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Old 01-06-2020, 03:53 PM   #11
docgonzo
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Default Re: What's the scene like now?

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Originally Posted by finalact4 View Post
your choices are simple, to try or not to try contacting prodcos that have relationships with Netflix and Amazon.

what is certain, is if you DO NOT try you won't get anywhere.

no one is saying it's easy. the choice is yours.
You need a package with these places. I've had a few scripts go into Netflix with producers attached (no deals) and regardless of how much they said they loved the script, it was the same thing: "Come back with a package." Could be a polite pass, or maybe they meant it. Who the f*ck knows at this point.

On a bigger note, the feature world is constricting like crazy. My manager wants me to work on TV pilots, even though I moved back to features to get traction in my career. And it worked to a degree. Just not where I want to be yet. There's always hope that things will turn around. And maybe if you can get a script packaged with talent, you can sell it. But I just don't see the market changing to where people are buying specs again any time soon.
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Old 01-06-2020, 06:46 PM   #12
finalact4
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Default Re: What's the scene like now?

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You need a package with these places. I've had a few scripts go into Netflix with producers attached (no deals) and regardless of how much they said they loved the script, it was the same thing: "Come back with a package." Could be a polite pass, or maybe they meant it. Who the f*ck knows at this point.

On a bigger note, the feature world is constricting like crazy. My manager wants me to work on TV pilots, even though I moved back to features to get traction in my career. And it worked to a degree. Just not where I want to be yet. There's always hope that things will turn around. And maybe if you can get a script packaged with talent, you can sell it. But I just don't see the market changing to where people are buying specs again any time soon.
I do understand that they want packages. But someone, somewhere is going to have the right material that's going to turn someone on and a door will open for that person. I'm saying, all they can say is, "no"-- something that happens every day, every where else, too. It can't hurt. It also can't hurt to find mid-tier producers that work with other producers that do have development deals.

It's definitely not getting easier, that's for sure.

I'm hoping there might be another way to enter the TV market that works better for a feature writer... eg, anthologies or limited series or even mini series. Features and a TV series are different from each other. I love writing goal driven, plot driven stories that happen over a short period of time.

Chernobyl, True Detective, and Big Little Lies are the types of TV I enjoy watching where I don't have to follow them for the next seven years but rather following them until the ONE MAIN STORY driving the plot is resolved...

6 Underground could have easily been a series, but it's such an exciting movie that it stands alone well. I'm thankful it wasn't a series, but damn that opening sequence was intense... immediately identifiable as MB.

What direction does your manager recommend for your style? Streaming as opposed to network seems to be the big push, no?

I'm constantly searching Netflix for movies because i want a fulfilling story in two-three hours, or a short series, i don't necessarily want to follow a show for 4 seasons. And honestly, I haven't found one I really want to follow past season 2, except of PATRIOT ACT. haha
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Old 01-07-2020, 12:02 PM   #13
Satriales
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Default Re: What's the scene like now?

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You need a package with these places. I've had a few scripts go into Netflix with producers attached (no deals) and regardless of how much they said they loved the script, it was the same thing: "Come back with a package." Could be a polite pass, or maybe they meant it. Who the f*ck knows at this point.

On a bigger note, the feature world is constricting like crazy. My manager wants me to work on TV pilots, even though I moved back to features to get traction in my career. And it worked to a degree. Just not where I want to be yet. There's always hope that things will turn around. And maybe if you can get a script packaged with talent, you can sell it. But I just don't see the market changing to where people are buying specs again any time soon.
Agreed. Thereís just no motivation for them to go back to that model of development, right? Whatís the upside?

For the limited slate of studio releases, it makes total sense to have the necessary pre-sellable elements there before you spend a dime on development.

I started out writing pilots and then realized I couldnít work in TV from out of town. So I went to features. However, now based off of a feature spec, a former studio head with a deal on the lot wants to develop something with me. But Iím still not in LA. So who the fvck knows at this point?
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Old 01-07-2020, 09:33 PM   #14
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Default Re: What's the scene like now?

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Agreed. Thereís just no motivation for them to go back to that model of development, right? Whatís the upside?

For the limited slate of studio releases, it makes total sense to have the necessary pre-sellable elements there before you spend a dime on development.

I started out writing pilots and then realized I couldnít work in TV from out of town. So I went to features. However, now based off of a feature spec, a former studio head with a deal on the lot wants to develop something with me. But Iím still not in LA. So who the fvck knows at this point?
The motivation is that, with a naked spec/pitch, the buyer can actually put together the elements it wants instead of some take-it-or-leave-it accumulation of hangers-on.

For real studios actually interested in carefully making movies, that can be a real upside-- and indeed, traditional studios still buy feature pitches that aren't all packaged up. For the Netflixes of the world (IOW, folks who are in a volume business) there's no desire/ability to do the actual work of making a movie, so they want turnkey solutions: money goes in / movie comes out.
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Old 01-07-2020, 11:16 PM   #15
Satriales
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Default Re: What's the scene like now?

Weíre talking specs, not pitches, right? Where are the naked spec sales for anything non-genreíy that isnít made for a price? The contraction in 2019 on that front is not insignificant. Obviously there are mitigating circumstances right now. I donít foresee a reversal anytime soon.
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Old 01-08-2020, 04:35 PM   #16
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Default Re: What's the scene like now?

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Weíre talking specs, not pitches, right? Where are the naked spec sales for anything non-genreíy that isnít made for a price? The contraction in 2019 on that front is not insignificant. Obviously there are mitigating circumstances right now. I donít foresee a reversal anytime soon.
Sure, if we're limiting the field to "unpackaged, non-genre spec scripts," yes, that's a tiny market, but I think that's always been a tiny market. If you want to sell a prestige drama spec and have no access to any meaningful elements, I'd say your best shot is to find a compelling true story and dramatize it; like anything else, it's fairly low-percentage, but it also works out for multiple unknown writers every year!
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Old 01-08-2020, 05:48 PM   #17
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Default Re: What's the scene like now?

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Sure, if we're limiting the field to "unpackaged, non-genre spec scripts," yes, that's a tiny market, but I think that's always been a tiny market. If you want to sell a prestige drama spec and have no access to any meaningful elements, I'd say your best shot is to find a compelling true story and dramatize it; like anything else, it's fairly low-percentage, but it also works out for multiple unknown writers every year!
I think multiple might be overstating it at this point. What are those sales for 2019? I might have missed them. Just doesnít reflect the realities of the marketplace, IMO.

The idea that The Virginian gets picked up for mid-6 in 2020? I donít see it. Does Mayday 109 get set up?

Now thereís also been a massive hesitancy around true/period stuff as late but I think thatís kind of baked into those numbers.

I sold a true story pitch this year. But Iíve (relatively) broken in and it can be made for under 10M.
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Old 01-08-2020, 11:17 PM   #18
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Default Re: What's the scene like now?

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I think multiple might be overstating it at this point. What are those sales for 2019? I might have missed them. Just doesnít reflect the realities of the marketplace, IMO.

The idea that The Virginian gets picked up for mid-6 in 2020? I donít see it. Does Mayday 109 get set up?

Now thereís also been a massive hesitancy around true/period stuff as late but I think thatís kind of baked into those numbers.

I sold a true story pitch this year. But Iíve (relatively) broken in and it can be made for under 10M.
I think I know of four true story specs that sold last year (one might have been 2018?), though I don't think any of them have been announced. None sold to majors. One sold to a mini-major, but the others sold either to on-lot producers with discretionary $$ or to prodcos that finance development.

Like you, I sold a true story pitch last year, though unlike yours, mine is expensive (and will therefore probably never get made, but that's a different issue). I don't know. The hunger is there. I am constantly being asked for true stories, though admittedly, anything that has either a genre element or a Kennedy has an easier time.

Also: isn't Mayday 109 being done as a TV show for USA? Did I dream that?
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Old 01-09-2020, 10:27 AM   #19
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Default Re: What's the scene like now?

Here's what's happened to "the scene" in the last 10 years:

Once upon a time . . . they liked your script, bought it, then paid you to rewrite it.

Then . . . they liked your script, optioned it, then paid you to write something they already owned.

Then . . . they told you they liked your script (didn't buy or option it though) then paid you to write something they already owned.

Now . . . they tell you they liked your script (don't buy or option it), then offer you the "opportunity" to "develop" one of their existing projects. You are not paid with "actual money" for this work but in "exposure" to "A-list" talent. If this second project is ever completed and sold, you will get paid then. Eventually. After your lawyer makes some calls.

Neither Joe Eszterhas nor I am amused.
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Old 01-09-2020, 11:15 AM   #20
finalact4
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Default Re: What's the scene like now?

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Also: isn't Mayday 109 being done as a TV show for USA? Did I dream that?
i believe it's still a feature film.
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