

Just curious on manager queries. When casting a wide net, how many read requests should one reasonable expect to receive? I wonder if there is an 'average' number of bites per submission cycle?

I'm certain the numbers will vary to some degree based on the strength of the query, but I'm interested in the response ratio DD'ers are getting. Might be helpful to know how often the fish are biting.

Also--is there an accepted protocol for multiple submissions to same firm?
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Old 08-23-2009, 04:29 PM   #2
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Default Re: manager request for reads- how many are to be expected?

Well, yeah, there are a lot of factors. But I would generally expect low single-digit percentage of actual requests.
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Old 08-23-2009, 09:28 PM   #3
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Default Re: manager request for reads- how many are to be expected?

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Well, yeah, there are a lot of factors. But I would generally expect low single-digit percentage of actual requests.
Hi Grant.

Thanks for the skinny. Was wondering if they would be on the wane... all the crying one hears.

Thanks again.
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Old 08-23-2009, 10:45 PM   #4
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Default Re: Manager request for reads- how many are to be expected?

Big C!

2% return is expected. If you don't get 2%, there's something wrong with the logline.

When it's high concept, or timely, and the story condenses into an excellent logline, shoot for 10%.
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Old 08-24-2009, 12:05 AM   #5
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Default Re: Manager request for reads- how many are to be expected?

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Big C!

2% return is expected. If you don't get 2%, there's something wrong with the logline.

When it's high concept, or timely, and the story condenses into an excellent logline, shoot for 10%.
Hi e,

Can always count on you for thesmooth on the low-down-tip. Always very in-the-know e. Thanks. Getting the reads. Let's see on the meets.

Thanks again e.
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Old 08-24-2009, 08:25 AM   #6
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Default Re: Manager request for reads- how many are to be expected?

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Originally Posted by Charisma View Post
Hi all.

Just curious on manager queries. When casting a wide net, how many read requests should one reasonable expect to receive? I wonder if there is an 'average' number of bites per submission cycle?

I'm certain the numbers will vary to some degree based on the strength of the query, but I'm interested in the response ratio DD'ers are getting. Might be helpful to know how often the fish are biting.

Also--is there an accepted protocol for multiple submissions to same firm?
I just started querying on a new screenplay. When I was directly targeting indviduals, I probably got a 60% read 40% no response. That was for 10 individuals.

After that I went wide with about 100 queries and got 9 read requests.

Most of them came within 1 day of the query. Some came as late as 5 days later (3 read requests came after 3 days minimum).

I also queried different managers at specific firms. I have nothing to add to that in terms of wisdom except for this anecdote: I received a pretty big bit of interest from a manager at a VERY large firm. He asked to see my short films as well as my screenplays and we've had an ongoing dialogue. It's going well. Two days ago (almost 2 weeks after the query went out) I received a letter from the firm's legal department sent on behalf of *another* manager at the *same* firm saying they don't accept unsolicited material, queries, etc. Hah! Funny because they clearly do, if the mood/logline/project/phase of the moon strikes them.
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Old 08-24-2009, 10:17 AM   #7
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Default Re: Manager request for reads- how many are to be expected?

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Originally Posted by thought_arcade View Post
I just started querying on a new screenplay. When I was directly targeting indviduals, I probably got a 60% read 40% no response. That was for 10 individuals.

After that I went wide with about 100 queries and got 9 read requests.

Most of them came within 1 day of the query. Some came as late as 5 days later (3 read requests came after 3 days minimum).

I also queried different managers at specific firms. I have nothing to add to that in terms of wisdom except for this anecdote: I received a pretty big bit of interest from a manager at a VERY large firm. He asked to see my short films as well as my screenplays and we've had an ongoing dialogue. It's going well. Two days ago (almost 2 weeks after the query went out) I received a letter from the firm's legal department sent on behalf of *another* manager at the *same* firm saying they don't accept unsolicited material, queries, etc. Hah! Funny because they clearly do, if the mood/logline/project/phase of the moon strikes them.
Congrats, thought arcade! 9% return is excellent.
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Old 08-24-2009, 12:00 PM   #8
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Default Re: Manager request for reads- how many are to be expected?

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Originally Posted by thought_arcade View Post
I just started querying on a new screenplay. When I was directly targeting indviduals, I probably got a 60% read 40% no response. That was for 10 individuals.

After that I went wide with about 100 queries and got 9 read requests.

Most of them came within 1 day of the query. Some came as late as 5 days later (3 read requests came after 3 days minimum).

I also queried different managers at specific firms. I have nothing to add to that in terms of wisdom except for this anecdote: I received a pretty big bit of interest from a manager at a VERY large firm. He asked to see my short films as well as my screenplays and we've had an ongoing dialogue. It's going well. Two days ago (almost 2 weeks after the query went out) I received a letter from the firm's legal department sent on behalf of *another* manager at the *same* firm saying they don't accept unsolicited material, queries, etc. Hah! Funny because they clearly do, if the mood/logline/project/phase of the moon strikes them.
Hi arCade.

Thanks for the very concise info and cool insights. That's exactly what I sought. Share our exp. snaring or attempting to hook on w/ these cats.

My partner is hoping (I'd be thrilled) that The The Rule of Halves will apply.
Say 20 reads... 10 meets... five offer to rep.

I wonder if those numbers are realistic? C'mon and share. I'll show you mine if you show me yours.
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Old 08-24-2009, 12:09 PM   #9
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Default Re: Manager request for reads- how many are to be expected?

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Congrats, thought arcade! 9% return is excellent.

Thanks Umo! I'm pretty happy with the reads... I just keep on thinking "What would happen if I actually wrote something *commercial* ?"

It's going pretty well. I'm not holding my breath that I'll actually score new representation this time (even though it's a strong possibility), but I definitely have made some major headway.

What's especially nice is that I took some risks on this script. It's Fantasy/Adventure/Comedy (but in a contemporary, modern setting... i.e. fantasy a la Ghostbusters, not Fantasy a la Lord of the Rings), but I did some odd things like editorialize in the narrative (i.e. break the fourth wall in the narration and talk to the audience - but only in the narration) and people are really responding to it. They're seeing it not as an amateur mistake, but as an act of confidence and purposeful disregard for "The Rules" which is what I hoped would happen.
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Old 08-24-2009, 12:16 PM   #10
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Default Re: Manager request for reads- how many are to be expected?

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Originally Posted by Charisma View Post
Hi arCade.

Thanks for the very concise info and cool insights. That's exactly what I sought. Share our exp. snaring or attempting to hook on w/ these cats.

My partner is hoping (I'd be thrilled) that The The Rule of Halves will apply.
Say 20 reads... 10 meets... five offer to rep.

I wonder if those numbers are realistic? C'mon and share. I'll show you mine if you show me yours.
Heh, if you want my honest opinion... I think the law of halves may be wildly optimistic at this point.

Things are tough out there. And one thing I know, know, know, is that many (not all) managers are looking for packageable scripts. One of my more promising queries has resulted in a long and wonderful dialogue, including discussions about what I intend to write next.

I had a script up my sleeve that *I* felt was EXTREMELY commercial. A tight, low-budget thriller which surrounds something that hasn't really been done. It was rejected because my protagonist was a 17 year old girl, and they didn't feel that there was currently a "star" that could carry a box office draw. It's a pretty dark script, so it's not Miley Cyrus Territory - more appropriate for an Ellen Paige-type.

So something to keep in mind, is that while on a good day the law of halves may generally apply to a great script, a great script isn't necessarily enough. I would guess that most managers are looking to leverage the contacts they have (directors and actors) to create a production-ready script.... so if they have a few key artists they can tap they may only be looking for new material that they can use w/ these relationships, whereas a few years ago they might have signed you because you're just a good writer and liked your current script.

But this is all conjecture on my part, because I'll be the first to admit that I don't really know anything.
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