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Old 09-01-2006, 12:15 PM   #1
Copywriter2
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Default Studios: how old are records?

I'm revisiting a ten year old screenplay that was optioned twice way back when. It received lots of attention back then, but never did sell. My question is how long studios keep records/reports of submitted projects.
Again, this one goes back around ten years. The concept is still very strong, even stronger in today's market. But I plan on a major rewrite. Also, I do want to keep the title because it really works. Will studios still have it on record that this was a pass -- even it was so long ago? I'm not worred about any of the same studio employees still being there, because I'm sure anyone who read it ten years ago is gone. Is it possible and realistic to market the project as new (after the major overhaul)? Thanks.
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Old 09-01-2006, 01:11 PM   #2
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Default Re: Studios: how old are records?

Change the title, trust me on this.
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Old 09-01-2006, 02:04 PM   #3
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Default Re: Studios: how old are records?

So if I change the title but keep the same general premise, I should be okay? Do they generally file screenplays by title, author or both? Thanks again.
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Old 09-01-2006, 02:41 PM   #4
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Default Re: Studios: how old are records?

And re-print it on fresh paper. Trust me on this.

Corona
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Old 09-01-2006, 04:16 PM   #5
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Default Re: Studios: how old are records?

I think they file with title, author and genre. If you're doing a major rewrite, then do it and send it in. The worse that could happen is someone pulls the old coverage and sees how you took their notes. If it's tens years chances are whoever will be reading your new version wasn't reading the first version. Although they may now be execs... And yeah, change the title. Let somebody love it, buy it then go "We should call it....."
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Old 09-05-2006, 12:04 PM   #6
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Default Re: Studios: how old are records?

Quote:
Originally Posted by odriftwood
The worse that could happen is someone pulls the old coverage and sees how you took their notes."

Or they might see that this is the same person with the same script, and wonder whether they should devote a few hours of their already overbooked day to read a script which had already been submitted to the company 10 years before.

Whether or not this is the truth (that is, Copy is planning a major rewrite), this is more likely what would be running through their heads.
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Old 09-05-2006, 12:43 PM   #7
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Default Re: Studios: how old are records?

I'd keep the title and just do the rewrite. Ten years is a loong time in the industry, and chances are no one will recognize it from that period, and even if they did, tell them it's undergone a substantial revision.
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Old 09-05-2006, 02:46 PM   #8
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Default Re: Studios: how old are records?

Thanks for your feedback. And Scrub, I have no reason to lie about doing a major rewrite. I asked an honest, straightforward question.
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Old 09-05-2006, 04:08 PM   #9
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Default Re: Studios: how old are records?

Quote:
Or they might see that this is the same person with the same script, and wonder whether they should devote a few hours of their already overbooked day to read a script which had already been submitted to the company 10 years before.
You assume for every script that is sent in that they run a background check. I'm not sure this happens. However, I was pitching to ABC Family and the exec said they were looking for holiday movies so they went through all their old coverage, even on passed scripts, and plucked out anything holiday oriented to see if there was something to work with. She said they went back a couple of years. But if you're doing a major rewrite, methinks it's a new script...
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Old 09-05-2006, 06:33 PM   #10
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Default Re: Studios: how old are records?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Copywriter2
And Scrub, I have no reason to lie about doing a major rewrite. I asked an honest, straightforward question.
Copy--that is not what I intended to imply. I know you are rewriting the script.

I was trying to convey the mindset of the exec who looks at a script with the same title from a writer who has previously submitted a script with the same title, and wonders if this is a new or revised version from before, or if this person is just submitting the same old script over and over again. (Which does happen)
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