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Old 12-12-2014, 01:41 PM   #11
pickerman123
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Default Re: Beware of producers...

I had the assistant of an Oscar winning producer try that credit jumping act on my screenplay and I when I what was wrong with the script that required the "intervention" he went off and gave me weird answers. None of which from a human (let alone a writing) perspective made any sense.

We're all hoping that our script will gain attention. But if you don't respect yourself you won't respect your work and you'll pay dearly for it.

I've had major a-list producers give glowing raves about my work but then it fades quickly and they move on when they can't sell the idea or lose interest. I know I'll probably never sell a screenplay no matter if it cures cancer. But the fun is in the writing. The excitement is in the idea and its execution.

How many times have you lost sleep because you can't as yet nail a particular scene? Then when you do, you re-read over and over and can't believe it was YOU who wrote that perfect dialogue, description etc...? Then have someone under 21 years of age (lets say an assistant) say something like "Hey! I have a better way to make that perfect scene even MORE perfect!" Then you listen and the idea isn't worth a damn. They just want to attach themselves like a parasite and ruin that script you worked over a year and a half on because you work 2 jobs, have children and trying to make ends meet.

I speak of character. Hollywood and Character is something of an oxymoron, I know. But there a few of good character we meet in our lifetime. In Hollywood, you have to be aware that you must CHALLENGE EVERY CLAIM MADE BY ANYONE WHO PRETENDS TO BE IMPORTANT IN THIS BUSINESS. The real ones will never be insulted. The ones that have worked their way up will be proud to tell you of their scars and how they got them in this business.

They'll proudly tell you what they've done, what part they played in the film's creation. If there's nothing to hide, don't be afraid to ask. The second you don't bother to ask, that's when they've got you. Remember, you have nothing now so you have nothing to lose in challenging those who make the bogus promises and glitz.

Just my 2 cents
Rich
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Old 12-14-2014, 04:46 PM   #12
BurOak
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Default Re: Beware of producers...

Beware of producers with no produced credits and major attitudes.

Beware of producers who post on Craig's List looking for scripts/writers.

Beware of producers who have fewer connections than you do.

Beware of producers who throw around industry jargon, but use it incorrectly.

Beware of producers whose answers are inconsistent.

Beware of producers who are located in secondary markets.
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Old 12-14-2014, 09:14 PM   #13
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Default Re: Beware of producers...

Beware of producers who offer you herbal medication, "to help you relax".
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Old 12-14-2014, 10:29 PM   #14
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Default Re: Beware of producers...

Beware of producers who on their facebook page are asking for people to put them up for free while they are in NY or LA. And themselves are doing bit parts in small commercials or videos.

And that live in UK in small towns and haven't' done anything in like 8 years and tell you that "you'll get paid when the money drops".

Facebook pages tell you alot about a producer's personality and what they boast. So if you can take a look at them and read them carefully.

Just a few of my "bewares".

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Old 12-14-2014, 10:39 PM   #15
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Default Re: Beware of producers...

What's their game? Assuming many are sleazy, nuts or natural born exploiters, but still wondering why they hone in on writers and their scripts.

Why so much energy invested, what do they get out of it in the long run?

So if a producer claims to have a script in hand, does that give them legitimacy/access to raising more money for a real (or fantasized) film project?

If they're serious about wanting to make films, isn't there a more rational way to go about developing scripts?

I just don't get the game and what the end-goal is for some of these so-called producers. Why go to such lengths to tantalize or torment writers?

And if they have any real desire to be legitimate, what good is such an exploitive path?

Just trying to understand the nature of the beast in more depth (if there is any).
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Old 12-15-2014, 09:31 AM   #16
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Default Re: Beware of producers...

Beware of producers who post in the Jobs & Opportunities section of DDP...which really means anybody who posts an ad looking for a writer or script on Mandy.
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Old 12-15-2014, 09:51 AM   #17
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Default Re: Beware of producers...

Answer to question why they do it.

They live in a fantasy land that is deeper than us writers. At least that is what I think. They want to be part of the business but can't or won't write their own scripts so by getting one of ours they are involved in the business with only a couple pieces of paper and they are acting out their fantasies of being a producer!

My thoughts anyways.

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Old 12-15-2014, 10:13 AM   #18
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Default Re: Beware of producers...

Wow, some really good additions to my original list. Another I'll add (although it has been mentioned in other ways) is to beware of producers who say no pay up front for an assignment -- but they'll pay you on the back end when the film is produced. Why write a spec for another producer -- especially one with no credits to speak of? I'd rather write my own spec that I'm passionate about.
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Old 12-15-2014, 07:02 PM   #19
BurOak
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Default Re: Beware of producers...

Quote:
Originally Posted by snowman View Post
Answer to question why they do it.

They live in a fantasy land that is deeper than us writers. At least that is what I think. They want to be part of the business but can't or won't write their own scripts so by getting one of ours they are involved in the business with only a couple pieces of paper and they are acting out their fantasies of being a producer!

My thoughts anyways.

Snowman
Concur.
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Old 12-16-2014, 04:55 PM   #20
PaddleOre
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Default Re: Beware of producers...

Quote:
Originally Posted by castilleja32 View Post
What's their game? Assuming many are sleazy, nuts or natural born exploiters, but still wondering why they hone in on writers and their scripts.

Why so much energy invested, what do they get out of it in the long run?

So if a producer claims to have a script in hand, does that give them legitimacy/access to raising more money for a real (or fantasized) film project?

If they're serious about wanting to make films, isn't there a more rational way to go about developing scripts?

I just don't get the game and what the end-goal is for some of these so-called producers. Why go to such lengths to tantalize or torment writers?

And if they have any real desire to be legitimate, what good is such an exploitive path?

Just trying to understand the nature of the beast in more depth (if there is any).
Not sure if there's an easy way to answer the question of "why they do it." In most cases, they probably don't set out to deliberately deceive the writer. They might actually believe everything they are telling you.

I won't say "beware producers without credits" because how is that any different from saying "beware writers with no credits" -- good advice on both counts, sure, but everyone has to start somewhere. Right?

I would, however, agree with the person who said beware producers who take frequent bit parts in movies (extras). I had a bad experience with a producer who fit that description.

Writers are told to network, make connections, contacts, etc. Once again, good advice but that's where the danger of being groomed comes in. You exchange several friendly emails and phone calls with "the producer" who likes your work (perhaps you met them via query letter or a message board like this one). Sometimes a friendship develops slowly over the course of several months. Again, this may not be deliberate, but once the friendly relationship is there, it becomes easier for the producer to ask for that little favor. "I've got a person looking for low budget sci-fi, would you be interested in dashing one off on spec? If they like it, they will buy it. I should probably take co-writer credit, because this person doesn't know you..."

Hundreds of variations of that have occurred to hundreds of writers, I'm sure. If you have virtually zero professional contacts in the industry, zero credits, you're more likely to be taken advantage of by people who sound like they know what they are talking about. And indeed, sometimes their boastful claims seem supported by evidence.

One producer who lied to me constantly not only had producing credits on imdb, but also he was the subject of glowing newspaper articles. A real newspaper, not a blog. Even the paper bought his story about "an impressive slate of fully funded, upcoming projects." There was no way to really KNOW the guy was a con man. (his prod company subsequently folded and to this day people are on his imdb page asking for their money back, hundreds of thousands of dollars; he fled the state, then the country)

I also learned.... after the fact.... that even his seemingly solid producer credits on imdb were illusionary. Completed films he had nothing to do with were acquired by him by dubious means after the fact. But there was no way to know that when I first met him. Everyone believed him, even PROS who did have unquestionably solid credits on imdb. As a new writer, it's perfectly reasonable to think "if these pros believe this guy, and they are on board publicly with his project, he must be trustworthy."

He ended up blowing up his own reputation. I don't think he intended to, but it happened. Sorry to go on so long, but I'm sure other writers have similar stories. A director I knew was so convinced that this producer was going to make his film a reality, that he sold his home. And then nothing happened. The director was devastated. So writers aren't the only ones who are harmed by dishonest producers. Directors, actors, production designers, fx guys, composers, they get fooled and harmed by dishonest producers too.
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