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Old 01-19-2018, 03:19 PM   #1
prolixpen
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Default Looking for a mature business relationship

Hey all, first post, nice to meet you. Using the Google machine I've found some managers' and agents' info, but I don't want to just spam them all like a desperate-writer virus. I see a list of their clients, who are mostly actors. Does it even make sense to query such an agent or manager who, as far as I can tell, doesn't represent literary talent?

What I'm looking for is a manager who can set up a sale for what I humbly think is my big summer blockbuster screenplay. Perusing the forums it seems like there's an entire spectrum of managers who either give lots of attention or are looking for a more hands-off approach. I don't need attention when I don't have something to sell, I'm just looking for the business end of it .

Can you point me in the direction of someone whose focus is big action movies, who's glad to get a sale and brush me off like yesterday?
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Old 01-19-2018, 03:51 PM   #2
figment
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Default Re: Looking for a mature business relationship

Quote:
Originally Posted by prolixpen View Post
I see a list of their clients, who are mostly actors. Does it even make sense to query such an agent or manager who, as far as I can tell, doesn't represent literary talent?
Hi prolixpen, welcome to the boards.

No, don't query actors' agents. You want to query lit managers.

In some other thread, someone mentioned looking up the blacklist (the list) and finding lit manager's names from that, since those managers are repping specs. That might be a good place to start.

Quote:
Originally Posted by prolixpen View Post
Can you point me in the direction of someone whose focus is big action movies, who's glad to get a sale and brush me off like yesterday?
I don't think any manager would turn down a big action spec script if they thought they could sell it. There isn't going to be one manager for this, you just have to query lots of people -- if it were that easy everyone on the board would have reps. Lots of reps only read you if you come by referral. Other younger/hungrier managers might read you from a query.

You might want to test your logline in the logline section to workshop it a bit, so you can use the best version. You also might want to post five pages on the board, so again, if you do send it to a rep, it will be your best version.

Good luck.
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Old 01-19-2018, 10:41 PM   #3
prolixpen
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Default Re: Looking for a mature business relationship

Hey figment, picking out managers from Blacklist is a good idea, I'll do that, thanks.
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Old 01-23-2018, 02:42 PM   #4
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Default Re: Looking for a mature business relationship

Is it your first screenplay? When it's time to search for a rep, make sure your material is ready. You may only get one shot. Most reps also want clients with more than one project, or at least multiple ideas, in their pocket.
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Old 01-23-2018, 04:59 PM   #5
prolixpen
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Default Re: Looking for a mature business relationship

Not my first, but definitely the first commercially oriented piece. I feel like I hit the bullseye with this one. I stopped with the writerly pursuits and started writing for the box office, and wow what a difference that makes, I feel revivified. The other ones were cutting teeth and passion projects, all niche and probably not saleable; I imagine reps would self-flagellate if they read those. But I do have a lineup of other ideas that I think are garishly commercial, so it’s a relief to hear you say to have “at least multiple ideas” since I don’t have another worthwhile spec.

As for sharing ideas, what’s salonfahig? The project I’m outlining now I see as a big holiday franchise, but I’m struggling with arcing a story over more than one screenplay and it’s taking me some time to break. I fear having my naked idea out there among flesh-hungry, toothcomb producers and studio execs without the aegis of my pen to fend them off. Is that rational? I would be so crushed to have spent what could be three years on a sequel, only to be scooped. How much would you say is safe to share? And is it unrealistic to propose a spec franchise to either reps or studios anyway?

Quote:
You may only get one shot.
No pressure, right? That does keep me up at night. I know the spec I’ve got is a commercial wide-release, I feel really confident about that. But I do worry how I will get it into the right hands, the kind of deep-pocketed, well-practiced hands that know how to bring a product to market. Reading about some projects being ensnared in the option jungle, or development purgatory, really puts a point on you saying getting that one shot right. I’m looking to send out queries probably at the beginning of Feb, just doing some research now. I’ll share updates when I get them, if I get any responses at all. I sure do appreciate all the input I’ve gotten here.
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Old 01-24-2018, 08:49 AM   #6
figment
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Default Re: Looking for a mature business relationship

Quote:
Originally Posted by prolixpen View Post
As for sharing ideas, whatís salonfahig? The project Iím outlining now I see as a big holiday franchise, but Iím struggling with arcing a story over more than one screenplay and itís taking me some time to break.

And is it unrealistic to propose a spec franchise to either reps or studios anyway?

But I do worry how I will get it into the right hands, the kind of deep-pocketed, well-practiced hands that know how to bring a product to market.
I think abmition is admiralbe, I'm all for it. But I think you're getting the cart way ahead of the horse -- concentrate on writing one script, not an entire franchise. Even if the world you created were to have a spin-off, or sequel, or franchise potential, you more than likely wouldn't be writing the subsequent scripts. They'd fire you and give someone else a go. Take a look at any of the franchises out there right now -- most are written by a new set of writers each time.

As for worrying about getting your script into "capable hands" I think that's anyone's worry. The temptation is to think that someone else will drop the ball -- that I can be an Oscar winner/name writer/millionaire if only these OTHER PEOPLE would sell my stuff!!

The reality is you have to give them something worth selling. Or five things. You need feedback on your script. You need to polish it. You need notes. You need to solve the script's problems. It has to be fresh. Well-written. A new spin. And, in your case you're writing a tent-pole which is even harder because that costs huge amounts of money. What you can control is your script. From your posts, it seems you might need feedback: TitanCreed on this board can give notes for like a hundred bucks, ScriptMechanic (evilrbt)posted in this thread is also good. Or find a writer's group for free. Or post five pages in the feedback section of this board for free. Or do a script exchange for free. Everybody needs notes.

Then they need to write another script, and another, and another.
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Old 01-24-2018, 12:14 PM   #7
prolixpen
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Default Re: Looking for a mature business relationship

Quote:
I think abmition is admiralbe, I'm all for it. But I think you're getting the cart way ahead of the horse -- concentrate on writing one script, not an entire franchise.
So which is it, ambition or one script? The ambitious part of what I was saying was the actual composition of a franchise. I’m not being churlish, I hope it doesn’t come off that way, but it sounds like you’re saying one thing and then the other. Specifically, I’m talking about a spec franchise and not a job. I’m not speaking to the movie business where my place is neophytic, but in the rest of the world a franchise is a brand extension with all the attendant efficiencies of economy. I just assumed that “franchise” even as a buzz word would be helpful and translate to movies too. Is that not the case?

I’m asking in the context of trying to get a rep’s attention. Supposing I got a nibble from a rep, and I replied, “Hey Mr./Ms. Rep, I’ve got this spec, but I’m also working on a big, four-quadrant family holiday franchise to follow it up.” With all the myriad franchises, zombies, men in tights, fairy tales, and all the reboots (which are essentially franchises), is it unappealing for a rep to consider a spec franchise? Should I not even mention that? With my dreamy eyes, I felt like it would be enticing if not more incentivized.

{As for worrying about getting your script into "capable hands" I think that's anyone's worry. The temptation is to think that someone else will drop the ball -- that I can be an Oscar winner/name writer/millionaire if only these OTHER PEOPLE would sell my stuff!!}

Well, when you put it that way, it does sounds very arrogant of me. I know the cynical way people talk about some reps, but I’ve heard about reps who are just plain wonderful human beings. So apologies if it sounded like a cynical bent. At the same time, I wasn’t voicing baseless concerns. Good scripts do get waylaid and, for one reason or another, never see the light of day. Nobody wants to trust their baby to green hands, that’s all I was saying. I know my spec is commercial the way I know ice cream sales will pick up in the summer, it’s just the kind of easy-going commercial spectacle people enjoy. And, like anyone, I want to see it in practiced hands.
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Old 01-24-2018, 01:44 PM   #8
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Default Re: Looking for a mature business relationship

Reps/producers/studios want scripts that can become a franchise. Shane Black sells LETHAL WEAPON as a spec and then it's hit that becomes a franchise. He didn't try and sell four scripts as a franchise. If your logline has franchise potential then you'll get requests. Frankly, I know that reps are put off by people who declare they have fully written the next great trilogy, it makes their eyes roll. Selling one is hard enough and why not sell that one then be paid big money to write the sequel to your hot movie?
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Old 01-24-2018, 02:32 PM   #9
figment
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Default Re: Looking for a mature business relationship

Quote:
Originally Posted by prolixpen View Post

So which is it, ambition or one script?
I said I'm all for ambition. I think writers need ambition or they wouldn't bother writing at all. But you have to be realistic. Realistically, the assumption that an agent is going to sell a tent-pole franchise of three scripts from an unknown writer is not based in reality. My advice is to focus on one script. GET NOTES for it. Rewrite it a million times until it's good. Then try to get a manager.


northbank explained why you don't query franchises. What he said.

I know my spec is commercial the way I know ice cream sales will pick up in the summer, it’s just the kind of easy-going commercial spectacle people enjoy This is why you need notes. People say things like this when they're in love with their work, and are in a day-dreamy state of how great their script is. Get notes, dude. Then fix everything that doesn't work.

Take it or leave it. Good luck.
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Old 01-24-2018, 03:54 PM   #10
prolixpen
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Default Re: Looking for a mature business relationship

Quote:
I said I'm all for ambition... But you have to be realistic. Realistically, the assumption that...
So which is it, ambition or one script? You just said the same oxymoronic thing again. What you’re saying sounds like you’ve said it a lot, you’ve said it so many times that it’s reflexive. It’s become an imperative. It’s the first book on your shelf, the first one you throw. Get notes, rewrite it a million times, mathematically perfect script, screenwriting is a religion, successful screenwriters are gods, etc. “Rewrite it a million times”? Seriously? Anyone who has to rewrite a screenplay a million times or a hundred times should probably stick to writing Facebook posts. Everything you’ve just said is so aphoristic that’s totally inapplicable. Who was talking about any of that? I never said anything about a trilogy, I never said I’m going straight to a sale with a tent pole project, I don’t have a [u]Jupiter Ascending/U]in my pocket. You’re responding to something that isn’t there, it’s something you put there because you’re familiar with responding that way.

Let me point out the frame again of what I had posted. I have one spec that I believe is a saleable property. I don’t have a rep, I’m looking for one. In the case that I don’t have more than one saleable commercial property, then I intend to share with any prospective rep a franchise property that I’m working on. I have not finished a LOTR trilogy. It’s a proposal, but I’m working on the first. I felt like having a strategy for a brand extension would be value-added. I don’t understand what the objection is to presenting a sales strategy beyond the first story. In the event that I might present that strategy, I simply thought it would be good to structure beyond the first story.

The actual question I asked, re the franchise, was how comfortable people should be sharing concepts like that, and whether or not reps were responsive to it, that’s all.

Quote:
northbank explained why you don't query franchises. What he said.
No, Northbank actually attempted to answer the question I asked. He said reps, et al, are interested in franchise potential. But he qualifies that I shouldn’t write four franchise scripts, which I haven’t, nor did I suggest I would. I have not “fully written the next great trilogy.” Again here, what I said about the franchise was in the context of my query of the other spec.

Quote:
This is why you need notes. People say things like this when they're in love with their work, and are in a day-dreamy state of how great their script is. Get notes, dude. Then fix everything that doesn't work.

Take it or leave it. Good luck.
Leave it. Aside from the copious condescension, again, all conjecture, aphorisms, and imperatives. I don’t know if you hear what you sound like, but that kind of post isn’t just unhelpful, it’s purposeless. You just went off on a sanctimonious tangent. It’s like I asked for the hour, and instead you gave me a peroration of a proselytizing Jehovah’s Witness.
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