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Old 11-05-2013, 05:00 PM   #1
docgonzo
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Default Help - Slight dilemma with read request

So last week, I sent out a small batch of ten queries for my latest pilot in order to gauge industry response. Got two read requests that day, and even had one read over the weekend. That person politely passed yesterday.

Since that person's response was complementary, I asked them for their ideas on how to make the script stronger. They were kind enough to respond right away with a couple of insightful paragraphs.

After some deliberation and consultation with trusted readers, I've decided to rewrite the script. Shouldn't take too long, maybe a couple weeks, but this is where my dilemma comes in. I just received a third read request and don't want to send them the script. What to do? Do I tell them that I'll give it to them in a couple weeks, or do I send the script as is? I really thought I wouldn't get anymore requests, especially five days after querying.
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Old 11-05-2013, 06:48 PM   #2
holly
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Default Re: Help - Slight dilemma with read request

they will still read it in two weeks.
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Old 11-06-2013, 01:21 PM   #3
Bunker
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Default Re: Help - Slight dilemma with read request

I disagree with Holly.

All read requests involve an element of good timing. You had the right email with the right logline at the right time. But even with all of that, they're not sitting on pins and needles, clearing their calendars, and eagerly awaiting your script. All you have is their interest.

And anyone who's ever dealt with sales knows that you don't want to waste a buyer's interest.

I would send it.
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Old 11-06-2013, 01:33 PM   #4
holly
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Default Re: Help - Slight dilemma with read request

and i strongly disagree with Bunker.

this isn't a busness of happy accidents, its one of quality. you may only get one read in your life from this buyer. make it count. two months, two years, maybe. not two weeks.

remember they are rooting for you. they WANT to read a great script. they won't lose interest in your log line in two weeks.
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Old 11-06-2013, 01:39 PM   #5
grumpywriter
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Default Re: Help - Slight dilemma with read request

I think Holly's right. They'd be happy to wait two weeks, two months, a year, to read a better version of the script than read an inferior version right now. I've had this happen to me many times where a prodco. gets back to me with some very helpful notes at the same time that I'm getting more requests for the script and every time I just tell those people something to the effect of, "Thanks for the request. Recently got some notes on this and am making some revisions. I'll send you the new and improved version as soon as it's ready." And every time their reply is "Sounds good!" I've even done this AFTER sending them the script but before they read it. Just don't do it a bunch of times -- in fact once is probably all they'll give you
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Old 11-06-2013, 02:11 PM   #6
Bunker
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Default Re: Help - Slight dilemma with read request

Well, fine! I strongly-times-infinity-plue-1 disagree with Holly!!!

Actually I don't really have issue with anything that Holly or grumpwriter have said. Better is always better.

But it is my belief that telling someone "I got this great script, wanna read?... Wait, wait, wait. It apparently wasn't so great, but it can be great. Gimme two weeks." hurts your read. Anytime you're trying to sell someone something and you tell them, "Hold on, I gotta send it back to the shop" you did incremental damage to the sale.

You gotta ask yourself - How much better is this rewrite going to make the script?

From my experience, I rarely see a two-week rewrite make a script significantly better. Usually, it's just the right amount of time for a writer to make some really confusing decisions that they haven't fully ironed out. It's a band-aid on major foundational issues.

But it all depends on if you think this rewrite will actually solve major script issues. If these notes were true "Ah-ha!" moments, to the point where you can't imagine anyone liking the previous draft, then I fully agree with Holly - Make it count.
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Old 11-06-2013, 03:01 PM   #7
holly
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Default Re: Help - Slight dilemma with read request

i will give OP a slight wrist slap, however. if these are good notes, clear and concise and make the project better? Lots of smart readers would have the same notes. it is vitally important to develop a circle of trusted readers. the exec should not be the first to catch it.
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Old 11-06-2013, 04:04 PM   #8
docgonzo
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Default Re: Help - Slight dilemma with read request

Thanks for all the input. I did respond to this person by saying what grumpy basically outlined, only they never got back. Not too worried, I'll just send the script with the release once it's ready and see what happens.

Two weeks shouldn't be a problem. It's a pilot, not a feature, and has been revised to death already. I'm just streamlining some things, since the overall note was the story was too dense and revealed too much. I've written full drafts in much less time than that.

I wasn't going wide with this. I queried only a handful of people to gauge response on the logline (3 out of 10's pretty good) and to get a take on the script with the idea that I'll probably have to rewrite. I know it's a great concept and just needs to be thinned out storywise.
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Old 11-06-2013, 04:06 PM   #9
docgonzo
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Default Re: Help - Slight dilemma with read request

Quote:
Originally Posted by holly View Post
i will give OP a slight wrist slap, however. if these are good notes, clear and concise and make the project better? Lots of smart readers would have the same notes. it is vitally important to develop a circle of trusted readers. the exec should not be the first to catch it.
No wrist slap necessary. I do have a trusted circle (some low-level pros), and did receive the same note from one or two of them. Just decided to go another way with the story because that's what I thought was best at the time.
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Old 11-06-2013, 05:05 PM   #10
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Default Re: Help - Slight dilemma with read request

Just be careful what you tell them or how you say it more so. If you say I'm going to do a quick rewrite, their thought is probably if it needs a rewrite it may need too much work, or why did they bother if it needs more work.

Who knows. You could just say, you will send it soon and then send it as soon as possible.

They're not aching over waiting to read it, trust me.
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