The State Of The Query 2021

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  • #46
    Originally posted by Vango View Post

    I really think that's the main goal, just my opinion though. Getting a great film made, that movie wins awards, that movie does well at the box office or on netflix or whatever, is superior in my opinion to selling 5 scripts that never get made. Having a great film, which of course is a huge team effort with things out of your control like you say, will ultimately be your calling card. Whether that film is your spec that you're sending, or if it's an assignment (which is going to get made) in where you're going to get screenplay credit, I don't think it matters.

    There's a life goal that many people share, in whatever field they work -- to build a legacy. Especially for artists, to leave something of importance behind. In my humble opinion, I would not be pursuing screenwriting if the goal was just to make a living.
    I hear you. But that's like saying my goal is to look like a young Brad Pitt. You can make that your goal, but a better goal is for me to lose 25lbs and walk more...

    More realistic goals step by step up the ladder = better chance of success in my eyes.

    After you sell the spec -- doubtful the writer (unless they are the director or producer) is the one in the room fighting with the studio to actually get it made. It's actually getting a big actor like a Brad Pitt (who I now look like which is great!) on board and then the movie MAY actually get made because Brad wants to do it...

    In other words, we have very little control at this stage of our careers. Even huge writers have very little control...

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    • #47
      Originally posted by Bono View Post

      I hear you. But that's like saying my goal is to look like a young Brad Pitt. You can make that your goal, but a better goal is for me to lose 25lbs and walk more...

      More realistic goals step by step up the ladder = better chance of success in my eyes.

      After you sell the spec -- doubtful the writer (unless they are the director or producer) is the one in the room fighting with the studio to actually get it made. It's actually getting a big actor like a Brad Pitt (who I now look like which is great!) on board and then the movie MAY actually get made because Brad wants to do it...

      In other words, we have very little control at this stage of our careers. Even huge writers have very little control...
      Lol congrats on the weight loss and slowly morphing into Brad Pitt.

      So based on what I've been going through thus far, and again, I don't know too much. But if you really want to get this movie made, usually you wouldn't just sell the spec, you'd find the right production company, then the production company would go out and search for a director and/or actors, and then they put this package together and see if they can get the financing for it. So as the creator, if you have good relationship with the producers that are trying to make this, you're going to be involved in quite a few decisions, and they will enjoy input from you, especially if you're writing about a topic that you're an expert on. They will want to know, what directors or actors do you like and envision for this film. If it makes sense, we will approach them. Just one man's experience though. If it's an important movie, you want to maintain your vision for that film, the original writer's vision is important to the film's overall success when you're dealing with prestige type of stuff. Something like John Wick doesn't classify as that type of movie where you have to have your hand in the pot. Brad Pitt can get a movie made, of course, but there are plenty of other actors and primarily directors that can get a film made.

      I'll give an example of how input from the writer is useful. We have the list of directors we started to go to, but then I listened to an interview with another big director. It turns out that this director has roots in Iraq. And there's even history with his family which is related to parts of the script. This director was never mentioned or thought of, and no one realized that connection until I mentioned it, but now we are going to him. So that's what I mean when I say hustle, being aggressive, just staying on top of it. Really doing your best to give your input on decisions that matter, like finding that director to captain a ship.

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      • #48
        Originally posted by Vango View Post

        I'll give an example of how input from the writer is useful. We have the list of directors we started to go to, but then I listened to an interview with another big director. It turns out that this director has roots in Iraq. And there's even history with his family which is related to parts of the script. This director was never mentioned or thought of, and no one realized that connection until I mentioned it, but now we are going to him. So that's what I mean when I say hustle, being aggressive, just staying on top of it. Really doing your best to give your input on decisions that matter, like finding that director to captain a ship.
        Well if you are going to be smart in your arguments back to me, then how can I win this fight? It's awesome you are being listened too. You are lucky. I am jealous. I want to be you when I grow up into a young Brad Pitt. Not gay, but you know -- so hot, I mean just once right?

        My current experience is rep is out now with my spec and rep got a big producer on board -- and they are trying to get it set up (attach cast / go to buyers) and have not asked me for my input at this stage and guessing they won't at any point. I think that is more the norm than the exception.

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        • #49
          And I think it's important to note that there isn't just one way to do things.

          There are writers who win a contest and then a couple years later, they have their own TV show.

          There are writers who write a great spec and then get staffed on a show, or they get a small movie assignment, and then build from there.

          I have a friend who sold a spec several years ago for mid six figures, and they had a big actor ready to star, and it didn't work, and now he is thinking about buying back the script, because he really wants to get it made and believes that his career can take off from that.

          I think each situation is a bit different so really, there are no wrong answers in this thread imo.

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          • #50
            Originally posted by Bono View Post

            Well if you are going to be smart in your arguments back to me, then how can I win this fight?

            My current experience is rep is out now with my spec and rep got a big producer on board -- and they are trying to get it set up (attach cast / go to buyers) and have not asked me for my input at this stage and guessing they won't at any point. I think that is more the norm than the exception.
            I think you already won the fight. What you're experiencing is what you're experiencing and there is validity to it.

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            • #51
              Originally posted by Vango View Post

              I think you already won the fight. What you're experiencing is what you're experiencing and there is validity to it.
              My last fortune cookie said the same exact thing.

              Comment


              • #52
                Originally posted by Bono View Post

                My last fortune cookie said the same exact thing.
                Bono I think we hijacked this thread and went too far off base. Poster just wanted to know how to query and we came in and dominated. Get it together man lol. Stop making us look bad.

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                • #53
                  If you think this off base, please do a fun search of old threads -- like 5 out 10 would be LOCKED in 2 hours they got so heated. This is child's play.

                  Comment


                  • #54
                    Originally posted by Bono View Post
                    If you think this off base, please do a fun search of old threads -- like 5 out 10 would be LOCKED in 2 hours they got so heated. This is child's play.
                    Alright new topic then.

                    Can you do the SEO for my side hustle business? You're a master of generating click bait.

                    Lol.

                    Comment


                    • #55
                      Originally posted by Vango View Post

                      Alright new topic then.

                      Can you do the SEO for my side hustle business? You're a master of generating click bait.

                      Lol.
                      CLICK BAIT is a great title for a spec. Click here to find out why....

                      Comment


                      • #56
                        Originally posted by Bono View Post

                        I feel like I'm trying to inspire and you are looking for scientific proof. I could send you black list specs I didn't love, but I also like many of them. I have not read as many as others... but I read specs that sell for the past 10 years and objectively 50% I tell myself -- Bono you have the same talent as this person. I am talking mostly comedy specs BTW. The other half of specs I cry because they are so good and I wish I wrote it. Those are the best. I prefer to talk about those than things I did not care for.

                        My point was simply I would not blanket statement all specs on black list are great. All specs that sold are great. But obviously they are not bad... just not as good as maybe the spec sitting on your hard drive.

                        I would encourage you to submit those specs you are passionate about. What is the worst that happens? Nothing? Nothing was happening with them before... so same result. Give it a shot.
                        I think you misunderstood me. I didn't say I "loved" all of the Black List Scripts I read. For example, there were two that were XYZ in space. So concept- wise I wasn't thrilled and I'm figuring there's got to be lots of XYZ in space concepts flying around. However, what I did conclude, the writing was top notch in every script I read. Though I did not read them all.

                        As for inspiring me, that's not your responsibility, Bono.
                        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.-

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                        • #57
                          Originally posted by sc111 View Post

                          As for inspiring me, that's not your responsibility, Bono.
                          Disagree. What else are we all doing here? Am I the only one that thinks this is what this place is for? Inspiration and information.

                          Comment


                          • #58
                            Originally posted by Bono View Post

                            Disagree. What else are we all doing here? Am I the only one that thinks this is what this place is for? Inspiration and information.
                            Did the smiley face mean absolutely nothing to you?
                            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


                            • #59
                              Originally posted by sc111 View Post

                              Did the smiley face mean absolutely nothing to you?
                              It meant everything!

                              Comment


                              • #60

                                Originally posted by Bono View Post
                                My point was simply I would not blanket statement all specs on black list are great.
                                I've read heavily from it 3 of the past 4 years. Roughly 100-120 scripts in total.

                                It's a mixture of concept scripts, execution scripts, and scripts that do both very well.

                                If you define greatness as the ability to generate attention and positive traction for the writer then almost by default all stuff that makes the Black List is great.

                                If you define greatness in terms of, "Wow, I want to see this!" then it's going to be a smaller percentage.

                                What I'd say is that, even if the script isn't jaw-dropping on every level, there's almost always something positive you can latch on to (concept, voice, subject matter, etc).

                                With some of them, you think, 'This is a writing sample.' With others it's, 'This is a movie.'

                                A killer concept executed to an average pro level seems more likely to end up on screen than the pure voice scripts. Just my opinion based on tracking stuff from there for ~4 years. Of course I'd love to get on there with anything. It means people are responding strongly to your work.

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