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Old 09-17-2014, 09:34 AM   #41
kintnerboy
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Default Re: Next steps on The Black List?

Actually, if I can play devil's advocate for a moment, the only thing anyone can predict about the future of film is that no one knows anything.

It's true that the studios have consolidated themselves into a corner, and are not really pursuing specs the way they did 20 years ago, but no one knows a thing about where the business is headed (my evidence to support this claim is that every single paradigm shift of the last 50 years-- the abolishment of the Hayes Code, the death of the studio system, the summer blockbuster, VHS, the 90's spec boom, the rise and fall of dvd, the defection of feature writers to cable, Netflix, etc., were foretold by NO ONE).

That being said, I would be happy to write for any budget or genre, either under a pseudonym or not, with an agent or without.

Re. The Blacklist (just to keep this post sort of on topic), my comedy feature showed up on the toplist 4 days ago and has not gotten a single view yet, not even by another writer, so you can tell me my logline stinks if you want to, but I get the impression that the professional traffic on the site is minimal at best (no offense to FL, I still think it's a good idea).


Edited: Site, not sight. Duh.

Last edited by kintnerboy : 09-17-2014 at 09:49 AM.
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Old 09-17-2014, 10:48 AM   #42
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Default Re: Next steps on The Black List?

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Originally Posted by kintnerboy View Post
Actually, if I can play devil's advocate for a moment, the only thing anyone can predict about the future of film is that no one knows anything.

It's true that the studios have consolidated themselves into a corner, and are not really pursuing specs the way they did 20 years ago, but no one knows a thing about where the business is headed (my evidence to support this claim is that every single paradigm shift of the last 50 years-- the abolishment of the Hayes Code, the death of the studio system, the summer blockbuster, VHS, the 90's spec boom, the rise and fall of dvd, the defection of feature writers to cable, Netflix, etc., were foretold by NO ONE).

That being said, I would be happy to write for any budget or genre, either under a pseudonym or not, with an agent or without.

Re. The Blacklist (just to keep this post sort of on topic), my comedy feature showed up on the toplist 4 days ago and has not gotten a single view yet, not even by another writer, so you can tell me my logline stinks if you want to, but I get the impression that the professional traffic on the site is minimal at best (no offense to FL, I still think it's a good idea).


Edited: Site, not sight. Duh.
I agree with you that it's all a crapshoot in the long run. But trends are trends are trends. And the fact that people in the future are going to do their viewing at home and from multiple platforms is pretty much a fact of life. And right now, these are the people who are looking for original content. Well budgeted original content. Maybe I should have said it's the immediate future. Because that's what it is.
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Old 09-17-2014, 10:56 AM   #43
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Default Re: Next steps on The Black List?

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The future of original spec writing is cable, Netflix types, VOD, and whatever home delivered service pops up in the future. Those are the facts. That's where most of the writers who will be hired in the future for the studio tent poles will come from. I write for those entities right now and don't struggle to pay my bills at all. I just met with a big production company who does both TV and features. They told me they wanted to talk because of my TV resume. They asked to read three of my feature scripts at the same time they asked for my TV ideas. I go back next week for a formal pitch of one of those TV ideas.

My guess is they haven't even read the feature scripts yet. This is the future. You can embrace it and work as a writer consistently if you're good. As a new writer, waiting for giant payday studio films is an exercise in futility. You have more chance of being run over by a rhino.

I don't know if your blanket statement is even half-true to be honest. Most writers who write studio films are screenwriters who probably broke in with a strong feature writing sample that either resulted in spec sale or meetings that led to OWA.

So while your methods have worked out for you, I don't think it's fair to depict your anecdotal experience as industry-wide trend or fact when that's been counter to my own experience and observation.

One thing I know to be true is that new writers need to have screenplays that get studio executives and producers excited. If writing for those ancillary markets gives you the tools to become a better screenwriter, great!
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Old 09-17-2014, 11:28 AM   #44
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I don't know if your blanket statement is even half-true to be honest. Most writers who write studio films are screenwriters who probably broke in with a strong feature writing sample that either resulted in spec sale or meetings that led to OWA.

So while your methods have worked out for you, I don't think it's fair to depict your anecdotal experience as industry-wide trend or fact when that's been counter to my own experience and observation.

One thing I know to be true is that new writers need to have screenplays that get studio executives and producers excited. If writing for those ancillary markets gives you the tools to become a better screenwriter, great!
That's def what I'm hearing and seeing out there. Studios aren't hiring people who write crap cable movies just because they have credits. They're hiring people who write specs that could be studio movies.
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Old 09-17-2014, 11:51 AM   #45
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Default Re: Next steps on The Black List?

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Re. The Blacklist (just to keep this post sort of on topic), my comedy feature showed up on the toplist 4 days ago and has not gotten a single view yet, not even by another writer, so you can tell me my logline stinks if you want to, but I get the impression that the professional traffic on the site is minimal at best (no offense to FL, I still think it's a good idea).
Right now is not a good time to attract development attention. Interns are hired based on the school year, so all of the studios are still transitioning their staff and can’t read all that much. They might sneak out of their hole for something from a mailing list, but I doubt they're going to comb through the Top List to find a good project at the moment.
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Old 09-17-2014, 06:54 PM   #46
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Default Re: Next steps on The Black List?

I agree. For eg. Shadow 19 was an "unfilmable" blockbuster spec. But it got Jon Spaihts Prometheus.

Had he been writing what Ed writes, he never would have exploded into Hollywood.
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Old 09-17-2014, 07:22 PM   #47
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Default Re: Next steps on The Black List?

"The greater danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we hit it."
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Old 09-17-2014, 07:29 PM   #48
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Default Re: Next steps on The Black List?

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Right now is not a good time to attract development attention. Interns are hired based on the school year, so all of the studios are still transitioning their staff and can’t read all that much. They might sneak out of their hole for something from a mailing list, but I doubt they're going to comb through the Top List to find a good project at the moment.
Respectfully, you're flat wrong. With the exception of Labor Day week, we haven't seen a decline in downloads on the site recently, or cyclically with the school year.

For the most part, it's not interns reading the scripts that are downloaded on the site. Most companies consider our readers several steps about their own interns, and if we're recommending it, they're reading it or having their assistants, many of whom are members of the site as well, do so.
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Old 09-17-2014, 07:44 PM   #49
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I agree. For eg. Shadow 19 was an "unfilmable" blockbuster spec. But it got Jon Spaihts Prometheus.

Had he been writing what Ed writes, he never would have exploded into Hollywood.
That's going a bit too far. Writing lower-level projects does not preclude the possibility of doing bigger budget films later on.

Consider the top 5 films this year:

Guardians of the Galaxy – Gunn got his start tied to Troma. That independent environment allowed him to get taken under the wing of Lloyd Kaufman, learn the craft, and build his network.

Captain America 2 – Markus and McFeely started with a comedy adaptation and have been doing adaptations ever since.

The LEGO Movie – Lord and Miller started doing their own short films, caught the attention of Disney, and then transferred from TV to movies (children’s TV shows are actually a very good starting place for writers that are intent on moving up to features).

Transformers 4 – Kruger started with low level thrillers and then slowly moved up to bigger budget projects.

Maleficent – Woolverton, again, started on television.

Always remember that writing is a career. It’s a job. Sometimes people get lucky and get promoted quickly, but most writers have spent years doing “lesser” writing because it was necessary to build connections, get paid, and form a resume. Far too many writers focus on the “big break” narrative and not on the “I was a writer’s assistant at SyFy for five years before they gave me a shot,” version.

I mentioned earlier in this thread that you should have a big budget feature just in case it gets requested, but it shouldn’t be the only thing you have. Really, your big budget project is more to show that you can write material of that nature.
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Old 09-17-2014, 07:53 PM   #50
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Respectfully, you're flat wrong. With the exception of Labor Day week, we haven't seen a decline in downloads on the site recently, or cyclically with the school year.

For the most part, it's not interns reading the scripts that are downloaded on the site. Most companies consider our readers several steps about their own interns, and if we're recommending it, they're reading it or having their assistants, many of whom are members of the site as well, do so.
Ah, I apologize, then. I was going off of my own experiences (and I thought I saw a slight decline following August's spike - which I guess was just Labor Day).

Do please understand as well that my point wasn't limited solely regarding The Black List. This really can be a slow time, maybe not for you guys, but definitely for some.

I didn't mean to imply that interns were reading the material. It was more that, without interns to shift lesser projects off to, you can't devote time to the things you want (like recommended projects from The Black List).
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Last edited by TitanCreed : 09-17-2014 at 08:12 PM.
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