Reports from the Front Lines (querying)

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  • #31
    You can find all those people still, just some are on reddit, twitter, podcasts, youtube and/or too busy actually writing and kicking ass. DD will never be what it was before, but we can still be at least 25-50 people posting often instead of under 10 these days...

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    • #32
      I wouldn't begin to know how to track all those people down or have the time. Reddit is sometimes hard to read because it's very scattershot. Too bad, it was a very lively community from what I can glean from the archives. Not that it's not still nice. Done Deal is a very useful forum. Just surprised at how many influential people were here, like discovering dinosaur footprints. Some even went on to great things. Would love to get their immediate take on things, just like it was in the old days. Those writers back then were really lucky. Specs were easier to sell....they had experts that could answer questions.

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      • #33
        Originally posted by Friday View Post
        I wouldn't begin to know how to track all those people down or have the time. Reddit is sometimes hard to read because it's very scattershot. Too bad, it was a very lively community from what I can glean from the archives. Not that it's not still nice. Done Deal is a very useful forum. Just surprised at how many influential people were here, like discovering dinosaur footprints. Some even went on to great things. Would love to get their immediate take on things, just like it was in the old days. Those writers back then were really lucky. Specs were easier to sell....they had experts that could answer questions.
        Specs were easier to sell by like 1%. But I agree on the advice givers. However, you forget that means there were 900 other people who came on here to call them stupid. It was very fun.

        However, Friday, you've been around a bit, I think we talked offline years ago, anyway -- my question for you is have you queried your own work?

        I mean all the advice comes down to this:

        1. Write, write, write.
        2. Sell yourself

        I believe most writers problems on these boards are a lack of writing enough or the ones who do write, but never push their own work. They do this...

        1. Write, write, write.
        2. Wait, wait, wait

        Many writers fall into the wait, wait, wait. The contest blackhole..I'll write a spec and enter it into Nicholl and if that leads to success great, but if not, onto next years Nicholl. They will enter Austin for 10 years with 10 specs, but never once market those 10 specs themselves directly to the buyers or reps. But why? I'll put it on Coverfly and if it hits, it hits. But that's all Im going to do.

        And I get it. It's easier and safer... less scary to do that, hope they come to you. But that rarely happens these days. You've got to make noise. LOOK AT ME A$$HOLE. OVER HERE. READ MY SPEC!!!!

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        • #34
          For what it's worth... Two days ago, I sent 5 pitches (via VPF) out to producers of children's programming. 3 out of 5 (so far) have requested the treatment and pilot script... <bioprofessor does a mad scramble for how to write a 30-minute reality TV series pilot script>

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          • #35
            This place was MAGICAL a number of years ago. Just kinda lost steam when writers like Derek Haas (no relation, sadly) and Craig Mazin dropped off.

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            • #36
              Originally posted by bhaas View Post
              This place was MAGICAL a number of years ago. Just kinda lost steam when writers like Derek Haas (no relation, sadly) and Craig Mazin dropped off.
              I think this place has been around about 20 years.‚Äč

              Originally posted by Travis View Post
              I have sent approximately thirty to forty queries per week for the last two years. For two years prior I sent around twenty per week. These queries go to managers/management companies, production companies, producers and finance/distribution companies.
              That's roughly 5500 individual queries over 4 years. I have to wonder what the logline and treatment look like if you're that dedicated to the Script(s).


              Originally posted by Travis View Post
              I've heard every reason under the sun as to why my script was passed on
              That does sound like the interesting part. You sent out 5500 ****ing queries and received 45 reads?

              Personally, I have read for a few people - but that was a while back - and was surprised by the Agent's, Festival, Contest directors perspective in terms of how to rate and pass on screenplays. I can say I never once read a decent script, they were all bad - and all in different ways - but that's not really point. In ever instance, what I noticed for every iteration of being a reader, was the point of view that the writer's reputation was more important than the quality of the screenplay. Across the board I heard, "do you know who wrote this?" The consideration being, "this person is a friend of mine", "this person sold a (insert number) script", "this came highly recommended". You would get on the phone and discuss/defend your coverage and ratings - they would ask you to change them - but 100% of the time the script failed on simple screenwriting mechanics. Not format or prose, but beat structure, character development and scene writing. The most frequent being that their protags didn't have a visible goal or their objective seem generic and without purpose.

              Being in LA and talking to people who were successful, a lot of them did have contacts that helped their scripts get through the gatekeepers. Sometimes they received employment in ProCos, Agencies, where they could develop professional relationships (or possibly gather blackmail - joking). A general observation was that, trust and word of mouth - and that someone smarter than them valued their skills - was good enough to give a recommendation.

              You're always going to hear the story about the guy that thought the industry readers don't know their craft. That coverage comes from people that are more of friends that reassure their superiors' decisions, rather than someone giving real coverage. And from my limited knowledge, I would guess a good amount of readers on the lower level are that. They can probably see typos, bad grammar, social cues to (insert Abortion, Police Brutality, Equal Rights, Exploitation of 3rd world individual) but can't evaluate story (nor do they really care).

              Always remember they rejected Casablanca in 1980s.

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