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Old 01-10-2015, 05:45 PM   #31
evan_g
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Default Re: Beware of producers...

Hence my point. If IMDB was legit, you wouldn't have to go into detective mode when sussing out who's quality and who isn't.
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Old 01-15-2015, 05:38 PM   #32
omjs
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Default Re: Beware of producers...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dustin Taylor View Post
There's a "producer" on twitter, one under those "mystery" pseudonyms who always talks a big game, but when you check his Imdb profile... 10 projects in development, all listed with 25M, 50M, 100M budgets, which he's producing... and writing or developing the story/outline. It's cool to dream, but that's a little overboard.
This has been my suspicion with most of those Mystery Hollywood accounts.
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Old 02-02-2015, 10:11 PM   #33
PoisonIvy
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Default Re: Beware of producers...

I think it is very interesting and useful for anyone to read threads like this one to get some perspective. Most Hollywood producers, are stressed, overworked, and for the most part underpaid but also jaded and do not take into account how they may be perceived outside their narrow circle of industry contacts.

Most concerns expressed here are valid and true. How do you differentiate between real producers and hacks? Through trial and error mostly. There is no single database that would tell you who is good and who is not. IMDB can probably give you some idea of where on the ladder any given producer is. If they have produced credits to their name, they probably know people and their call will be answered by those who can actually get you paid and fund your film (sales agencies, studios, production companies with money - the kind of places who won't give you the time of day otherwise).

I don't think a $1 option is that unusual in the indie world - producer will not make you rich - that's not their job. But they must be able to be able to pull some sort of financing together that ultimately will get you paid and will get the film made. Doesn't happen every time - even studio ratios of development to production is something like 400/1 on average. But with the right producer you at least have a shot.

One thing that was brought up here that is 100% true - do not EVER pay producer for anything! Not coverage, not notes, not anything else - that is just not how the industry works. And if you ever go out for a meal with them, let them pick it up - if the film is made, it'll be in the budget
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Old 02-02-2015, 10:38 PM   #34
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Default Re: Beware of producers...

Quote:
Originally Posted by PoisonIvy View Post
- even studio ratios of development to production is something like 400/1 on average.
where did you get this number? Just interested.
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Old 02-02-2015, 10:54 PM   #35
PoisonIvy
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Default Re: Beware of producers...

It's not an exact figure - just average. Some majors are probably higher and some smaller studios and minis are a bit lower, but sadly that's how it is.
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Old 02-07-2015, 08:04 PM   #36
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Default Re: Beware of producers...

Quote:
Originally Posted by PoisonIvy View Post
I don't think a $1 option is that unusual in the indie world - producer will not make you rich - that's not their job. But they must be able to be able to pull some sort of financing together that ultimately will get you paid and will get the film made.
I agree with that. It really is a matter of trial and error, and your post on this topic is the best thus far, PoisonIvy.

It's not much different from online dating. Sometimes the person you meet, if it gets to that point, isn't the person you thought they were (and you ignored obvious red flags like no recent pictures, etc). Sometimes it's great and you both win!
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Old 02-07-2015, 08:43 PM   #37
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Default Re: Beware of producers...

A $1 option means jack to a producer, indie or not. Them being out of pocket a single dollar means they've got nothing financially driving them to get the film made.

If they take an option on it for $1 for a year or two and after three months give up because they can't find interest in it, then you lose out. If they've got something at stake in the project, like a few grand of their own money, then they're going to fight a lot harder to get the script produced so they get their money back.

Remember, an option means you can't take the script elsewhere in that time. If you think that you being unable to act on your project for two years is only worth $1, then you're either desperate or don't value your self-worth.
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Old 02-07-2015, 11:47 PM   #38
PoisonIvy
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Default Re: Beware of producers...

Evan - it is very naive for you to say that unless you get a payday on an option producer has nothing driving them financially. With all due respect, producing is a job like any other except instead of a weekly paycheck, producer makes a fee and maybe some back end if the film is made and is a success. But do you have any idea what it takes to mount a film? Phone calls and lunches and more phone calls and more lunches and meetings with financiers, companies, line producers, casting directors and that's just the beginning. Then comes homework like a budget (not free), production plan (not free), soft money (takes TIME!) all the bells and whistles that you may not thing about now that will get the film made (or not). Mind you, producer does not get paid for any of this - no weekly paycheck, just hope that this will pay off in the end. A lot of time it doesn't even for the biggest and most established producers and then it starts all over again. Producers are not moneybags. They are working professionals who are making a living, just like directors, screenwriters, line producers etc. Hollywood may sound glamorous but at the end of the day it is just a lot of hard work.
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Old 02-08-2015, 12:14 AM   #39
evan_g
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Default Re: Beware of producers...

Quote:
Originally Posted by PoisonIvy View Post
Evan - it is very naive for you to say that unless you get a payday on an option producer has nothing driving them financially. With all due respect, producing is a job like any other except instead of a weekly paycheck, producer makes a fee and maybe some back end if the film is made and is a success. But do you have any idea what it takes to mount a film? Phone calls and lunches and more phone calls and more lunches and meetings with financiers, companies, line producers, casting directors and that's just the beginning. Then comes homework like a budget (not free), production plan (not free), soft money (takes TIME!) all the bells and whistles that you may not thing about now that will get the film made (or not). Mind you, producer does not get paid for any of this - no weekly paycheck, just hope that this will pay off in the end. A lot of time it doesn't even for the biggest and most established producers and then it starts all over again. Producers are not moneybags. They are working professionals who are making a living, just like directors, screenwriters, line producers etc. Hollywood may sound glamorous but at the end of the day it is just a lot of hard work.
Do I have any idea what it takes to mount a film? Of course I do.

What you wrote above doesn't explain why a writer should accept a $1 option. Just because you think it's 'the norm,' doesn't mean that it is, or that it has to be so.

All the tasks you highlighted above are a given for that profession, regardless of the project. None of it is specific to any one project or more importantly any one writer's project.

The '$1 option' is a load of sh*t, but if you wish to support that, go ahead.
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Old 02-08-2015, 08:20 AM   #40
Pasquali56
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Default Re: Beware of producers...

I 100% agree with Evan. When I was younger, I accepted $1 options from various producers (yes, out of desperation -- and flattered that someone even liked/wanted my work). I ended up doing rewrites for them, often several rewrites -- all to no avail. But what's it to the producer? Nothing. They can have $1 options from 50 screenwriters out there, tying up the time and properties of all of them. They feel they can throw enough **** out there and maybe something will stick. Meanwhile, the writers (often unbeknownst to them) are having their time completely wasted. Most actually believe (and are led to believe by the producers) that their projects are high priority.

Now I'm older and wiser -- and I have an entertainment attorney. So when a producer offers me a low-ball option offer, I say write up an agreement/offer and send it to my attorney. They never do -- because they don't even take it seriously enough to pay their own attorney to put it in writing. And if they're not willing to at least do that -- **** them.
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