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Old 06-12-2008, 09:20 AM   #11
Great White Mark
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Default Re: My first read = pass from Richard Donner :(

I used to know Derek socailly & hang out with him sometimes when I lived in LA. He's a good guy & knows his stuff. Better luck next time kid.
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Old 06-12-2008, 09:36 AM   #12
billtei
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Default Re: My first read = pass from Richard Donner :(

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Originally Posted by kidcharlemagne View Post
Drama is a hard sell in Hollywood unless its based on a best selling novel and even then there is no guarantee for box office success. Still, the irony is that the studios need a few dramas for the Oscar season.
Finding that out the hard way ... lol. It almost makes sense to pitch first, then pound out a script if they like the idea.
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Old 06-12-2008, 09:40 AM   #13
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Default Re: My first read = pass from Richard Donner :(

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Originally Posted by Great White Mark View Post
I used to know Derek socailly & hang out with him sometimes when I lived in LA. He's a good guy & knows his stuff. Better luck next time kid.
cool, wish everyone in the industry was like that ... thx
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Old 06-12-2008, 09:40 AM   #14
Geoff Alexander
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Default Re: My first read = pass from Richard Donner :(

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Originally Posted by billtei View Post
Pitched Derek Hoffman at The Donners' Company over the phone and he agreed to read it. I signed the release about a month ago and just got back their response. I'm actually impressed that they provided some coverage:

Bill,
We are going to pass on West Bank. I think you have some good ideas, but the characters were lacking for me. I wanted to see more of the secondary characters, namely Iyad and Leila, developed more. The didn't stand out as real people. And Ben's self admitted corny jokes took away from serious information he was giving. I think the backdrop is a hard one, because it demands a lot from your story, and I just didn't feel it.
Thanks for thinking of us, and good luck with it.

Best,

Derek Hoffman
That's a kind pass, but I have to ask, why the heck would you even submit something like a drama set in the Middle East (I'm assuming that based on the title and character names) to a company that would never buy it? I

Did you do any research on Donner's company before you approached them?
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Old 06-12-2008, 10:02 AM   #15
billtei
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Default Re: My first read = pass from Richard Donner :(

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That's a kind pass, but I have to ask, why the heck would you even submit something like a drama set in the Middle East (I'm assuming that based on the title and character names) to a company that would never buy it? I

Did you do any research on Donner's company before you approached them?
They actually have several dramas in development, and I figured they would be interested in a compelling story that could be produced on a modest budget.
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Old 06-12-2008, 10:10 AM   #16
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Default Re: My first read = pass from Richard Donner :(

That is a very nice PASS and it is one of those experiences along the way for you that is at least a little validating.

It is a subject of great curiosity to me that nobody wants dramas, much less period dramas and yet every Oscar season, dramas grab the brass ring. It's a paradox. A riddle wrapped in an enigma. One prodco I still read for is Bedford Falls and they do like big, epic dramas - Oscar bait, as they say. But they are also a relatively small outfit and do look for work from established writers.
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Old 06-12-2008, 10:23 AM   #17
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Default Re: My first read = pass from Richard Donner :(

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Originally Posted by billtei View Post
They actually have several dramas in development, and I figured they would be interested in a compelling story that could be produced on a modest budget.
I'm not trying to give you a hard time, but I think it might be wise for you to do a little more due diligence on your submissions. They have probably one real drama in development and that's only because Mel is attached.

If you look at who Dick is as a director, the terms, modest, compelling, and drama do not apply. My point is, IMO, it's hard enough to succeed without setting yourself up for failure. Delivering your material into the wrong hands isn't going to help you achieve your goals. Best of luck with it, though, I know it's a tough play to get a drama out into the market.
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Old 06-12-2008, 10:26 AM   #18
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Default Re: My first read = pass from Richard Donner :(

Yeah, dramas are a very hard sell. Most - in fact, nearly all - dramas that see the screen are novel adaptations or indies.

I don't write dramas. I think I came up with the secret, though. Does someone fall in love? It's a romance. Does someone chase someone else, or maybe fire a gun? You got yourself a thriller.

It's mischevious, but it might work.
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Old 06-13-2008, 07:16 AM   #19
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Default Re: My first read = pass from Richard Donner :(

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Did you do any research on Donner's company before you approached them?
i'm in the research camp as well. however... i pitched a drama to derek (in person) a couple of years ago and he like it. maybe they've done a lot of high concept, comedy/action flicks in the past but they may be looking for something new and different. you never know and if they say they'll read the script why would you object?

six months later he agreed to accept the script while we had lunch in some joint in beverly hills. he kept saying, "are you sure this is the best it can be?" and i was so like, "yeah, yeah!"

now, i'm kicking myself because a year later the script is so much better than it was. it's kind of like premature ejaculation.

yeah, he passed. and i got a parking ticket. i sent the city of beverly hills $25!!! like they needed it.

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Old 06-13-2008, 08:45 AM   #20
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Default Re: My first read = pass from Richard Donner :(

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La Femme said: It is a subject of great curiosity to me that nobody wants dramas.
I am just guessing, but I think it is all about money. I think drama has to be pretty darn good to get any traction with the public. Comedy, on the other hand, can be mediocre and still make some money.
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