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Old 02-15-2018, 03:21 PM   #1
Ed Geis
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Default $300 million deal with Netflix

Just saw in the NYTimes that producer Ryan Murphy just signed a 5-year deal with Netflix for $300 million. I had no idea the streaming services were spending that kind of money. Kind of hard to wrap your head around it.

I'm a new screenplay writer just getting into the business. Curious how this changing landscape is affecting the market for good writing or how writers should be marketing their wares.
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Old 02-16-2018, 10:07 AM   #2
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Default Re: $300 million deal with Netflix

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Originally Posted by Ed Geis View Post
Just saw in the NYTimes that producer Ryan Murphy just signed a 5-year deal with Netflix for $300 million. I had no idea the streaming services were spending that kind of money. Kind of hard to wrap your head around it.

I'm a new screenplay writer just getting into the business. Curious how this changing landscape is affecting the market for good writing or how writers should be marketing their wares.
Ryan Murphy was once where you are. He worked his ass off to get where he is now. Good for him.

As for streaming services? They are now what the studios were 30 years ago. Since the studios have basically stopped buying specs or innovating, that vacuum is filled with these streaming services. It doesn't change how you market your scripts at all. It does change the kinds of scripts you need to write. The era of the big budget spec script for new writers is over. You want to get noticed? For films, innovative low budget. Emphasis on story. Films that think out of the formula and story structure box. Films that stop saving the cat.

But the biggest difference comes with series. Limited short season series. There's no limit, besides budget, to what you can come up with. It will still take the same marketing strategies because the streaming services are now just as hard to get to as the studios have been in the past as they have adopted the studios submission policies. You still have to get your work to producers, production companies, managers, or agents. And it's still not easy. There are still no shortcuts. As a new writer, just know nothing happens fast. Nothing. There's no such thing as overnight success. And if you want this, you research the hell out of how it all works. And in the face of what looks like insurmountable odds, you never give up. People do succeed. But only because they did the work and understood what it actually takes.

Good luck on your journey.
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Old 02-16-2018, 08:16 PM   #3
Ed Geis
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Default Re: $300 million deal with Netflix

Thanks for your candid advice. I went into this figuring that you've got to really, really want it and persevere no matter how many doors get slammed in your face.

That's interesting about the current emphasis on innovation and story. Suits me fine--that's exactly what's always gotten me excited as a filmgoer, and now I want to create the type of films I love to see.

I'm only on my second script, but I can feel there's more down inside ready to bubble to the surface.

Was probably naive and premature in this, but I sent the first out to an agent recommended by an acquaintance with a successful writing career. The agent agreed to have a look but after 2 months I sent a polite follow-up email and they hadn't gotten to it yet. Better get used to it I suppose.

Meanwhile I'm finishing up #2 and am considering next steps. Just joined this forum and am trying to learn the rules of the game. Sounds like rule #1 is don't quit.
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Old 02-20-2018, 03:57 PM   #4
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Default Re: $300 million deal with Netflix Attn: Ed or ...

Re: Films that stop saving the cat.

I believe this refers to Blake S.'s premise that the hero does something nice to get the audience to like him/her.

So you want the hero to do something bad to get the audience to like him/her? Just kidding. Ed or anyone, pls clarify/elaborate re: that statement..

Thanks.
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Old 02-20-2018, 04:07 PM   #5
DLev24
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Default Re: $300 million deal with Netflix Attn: Ed or ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by socalwriter1 View Post
Re: Films that stop saving the cat.

I believe this refers to Blake S.'s premise that the hero does something nice to get the audience to like him/her.

So you want the hero to do something bad to get the audience to like him/her? Just kidding. Ed or anyone, pls clarify/elaborate re: that statement..

Thanks.
Not to speak for Ed, but I took it as simply saying no more films that "color by number" so to speak. One of the things Save The Cat is famous for is saying "this scene should happen on this page." Obviously, if everyone follows that rule, films get formulaic rather quickly. It was supposed to be a template for selling a spec to a studio in the first decade of the 2000s but the landscape has changed rather drastically since then. With more buyers comes more opportunity for originality.
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Old 02-20-2018, 08:22 PM   #6
EdFury
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Default Re: $300 million deal with Netflix Attn: Ed or ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by socalwriter1 View Post
Re: Films that stop saving the cat.

I believe this refers to Blake S.'s premise that the hero does something nice to get the audience to like him/her.

So you want the hero to do something bad to get the audience to like him/her? Just kidding. Ed or anyone, pls clarify/elaborate re: that statement..

Thanks.
It was a reference to the whole book. I hate that book with a fiery passion. Paint by number scripts are just that. No life. No spontaneity. Plus, no I don't think every film has to have the hero doing something nice so the audience will like him/her. If you write your characters well in a good story you don't need to shoehorn some moment in. Write a great story and you don't have to worry about what goes where.
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Old 02-24-2018, 06:11 PM   #7
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Default Re: $300 million deal with Netflix Attn: Ed or ...

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Originally Posted by EdFury View Post
It was a reference to the whole book. I hate that book with a fiery passion. Paint by number scripts are just that. No life. No spontaneity. Plus, no I don't think every film has to have the hero doing something nice so the audience will like him/her. If you write your characters well in a good story you don't need to shoehorn some moment in. Write a great story and you don't have to worry about what goes where.
Well said. If your story is engaging, nothing else really matters. When a story dis-engages is when confusion ensues regarding the book's usefulness.

The problem comes when you have to intellectualize a response to reading/watching something in the form of scores/coverage. If the pacing is off, you may suggest that certain beats happen sooner via StC, 3-act, 5-act, 7-act, whatever. But that's different from evaluating/writing head-on with a beat-sheet checklist.
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Old 05-11-2018, 08:39 PM   #8
finalact4
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Default Re: $300 million deal with Netflix

Personally, I like "Save the Cat" and find his beat sheet a good thing to consider from time to time when working out a beat sheet or outline for a new project. It can be a nice stepping off point. Different strokes for different folks, right?

The idea behind "Save the Cat" isn't to do something "nice" but rather to reveal something in your character that we, the audience, can identify with. When done well it can create an amazing character conflict where we love and despise them at the same time.

It's about humanizing your character. About providing an access point into your character where the audience can get on board with your character's motivation even if they don't like them or what they're doing.

And when done well, it works...

Hannibal Lector...

'nuf said.
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