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Old 11-19-2018, 02:16 PM   #11
Cokeyskunk
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Default Re: Very unique situation - how to query manager/agent?

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Originally Posted by JoeNYC View Post
Easier said than done.

I'm not feeling this manager. Can't this manager act as a introductory conduit to L.A. managers, such as, I represent a writer (name writer) who's getting a lot of heat from the press and (name of two influential faces) about (franchise script) and I'd like to connect him to an LA. manager. Can I send an original sample of his work for your consideration and possibility of representation?
Already asked. He doesn't have any L.A. connections. I mean, I could ask him to send an email (or many) on my behalf, but would it really be worth it? Wouldn't it mean more coming from me, showing my ambition to get the work done? An L.A. manager or agent isn't going to know my manager from Adam (or me, for that matter) -- so how much weight is it going to have for a Dallas-based manager to write to an L.A.-based manager FOR me?

Also, admittedly, the dude's a busy guy. I know he couldn't dedicate the kind of time to securing me an agent that I could.

I just really need to know the best way how.

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Originally Posted by JoeNYC View Post
In order to demonstrate your abilities as a writer, it's best to let the L.A. people, who you are looking to represent you, look at a strong, original sample, but of course if they ask to read the franchise script...

The foundation of a franchise script was developed by someone else, i.e., world, characters, etc. L.A. people would want to know if you could achieve great writing without pigging backing on someone else's work.
I may have not clarified: I do have several other scripts and novels to present for review. Original works containing solely my own creations. But this screenplay is what is getting all the interest right now. Yes absolutely, I can submit my other work along with it. I just need to know the best way to approach.

Long-and-short of it - if I send an L.A. management company or agency a factual email with a quick description of the situation, complete with links to articles about my work, along with sites that showcase my experience, will that be immediately discarded because it was not written in the traditional query format?
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Old 11-19-2018, 02:56 PM   #12
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Default Re: Very unique situation - how to query manager/agent?

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Originally Posted by Cokeyskunk View Post
I just really need to know the best way how.
There is no yellow brick road that will lead you into the welcoming arms of Hollywood.

Yes, a manager being outside of the L.A. industry is a tough situation, but I believe him sending emails off to LA. managers on your behalf is stronger than you doing it alone with the standard query route.

Using the manager gives some cred that you've been vetted, especially if he's a successful manager in his area. It's a better look to have a manager tote your horn about the great press, etc., than you toting your own horn.

As for the manager being too busy to champion you, that's bogus. He's suppose to believe in you. I've assume you had a good working relationship with him and maybe even made him some money since you say you had some success getting something published/produced.

If you don't want, or can't get the manager to champion you, then you got to hit the road doing it the old fashion way with queries to managers.

Getting a request to read from a query with a franchise script is going to be tough, but try it. If you don't get any response, then send out queries with a high concept logline of an original script. If you get interest and they ask about other work, you can bring up the franchise script.

I know you're in a hurry (ain't we all), but it's tough to be an overnight success in the world of Hollywood.
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Old 11-19-2018, 04:43 PM   #13
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Default Re: Very unique situation - how to query manager/agent?

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Originally Posted by JoeNYC View Post

In order to demonstrate your abilities as a writer, it's best to let the L.A. people, who you are looking to represent you, look at a strong, original sample, but of course if they ask to read the franchise script...

The foundation of a franchise script was developed by someone else, i.e., world, characters, etc. L.A. people would want to know if you could achieve great writing without pigging backing on someone else's work.

Also, another problem with trying to break in with a franchise script is that these are usually cash cows for studios and they usually like to have proven professional writers (screenplay writers) on board to protect their baby. I say usually because there are exceptions.
This, a hundred times this. Reps roll their eyes at "Green Lantern was terrible so here's a good one" and the like. It's a legal nightmare for a start as they fear you suing them should the franchise get rebooted without you but they read your script. Get repped with an amazing original, then get a general meeting with the producers or studio of the original, then bring it up in the room.
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Old 11-19-2018, 05:06 PM   #14
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Default Re: Very unique situation - how to query manager/agent?

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Originally Posted by Cokeyskunk View Post
Would it be better just to send an email with a brief explanation of what's going on, adding links to all the media interest, and giving a quick breakdown of my experience and my other existing produced (and unproduced) works -- rather than a traditional query?
Yep. That's fine. Do it.

It's hard to give anything more than general advice without knowing the franchise or seeing the articles so that I can gauge the actual heat.

But I disagree with some of the previous posters. Yes, your probability of anything coming of this is low-low-low. No, I don't see any realistic downside to firing off a handful of cold queries anyway. The worst that will happen is you'll be ignored.

So do it. There are plenty of reps in the sea. Target ten or twenty of them and see if you get nibbles.

In the meantime, try to connect with the "faces of the franchise" and see if they can push the boulder. Also, lean on your current rep to see if he has any contacts in LA. Maybe he knows an entertainment attorney, or maybe an agent who works in the book division of a big agency.

The thing is, I don't think fanning the flames of this represents any real risk to your career. It might start a lasting relationship. Or it might all be forgotten in a week. Whatever.
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Old 11-19-2018, 05:07 PM   #15
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Default Re: Very unique situation - how to query manager/agent?

got some good advise going from good peeps.

heading down the traditional route, you could easily query managers yourself. i have always received responses to my query letters via email. always. it's a numbers game.

managers that are interested in selling a movie and feel the logline/pitch is solid will always contact you back. the subject line of the email is your first key.

but, i am a little confused by this:
Quote:
But this year, I let my manager read it, and he fell completely in love with it. Thanks to many of his efforts, the script has really picked-up steam and several media outlets have picked up the story about me writing the screenplay, and are even considering it the next volume in the franchise. In fact, two very influential "faces" of the franchise are now rallying for the script to be produced.
"who" is considering the next volume in the franchise? the franchise owner? or are the media "speculating" that it could be the next franchise direction? i'm a little confused.

and you say "two very influential "faces" of the franchise are now rallying... but then you follow that up with: One is considering it. He is reading the script now. The other no longer has representation, so he's not an option.

don't get me wrong, i'm trying to help. it seems a little odd that one is "considering" helping and at the same time "rallying to get it produced," this seems contradictory, doesn't it? the other person doesn't have representation any longer? not to be negative, but how much influence can these two actually have? take this with a grain of salt, because we're working with limited information.

and i'm not sure, but if you send a query looking to hire an agent or manager without the express consent of the copyright holder, it seems that you are in fact, infringing on their IP rights.

so what i would say, is if the franchise owner has given you permission to use the material as a sample, then yes, i would send a query letter stating in the subject line that you have a "Spec Script authorized by the Franchise Holder," and name the franchise. that should at least get the email opened and read.

But if you do not have authorization by the franchise holder to use the material, it is not yours to showcase, or represent as your own work, because the reality is that the franchise owner still owns all the rights, and you have "no rights" to the work you actually wrote.

i am not a lawyer. i am not a produced writer. but if someone took one of my completed works and wrote a spin off episode or sequel, i would have lawyers up their a$$ in a heartbeat. just sayin'.

something just feels a little off. i don't know if any of that helped. honestly not trying to be a negative nancy. sorry.
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Old 11-19-2018, 05:19 PM   #16
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Default Re: Very unique situation - how to query manager/agent?

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Originally Posted by JoeNYC View Post
It's a better look to have a manager tote your horn about the great press, etc., than you toting your own horn.
Regardless of who totes the horn, at somepoint someone really needs to toot it.

It's a shame that when the managing gets tough, Cokeyskunk's manager quits managing.
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Old 11-19-2018, 05:46 PM   #17
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Default Re: Very unique situation - how to query manager/agent?

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Originally Posted by finalact4 View Post
and i'm not sure, but if you send a query looking to hire an agent or manager without the express consent of the copyright holder, it seems that you are in fact, infringing on their IP rights.

so what i would say, is if the franchise owner has given you permission to use the material as a sample, then yes, i would send a query letter stating in the subject line that you have a "Spec Script authorized by the Franchise Holder," and name the franchise. that should at least get the email opened and read.

But if you do not have authorization by the franchise holder to use the material, it is not yours to showcase, or represent as your own work, because the reality is that the franchise owner still owns all the rights, and you have "no rights" to the work you actually wrote.
Well that part isn't really true. You don't need rights to write a script and send it to managers (or agents or producers). Every year, the Blacklist includes scripts featuring persons and properties (mostly persons) to whom/which the writer has obtained no rights.

You can't *make* the film, of course, without having the rights secured-- and it's hard to sell a script that no one can legally make. And it's hard to get people to read a script that no would rationally buy. But there's no law preventing you from sending the script out.
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Old 11-19-2018, 06:31 PM   #18
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Default Re: Very unique situation - how to query manager/agent?

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Originally Posted by Cokeyskunk View Post
So, I need to know the best way to query: must I go traditional formatting, or would a quick, descriptive email with links be the best option?
There is another option. (One that a pro used/uses that sometimes posts here.)

He understands it and says it a lot better than me, but this is general idea of how it works.

Call the people you want to read your script. When they say you need an agent/manager to submit the script, you say I normally submit through my lawyer, would that be OK? Apparently, they usually or often say yes. Hire a lawyer to write a one paragraph cover letter on his stationery, introducing you as his client and mentioning the script that you are submitting.

Pay the lawyer. Send (or more likely) scan the cover letter. Submit it with your script.

I hope I didn't screw that up too badly, but this is the basic method that got a pro started in the business, who didn't live in LA.
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Old 11-20-2018, 06:56 PM   #19
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Default Re: Very unique situation - how to query manager/agent?

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Originally Posted by AnyOtherName View Post
Well that part isn't really true. You don't need rights to write a script and send it to managers (or agents or producers). Every year, the Blacklist includes scripts featuring persons and properties (mostly persons) to whom/which the writer has obtained no rights.

You can't *make* the film, of course, without having the rights secured-- and it's hard to sell a script that no one can legally make. And it's hard to get people to read a script that no would rationally buy. But there's no law preventing you from sending the script out.
Unless the people are dead, of course, and then it gets a little easier, depending on whether or not there's an estate.
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Old 11-21-2018, 05:59 AM   #20
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Default Re: Very unique situation - how to query manager/agent?

Use the phone.

If your phone marketing skills aren't that mad, practice first. Find some catchphrases that will keep people on the line. See if your rep will at least do the courtesy of sending your material to another rep (so that the film rep knows that someone has already vetted the material).

Take notes from this thread: you led with "wrote in an existing IP" and you've received a lot of "here's why that'll never sell." If you had buried that nugget, the advice would have been far different.

Consider that your L.A. audience will have that same reaction and adjust your pitch accordingly. I'm not saying that you should lie or not be informative about that hurdle -- just don't put the largest hurdle up at the start of the race.

(And do your research first to pitch to agents with an interest in the IP or genre that you've written in.)
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