Franklin Leonard

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  • Re: Franklin Leonard

    I don't use the service, but I think the last few posts some or all the numbers are wrong. Isn't it $30 bucks to host per month?

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    • Re: Franklin Leonard

      Originally posted by JeffLowell View Post
      Nicholl gets real heat for five scripts a year, out of 7000 entries.
      Fairly certain Nicholl gets "real heat" for the finalists (12 this year) and some heat for some semifinalists and a little heat for a few quarterfinalists.

      The number of writers who secure representation or a job following a Nicholl placement averages more than 10 a year.

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      • Re: Franklin Leonard

        The five winners get the lion's share of the press and attention, but of course, getting close gets you some reads.

        Let's say 70 people get success! That still means that 99% of the people who enter will be disappointed. That's not a knock on the contest, or a sign that the contest is doing something wrong. It's reflective of how much appetite Hollywood has for new writers.

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        • Re: Franklin Leonard

          Originally posted by JeffLowell View Post
          Docgonzo makes a good point, but every source of amateur screenplays yields a pass more often than an offer of representation. There's no system that's going to find more than handful of great undiscovered writers. How many people broke in through Amazon Studios of the thousands of people that submitted and the millions they spent looking? Nicholl gets real heat for five scripts a year, out of 7000 entries. If the BL gets ten people reps or jobs a year, they're probably the most successful "contest" way to break in.

          There just aren't many slots for new writers. Half of the WGA is trying to get work, and they've already broken in. 99% of the people who pay for the BL will be disappointed in the results, just like every other path.
          This is for WGA writing gigs, right?

          I think writer's who are trying to break in ought to take a closer look at opportunities as semi-pros.

          Even I've been offered actual money for scripts. One was for $18,000 (actually 2% of budget, but that's about what it worked out to), due in three months. I emailed him a crappy, 30 page synopsis (making every mistake everyone tells you not to make) and he called me/we talked for around 2 1/2 hours. He gave me some notes that I had absolutely no problem with and asked if I could completely rewrite one scene to make it cheaper to film. At the end of the call he said he wanted to move forward. He contacted me because I was on screenwriter's newsgroup. I wasn't soliciting. (I did really like the story and was enthusiastic about it -- so maybe that was in my favor.) Neither of us mentioned the WGA.

          This isn't anything close to bragging, in fact I'm kind of an idiot. But $18,000 for three months work beats the hell out dish washing pay at least.

          I think if writer's look around with that kind of mindset, instead of dreaming of going to directly into the big leagues, they would feel better about their odds of working as a writer.

          But what do I know?
          "I just couldn't live in a world without me."

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          • Re: Franklin Leonard

            That's a good payday for a non-union gig. Nice. If you don't mind sharing, I'm curious - how will it pay out? Some amount up front, rest when it films, or the whole amount to write the script?

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            • Re: Franklin Leonard

              Originally posted by finalact4 View Post
              this is very true.

              so i think the big take away for amateur writers is that you have to write with the strategy that YOUR COMPETITION is professional writers, because, imo, they are. i don't want to be the best amateur writer, i want to be the best writer. that's my goal.
              IMO this has always been true. Pro writers are the competition. I suspect a number of aspiring writers are unable to be objective enough to see the reasons why their work hasn't yet risen to the pro level. Or why or what their work is missing to get to that level.

              I see a lot of aspiring writers critiquing produced work for its fatal flaw yet entirely missing what is incredibly right about the work that made a lot of people believe in it, moving it to be greenlit.

              Getting to that pro-quality level is the first hurdle and after that you're competing with pros who are known quantities while you're, well, not.
              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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              • Re: Franklin Leonard

                Originally posted by finalact4 View Post
                the big take away for amateur writers is that you have to write with the strategy that YOUR COMPETITION is professional writers
                My competition is Fitzgerald, Shakespeare, and Homer.

                And honestly, they need to step up their game. It's been a while since they wrote anything on my level.

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                • Re: Franklin Leonard

                  Originally posted by DaltWisney View Post
                  My competition is Fitzgerald, Shakespeare, and Homer.

                  And honestly, they need to step up their game. It's been a while since they wrote anything on my level.
                  Solid joke, but it's funny you picked one of the best examples of a famous writer who still couldn't write screenplays in Hollywood. That Homer didn't know sh%t about act breaks...

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                  • Re: Franklin Leonard

                    Originally posted by StoryWriter View Post
                    I think if writer's look around with that kind of mindset, instead of dreaming of going to directly into the big leagues, they would feel better about their odds of working as a writer.
                    I think one of my problems is that I don't know anyone in the indie world, and no one I know knows anyone in the indie world to refer me to (big agents and such will literally tell you "Yeah... I don't know anyone to call in that world. Sorry." Everyone I know is pretty far up the ladder in the studio world... which can actually HURT you.

                    I think I fukked up by not building relationships early on in the indie world (TOO!).

                    Good luck on your project!
                    Bruh, fukkin *smooches*! Feel me? Ha!

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                    • Re: Franklin Leonard

                      Originally posted by JeffLowell View Post
                      That's a good payday for a non-union gig. Nice. If you don't mind sharing, I'm curious - how will it pay out? Some amount up front, rest when it films, or the whole amount to write the script?
                      I'll try to make this quick. First off, this was around 15 years ago. My brother, a guy I got acquainted with from Oklahoma and I would write shorts all the time on Misc.Writing.Screenplays, when they used to have newsgroups. It wasn't just us. A lot of people were writing stuff. Most of it wasn't very good, but we had contests and sometimes even pros would write something.

                      But it was a pretty cynical bunch and when someone showed up offering to pay for a script, most people insulted him. Oklahoma (not his real name) and me and my brother were the only ones that asked what he was looking for.

                      What he looking for a sequel to "The Living Dead". He thought he had an agreement, that if he came up with an acceptable script he would be allowed to film the sequel. He had one of the lead actors from the original movie, on board, who said he could make that happen.

                      My brother and I had absolutely no interest in "The Evil Dead" and Oklahoma was a huge fan, so we told him to go for it. The money guy was a French doctor, who had several doctor friends. Between them they had close to $10 million to film the movie. (I don't know what it was worth but the French doctor had actually taken lessons in film budgeting and film production.)

                      Anyway, the doctor offered Oklahoma around $20,000 to write the film and even put him up in his cabin in Tennessee, so they could work together on it. So for three months he paid for his food, lodging and unfortunately alcohol.

                      Which brought me and my brother back into it. (Mostly my brother, who is a better writer and far better editor than I am.) When Oklahoma would get stuck he'd hit the bottle and get depressed. So the doctor started getting a hold of us to help out.

                      To make a long story short, eventually the script got written (mostly because my brother found the fixes). We took notes from the lead actor and eventually he was very satisfied with it. It seemed similar in tone to the original movie, so I thought it was good to go.

                      Except the when the lead actor presented it to the people who actually owned the rights, they just said "WTF are you talking about?!" And that was the end of that.

                      Oklahoma was paid in full and I don't think there was any contract. The doctor was just good for his word.

                      He still had the bug to make a movie and he asked my brother and me if we had a horror movie idea. I had one that was half done and wrote that terrible synopsis for it. I liked (still like) the idea -- it's original but nowhere near the tone of "The Evil Dead".

                      He offered to pay half up front and half in three months or when the script was finished. (Which is how he paid Oklahoma, so I figured he was good for it.) At the time I was out of work and didn't have much to lose.

                      An hour later I got a call to install a new phone system as the lead telephone tech, at a military base in California. Six-thousand a month, plus overtime for a year contract. With eight kids, I had to take it. Since I was able to get my brother to work with me, I suggested another screenwriter to the doctor.

                      I don't know if a movie ever got made. I heard he invented an improvement for artificial heart valves or something like that.

                      Maybe the amount is unusual, but I've had other people interested in paying me $4 to $5 thousand for a script. Always people who approach me because they saw me on a newsgroup or at MoviePoet or somewhere. I'm fairly convinced that I'm their tenth (or so) choice, but probably the first one who listened to what they had to say and didn't treat them like sh*t just because they weren't paying the WGA minimum.

                      But who knows. I got optioned for a one-page short once, got an offer as staff writer for a Canadian start-up on a show that never happened and someone wanted me to write a screenplay from a "non-fiction" book about an Indian Windwalker. I read the book and told him that there's about 15 minutes of movie here. And they weren't that excited about me anymore.

                      I just think non-pros need to be more open, maybe less cynical, because there's opportunities out there.
                      Last edited by StoryWriter; 09-16-2019, 04:55 PM.
                      "I just couldn't live in a world without me."

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                      • Re: Franklin Leonard

                        Storywriter: My mind was blown at 8 kids. Wow. I just spent 5 hours clothes shopping with a 17 yo because she was off from school. That times 8 kids? I can't imagine.
                        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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                        • Re: Franklin Leonard

                          I guess he took it out as 8 kids means nothing to me...

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                          • Re: Franklin Leonard

                            Originally posted by Bono View Post
                            I don't use the service, but I think the last few posts some or all the numbers are wrong. Isn't it $30 bucks to host per month?
                            Yes, but if you had a script hosting uninterrupted before the price increase they grandfathered you in. My billing was for $25/month.
                            "Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist,- Pablo Picasso

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                            • Re: Franklin Leonard

                              Originally posted by Bono View Post
                              I guess he took it out as 8 kids means nothing to me...
                              It's still there. He correctly spelled out "eight" while I incorrectly used the numeral.
                              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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                              • Re: Franklin Leonard

                                Wow, 42 page thread is too much to read through.

                                Is the Blacklist worth it if one believes they can get an 8? Or is it another pay to play thing that should be avoided based on random downloads, high costs, and unqualified readers?

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