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Old 05-08-2019, 06:15 PM   #1
MargoChanning
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Default Had a bit to drink. Bear with me

Greetings, everyone.

So. Today, I realized that I haven't heard from my manager in weeks and weeks and weeks, regarding a project she loves and is/was pitching.

I say "was," because I sent her an email today. A friendly, "what's happening?" missive.

She responded that, due to family constraints, she's been...well...not doing anything for months now and hopes to get back on track, soon.

I am fuvking gobsmacked. Please tell me: Is it unreasonable to be pissed off? All this time gone by and I thought it was because my script sucked?

Let me tell you: I doesn't. I opened a vein to write it and it's the best piece of work I've ever produced, IMHO.

What should I do? Start looking again? IF SO, IF THERE ARE ANY REPS ON THIS SITE LOOKING FOR SOMEONE WHO CAN TELL A GREAT STORY, one that resonates with an audience -- here I am. Come and get me, please.

Thanks for reading.
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Old 05-08-2019, 07:02 PM   #2
Satriales
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Default Re: Had a bit to drink. Bear with me.

Find a new one. That is not a manager, sadly. Sucks, but you will be better off! My manager goes incommunicado for five days and I think he's dead. (Everyone else's mileage may vary, but a text or something...at least)
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Old 05-08-2019, 07:03 PM   #3
UpandComing
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Default Re: Had a bit to drink. Bear with me.

I swear, it's stories like these that make you wonder what reps do to earn their commission. Wish I knew the name of this person so I'd know who to avoid.
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Old 05-08-2019, 07:26 PM   #4
Bono
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Default Re: Had a bit to drink. Bear with me.

They are people just like us. So maybe their father died or something serious happened... but hopefully they would reach out to their clients and tell them that first. It's probably just them flaking out which is sadly common when they have to try too hard to work for their clients.

Did you like your manager before this? Did they work for you? Is this like them?

I had many reps and most of them could have sent that email to me. And it would have been nicer than some of the emails they sent to me.
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Old 05-08-2019, 11:55 PM   #5
AnyOtherName
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Default Re: Had a bit to drink. Bear with me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bono View Post
They are people just like us. So maybe their father died or something serious happened... but hopefully they would reach out to their clients and tell them that first. It's probably just them flaking out which is sadly common when they have to try too hard to work for their clients.

Did you like your manager before this? Did they work for you? Is this like them?

I had many reps and most of them could have sent that email to me. And it would have been nicer than some of the emails they sent to me.
I don't know. If you get called away for weeks at a time, I think "literary representative" pretty clearly isn't the job for you. Obviously, if something comes up and you need to leave the profession, that's totally understandable, but then you need to tell your clients you're **not a manager anymore** (because you're not!) and cut the cord.

If memory serves, I was texting with my manager 30 minutes after his second child was born-- a fact I didn't know until after a few exchanges, at which point I had to tell him to stop doing business for awhile. A well-known manager had his family murdered some years back, and he never stopped doing business (though his clients, not being monsters, tried to give him some time and space). That's the nature of this gig, and everyone knows what they're signing up for when they announce themselves as a manager. What OP's rep did was waaaaaay outside the bounds of anything remotely acceptable.
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Old 05-09-2019, 12:26 AM   #6
Bono
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Default Re: Had a bit to drink. Bear with me.

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Originally Posted by AnyOtherName View Post
I don't know. If you get called away for weeks at a time, I think "literary representative" pretty clearly isn't the job for you. Obviously, if something comes up and you need to leave the profession, that's totally understandable, but then you need to tell your clients you're **not a manager anymore** (because you're not!) and cut the cord.

If memory serves, I was texting with my manager 30 minutes after his second child was born-- a fact I didn't know until after a few exchanges, at which point I had to tell him to stop doing business for awhile. A well-known manager had his family murdered some years back, and he never stopped doing business (though his clients, not being monsters, tried to give him some time and space). That's the nature of this gig, and everyone knows what they're signing up for when they announce themselves as a manager. What OP's rep did was waaaaaay outside the bounds of anything remotely acceptable.
WTF? Family murdered? That's um... jesus man... what? I obviously did not hear that...

I was just saying there is a 1% chance they had a real life issue and dropped the ball. As someone who hasn't had the best experiences with reps (like many I know) none of what Margo said was surprising, sadly.
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Old 05-09-2019, 10:18 AM   #7
MargoChanning
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Default Re: Had a bit to drink. Bear with me.

Yes. I like her. That said, I was expecting her to be pitching for me all these months. No death in the family. Nothing like that.

I'm extremely disappointed. Again.
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Old 05-09-2019, 11:56 AM   #8
amandag
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Default Re: Had a bit to drink. Bear with me

Hi Margo,

I think all screenwriters can relate deeply with your frustration. Having had many similar frustrations over the years, I can say that the biggest reason for mine was less about others' actions, and more about the burning sense that others were in control of my fate. Everything that happened, or didn't happen (in my career), was subject to the whims, tastes, and habits of people who cared very little about how much work or passion I'd invested in a project.

The manager/producer/financier piece will always exist in the film world, as long as films cost money to produce and promote. As such, that's just something that all writers have to navigate and make peace with. With that said, I tend to feel like these agonizing frustrations can be useful to us, as artists, on a couple of levels:

On an inner level, they offer us the opportunity to parse through our brutal resistances, and what we need personally from this sometimes excruciating screenwriting experiment. Though we're writing about others, we're still the main character in our own mobius strip universe. The emotional debris of our “failed” writing attempts can be viewed as life's comical pointer that we're also living our own story arc: our quests, desires, and fears come with their own journey to explore, exhaust, and possibly transcend.

On a practical level, the frustrations can push us to find another route for self-expression that's not limited by the voices, thoughts, and reflexes of others. There are so many outlets for distributing, publishing, and promotion that weren't available a decade ago. Amazon is massive, and free, both for film distribution and book publishing. Writers can release work without anyone's permission, money, or fluctuating good sense. We can write slick low-budget film projects, ambitious sweeping novels, or anything in-between.

I say this because I relate, as I'm sure almost all screenwriters do. Writing in a medium that's essentially a blueprint – not meant for end-audiences – can result in a huge bottleneck of creative frustration. I've found that exploring mediums, beyond feature writing, has opened up a new world of creative excitement, because there are no ceiling or conditions on what I create. Creativity isn't contingent on the perceived limitations of one medium, even thought that medium has its own endlessly exciting place in the world.

While self-publishing or self-distributing may not be a direction you're looking to go in, even just exploring other ways to create work for an end-audience, to communicate your visions without the “permission” of a middleman – in addition to continuing to write your screenplays - might soften the pressure of the frustration resulting from navigating the rep world.

Just putting that out there, for whatever it's worth.

Wishing you the very best,
Amanda

Last edited by amandag : 05-09-2019 at 12:17 PM.
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Old 05-09-2019, 12:18 PM   #9
MargoChanning
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Default Re: Had a bit to drink. Bear with me

Quote:
Originally Posted by amandag View Post
Hi Margot,

I think all screenwriters can relate deeply with your frustration. Having had many similar frustrations over the years, I can say that the biggest reason for mine was less about others' actions, and more about the burning sense that others were in control of my fate. Everything that happened, or didn't happen (in my career), was subject to the whims, tastes, and habits of people who cared very little about how much work or passion I'd invested in a project.

The manager/producer/financier piece will always exist in the film world, as long as films cost money to produce and promote. As such, that's just something that all writers have to navigate and make peace with. With that said, I tend to feel like these agonizing frustrations can be useful to us, as artists, on a couple of levels:

On an inner level, they offer us the opportunity to parse through our brutal resistances, and what we need personally from this sometimes excruciating screenwriting experiment. Though we're writing about others, we're still the main character in our own mobius strip universe. The emotional debris of our “failed” writing attempts can be viewed as life's comical pointer that we're also living our own story arc: our quests, desires, and fears come with their own journey to explore, exhaust, and possibly transcend.

On a practical level, the frustrations can push us to find another route for self-expression that's not limited by the voices, thoughts, and reflexes of others. There are so many outlets for distributing, publishing, and promotion that weren't available a decade ago. Amazon is massive, and free, both for film distribution and book publishing. Writers can release work without anyone's permission, money, or fluctuating good sense. We can write slick low-budget film projects, ambitious sweeping novels, or anything in-between.

I say this because I relate, as I'm sure almost all screenwriters do. Writing in a medium that's essentially a blueprint – not meant for end-audiences – can result in a huge bottleneck of creative frustration. I've found that exploring mediums, beyond feature writing, has opened up a new world of creative excitement, because there are no ceiling or conditions on what I create. Creativity isn't contingent on the perceived limitations of one medium, even thought that medium has its own endlessly exciting place in the world.

While self-publishing or self-distributing may not be a direction you're looking to go in, even just exploring other ways to create work for an end-audience, to communicate your visions without the “permission” of a middleman – in addition to continuing to write your screenplays - might soften the pressure of the frustration resulting from navigating the rep world.

Just putting that out there, for whatever it's worth.

Wishing you the very best,
Amanda
Amanda, this is a beautiful post and I thank you for writing it. You are so right about other avenues, and I am exploring them, believe me. I am very active on medium.com, which keeps me writing, daily. I'm thinking about turning one of my projects into a novel. So yeah, I'm staying "relevant." I hope, anyway.

I appreciate your good wishes and am sending them back to you, tenfold.
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Old 05-09-2019, 12:40 PM   #10
Bono
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Default Re: Had a bit to drink. Bear with me

I wish you nothing but the best too, I was only saying if this person is legit and honest, maybe the guilt of having done nothing for you for months might be worth exploring. We decided to fire our last manager months before we did, we just started treating him differently and ask more directly for things instead of being nice all the time.

So if you plan to leave anyway, but still like her, maybe you can push her to move it, or just state you're unhappy. A rep seems most motivated when they first try to sign you or after you made them money and if they really don't want you to leave too.

However, I do think that reps wouldn't let a project they truly believed in just sit there. Sometimes a bad rep will have actually gone out with it, got bad feedback, but not tell you. That should never be, but I've been there.

It's brutal. You put your heart, soul, dreams and hell your desire to pay your rent on time in the hands of others who in 1 day can turn you're hard work into nothing. Script is dead. What's next?

In fact, I don't know why we aren't all drunk all the time doing this career... and I don't drink... and I'm very angry... so maybe I'm doing it wrong...
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