Major Prodco Exec requested script but need agent or manager

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  • Major Prodco Exec requested script but need agent or manager

    I could use some insight on how to proceed with this situation. I prefer to do it through PM than publicly here,(because of those who choose to hate instead of help) should someone want more information or can get involved to help, please PM me. here is the situation:

    A few weeks ago, while attending an event for a mutual friend, my partner came into contact with an executive at a major production company. He wants to read our script, however, he requested to follow company procedure and protocol by submitting it through an agent or manager, as he is not permitted to just read scripts off the cuff. Completely understandable to avoid law suits or violate the companies strict policy.


    What is to be expected? Can we get an agent to do a one time submission after reading it without entering into long term contract?

    We have a legit, real, request from a major player in the industry, and he has direct access to the chief, so it's even more critical we at least get our script to him to read.

    thanks for your feedback, look forward to hearing from you.
    • Go and do likewise gents..

  • #2
    Re: Major Prodco Exec requested script..but..

    Originally posted by ChristopherCurtis View Post
    I could use some insight on how to proceed with this situation. I prefer to do it through PM than publicly here,(because of those who choose to hate instead of help) should someone want more information or can get involved to help, please PM me. here is the situation:

    A few weeks ago, while attending an event for a mutual friend, my partner came into contact with an executive at a major production company. He wants to read our script, however, he requested to follow company procedure and protocol by submitting it through an agent or manager, as he is not permitted to just read scripts off the cuff. Completely understandable to avoid law suits or violate the companies strict policy.


    What is to be expected? Can we get an agent to do a one time submission after reading it without entering into long term contract?

    We have a legit, real, request from a major player in the industry, and he has direct access to the chief, so it's even more critical we at least get our script to him to read.

    thanks for your feedback, look forward to hearing from you.
    That's him passing politely.

    Best,

    MB
    twitter.com/mbotti

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Major Prodco Exec requested script..but..

      Originally posted by ChristopherCurtis View Post
      What is to be expected? Can we get an agent to do a one time submission after reading it without entering into long term contract?

      We have a legit, real, request from a major player in the industry, and he has direct access to the chief, so it's even more critical we at least get our script to him to read.

      thanks for your feedback, look forward to hearing from you.
      Agree with michaelb... if he's saying "That sounds interesting" but at the same time saying, "Submit it just like everyone else," that's a pass. If he really wanted to read it, he would have asked to read it rather than suggesting you follow "company protocol."

      To answer your other question, though, I don't know any agents or managers that agree to rep someone on a one-off basis. You can find a rep who doesn't operate with long-term client agreements in place... but that's different than calling someone up and saying, "You don't know me, but I need a rep to send it to this one person. Will you do it?" No offense, and I know it is a big deal for a writer, but even a studio read request is still just a one-off long shot. It would be different if you were submitting a fully-financed movie package or were bringing attachments to the table... but for just a cold read, the reps that are willing to take a random writer and chase a single lead are probably not the kind of reps that a major production company means when they say, "Have your rep submit it."

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      • #4
        Re: Major Prodco Exec requested script..but..

        Originally posted by michaelb View Post
        That's him passing politely.

        Best,

        MB
        okay, thanks. I must be misunderstanding the procedure then.

        So executives in higher ranking positions under the founder/ceo can just read things on their own time without following procedure then? Wouldn't that jeopardize their position with the company and their employment? And also set the company up for potential lawsuits and claims?
        • Go and do likewise gents..

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Major Prodco Exec requested script..but..

          Originally posted by SoCalScribe View Post
          Agree with michaelb... if he's saying "That sounds interesting" but at the same time saying, "Submit it just like everyone else," that's a pass. If he really wanted to read it, he would have asked to read it rather than suggesting you follow "company protocol."

          To answer your other question, though, I don't know any agents or managers that agree to rep someone on a one-off basis. You can find a rep who doesn't operate with long-term client agreements in place... but that's different than calling someone up and saying, "You don't know me, but I need a rep to send it to this one person. Will you do it?" No offense, and I know it is a big deal for a writer, but even a studio read request is still just a one-off long shot. It would be different if you were submitting a fully-financed movie package or were bringing attachments to the table... but for just a cold read, the reps that are willing to take a random writer and chase a single lead are probably not the kind of reps that a major production company means when they say, "Have your rep submit it."

          correct. I can see how it goes both ways and is a tough situation for both parties. Looks like I need to move to LA and start building some relationships, because without a major interest from someone of influence who likes the script, or an under current of a buzz from a major contest win, or maybe high marks on any of the major websites and review companies out there (they will go unnamed, but we know who I'm referring to) the odds of just finding a manager or agent are slimmer than none in my opinion.

          But I love a challenge, it's in my nature! White House Down is in theaters now, and I just watched Burt Wonderstone last night so there is hope for a script to sell and be made into a movie, that's all I need to see.

          • Go and do likewise gents..

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Major Prodco Exec requested script..but..

            It goes both ways. Writers also use "Send the material to my agents and I'll take a look" as a way to politely pass. Because what writer is going to say no to an OWA from Peter Chernin? But from a "producer" with a webisode on YouTube... probably not.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Major Prodco Exec requested script..but..

              Well, you could try to have it submitted via an entertainment lawyer...but I'm going to disagree slightly with the other posters. To me, it sounds more like a punt than a pass.
              http://www.pjmcilvaine.com/

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Major Prodco Exec requested script..but..

                Originally posted by LIMAMA View Post
                Well, you could try to have it submitted via an entertainment lawyer...but I'm going to disagree slightly with the other posters. To me, it sounds more like a punt than a pass.
                You're still going to run into the same issue with an entertainment lawyer as a manager or agent. The kind of rep (any rep) who's in the business of sending out a one-off script for a person who isn't really a client probably isn't the kind of rep this guy means when he says, "Have a rep submit your work." That's not an invitation to just find anyone who calls himself a rep send it on their company stationery... it's a nice way of saying, "I don't know you, so have someone who's opinion I trust send me the script and tell me it's worth my time."

                And, IMHO, a punt is a nice way of saying a pass. Maybe, maybe you find a rep they trust and that rep submits it through "proper channels" and that means the script goes to an intern or reader who loves it and sends it to an assistant who loves it and sends it to his boss who loves it and sends it to his boss, who loves and it sends it to his boss (the original point of contact)... but that doesn't change the fact that the original point of contact passed on the opportunity to read it the first time.

                That doesn't mean the original point of contact will never, ever read it again... but a read request is a "yes or no" situation. I know that there are times when we all try to contextualize feedback or read deeper meaning into a situation, but the honest truth is that if he's not saying, "Yes, I'd like to read it," he's really saying "no," regardless of how nicely he says it or how much hope there seems to be in finding a creative way around it.

                BTW, please understand that I'm not trying to be needlessly negative or critical... it's just that I see so many writers waste so much time chasing down "leads" that really aren't all that interested in the first place. If someone really wants to read your script, they'll ask to read your script. If they're not asking to read your script... they don't want to read your script, and it's a better use of a writer's time to figure out who else might be interested in their script (or another script that person might be interested in) than it is trying to parse the response looking for a way in. I've seen too many writers waste too much time doing that, only to figure out they're being killed by kindness and were chasing a dead end.
                Last edited by SoCalScribe; 07-08-2013, 10:58 AM. Reason: Embarrassing "stationary" typo

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                • #9
                  Re: Major Prodco Exec requested script but neeed agent or manager

                  Welcome to Hollywood. You have just begun the process known as Dying from Encouragement.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Major Prodco Exec requested script..but..

                    Originally posted by SoCalScribe View Post
                    You're still going to run into the same issue with an entertainment lawyer as a manager or agent. The kind of rep (any rep) who's in the business of sending out a one-off script for a person who isn't really a client probably isn't the kind of rep this guy means when he says, "Have a rep submit your work." That's not an invitation to just find anyone who calls himself a rep send it on their company stationary... it's a nice way of saying, "I don't know you, so have someone who's opinion I trust send me the script and tell me it's worth my time."

                    And, IMHO, a punt is a nice way of saying a pass. Maybe, maybe you find a rep they trust and that rep submits it through "proper channels" and that means the script goes to an intern or reader who loves it and sends it to an assistant who loves it and sends it to his boss who loves it and sends it to his boss, who loves and it sends it to his boss (the original point of contact)... but that doesn't change the fact that the original point of contact passed on the opportunity to read it the first time.

                    That doesn't mean the original point of contact will never, ever read it again... but a read request is a "yes or no" situation. I know that there are times when we all try to contextualize feedback or read deeper meaning into a situation, but the honest truth is that if he's not saying, "Yes, I'd like to read it," he's really saying "no," regardless of how nicely he says it or how much hope there seems to be in finding a creative way around it.

                    BTW, please understand that I'm not trying to be needlessly negative or critical... it's just that I see so many writers waste so much time chasing down "leads" that really aren't all that interested in the first place. If someone really wants to read your script, they'll ask to read your script. If they're not asking to read your script... they don't want to read your script, and it's a better use of a writer's time to figure out who else might be interested in their script (or another script that person might be interested in) than it is trying to parse the response looking for a way in. I've seen too many writers waste too much time doing that, only to figure out they're being killed by kindness and were chasing a dead end.
                    This.

                    When I first read the OP post yesterday, without answering because he requested PMs, my first thought was "Oh man... that's a pass and the guy was just trying not to look like a dick." If an exec wants to read your work, he will. He doesn't need it to be submitted by anyone. It has happened to me on a couple of occasions.

                    Your attitude is great. Just keep moving forward.... and write more while you're pushing this one.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Major Prodco Exec requested script but neeed agent or manager

                      Hi All, I'll try to remain brief here. Thanks for the feedback and discussion.

                      I hear both sides of the story here. However, I didn't really want to post this publicly because I know there will be those that jeer,poke fun, and belittle but that's on them if they choose to do that.

                      This was more than just a brief encounter, or an off the cuff 3 minute conversation that took place and he said 'ohh, uhh, yea, but have an agent submit it, good luck" and then walked out of the elevator or paid his dinner check. That is NOT what's going on here.

                      So, I want to be clear about that.

                      It's unprofessional, tacky, and serious rookie style to pitch someone in a fun, non business related environment like a wedding weekend. In fact, you would do more harm than good if you did that, at least I know I wouldn't like it, people used to give me their cd's, bios, marketing packets all the time when I was out. You know where they went? exactly. At least let's get to know each other a bit first before we start talking shop and business.Build some rapport, which can happen quickly if the chemistry is right, you know it when it happens. Isn't that was Hollywood is built on anyway? relationships?

                      So based on some of the feedback here (which I greatly appreciate and respect) this guy is supposed to say


                      "great, what a fun weekend, glad we met, I'd love to read your script, send it over when I get back to LA"

                      Then what??? He reads it and likes it? he's then to do what?? go to his boss, who is THEE boss and say,

                      "I met a writer in NYC a few weeks ago, she sent their script to my personal email, I read it and I think it's really good and has serious marketing potential and a great story and characters".

                      Boss "ohhhkay, so do they have an agent or manager or did they sign any agreement or anything at all?"

                      Nope. I broke protocol and strict company policy and had them send it to me and I read it.

                      I just don't see someone jeopardizing their position, or relationship with their employer by doing that. Of course if the person is THEE BOSS, protocol and rules don't matter, but he's not. yet.

                      I know I would want my ducks in a row if there was strict policy about reading scripts submitted to me, an agent and officer of the company.

                      Now, IF there is NOT such a strict company policy and protocol, and they encourage their staff to read scripts any and everywhere they can, that's different. I don't think that is the case here.

                      I think it also looks better and is more professional that we have a manager or agent, especially should this guy want to go to bat with it and try to make something happen. No manager, no agent, no nothing. Then what?

                      Sure, hypothetically, if this guy REALLLLY wanted to read it, of course, he could. Or he could refer us to a manager or agent to get it submitted. But he doesn't have time for all that, I don't blame him. I've been there. Get an agent, get a manager, follow the procedure and policy so ALL ducks are in a row legally, and we take it from there and are at least off to the races heading down the right road following the rules and procedure.

                      that is how I see it. Now I just need representation. My partner is a seasoned, optioned and produced writer living and working in NYC. Which is exactly why I chose her to co-write this with me.

                      okay, I rambled enough, so much for being brief.
                      • Go and do likewise gents..

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Major Prodco Exec requested script but neeed agent or manager

                        Originally posted by ChristopherCurtis View Post
                        Hi All, I'll try to remain brief here. Thanks for the feedback and discussion.

                        I hear both sides of the story here. However, I didn't really want to post this publicly because I know there will be those that jeer,poke fun, and belittle but that's on them if they choose to do that.

                        This was more than just a brief encounter, or an off the cuff 3 minute conversation that took place and he said 'ohh, uhh, yea, but have an agent submit it, good luck" and then walked out of the elevator or paid his dinner check. That is NOT what's going on here.

                        So, I want to be clear about that.

                        It's unprofessional, tacky, and serious rookie style to pitch someone in a fun, non business related environment like a wedding weekend. In fact, you would do more harm than good if you did that, at least I know I wouldn't like it, people used to give me their cd's, bios, marketing packets all the time when I was out. You know where they went? exactly. At least let's get to know each other a bit first before we start talking shop and business.Build some rapport, which can happen quickly if the chemistry is right, you know it when it happens. Isn't that was Hollywood is built on anyway? relationships?

                        So based on some of the feedback here (which I greatly appreciate and respect) this guy is supposed to say


                        "great, what a fun weekend, glad we met, I'd love to read your script, send it over when I get back to LA"

                        Then what??? He reads it and likes it? he's then to do what?? go to his boss, who is THEE boss and say,

                        "I met a writer in NYC a few weeks ago, she sent their script to my personal email, I read it and I think it's really good and has serious marketing potential and a great story and characters".

                        Boss "ohhhkay, so do they have an agent or manager or did they sign any agreement or anything at all?"

                        Nope. I broke protocol and strict company policy and had them send it to me and I read it.

                        I just don't see someone jeopardizing their position, or relationship with their employer by doing that. Of course if the person is THEE BOSS, protocol and rules don't matter, but he's not. yet.

                        I know I would want my ducks in a row if there was strict policy about reading scripts submitted to me, an agent and officer of the company.

                        Now, IF there is NOT such a strict company policy and protocol, and they encourage their staff to read scripts any and everywhere they can, that's different. I don't think that is the case here.

                        I think it also looks better and is more professional that we have a manager or agent, especially should this guy want to go to bat with it and try to make something happen. No manager, no agent, no nothing. Then what?

                        Sure, hypothetically, if this guy REALLLLY wanted to read it, of course, he could. Or he could refer us to a manager or agent to get it submitted. But he doesn't have time for all that, I don't blame him. I've been there. Get an agent, get a manager, follow the procedure and policy so ALL ducks are in a row legally, and we take it from there and are at least off to the races heading down the right road following the rules and procedure.

                        that is how I see it. Now I just need representation. My partner is a seasoned, optioned and produced writer living and working in NYC. Which is exactly why I chose her to co-write this with me.

                        okay, I rambled enough, so much for being brief.
                        THEEE boss is not going to care if his exec deviated from policy. It's the execs job to find viable material the production company can sell to a studio and/or get made. The boss will evaluate whatever material with that in mind. The boss also does not want to here about whatever backstory that led to you getting the read. He doesn't care that you met at a wedding or whatever and the exec knows he doesn't have time to hear all that. If the boss reads the script and has interest he may then ask "who's the writer" and then exec can answer however he or she sees fit.

                        The boss is also not firing anybody because they read a script that wasn't submitted by an agent or manager. The exec knows this so he knows he wouldn't "risking his job" by reading your script. If he wanted to read your script, he could. It's as simple as that. There are release forms he could have you sign if he was concerned about some sort of liability.

                        I'm not sure where you're going with this to be honest. You seem to understand and process what everybody is saying for the most part. If you're expecting a production company's possible interest in reading your work to generate interest from an agent or manager I guess it's possible but it's definitely not probable in my experience. You could maybe mention it in a query and see what happens? Can't hurt. I'd think that your prospective agent or manager will primarily be looking at one thing, though -- your logline -- and they'd base their willingness to read on their feelings about that (not whatever mystery prod co is sitting out there).

                        Not trying to be a dick but just giving it to ya straight. PM me any questions if you want.
                        "I hate to break it to you but there is no big lie. There is no system. The universe is indifferent.- - Don Draper

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Major Prodco Exec requested script but neeed agent or manager

                          Originally posted by ChristopherCurtis View Post
                          This was more than just a brief encounter, or an off the cuff 3 minute conversation that took place and he said 'ohh, uhh, yea, but have an agent submit it, good luck" and then walked out of the elevator or paid his dinner check. That is NOT what's going on here.

                          So, I want to be clear about that.
                          I don't think anyone's accusing you of being in that situation. Most of us (I think) are responding to the exec's response, not accusing you of handling the situation unprofessionally. I wanted to make that clear because I think everyone here is trying to help you rather than accuse you of being a newbie or somehow behaving inappropriately.


                          So based on some of the feedback here (which I greatly appreciate and respect) this guy is supposed to say

                          "great, what a fun weekend, glad we met, I'd love to read your script, send it over when I get back to LA"

                          Then what??? He reads it and likes it? he's then to do what?? go to his boss, who is THEE boss and say,

                          "I met a writer in NYC a few weeks ago, she sent their script to my personal email, I read it and I think it's really good and has serious marketing potential and a great story and characters".
                          Yeah, that's pretty much exactly how it goes sometimes. Most execs even use their work email in that situation.


                          Boss "ohhhkay, so do they have an agent or manager or did they sign any agreement or anything at all?"

                          Nope. I broke protocol and strict company policy and had them send it to me and I read it.
                          This part isn't. "Protocol" and "strict company policy" are systems in place to prevent or curtail unsolicited submissions. Believe me when I say that no one in a position of creative authority in this industry would keep his or her job for long if they refused to read a great script because it didn't follow a rigid and inflexible submission process. Maybe there's a submission release to sign along the way, but if it's a great script, that's all that matters.


                          I just don't see someone jeopardizing their position, or relationship with their employer by doing that. Of course if the person is THEE BOSS, protocol and rules don't matter, but he's not. yet.

                          I know I would want my ducks in a row if there was strict policy about reading scripts submitted to me, an agent and officer of the company.

                          Now, IF there is NOT such a strict company policy and protocol, and they encourage their staff to read scripts any and everywhere they can, that's different. I don't think that is the case here.
                          Creative execs are lauded for finding great material, not slapped on the wrist for failing to follow a rigid submission policy. Here's the important part, though... if you're being told that there's a strict submission policy in place or that they'd love to read it but their hands are tied... it's all a polite way of saying, "I don't want to read your script." If they did want to read it, they would have asked to read it. There is no company policy anywhere in the industry that says, "If you come across a script that catches your interest, you can't read it."


                          I think it also looks better and is more professional that we have a manager or agent, especially should this guy want to go to bat with it and try to make something happen. No manager, no agent, no nothing. Then what?
                          Having a manager or agent is irrelevant if it's a great script. People in the industry make deals with writers all the time regardless of whether they have reps, are guild members, etc. It's all about the quality of the script. If you've written a great script, it doesn't matter to them whether you pay a rep 10% or not.


                          Sure, hypothetically, if this guy REALLLLY wanted to read it, of course, he could. Or he could refer us to a manager or agent to get it submitted.
                          Bingo.


                          But he doesn't have time for all that, I don't blame him. I've been there. Get an agent, get a manager, follow the procedure and policy so ALL ducks are in a row legally, and we take it from there and are at least off to the races heading down the right road following the rules and procedure.
                          You had it 100% right a minute ago. If he really wanted to read it, he could. If he really wanted to refer you to someone who could submit it on your behalf, he could. But he didn't. Don't rationalize the situation by thinking he doesn't have time or it's just because he has to follow some arbitrary submission procedure. You had it right the first time. If this guy "REALLLLLY wanted to read it," he could. But he didn't ask to read it, nor did he refer you to a manager, or offer any special consideration other than "submit it just like everyone else." That's a pass.


                          that is how I see it. Now I just need representation. My partner is a seasoned, optioned and produced writer living and working in NYC. Which is exactly why I chose her to co-write this with me.
                          Just out of curiosity... if your partner is a seasoned, optioned, produced working writer... does she have a rep that can submit it for you?


                          I don't want to (and hope I don't) come off as particularly harsh or combative, but I see the direction this train of thought is headed in. Believe me... I've been there on both sides of the table. Regardless of the circumstances of the meeting, the bottom line is that this guy heard your script premise and had a chance to say "send me your script." He didn't. Instead of saying, "Send me your script," he said, "Submit it through proper channels." That's a pass. You can justify it by saying it's punting, or that he's just a guy following company protocol, or that he's an exec who's probably very busy and can't read it right now... but the honest truth is that if he's not saying, "Yes, send it to me," he's saying "no." There are a million nice ways to say "no" to someone (and I've even used the 'strict policy' and 'I'm very busy right now' excuses myself on occasion)... but it's still a no.

                          If you truly believe this script is right for this company, then do what you have to do to submit it through "proper channels." Heck, why not try to find an actual manager or rep rather than someone who will just submit this one project for you? Just please understand that you don't have any special "in" with this executive or this company, so don't go out of your way to parse his response looking for underlying meaning. He didn't bite when he had the chance; it's as simple as that.

                          Best of luck to you and your partner on your writing endeavors!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Major Prodco Exec requested script but neeed agent or manager

                            They would say "send it over" if they wanted to read it. In the unlikely circumstance that they were afraid of reading it, they'd send a release form, which everyone has.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Major Prodco Exec requested script but neeed agent or manager

                              Won't beat a dead horse, but all the other commenters are correct, this was a pass.

                              One piece of advice I'll add: Don't butcher the contact. Once you move to LA, get into the swing of writing, include him on your first query blitz and mention that you met way back when in New York. Any point of reference can help you.

                              Best of luck.
                              Write, rite, wright... until you get it RIGHT.

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