Need Some Advice...

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  • Need Some Advice...

    i have a situation and i'm not sure how to proceed.

    i had been away from writing for about 2 years and am now able to write full time. i do travel some, but basically vaca kind of travelling, and am able to make writing my full time job.

    so, i have a new spec i'm rewriting, and another one that will be ready in a couple months. So i'll have four strong (imo ) specs min this year.

    a few years ago i finished Tracker and Wasteland:The Sixth State. both did well on the black list website. you might already be aware. the later when to maybe a handful of studios/prodco, and Tracker went to a dozen, i think?

    i had a production company, one you've all heard of, who also has a management division want to option Tracker. after a month long negotiation we were unable to come to terms. it was not left in a bad place to my knowledge and i enjoyed my contact at the company very much.

    since i am now looking for a manager, i wanted to consider the best approach to this company (management side). there are a few managers, but one manager that looks very good-- researching now. i have his email address. should i contact him and recap the situation? i'm pretty sure the producer/VP of Acquisitions will remember my script. my manager at the time was attaching as a producer. do not know if that impacted anything.

    should i just lay it out as simply as possible? should i let them know i would like to submit for representation? or should i focus on the other management companies i am querying?

    one thing that might be a concern to me, is rewriting the spec for free under the guise of a manager's notes (if they were inclined to take me on and i don't know that this would happen), so the production side could have a draft they can more easily sell? i don't know how these divisions work with respect to each other management/productions, anyone have any insights or experience? i just want to be better prepared this go around.
    FA4
    "Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist,- Pablo Picasso

  • #2
    Re: Need Some Advice...

    IDK... But, I would reach out to anyone and everyone who is legit for your genre. Why be exclusive?


    Second, I would give them 2 passes at most. If it's a major note. Fukk off, this is gonna be trouble. If it's a day's work. Whatevez. Do it so they have mental equity. Then one more day? Whatevez. Do it so they have mental equity. Months of rewrites for a "manager"? Fukk that!

    ...IMO
    Bruh, fukkin *smooches*! Feel me? Ha!

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Need Some Advice...

      So basically, you want to approach the management side of this company you were in negotiations with a couple of years ago on TRACKER, is that it?

      I mean, it's tricky. I'm sure people here will disagree with me, but I think it's always a better path to do this kind of thing with a fresh piece of material. The school of thought being 1.) TRACKER has already been exposed to the town, albeit in small drips and drabs (but still...), and 2.) this company has already seen it and has since moved on. And while you might have had a good experience during the negotiations, you don't know what was going on BTS between your then-manager and them. Unless you were the one doing the negotiating (that part's unclear). Maybe your manager was a d!ck to them or botched the deal. Or maybe it was all cool. But thing is, you don't know.

      It's so much easier, imo, to approach people with an email that says, "Hey, remember when you guys read/loved TRACKER? Well I have a new script I thought you guys would love... I've since moved on from [manager] and I'm looking for new representation. I would love to work with you guys in that capacity..." Or something like that.

      I've never had great experiences going back to the well with the same script. I've always gotten better traction and more reads with a new one.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Need Some Advice...

        Originally posted by docgonzo View Post
        So basically, you want to approach the management side of this company you were in negotiations with a couple of years ago on TRACKER, is that it?

        I mean, it's tricky. I'm sure people here will disagree with me, but I think it's always a better path to do this kind of thing with a fresh piece of material. The school of thought being 1.) TRACKER has already been exposed to the town, albeit in small drips and drabs (but still...), and 2.) this company has already seen it and has since moved on. And while you might have had a good experience during the negotiations, you don't know what was going on BTS between your then-manager and them. Unless you were the one doing the negotiating (that part's unclear). Maybe your manager was a d!ck to them or botched the deal. Or maybe it was all cool. But thing is, you don't know.

        It's so much easier, imo, to approach people with an email that says, "Hey, remember when you guys read/loved TRACKER? Well I have a new script I thought you guys would love... I've since moved on from [manager] and I'm looking for new representation. I would love to work with you guys in that capacity..." Or something like that.

        I've never had great experiences going back to the well with the same script. I've always gotten better traction and more reads with a new one.
        Nope... agreed!

        This is a way better email "You liked my script TRACKER. I have a new script called ____ that "NO ONE HAS SEEN." I'm coming to you first, as I love and respect your taste in material." Ahh fresh meat... everyone responds better to fresh meat.

        That's my email. Some may disagree.
        Last edited by GucciGhostXXX; 07-15-2019, 12:48 PM.
        Bruh, fukkin *smooches*! Feel me? Ha!

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Need Some Advice...

          Ps... I bet docgonzo is a better writer than me. Let me just lay that out there. Ha!
          Bruh, fukkin *smooches*! Feel me? Ha!

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Need Some Advice...

            Originally posted by GucciGhostXXX View Post
            Nope... agreed!

            This is a way better email "You liked my script TRACKER. I have a new script called ____ that "NO ONE HAS SEEN." I'm coming to you first, as I love and respect your taste in material."

            That's my email. Some may disagree.
            well, then they have to be set aside. the script i have next is Tinder (rom-com) and it is not like my other material which is much darker in tone. all action thrillers. i would hope to have secured a manager by then.

            i didn't work with the management side. or send Tracker to the managers on the management side. i worked directly with the producer and VP of Acquisition i was hoping it might be something we might be able to engage in again. they did say to send them whatever i have first, but we're still going to have the same problem as i see it, i won't write for free-- at least not when i can be turning out another spec.

            next up is Tinder then a Taken/Salt with a female Lead-- Black Raven. That'll be a couple months, since i'm rewriting Tinder now.

            oh well.
            "Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist,- Pablo Picasso

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Need Some Advice...

              I think that's the best way to go.

              Also, you mentioned Adam Kolbrenner's podcast, in it he said one of the things that turns him off is a screenwriter "trying a little bit too hard to sell all their wares." This is why I said DO NOT include your website with all your scripts. He's essentially telling you straight out, don't do it, just hit me with ONE great concept and I'll take a look. He said "Slow down, what's your best script?" There you go, he told you EXACTLY what to do, twice. (not trying to be rude, just say'n)

              I get it, our natural instinct is: "But, but, but... I HAVE MORE! I'M GOOD! HERE'S THE ENTIRE LIST!" But, that approach doesn't work. Turns them off. It's overwhelming and confusing and kinda creepy.

              Notice he also said something to the effect of "WHY ARE YOU THE ONE TO WRITE THIS?" I think if you have a rad answer they'll find it interesting.

              FOR EXAMPLE: On my political drama, here's my inspiration section of the show bible. I think it's fairly compelling. You be the judge. It includes an actual photo of my great uncle in Time Magazine in the White House war room at this very moment I'm describing. He looks pensive and like "My god... what the fukk do we do/say to save America? Everything just changed." My uncle sitting next to Eisenhower, there's a pen in his hand, he's already writing a draft. They both look like "fukk, this is BAD! VERY BAD!"


              INSPIRATION:

              A man I've long admired. My great uncle: Chief speech writer and best friend to President Dwight D. Eisenhower. The State of the Union Address he wrote in 1958 boldly stands out. The Soviet Union's launch of Sputnik had just shocked the world. Time Magazine captured this historic photo of my uncle with Eisenhower in the War Room devising a plan. Stouthearted men with that asphyxiated look in their eyes "What the hell do we do?” Eisenhower trusted my uncle with his life—a humble yet brilliant man. As I put this monumental speech down, hindsight made clear their plan. They had to transition, try something new, untested, risky. Their challenge was to anticipate an unknown future. The moment in history America transitioned from the Cold War to the Technological War. Their assurance to the nation hinted at their bleeding-edge plan. Two months later DARPA was formed. DARPA's brag list reads: started NASA, created GPS, created The Internet etc., to protect National Security. Born in the private sector in order to circumvent governmental bureaucracy. My uncle was on the frontlines of national crisis, not unlike what we are facing today. Together they created a solution. I knew I had to write something as courageous as my uncle, a story about the transition of nations. A story of solutions.

              …After all, it’s in my blood.
              Bruh, fukkin *smooches*! Feel me? Ha!

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Need Some Advice...

                Fa4...
                I'm not clear on what you mean by free rewrites as it relates to working with a manager.

                In my limited experience, at that stage you're tweaking the script prior to the manager shopping the script or going wide.

                The type of notes managers give at this point in the process are usually not "rewrites" in the formal sense.

                Now I have seen other writers say managers requested significant rewrites -- changing major plot points entirely that are indeed a new script/story. Or even changing the concept, again it's a new script. I would refuse these requests too.

                However basic notes like tweaking dialogue, trimming back or expanding a scene for clarity, I don't consider that a rewrite. Just my opinion based on limited experience with managers.
                Advice from writer, Kelly Sue DeConnick. "Try this: if you can replace your female character with a sexy lamp and the story still basically works, maybe you need another draft.-

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Need Some Advice...

                  Originally posted by sc111 View Post
                  Fa4...
                  I'm not clear on what you mean by free rewrites as it relates to working with a manager.

                  In my limited experience, at that stage you're tweaking the script prior to the manager shopping the script or going wide.

                  The type of notes managers give at this point in the process are usually not "rewrites" in the formal sense.

                  Now I have seen other writers say managers requested significant rewrites -- changing major plot points entirely that are indeed a new script/story. Or even changing the concept, again it's a new script. I would refuse these requests too.

                  However basic notes like tweaking dialogue, trimming back or expanding a scene for clarity, I don't consider that a rewrite. Just my opinion based on limited experience with managers.
                  Same...

                  A page 1? Bye...


                  (unless it's like, "this should be a TV show, what do you think?" If I agree, I'm doing it, and just did exactly that.)
                  Bruh, fukkin *smooches*! Feel me? Ha!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Need Some Advice...

                    Originally posted by sc111 View Post
                    Fa4...
                    I'm not clear on what you mean by free rewrites as it relates to working with a manager.

                    In my limited experience, at that stage you're tweaking the script prior to the manager shopping the script or going wide.

                    The type of notes managers give at this point in the process are usually not "rewrites" in the formal sense.

                    Now I have seen other writers say managers requested significant rewrites -- changing major plot points entirely that are indeed a new script/story. Or even changing the concept, again it's a new script. I would refuse these requests too.

                    However basic notes like tweaking dialogue, trimming back or expanding a scene for clarity, I don't consider that a rewrite. Just my opinion based on limited experience with managers.
                    i totally agree with you. i am 100% willing to do the things you mention above without question. anything to get it ready to market-- i'm fully on board.

                    this prodco wanted me to do a set of free rewrites in order to send it out to directors and top talent.

                    if a manager from the management side was interested (don't know that they would be) is it possible that the person who runs both the management side and the production side might suggest to a manager their "notes," to get it to the point where they could package it? jeez, it sounds crazy just typing it.

                    i'm admitting that i am totally ignorant here. i don't understand how 'separate' or how 'intertwined' a management company is when they have a production arm. i don't pretend to know the ethics.

                    i guess, in this case, it would just be considered notes, right?
                    "Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist,- Pablo Picasso

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Need Some Advice...

                      I get it. That's a good question. I never got as far as you havw so I don't know. I wonder -- do all the managers solely take projects to the production side of their shingle ?
                      Advice from writer, Kelly Sue DeConnick. "Try this: if you can replace your female character with a sexy lamp and the story still basically works, maybe you need another draft.-

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Need Some Advice...

                        Opinion from an idiot...

                        Put a time limit on it. Been there done that with a huge producer. Guess what, these notes went on for over a year. More, more, more, more! The script never went to anyone. Don't do that!

                        2 weeks. If that's not sufficient. BYE!
                        Bruh, fukkin *smooches*! Feel me? Ha!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Need Some Advice...

                          Oh, and... you always own the notes outright. Period. The end! You walk, the changes become mine.
                          Bruh, fukkin *smooches*! Feel me? Ha!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Need Some Advice...

                            Originally posted by GucciGhostXXX View Post
                            Oh, and... you always own the notes outright. Period. The end! You walk, the changes become mine.
                            yes, that was one of the sticking points i wanted to keep all rewrite rights. that's not always possible, i understand that, but it they want to give you nothing, you should be able to walk away with the work you did.

                            that'll always be something to fight for.
                            "Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist,- Pablo Picasso

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Need Some Advice...

                              I would say your best case is to query with the next spec that is in the same genre as Tracker and Wasteland that you said would be ready in a few months. One you said Taken/Salt with female lead, but Salt already had the female lead, so i think I lost you there for a second... Maybe it was Taken meets Salt...

                              I don't get the rush to get a manager, since well it's hard anyways and even harder now... might as well wait until you're fully ready.

                              I of course am well aware of Tinder and expressed my thoughts on and off the board -- best thing about it is it's brand new material. But I still stand by my querying in a genre you don't love love love isn't the best move for you. What do others think?

                              However, if you stick to this plan, I would avoid querying any companies with any connection to Tracker or Wasteland manager wise. I can see reaching to people you already spoke with on production side, but I don't know why the script wasn't optioned during that month... so maybe it's a bad idea.

                              In general, querying with new specs is the best way to go. The easiest way.

                              I've gone back to the well and like others said it never goes well. How often do couples get back together and it goes well?

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