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Old 05-11-2017, 08:17 PM   #1
glrobert
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Default A Director Likes My Script

Hello All!

I wrote a script a while back that caught the attention of an Emmy nominated producer. There was no option or purchase agreement. Just a verbal "let's make it zing, then we can send it out". After months and months of back and forth and several drafts, I didn't feel like we were getting anywhere, so decided to put this script on the back burner.

A few months later, the producer reached out to me to see if I had any interest in diving back into that script. I was super busy and didn't have the energy or interest, so I politely told him as much.

Flash forward to a couple weeks ago. The producer emailed me to tell me that he had a meeting with a director and that he pitched my script to said director. The director liked the idea and wanted to read it, so the producer asked if I was cool with that. Not surprisingly, I was very cool with that.

Turns out, the director is really into the script and the three of us are getting together on the phone next week to discuss (I'm in the Midwest and the director is currently out of the country).

I have a decent enough relationship with the producer, but the director is (recently) DGA nominated, repped at CAA and has worked on some pretty high-profile shows/films with some pretty high profile actors over the past few years. And he's a really good writer to boot!

I have no representation and I'm feeling a little out of my league. Any advice for this unrepped, rookie writer?

Last edited by glrobert : 05-13-2017 at 09:29 AM.
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Old 05-12-2017, 06:00 PM   #2
Joaneasley
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Default Re: A Director Likes My Script

You could ask them if they could recommend a rep.
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Old 05-12-2017, 07:10 PM   #3
NoNeckJoe
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Default Re: A Director Likes My Script

I would just keep writing other stuff while I waited. Because if the director likes it enough to pass to his reps, you will have to wait for them to read.

And if the director's reps like it enough to send it out, you will have to wait some more once it goes out to buyers. Or if the reps decide to attach an actor before going out with it, you'll have to wait for more people to read before you can even wait for any execs to read.

So in the best case scenario, you're looking at a few months of waiting, and if you end up taking meetings with reps and/or execs, they will automatically ask what other projects you have, at which point you want something just as strong as the project which got you into that room.

Good luck!
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Old 05-15-2017, 01:07 PM   #4
Ronaldinho
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Default Re: A Director Likes My Script

So don't worry about representation.

Do you want to work with this director? Do you want to get this script made even if it means going back and doing some unpaid work?

If the answer is yes, then, well, take the meeting.

Two things about the meeting:

First, your goal is to all agree on the vision of the movie and a path forward.

Secondly, your default reaction should be to say "yes," to their ideas. I don't mean sell yourself out, but, here's an example, from an actually meeting I had.

Writing partner and I had agreed that the shows central relationship was about power, not sex.

Producer: "And we really love the romance of it."

Writing partner, with the wrong answer: "It's not a romance."

Air goes out of call. We don't get the job.

Correct answer: "Absolutely! We love that, too - we love the way it's a romance that's about power, not about sex."

Now, again, sometimes they'll have a note that you can't say yes to. In that case, you don't want to be in business with them. But take your time before saying that. Listen, and it's okay to say things like, "I have to think about how to do that."
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Old 05-22-2017, 11:35 PM   #5
EvilRbt
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Default Re: A Director Likes My Script

Get on the phone. Listen to what they have to say. Most projects, sadly, move with glacial speed so it's unlikely you'll have to commit to anything in your phone call.

Report back here and you'll get more advice on the next step. At some point, be prepared to find an Ent. Attorney. I find mine more valuable than my agent or manager.

For now, hear the producer and director out, be cool, and good luck!
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Old 05-23-2017, 11:39 PM   #6
EdFury
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Default Re: A Director Likes My Script

Everyone is right. It doesn't hurt you to take the call and listen. But my take? If the director is also a writer, the chances of you doing a rewrite go way down. You might get to do a first pass at the rewrite. But if this director really is high on the project, he'll eventually be doing the writing. If that's the case, you need a rock solid option and sales price in a contract before he does that.

Listen to them. Make your judgements. Go with your gut. But know in a case of a writer/director, you'll probably be looking at this from the outside at some point.
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Old 06-01-2017, 03:48 PM   #7
glrobert
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Default Re: A Director Likes My Script

Hello again!

So, the call (which was on 05/15) went very well. We discussed what area of the script needed some attention and over the next couple days, I addressed the agreed upon issues. My revisions went over well and the director and I spent the next week (via Skype and email) fine tuning before sending to the producer.

The producer read right away and got back the following morning (05/30) with notes, which I addressed yesterday. We all jumped on a conference call again today to discuss any lingering questions in regards to the script. There's one little dialogue tweak that I'm waiting for them to sign-off on. Besides that, it's ready to go to the director's reps (CAA, Echo Lake), with the intention of further packaging, as soon as tomorrow.

*Update 06/02: Script has been sent to director's reps to start discussions about casting.

I really hit it off with the director and he's been super awesome to work with so far. Same goes for the producer. And they both clearly believe in the script. And they both also know that I don't have representation. In addition to working on my other scripts, what should I be doing? Any advice on the next step?

Thanks!

Last edited by glrobert : 06-02-2017 at 04:46 AM.
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Old 06-02-2017, 11:33 AM   #8
jimjimgrande
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Default Re: A Director Likes My Script

congrats! Sounds like they've played fair and done everything above board which is great.

Packaging/Agency Casting can move very slowly, so working on new material is exactly the right thing to do.

Hopefully your work will attract the attention of someone at CAA or Echo Lake. Some folks might advocate starting a query campaign, but I'm a believer in letting the work speak for itself, when it can, which yours is very much doing. So ride that wave and focus on making your next script even better than this one.

To that end, you might give some thought as to how that next script fits with your current spec as it's a chance to brand yourself as being a certain kind of writer. Practice brief pitches for your other ideas to have in your back pocket in case someone asks and get a new spec finished ASAP.

When it's done, asking the director or producer to pass it along, or better still, put you in touch with reps at CAA or Echo Lake would be exactly the right way to capitalize on this momentum.
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Old 09-22-2017, 11:07 AM   #9
glrobert
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Default Re: A Director Likes My Script

Hey everybody!

So, quick update and question...

The script has been signed off by everybody and is ready to go! The producer, director and his reps came up with their top four choices for the lead (all CAA clients of course) and are about to send to the actresses' reps. It's an impressive list of names (all A-listers) which is obviously amazing, but it has me wondering...

I know it's always a shot in the dark, trying to predict how somebody might respond to a script, but based on your experiences, is it normal that an agent at one of the big agencies would send to a colleague with a specific client in mind, if they didn't think there was at least a real shot?

I'm just having a hard time wrapping my head around the thought that one of these actresses would have any interest in my script. Maybe I'm just being neurotic.
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Old 09-22-2017, 11:28 AM   #10
Ronaldinho
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Default Re: A Director Likes My Script

Quote:
Originally Posted by glrobert View Post
I know it's always a shot in the dark, trying to predict how somebody might respond to a script, but based on your experiences, is it normal that an agent at one of the big agencies would send to a colleague with a specific client in mind, if they didn't think there was at least a real shot?
A-list talent reads a lot of scripts compared to the number of movies they make. Is there a "real shot?" - sure. Is that a 1% chance or a 5% chance or a 15% chance?

No way to know.

Generally, the actor's agent reads a lot of stuff for their client, and only sends along the stuff that is a) consistent with what the actor says they want and b) promises to be able to meet the actor's fee. Sometimes you actually need to send the script with an offer to get a read - although, you know, sometimes not.

Quote:
Maybe I'm just being neurotic.
Yes. You are.

Keep writing. Control what you can control.
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