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Old 10-17-2005, 03:31 PM   #11
PoisonIvy
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Default Re: Favorite rejection lines

Would you be happier if you got something like: "This is the worst pile of crap that came across my desk in years. I dumped it after I read first five pages. Please don't ever write again." Come on, people, they are just trying to be nice...

As for "we have something similar", it's a common practice for companies to read stuff that can become potential competition. Competitive development is a very real thing and it is a CE's job to keep tabs on that. Therefore, a company is more likely to request your script if it appears to be similar to something they are debeloping. Just in case.
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Old 10-17-2005, 03:44 PM   #12
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Default Re: Favorite rejection lines

Relax, Ivy. We're just trying to have fun with the fact that sometimes we feel so close yet so far away.

Ele...
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Old 10-17-2005, 04:30 PM   #13
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Default Competitive Development -- question for PoisonIvy

"As for "we have something similar", it's a common practice for companies to read stuff that can become potential competition. Competitive development is a very real thing and it is a CE's job to keep tabs on that. Therefore, a company is more likely to request your script if it appears to be similar to something they are debeloping. Just in case."

This is interesting. I have never heard of this term before, but always wondered about it. PoisonIvy, could you elaborate a little bit more on competitive development? For example, I can understand why one studio would want to read a competitive script that is in development by another studio and/or production company. But why would they care to see something similar written by a "newbie" who is querying them without representation? The script is obviously not truly competitive in that it is in no way being developed by anyone other than the newbie writer. Also, have you ever seen a situation where a studio or production company reads a "competitive" script that is even better than what they are developing? Not that this would happen to any of us, but I'm just curious. Would the production company or studio then purchase that script in order to use elements to better their project? Again, this is something new to me. I've always wondered why they would request a script based on a clear premise -then come back with "We already have something similar in development."
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Old 10-17-2005, 04:35 PM   #14
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Default Re: Favorite rejection lines

A friend's brother, who was a top manage,r read a script of mine many years ago, when I was just starting out, and said when we spoke on the phone...

"So, I read the script and I gotta tell you it was probably the funniest thing to come across my desk this year. So,....what else can I do for you?"

Uh...sign me!! Send it out!! What do you mean "what else can I do for you?"

Ahhhhh!
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Old 10-17-2005, 04:37 PM   #15
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Default Re: Favorite rejection lines

"As for "we have something similar", it's a common practice for companies to read stuff that can become potential competition. Competitive development is a very real thing and it is a CE's job to keep tabs on that. Therefore, a company is more likely to request your script if it appears to be similar to something they are debeloping. Just in case."

I'm sorry, but I respectfully disagree. Asking for a script when you have a similar project development strikes me as leaving the prodco wide open for a plagiarism lawsuit. The writer of the passed over script could come back to haunt the prodco big time. A prodco refusing to read a script BECAUSE they have a similar project in development strikes me as the more logical scenario.

Or am I way off base here?
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Old 10-17-2005, 05:00 PM   #16
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Default Re: Favorite rejection lines

If the writer signs a release form first, I would think the company is covered.
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Old 10-17-2005, 05:04 PM   #17
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Default Re: Favorite rejection lines

"It's not you, babe, it's me."

Wait. Exactly what kind of rejection are you .... oh.

Never mind.
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Old 10-17-2005, 06:26 PM   #18
LIMAMA
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Default Re: Favorite rejection lines

"If the writer signs a release form first, I would think the company is covered."

The company would be, yes...if they asked for a release. Many don't.
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Old 10-18-2005, 04:51 AM   #19
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Default Re: Favorite rejection lines

Re. Competitive development

I tend to phone pitch and in almost all cases when I pitch a project and the CE/agent has something similar in development I get the instant, "Stop!". I can't hear this, it's too close to something we're developing".

In the cases where this isn't happening I suspect they're taking a risk and looking at a potential competitive project. But, I'd agree with LIMAMA, if they request that script they are opening themselves up to a potential lawsuit.

The company I mentioned actually didn't even ask me for a release form so I think they left themselves wide open, although I have no desire to ever get involved in such a case. I want to be known for my writing, not my suing!
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Old 10-18-2005, 07:17 AM   #20
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Default Re: Favorite rejection lines

Yes, that whole competitive development thing is really strange and I was amazed to learn that it exists. But I think what bugs writers most is when someone (producer and-or agent) gives a clearly b.s. excuse for passing on a script. I personally can accept when someone says, "It's not for us." Or "We're not excited enough about it to pursue it." I can appreciate the fact that someone does not want to raise millions of dollars in financing and commit years of their life to something they're not that excited about. But what gets me is when they say something really lame instead of something like the above. For example, a producer recently requested a clearly high-concept Christmas comedy-fantasy of mine. When she passed, she told me that they are interested in character driven dramas and not high concept fare. What gives there? Maybe she thought she'd roll the dice on my project, then she didn't like it in the end. But when it comes down to it, she never had the ability or resources to get it made anyway. I guess part of the blame goes to me, because I checked this producer out when she made the request. Her credits include only low budget, character driven fare.

With all that said, I think that some screenwriters make mistakes with submissions and set themselves up for these ridiculous comments when producers pass. We should be more discriminating in our submissions, rather than submitting to anyone who shows interest. In other words, if you've got a high concept, bigger budget studip type project, don't waste your time in submitting to a small company with no studio deal and only credits like what I mentioned above. Of course, we'll all continue to receive rejections, but at least we'll save time, money and aggravation.
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