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Old 03-06-2007, 09:15 AM   #1
Gumsandals
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Default How Far Are You Willing To Go To Get Your Screenplay On The Screen Part II

In Part I, I posted my experience with a company that Variety said has $10 million in financing but wants me, a struggling, penniless screenwriter to cough up "good faith" money to help them make a pitching trailer based on one of my scripts. I passed on that for a number of reasons. Some of you asked me to name names. I won't because I don't have a paper trail-- the proposal was on the phone. However, I will tell you that one of you guessed the company.

Sunday I answered a Craig's List ad for a producer looking for a screenwriter to write a screenplay based on an outline provided in the ad. Although he was only asking for one or two pages based on any part of the outline to judge my worthiness, I was having a slow day and, liking a challenge-- especially one that doesn't ask me for money up front like so many screenplay contests do-- I whipped out five quick pages and sent them off. A few hours later I got an email back telling me that he liked my sample pages "very much." In fact, he was proposing that I sign a contract that would allow me to finish the screeplay with no money up front. The part I had written wouldn't have to be re-done. Within 10-business days of filming, I would be paid the handsome sum of $500.00 for my screenplay, allowed to come onto the set and get an invitation to the premiere screening.

I didn't know whether to laugh, cry, or get angry. Maybe I've been around way too long but I just sighed and replied in a one-sentence response thanking him for the opportunity but telling him I can't work for $500.

I waited to see if he would tell me it was all a big mistake, that I misunderstood him. That email never came.

So, in the interest of all of us trying to catch lightning in a bottle, here's a head's up: The company: Stratosphere Entertainment. The producer: Donald Farmer. He gave me a NetFlix link to his previous releases which can be found at: http://www.netflix.com/RoleDisplay?s...sonid=20011718

Is there no shame in Hollywood or certain parts of New Jersey?
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Old 03-06-2007, 01:16 PM   #2
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Smile Re: How Far Are You Willing To Go To Get Your Screenplay On The Screen Part II

That is a good story, Gumsandals. Thanks for telling it to us.
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Old 03-09-2007, 09:10 PM   #3
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Default Re: How Far Are You Willing To Go To Get Your Screenplay On The Screen Part II

I feel sorry for you that you ran into two hustlers back to back, but it seems that you're sharper for it.

Hang in there.

S
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Old 03-09-2007, 09:28 PM   #4
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Default Re: How Far Are You Willing To Go To Get Your Screenplay On The Screen Part II

Not sure you can put this guy in the same catagory as the first.

All he has done is offer Gumsandles a deal he was not prepared to accept.
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Old 03-12-2007, 08:37 AM   #5
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Default Re: How Far Are You Willing To Go To Get Your Screenplay On The Screen Part II

Quote:
Originally Posted by hscope View Post
Not sure you can put this guy in the same catagory as the first.

All he has done is offer Gumsandles a deal he was not prepared to accept.
Well, I agree....sort of.

I agree that he is honest and up front about only being able to pay $500.00.

But does that really make him any better than the other guy? Think about how many hours it takes us to PROPERLY write a screenplay. A good 3 months of concepting, structuring, writing, proofing, rethinking, rewriting, etc.

When you break it down, this offer is probably somewhere in the neighborhood of fifteen cents an hour.

That's pretty crappy of this guy to think it's okay to exploit people like that. And just because some of us are hungry to do it doesn't make it okay.

For me, it's no different than offering a homeless person 5 cents a month to clean my house. Sure, I'm being honest about it...but it's still a hustle.

That said...your point is well-taken. He's not out there presenting himself in a false way like many others.

S
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Old 03-12-2007, 09:34 AM   #6
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Default Re: How Far Are You Willing To Go To Get Your Screenplay On The Screen Part II

You found the guy on craigslist. I hope you weren't expecting WGA minimums.
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