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Old 06-26-2019, 01:00 PM   #31
AnyOtherName
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Default Re: Querying studios

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Originally Posted by JoeNYC View Post
Let me quote: "I don't have a problem with managers."

Fifteen minutes after this post, you answer my question of "are you advocating for a writer to not seek representation from a manager" with the following:

"In general, yes, that is what I am advocating."

Which is it? Do you, or don't you have a problem with managers?

These two polar opposite opinions, within minutes of each other, not years, don't make sense and makes me suspect any advice from you.

Also, when I mentioned that managers know the market, you called me out saying, "the idea that any given manager knows the market and what they want is, frankly, hilarious."

In the past, there's proof that you stated yourself that managers know the market, but I don't see you owning up to the fact that you were... "confused" we'll say.
I don't have a problem with managers but don't think they're usually the right first move for new writers.

I think it's great to get advice on choosing ideas, but I also don't think you should overhaul an otherwise-good script because someone tells you it would be more "marketable" that way.

Clear enough?
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Old 06-26-2019, 01:09 PM   #32
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Default Re: Querying studios

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Originally Posted by AnyOtherName View Post
I don't have a problem with managers but don't think they're usually the right first move for new writers.
I don't agree, but you're entitled to your opinion.

Are you gonna address the "hilarious" comment about managers knowing the market, when, in fact, in the past year, you admitted that they do?
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Old 06-26-2019, 02:10 PM   #33
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Default Re: Querying studios

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Originally Posted by JoeNYC View Post
I don't agree, but you're entitled to your opinion.

Are you gonna address the "hilarious" comment about managers knowing the market, when, in fact, in the past year, you admitted that they do?
I thought I did (most know enough to 86 totally off-the-mark loglines, but I probably wouldn't trust any finer-grain analysis). Much more importantly: why does this have such enormous personal significance for you?
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Old 06-26-2019, 02:31 PM   #34
GucciGhostXXX
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Default Re: Querying studios

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Originally Posted by AnyOtherName View Post
I don't have a problem with managers but don't think they're usually the right first move for new writers.

I think it's great to get advice on choosing ideas, but I also don't think you should overhaul an otherwise-good script because someone tells you it would be more "marketable" that way.

Clear enough?
I don't have much of a dog in this race, only curiosity. I'm curious what you believe IS the right first move for new writers. You say "an otherwise-good script", I agree with that, kinda (in the broad sense of WHAT IS GOOD?). But, how would a new writer know what that is if they say, aren't friends with some pretty rad writers [notes]? I'm not quite getting why you'd advocate to bypass managers and agents from the drop. Or is that not your point?

Are you suggesting querying directly to studios with a first draft? By that I mean, no one's vetted it as "AMAZING!" but for you, the writer.

I will say this in your defense that managers/agents don't always know best: I pitched a show to my agent. Didn't like it, told me not to do it, think of something else. I did it anyway. I told them I had specific [read: Fancy] showrunners in mind. Agent told me 'pipe dream, bruh!'

...Later I get a call from agent that those exact showrunners loved the script and wanted to attach. Sold it to Paramount.

Agent never apologized for being wrong. Which is one thing I think this town needs FAR more of: OWNING ONE'S MISTAKES! Just say to me "Sorry, I was wrong." Not like I'm gonna forget that you told me not to write it in the first place.
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Old 06-26-2019, 03:01 PM   #35
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Default Re: Querying studios

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Much more importantly: why does this have such enormous personal significance for you?
The smug "hilarious" remark didn't sit well with me.

Clear enough?
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Old 06-26-2019, 04:48 PM   #36
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Default Re: Querying studios

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Originally Posted by GucciGhostXXX View Post
I don't have much of a dog in this race, only curiosity. I'm curious what you believe IS the right first move for new writers. You say "an otherwise-good script", I agree with that, kinda (in the broad sense of WHAT IS GOOD?). But, how would a new writer know what that is if they say, aren't friends with some pretty rad writers [notes]? I'm not quite getting why you'd advocate to bypass managers and agents from the drop. Or is that not your point?

Are you suggesting querying directly to studios with a first draft? By that I mean, no one's vetted it as "AMAZING!" but for you, the writer.

I will say this in your defense that managers/agents don't always know best: I pitched a show to my agent. Didn't like it, told me not to do it, think of something else. I did it anyway. I told them I had specific [read: Fancy] showrunners in mind. Agent told me 'pipe dream, bruh!'

...Later I get a call from agent that those exact showrunners loved the script and wanted to attach. Sold it to Paramount.

Agent never apologized for being wrong. Which is one thing I think this town needs FAR more of: OWNING ONE'S MISTAKES! Just say to me "Sorry, I was wrong." Not like I'm gonna forget that you told me not to write it in the first place.
I think a new writer with a good script should find an agent and send the script out! Failing that, they should find a manager who says "I love the script; here's my plan for introducing you to the town." What they should absolutely NOT do is get in bed with any rep who says, "I want to sign you but I won't show your script to anyone unless you do the following extensive rewrites."

As to how a new writer would know if their script was good, they could get feedback from peers, friends, the Nicholl, etc.-- but at the end of the day, a huge part of writing is knowing what's good and what's not, so if you need some manager to tell you that... I dunno, I think you may be in the wrong profession.
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Old 06-26-2019, 05:01 PM   #37
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Default Re: Querying studios

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The smug "hilarious" remark didn't sit well with me.

Clear enough?
I have a hard time believing you've become apoplectic simply because you took issue with my word choice, but I don't know you, and maybe that's just how you roll. In any case, I don't think this back-and-forth is likely to yield anything productive, so I'll leave it there.

For whatever it's worth, it was never my intention to offend you.
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Old 06-26-2019, 05:24 PM   #38
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Default Re: Querying studios

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Originally Posted by AnyOtherName View Post
I think a new writer with a good script should find an agent and send the script out! Failing that, they should find a manager who says "I love the script; here's my plan for introducing you to the town." What they should absolutely NOT do is get in bed with any rep who says, "I want to sign you but I won't show your script to anyone unless you do the following extensive rewrites."

As to how a new writer would know if their script was good, they could get feedback from peers, friends, the Nicholl, etc.-- but at the end of the day, a huge part of writing is knowing what's good and what's not, so if you need some manager to tell you that... I dunno, I think you may be in the wrong profession.
Paragraph 1: Agreed.

Paragraph 2: Can't agree.

I mean, how many hits have there been in the last 20 years? It's an essentially 50/50 hit vs flop ratio. For me, that doesn't build confidence in their taste. How many were up for Oscar? I said this elsewhere, but my ex sold a particular script only after the whole town passed... except for 1 (ONE!) person. That movie was a benchmark hit and then the entire town asked for 'the next ___.' Secondly, I was co-manager on a more recent sale, pretty sure it was the biggest sale of that year (not a brag, just a numbers fact). Dude... it almost didn't sell. We got exactly 2 offers all day, one in the morning (way too low, pass!) and one at 4:30 on a Friday. NO ONE else wanted to play. I was shocked! It was FAAAAAR from a feeding frenzy/bidding war, but it was nearly mid 7 figures said and done. That film went on to be Oscar/Globe nominated for best pic a few years ago. HOW in the world would almost everyone pass on that project?

POINT: I trust myself to know what's good, in general I don't trust this town to know what's good.

Having said that, I do have blindspots in my own material. It's far easier for me to pinpoint what ain't working in someone else's script.

Ps... ain't tryna argue, just discuss.
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Old 06-26-2019, 05:54 PM   #39
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Default Re: Querying studios

The only way I can tell if my **** is good is if I don’t hate reading it. I can diagnose what’s wrong with it. What’s not working. But from like “professionally competent” to “ready for studio readers” that’s too tough for me to discern. The manager for me is critical. And it’s not like he’s batting 1.000 either. But I trust it way more than I do myself. At some point I may get there. But I’m not there yet.
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Old 06-26-2019, 06:30 PM   #40
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Default Re: Querying studios

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The only way I can tell if my **** is good is if I don’t hate reading it. I can diagnose what’s wrong with it. What’s not working. But from like “professionally competent” to “ready for studio readers” that’s too tough for me to discern. The manager for me is critical. And it’s not like he’s batting 1.000 either. But I trust it way more than I do myself. At some point I may get there. But I’m not there yet.
Same...

My first go 'round (this is my second), I was very confident I knew what I was doing. First script I wrote got me signed to CAA. Wrote it in 16 days. Almost no edits before it went to them and they signed me. 2nd script was done 4 weeks later, different genre. That one went out to tastemakers, who largely dug it. One of them offered me a job. Next I wrote my first ever TV pilot. Sold it. Not that I thought writing was easy, but I thought "I know how to do this." Wrote a feature script for the film producer. They hated it. The call to let me go lasted MAYBE 60 seconds. I haven't fully trusted my own sensibilities since. I dropped outta being a writer soon after that. Left to be a co-manager for 3 years. Good run. Recently came back to writing. But the town seems way harder/different now. And my ear isn't to the ground, so I don't completely know what's going on behind closed doors, I don't have the intel, I'm busy writing 12-72 hours a day.

I need guidance and a second set of eyes. Good for those who are confident enough to send their stuff out sight unseen, but I ain't one of them either.
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