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Old 09-10-2015, 05:57 PM   #1
HairyOtter
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Default Is it harder to be signed as a duo?

Hello everyone, I am thinking about asking another writer if she is interested in doing a pilot together. We would both be emerging writers with no professional experience. I was just curious if you guys and gals think it would be harder (in a perfect world) for both of us to get managers as opposed to one person having written the same script.

I think that she would make a great partner and make the script better which is important but I don't know how managers/agents/producers feel about having two writers. Any insight would be much appreciated!
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Old 09-10-2015, 07:11 PM   #2
slupo
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Default Re: Is it harder to be signed as a duo?

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Originally Posted by HairyOtter View Post
Hello everyone, I am thinking about asking another writer if she is interested in doing a pilot together. We would both be emerging writers with no professional experience. I was just curious if you guys and gals think it would be harder (in a perfect world) for both of us to get managers as opposed to one person having written the same script.

I think that she would make a great partner and make the script better which is important but I don't know how managers/agents/producers feel about having two writers. Any insight would be much appreciated!
I can't imagine a manager caring at all. As long as the script is good and everyone clicks.
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Old 09-10-2015, 08:46 PM   #3
Staircaseghost
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Default Re: Is it harder to be signed as a duo?

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Originally Posted by HairyOtter View Post
I was just curious if you guys and gals think it would be harder (in a perfect world) for both of us to get managers as opposed to one person having written the same script.
(emphasis supplied)

I'm 80/20 thinking this was just a tossed-off way of phrasing it, but on the off chance: are you talking about getting a manager as a team, or getting separate managers and going your separate ways?

If you think this one partner on this one script this one time will make it better, then ipso facto you think it will have better chances of selling outright. So producers wouldn't care when/if that happens.

But if you're talking about using it as a sample to get repped and start a career? If you're not putting yourselves out there as a team for the long haul, then no one has any way of knowing from this One Great Script whether you as an individual are going to be the consistent deliverer of the goods.
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Old 09-11-2015, 10:56 AM   #4
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Default Re: Is it harder to be signed as a duo?

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I think that she would make a great partner and make the script better which is important but I don't know how managers/agents/producers feel about having two writers. Any insight would be much appreciated!
In TV, writing partnerships can be seen as an advantage for young writers: if you get staffed, the show gets two brains for the price of one.

But this gets to the real issue: are you guys really forming a partnership, or are you just pairing up on this script?

Opportunities that flow to you as a result of a script you wrote with a partner will flow to both of you as a partnership. While you may well eventually be able to leap into solo-writer land, you may also find yourself stuck with them on pitches or projects that you would rather do alone. (e.g., a friend of mine sold a pitch with a partner. For the next year+, he was pitching with that partner, and generally his agent wouldn't send him to places that knew him through his partnership to do solo stuff).

So when an agent or manager reads your partnered script, they're going to want to know if you're really a partnership, and if you're not, that may limit what they're willing or able to do for you.
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Old 09-11-2015, 11:11 AM   #5
HairyOtter
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Default Re: Is it harder to be signed as a duo?

Thank you everyone for the responses!

In response to Staircase, I was referring to the pipe dream of again a perfect world where we would get our individual managers and either continue to write together or be able to write separately. A guy can dream right??

So I guess I need to decide if I could see myself writing with her for the long term. It sounds a bit like I'm asking her out! I am just unsure of whether I would want to write for TV or Film, and so I've been working on building a portfolio for both in case I ever got the opportunity. To be honest like I imagine most people would, I would take whichever one paid me first
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Old 09-11-2015, 11:19 AM   #6
Ronaldinho
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Default Re: Is it harder to be signed as a duo?

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In response to Staircase, I was referring to the pipe dream of again a perfect world where we would get our individual managers and either continue to write together or be able to write separately. A guy can dream right??
This ends up being remarkably difficult in practice.

The problem is that you're both going to have lives, and every time one of you takes a solo job, the other loses an opportunity for a partnered job.

Furthermore, you're generally going to be making twice as much on solo jobs. Therefore, when given the choice, you're going to have a strong incentive to take the solo job. But where does that leave your partner if she doesn't also have an opportunity for a solo job? You'll find yourself in the position of either having to take a worse-paying-job (or even if the money was equal, perhaps, a job you like less) or watching your writing partner have to get a day job.

That puts an awful lot of strain on a relationship.
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Old 09-11-2015, 11:48 AM   #7
HairyOtter
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Default Re: Is it harder to be signed as a duo?

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This ends up being remarkably difficult in practice.

The problem is that you're both going to have lives, and every time one of you takes a solo job, the other loses an opportunity for a partnered job.

Furthermore, you're generally going to be making twice as much on solo jobs. Therefore, when given the choice, you're going to have a strong incentive to take the solo job. But where does that leave your partner if she doesn't also have an opportunity for a solo job? You'll find yourself in the position of either having to take a worse-paying-job (or even if the money was equal, perhaps, a job you like less) or watching your writing partner have to get a day job.

That puts an awful lot of strain on a relationship.

So you're saying that if you get noticed/produced as a duo you're essentially locked into that duo?
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Old 09-11-2015, 11:56 AM   #8
JeffLowell
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Default Re: Is it harder to be signed as a duo?

If you have success as a duo, you're pretty locked in. No one knows who wrote what, so you can't really use your scripts you wrote together to book another job. You'd have to spec your way out of the partnership.
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Old 09-11-2015, 12:03 PM   #9
HairyOtter
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Default Re: Is it harder to be signed as a duo?

Wow, that's actually a little daunting!
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Old 09-11-2015, 02:54 PM   #10
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Default Re: Is it harder to be signed as a duo?

When you're a writing partnership, the two of you basically count as one writer. You get paid the same as one writer (just split between the two of you) and your scripts are considered to come from both of you, not one or the other. You're one entity, professionally. That's the way to think about it.

You do see established solo writers partner up with someone else from time to time - that has no overall impact on their solo careers because they already have established samples and reputations on their own. Going the other direction, starting as a team and breaking out on your own, is a little harder.
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