Not responding back after reading script

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  • Not responding back after reading script

    What is with certain agents, managers or their assistants never getting back to you after you follow up once they've requested your script and you send it to them. For example, I'll wait 3-4 weeks before following up, and if I don't hear back after a while I'll follow up a 2nd time. MAYBE I'll follow up a 3rd time, but no more after that. Why request a script if you have no intention of reading it, or reading it but have no intention to take the one second courtesy to get back to the writer and tell them yes or no?

  • #2
    Re: Not responding back after reading script

    Welcome to the business. That's just how it is, like it or not. No use getting upset or confused by this. Just keep writing and sending your stuff out, and eventually something will hit.

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    • #3
      Re: Not responding back after reading script

      Originally posted by EMDismyname View Post
      What is with certain agents, managers or their assistants never getting back to you after you follow up once they've requested your script and you send it to them. For example, I'll wait 3-4 weeks before following up, and if I don't hear back after a while I'll follow up a 2nd time. MAYBE I'll follow up a 3rd time, but no more after that. Why request a script if you have no intention of reading it, or reading it but have no intention to take the one second courtesy to get back to the writer and tell them yes or no?
      The people who read scripts are famous for the silent "no."

      When I first got them, I used to find reasons, like -- they think I'm delusional and don't want to say it to my face. Or, they're scared if they say "no" I'll try to start a conversation with them to get feedback. Maybe they don't want to go on record as having passed. (99.9% of the time -- not the case. They could care less.)

      Here's what I realized -- these people are BUSY. You sent them a script that sounded promising, they cracked it and read ten pages. It didn't work for them and they cracked a different script. And they forgot about you.

      Two weeks you write back, and they're like -- Who?

      I think it's really that simple. There's no plot, or ulterior motive. They only reply if they respond to something.

      One of my friends who is a pro told me it also happens to him, and if he doesn't hear back from someone within two weeks, he writes it off mentally and moves on.

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      • #4
        Re: Not responding back after reading script

        Originally posted by lostfootage View Post
        The people who read scripts are famous for the silent "no."

        When I first got them, I used to find reasons, like -- they think I'm delusional and don't want to say it to my face. Or, they're scared if they say "no" I'll try to start a conversation with them to get feedback. Maybe they don't want to go on record as having passed. (99.9% of the time -- not the case. They could care less.)

        Here's what I realized -- these people are BUSY. You sent them a script that sounded promising, they cracked it and read ten pages. It didn't work for them and they cracked a different script. And they forgot about you.

        Two weeks you write back, and they're like -- Who?

        I think it's really that simple. There's no plot, or ulterior motive. They only reply if they respond to something.

        One of my friends who is a pro told me it also happens to him, and if he doesn't hear back from someone within two weeks, he writes it off mentally and moves on.
        The Silent No was born out of the multitude of desperate writers who can't take NO for an answer. Producers and reps are fed up with writers who think an emailed pass is an invitation to open a dialogue where they beg, plead, and threaten, not accepting that negative answer.

        I've talked to producers who have regaled me with horror stories. With the thousands of writers now with scripts and most of them with no limits on how they react, the silent no came into being. You send one reminder after 3 weeks, if you hear nothing, move on.

        It's the new normal.

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        • #5
          Re: Not responding back after reading script

          Also I never had positive news that a rep or producer didn't tell me via email or phone call. If they like it- -- they find you.

          In other words -- I used to follow up -- maybe get some words of encouragement or a reason why -- but it's pointless really. The ones that loved my writing - they reached out. Sometimes very fast.

          So I always send stuff out -- assume it's a no -- and move on. That's all you can do.

          But just know it's not like they were going to buy your script or rep you -- if only you reminded them to read your spec or get back to you.

          Let me ask you this. How quick are you to respond to people with bad news?

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          • #6
            Re: Not responding back after reading script

            This is also known as "the Hollywood no" and "the LA no". I can't remember exactly who said this but I encountered the phrases a few times now.

            I will also say that you'll hear little from reps on bad news-- IE my own manager prefers not to share every pass unless I ask--it's just assumed.

            Good luck!
            Best,
            Frederic

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            • #7
              Re: Not responding back after reading script

              It's all good news only said out loud -- bad news implied.

              They love the script but have notes that will change every line and word in the script.

              When people leave a Hollywood company they "exit" or whatever other BS they use. No one is ever fired.

              Even when celebrities die they just say "taking some time off from work."

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              • #8
                Re: Not responding back after reading script

                Originally posted by Bono View Post
                When people leave a Hollywood company they "exit" or whatever other BS they use. No one is ever fired.
                They “ankle.” There seems to be a lot of “ankling” in Variety magazine stories.

                Originally posted by Bono View Post
                Even when celebrities die they just say "taking some time off from work."
                For aircraft pilots who’ve died, that community says they’ve “gone West.”
                Last edited by TigerFang; 06-16-2020, 02:20 PM.
                "Go to the edge of the cliff and jump off. Build your wings on the way down.- - Ray Bradbury

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Not responding back after reading script

                  Originally posted by EMDismyname View Post
                  What is with certain agents, managers or their assistants never getting back to you after you follow up once they've requested your script and you send it to them. For example, I'll wait 3-4 weeks before following up, and if I don't hear back after a while I'll follow up a 2nd time. MAYBE I'll follow up a 3rd time, but no more after that. Why request a script if you have no intention of reading it, or reading it but have no intention to take the one second courtesy to get back to the writer and tell them yes or no?
                  As others have noted on your behalf, it's best to send the requested script and adopt a policy of "Don't call them. They'll call you.- That way, at least, when they contact you, it's for certain you'll know they're interested in your script.
                  "Go to the edge of the cliff and jump off. Build your wings on the way down.- - Ray Bradbury

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Not responding back after reading script

                    I just want to know want industry you folks work in where you're NOT getting ghosted all the time?

                    And as for the "they don't want to start a dialogue with a crazy writer- - yeah, I get it. But that feels like backing into a reason. Because agents get ghosted, execs get ghosted, the whole town gets ghosted. Life is getting ghosted.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Not responding back after reading script

                      There's a perception that Hollywood is a thick-skin, scream-in-your-face, tell-it-like-it-is business. But I've seen the exact opposite be true. This industry is filled with passive-aggressive, conflict averse people. That's how many of them survive so long.

                      I get ghosted all... the... time.

                      Even after spending WEEKS crafting a pitch or new draft with an exec, if it hits some resistance up the ladder, I won't hear it from them. Throughout the process, the exec will respond to emails immediately and hop on the phone at any hour, but after the pitch is done or the script goes to talent or whatever the next step is, it's always me or my agent who has to follow up to find out that the project isn't moving forward.

                      This has happened multiple times where it's on ME to be the adult who reaches out to say "Hey, I heard it didn't work out. Too bad, it was a cool project. I loved working with you. We'll get 'em on the next one!"

                      And more than one of those execs has come back to me months later with a new pitch opportunity, so it's not like they ghosted me because I'm so horrible that they never wanted to work with me again or something.

                      This town has a real problem with being up-front. And I don't blame a handful of crazy writers for that. People in this town just don't like conflict.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Not responding back after reading script

                        Originally posted by EdFury View Post
                        The Silent No was born out of the multitude of desperate writers who can't take NO for an answer. Producers and reps are fed up with writers who think an emailed pass is an invitation to open a dialogue where they beg, plead, and threaten, not accepting that negative answer.

                        I've talked to producers who have regaled me with horror stories. With the thousands of writers now with scripts and most of them with no limits on how they react, the silent no came into being. You send one reminder after 3 weeks, if you hear nothing, move on.

                        It's the new normal.
                        Oooh. I'd love to hear those stories.
                        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


                        • #13
                          Re: Not responding back after reading script

                          Originally posted by Bunker View Post
                          There's a perception that Hollywood is a thick-skin, scream-in-your-face, tell-it-like-it-is business. But I've seen the exact opposite be true. This industry is filled with passive-aggressive, conflict averse people. That's how many of them survive so long.

                          I get ghosted all... the... time.

                          Even after spending WEEKS crafting a pitch or new draft with an exec, if it hits some resistance up the ladder, I won't hear it from them. Throughout the process, the exec will respond to emails immediately and hop on the phone at any hour, but after the pitch is done or the script goes to talent or whatever the next step is, it's always me or my agent who has to follow up to find out that the project isn't moving forward.

                          This has happened multiple times where it's on ME to be the adult who reaches out to say "Hey, I heard it didn't work out. Too bad, it was a cool project. I loved working with you. We'll get 'em on the next one!"

                          And more than one of those execs has come back to me months later with a new pitch opportunity, so it's not like they ghosted me because I'm so horrible that they never wanted to work with me again or something.

                          This town has a real problem with being up-front. And I don't blame a handful of crazy writers for that. People in this town just don't like conflict.
                          I think this is probably the most true.

                          Last year at Austin a well-known manager stated that, since the WGA/ATA dispute, even he gets ghosted. It's just part of the business. People don't want to deal with negative situations. We don't either.

                          I like your approach, Bunker. It's proactive and immediately puts the person at ease because now they don't have anything in the way of working together in the future. Really smart, actually.

                          It's not relegated to the entertainment industry; that's why I feel it's more about avoiding conflict/confrontation at delivering bad news more than anything else.
                          "Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist,- Pablo Picasso

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                          • #14
                            Re: Not responding back after reading script

                            Originally posted by EdFury View Post
                            The Silent No was born out of the multitude of desperate writers who can't take NO for an answer. Producers and reps are fed up with writers who think an emailed pass is an invitation to open a dialogue where they beg, plead, and threaten, not accepting that negative answer.

                            I've talked to producers who have regaled me with horror stories. With the thousands of writers now with scripts and most of them with no limits on how they react, the silent no came into being. You send one reminder after 3 weeks, if you hear nothing, move on.

                            It's the new normal.

                            I get the mentality on this, but respectfully disagree. As we both know, most of these guys are so ****ing busy that **** gets forgotten or lost in the shuffle. I'll follow-up every 3-5 weeks or so until I get a response (okay, maybe I'll stop around the 10th follow-up). Occasionally someone will say, "Please stop following up, I'll let you know when I've read." Which is fine by me. Often they simply never respond. But, you know what happens a lot? They'll ask me to re-send. You'd think they could just scroll-up in the e-mail, chain, but sometimes things get lost in the shuffle. Some even thank me for staying on them. And a couple of those instances led to meetings, and more than one to paid work. So I do think it pays off to be diligent, so long as you're polite about it and just checking in every month or so (rather than every week). Just my experience.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Not responding back after reading script

                              Even my own reps don't always respond to my emails and often have gotten mad for sending too many. They are all so busy and until you make them money, they aren't really always there for you like we hope they would be. Got to email them for specific purpose.

                              I emailed my new rep so much less than the old ones -- i learned and still he said I should email him less (on the phone). In a nice way, but that's the way it is.

                              So I'm just saying -- if reps barely have time for their current clients -- how much time do they have to respond to non clients?

                              And I've had people pass on my work and be super cool about it -- didn't help my career though, so it's still a "No".

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