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Old 07-28-2018, 06:05 PM   #1
UpandComing
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Default John Zaozirny (Bellevue Productions)

Has anyone here been represented by/worked with him before (or anyone else at Bellevue)? If so, what's he like?
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Old 08-03-2018, 01:38 PM   #2
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Default Re: John Zaozirny (Bellevue Productions)

I have a friend repped by him.

My friend's experience is somewhat mixed. Zao is very hands on - wants to meet with his writers often. He has lots of ideas, and often seems more enthusiastic about ideas that originate with him - it can be hard to get him to push an original thing. But the stuff he does support, he seems to push hard.

That being said, there are some lingering questions if he really wants to be a manager, or if he really wants to be a producer.
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Old 08-03-2018, 02:00 PM   #3
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Default Re: John Zaozirny (Bellevue Productions)

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Originally Posted by Ronaldinho View Post
I have a friend repped by him.

My friend's experience is somewhat mixed. Zao is very hands on - wants to meet with his writers often. He has lots of ideas, and often seems more enthusiastic about ideas that originate with him - it can be hard to get him to push an original thing. But the stuff he does support, he seems to push hard.

That being said, there are some lingering questions if he really wants to be a manager, or if he really wants to be a producer.
Great insight, Ronaldinho -- thanks
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Old 08-03-2018, 02:22 PM   #4
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Default Re: John Zaozirny (Bellevue Productions)

This recent podcast interview may be helpful:

http://www.scriptsandscribes.com/201...hn-zaozirny-2/
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Old 08-03-2018, 02:29 PM   #5
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Default Re: John Zaozirny (Bellevue Productions)

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Originally Posted by ClintW3 View Post
This recent podcast interview may be helpful:

http://www.scriptsandscribes.com/201...hn-zaozirny-2/
Saw that, Clint; thanks
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Old 08-05-2018, 01:43 PM   #6
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Default Re: John Zaozirny (Bellevue Productions)

This guy sounds like a practitioner of the ol' "spec farm" approach.

Why doesn't he just write a screenplay himself based on his own idea and try and sell it like the rest of us? Because he can get some doe-eyed "client" to do the work for him, and multiply that by x ideas and y clients, under the guise that he is working for them and not the other way around.

Maybe I'm wrong, but that's sure what it sounds like to me...

Is he getting clients meetings and leading them towards OWAs or just leaning on writers to churn out free drafts, the ownership of which might then be a potentially sticky wicket if they fail to sell?
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Old 08-08-2018, 11:16 AM   #7
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Default Re: John Zaozirny (Bellevue Productions)

I don’t know John, but I’m repped by Jeff and he’s awesome.
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Old 08-08-2018, 12:25 PM   #8
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Default Re: John Zaozirny (Bellevue Productions)

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Originally Posted by muckraker View Post
This guy sounds like a practitioner of the ol' "spec farm" approach...
Is this when they collect vast amounts of I.P. so they have a truckload of stuff to pitch when they find somebody, anybody, who wants something like it, no matter how many months/years on it is?

You see these on VPF - every few weeks or months, some producers change what they list under their "needs" - so that over time they must have hundreds to things at their disposal. And, in this case, have made a small fortune "taking pitches" - I read somewhere that the recipients get $2 for each pitch taken on VPF.

I've seen it on InkTip, too, where "new producers" seem to post a different "need" every week, which I'm sure is for the vast array of "free option" I.P. they're assembling to make themselves look bigger and so their unsolicited pitch sessions to studios look better.

You can eliminate most of these wannabes from those who're truly out there making movies by cross-referencing them on LinkedIn, IMDBpro, plain old Google searches, etc.
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Old 08-08-2018, 01:06 PM   #9
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Default Re: John Zaozirny (Bellevue Productions)

Most production companies (and management companies that produce) generate a lot of ideas internally, and then try to find writers to turn the ideas into completed scripts "on spec."

Even at major companies, you'll go in for a meeting and the exec will pitch you some article they read about some old CIA experiment and ask if you're interested in turning that seed into a full sci-fi thriller screenplay.

This is almost always a bad move for the writer. The writer will dedicate months of their writing life to developing a script for which they do not own the underlying IP. And, on top of that, they've locked themselves into a single buyer. All of this "on spec" so for free.

"Spec Farms" take the approach a step further.

They actively cultivate ideas from their staff and even interns, often based around the most popular concept in the market. For example, A QUIET PLACE is the most successful non-franchise movie of 2018. And so these companies will generate ideas like:

"It's A QUIET PLACE, but set in a high school."
"It's A QUIET PLACE, but the monsters hunt by scent."
"It's A QUIET PLACE, but with the Roanoke colony."

(I just came up with those three ideas in about 2 minutes, so you can see how quickly they can generate these)

They'll write up a one-sheet that may or may not have any useful story information on it. And then they'll send it out to any writers who have reached that pinnacle of "amateur" status, but who haven't actually broken through to the paid/professional ranks.

They'll get the writer to write the script for free and then they can shop it around with the promise that the writer will get paid when they set it up.

They control the underlying IP because they invested an hour or two writing up that one-sheet. The writer, meanwhile, invests months. The writer owns the copyright on the actual script, but they're unable to take it anywhere without the company being attached.

It's a bad deal for writers, but many producers and managers like to use this system because it creates content that they control and think they can sell, and at no cost to them.
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Old 08-08-2018, 01:12 PM   #10
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Default Re: John Zaozirny (Bellevue Productions)

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Originally Posted by Bunker View Post
Most production companies (and management companies that produce) ... content that they control and think they can sell, and at no cost to them.
Hmm, I think I'll just stick to writing my specs...
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