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Old 12-30-2010, 10:44 AM   #41
Writr
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Default Re: Sold script, movie in post-prod., can't get agent...

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Originally Posted by chuckhustmyre View Post
That's exactly what I'm going to do. Hopefully, with a script in hand and a book on the way, I'll get more interest.
Cool! I think you will. And when you query again put the focus of the email on the script and the novel. You can make some mention of your past accomplishments but your current novel and it's adapted script will get the most attention and should be front and center.

Best wishes!
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Old 12-30-2010, 10:45 AM   #42
Geoff Alexander
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Default Re: Sold script, movie in post-prod., can't get agent...

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Originally Posted by chuckhustmyre View Post
That's exactly what I'm going to do. Hopefully, with a script in hand and a book on the way, I'll get more interest.
I think that's smart. There's very little development money out there to acquire novels and then have to pay a writer to adapt. If you adapt your own book, you will be in a much stronger position.
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Old 12-30-2010, 11:02 AM   #43
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Default Re: Sold script, movie in post-prod., can't get agent...

Congrats on your accomplishments, Chuck. You mentioned that you might make more movies with the EP. Who repped you on the first deal? As the next deal comes together, query agents with the pending deal in hand. Good luck.
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Old 12-30-2010, 11:25 AM   #44
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Lightbulb Re: Sold script, movie in post-prod., can't get agent...

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Originally Posted by chuckhustmyre View Post
I only made $20,000, but it's a start.
Again, you've got more hustle than me, and this is no slight. But I've heard 250k as the annual earnings a writer should be making to keep a good agent. Obviously they sign newer writers on promise, and most aren't watching the clock if they believe in you.

This is why Telly suggested maybe not mentioning your movie. A new writer is all potential; if you've got a history of low budget work, they see it as harder to break you out of it.
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Old 12-30-2010, 12:09 PM   #45
Telly
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Default Re: Sold script, movie in post-prod., can't get agent...

Now that I have a pretty clear picture of where you are, I'd like to slightly adjust my earlier suggestion. First I would stop sending out queries and stressing yourself out. It's pointless without a script in hand.

I heard what you said earlier about feeling worse after been on this board. Welcome to DD! This is often the case around here. Everyone thinks they know the answers (including me) but it takes a writer with guts and thick skin to filter through the onslaught of flinging crap to find the true nuggets of wisdom.

So, I'd first start adapting that book so you have a unique, commercial script in hand, ready to go. When you're done and you start your query process, stick to a screenwriting theme in the query. I know you still want to write novels, but man, you're not doing yourself any favors by telling a screenwriting agent this. I would write a simple greeting, mention you have a published novel, a released film and then hit them hard with your logline.

You will naturally want to expand on your film and novel in the letter, I can tell, you're very proud of both and I get it. In fact I stick with my first suggestion of not mentioning those at all, but I can tell you're stubborn like myself, so mention it, but be brief!

If you start getting carried away about your novel and film accomplishments in the query , and I have a good idea you will, I'd suggest you step back and assess your objectives. You need to decide what you want. If you leave with anything out of this thread, I hope it's that you need to focus on screenwriting in your query. No one is saying you need to stop selling scripts to low-buget producers or writing novels, but if you want an agent to take you seriously you MUST rely on that logline and a script they can sell NOW. They have no interest in your novel or Trejo film, man. I know that hurts to hear, but having tried to pimp my other wares (novels/low-budget films) on my previous agent I learned a lot about what makes these agents tick, and your novels and films are not it. They just don't care.

They do care about what script you have NOW, ready to go and ready to sell. This is what makes them money. If they see you even slightly unfocused they will move on, as there are countless more writers who are 100% focused on screenwriting who have smart, marketable scripts ready to go. AND they can count on those writers to rock out another script immediately following the script they just wrote, or be 100% ready to take an assignment.

With the way you have your query structured now, they have a book you want to sell the rights to (which is insanely difficult) and a dude who wants to adapt that book into script (if sold) and then write more books and more low-budget scripts. Seriously, that's what they see. I know what you want them to see, but they don't see what you want, they see dollar signs, and in your query, they see no money at all.

Get the script done and query that logline. I will take it one step further since I've invested so much friggin' time into this thread. If you finish that script, shoot it to me and if it's as good as you suggest I will get it in the hands of two agents at two large agencies. One is a friend, the other is a past agent whom I'm about to re-sign with. I've done it for a couple writer's here before. The agents passed on both of them, but hey, the script was read. EDITED TO ADD CAVEAT: Sorry guys, I wont do this for anyone else so please don't PM me like last time.

I've been through your route before and I remember how exhausting it was. You'll get it soon enough if a screenwriting agent is what you really want, and I'm not so sure that's what you really want right now. Anyway.

Keep in mind, I'm still a starving writer too, but I'm 100% focused on screenwriting, back on my feet and working with a big agent again, so I'm feeling empowered right now. I've been out of writing for almost 8 months dealing with medical issues and have just now decided to jump back in and make 2011 my year! Just trying to share the love. Write the script and focus on the logline. If it's good, you'll find a rep.

Good luck!

Last edited by Telly : 12-30-2010 at 12:19 PM.
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Old 12-30-2010, 12:16 PM   #46
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Default Re: Sold script, movie in post-prod., can't get agent...

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Write the script and focus on the logline. If it's good, you'll find a rep.


This man speaks the truth.
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Old 12-30-2010, 12:21 PM   #47
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Default Re: Sold script, movie in post-prod., can't get agent...

Chuck, PM sent.
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Old 12-30-2010, 12:27 PM   #48
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Default Re: Sold script, movie in post-prod., can't get agent...

The following 2-cents is from a total nobody in terms of film industry experience. I do agree adapting your book and querying the script is the way to go. Write the hell out of it. As for commercial potential ...a good, gritty cop thriller in the Big Easy? I'm there. However, SBScript does indeed know of what he speaks ... and I'm thinking if the bar is set at "big" commercial films sure to do well internationally, a number of us may be in trouble. Sigh.
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Old 12-30-2010, 12:29 PM   #49
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Default Re: Sold script, movie in post-prod., can't get agent...

Telly ... glad to hear you're feeling better.
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Old 12-30-2010, 12:37 PM   #50
Geoff Alexander
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Default Re: Sold script, movie in post-prod., can't get agent...

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Originally Posted by sc111 View Post
The following 2-cents is from a total nobody in terms of film industry experience. I do agree adapting your book and querying the script is the way to go. Write the hell out of it. As for commercial potential ...a good, gritty cop thriller in the Big Easy? I'm there. However, SBScript does indeed know of what he speaks ... and I'm thinking if the bar is set at "big" commercial films sure to do well internationally, a number of us may be in trouble. Sigh.
Let's keep in mind that "big" and "commercial" are not the the same thing. A heist set in a New Orleans Casino, yes. In fact, any twist on the heist sub-genre is pretty much always going to be of interest. We look for specs that would cost 50m or more to make just as much as we look for scripts that we can get made for 2-3m. But they have to have clear commercial, break out potential. The OP should endeavor to understand that people don't want to spend lots of time and energy on something that they feel has a clearly slim chance of getting made, much less finding success, and unfortunately that includes most "gritty detective thrillers" unless they have a clear hook that can sell around the world.
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