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Old 01-28-2014, 08:27 PM   #1
sallain
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Default Manager relationship question

Over a year ago a manager responded to my cold query and asked me to send him my script. I never heard back so I emailed him again about a different script. He then told me he really enjoyed the first one, and yes, send him the next. He liked that one, too, and told me he had a producer friend who might be interested (though later he apparently changed his mind about showing him.) In all, he's liked three out of four screenplays I've sent him, and during a phone conversation told me he thought I was very talented, but didn't want to sign a contract. So I guess what we have is a hip-pocket relationship. (I only know that term from DDP. )

I'm really confused, because to my knowledge he's only taken one of my scripts out, and that to a producer I asked him to approach.

And now my real question:

I recently queried a producer who requested my script. She's had it about three weeks now. Should I follow up with her, or ask the manager to do so? I had this happen twice before: two really big name producers requested my scripts through queries I sent, and each time they passed. (Although one company sounded like they were on the fence and told me they had been in meetings about my script.) I wonder now if I'd asked the manager to follow up if the response would have been different.

Is that what I should do in this situation? Or is that not done? I really don't get the business side of all this, and I don't understand why this manager doesn't take anything of mine out even though he apparently likes it. He's even told me he's got ideas for places to take a certain script, and then months later seems to forget he's ever said such a thing.

Any advice?
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Old 01-28-2014, 09:01 PM   #2
ProfessorChomp
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Default Re: Manager relationship question

I'd say email the manager and mention that a production company requested your script and now has it. If the manager says "Cool, let me check in with them", then by all means, let him/her. If he doesn't offer to, screw him. Do it yourself, then start looking for a manager, because this one's not really interested.

As for the past experiences, I doubt not having the manager make the call factored at all into the production company's decision. Them liking a project enough to put it into development has zero to do with who made the phone call, it's about the material. Plenty of writers get production companies interested in their material without representation. In fact, that's how a lot of people end up with representation to begin with.

Good luck!
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Old 01-28-2014, 09:08 PM   #3
sallain
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Default Re: Manager relationship question

Thanks, David! This is really good advice. I appreciate you taking the time to respond.
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Old 01-29-2014, 02:52 AM   #4
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Default Re: Manager relationship question

I've never forgot the first thing one of my reps said to me "if one of us isn't working hard enough for you. Cut the chord. It's not personal. It's business." Ask yourself (honestly) if this person has your best interests at heart and is helping steer your career in the right direction. If the answer to this is a resounding no. Move on. Find someone that wants to be a part of your journey. There's plenty of hard working, passionate managers out there. Why settle?
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Old 01-29-2014, 07:09 AM   #5
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Default Re: Manager relationship question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mintclub View Post
Move on. Find someone that wants to be a part of your journey. There's plenty of hard working, passionate managers out there. Why settle?
Thanks for the input. I totally agree, in theory, but this is easier said than done. I was congratulating myself that I'd found one manager; it wasn't exactly easy. I have queried others who aren't interested in my screenplays. I have two period pieces, and a fantasy/rom-com/musical.

At the end of 2012 one producer read my first script, loved it, and asked if I could I send her anything else. I only had one complete script at that time but I sent two others that were only partially completed. She read those and asked if we could talk over the phone. I was so excited; I was sure she was going to option my screenplay or give me a writing assignment. When she called she told me she'd never made a personal call to a writer in her career thus far, but she felt that she had to tell me how much she liked my work and how creative I was, but that if I didn't stop writing period pieces I would never get a job in Hollywood.
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Old 01-29-2014, 09:00 AM   #6
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Default Re: Manager relationship question

I don't have much to add, other than giving an enthusiastic nod to the advice already dealt.

Best of luck. Exciting news.
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Old 01-29-2014, 09:09 AM   #7
EJ Pennypacker
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Default Re: Manager relationship question

Firstly, I think it makes good common sense to always include your reps into a submission/query that you have made (essentially on their behalf). IMO you should have then handed over the process to your rep, who should have submitted on your behalf, and of course follow up with them when time permits. This is the rep game. This is the writer game. Writers write. Then hand material to their reps to sell/launch careers.

Secondly, it sounds like this manager hasn't been doing much of anything for you. Have they really read four of your scripts, told you were talented, and then only sent one script to one producer?

I don't know how your writing compares to others or what stage of this game you are at, but it might not be a bad idea to either get a new rep who will be more aggressive in selling you, or you need to have a phone conversation/sit down with the rep, and ask them what their plans are for you? What is the point of sending out a script to one person? That just doesn't make any sense to me.

Who is the rep? Feel free to PM me if you want to keep it private.

EJ
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Old 01-29-2014, 09:55 AM   #8
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Default Re: Manager relationship question

EJ: Sent you a PM.
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Old 01-29-2014, 10:01 AM   #9
LarryGopnik
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Default Re: Manager relationship question

Side note - It's pretty common for the manager-writer relationship not to be bound by any written contract, so don't sweat that part. It's often to the writer's advantage.
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Old 01-29-2014, 04:40 PM   #10
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Default Re: Manager relationship question

The main questions are: Do you like him? Do you want him to be your manager? Do you trust his taste, hustle, and contacts?

Or are you just excited about the possibility of having ANY manager?

If you do think you can work with this guy, you should definitely clarify your relationship. I would say to him, straight up, "I'm going to keep shopping this around on my own. Is it okay if I include a line on my queries, 'If interested, So-and-so at Management Company X will send it to you'?"

(i.e., "Are we in a hip-pocket relationship or not?")

If he's not even willing to commit that far, then he really doesn't believe in you as a writer. Might be time to cut him loose.

But remember, the relationship is all in how you want to see it. Are you in the rep's hip-pocket? Or is he in yours?
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