Friday, November 25, 2005

Meetings, meetings, meetings

An interesting insider's view on sellng v. getting assignments from ICM agency's story analyst Chris Lockhardt:

See Chris's site here:

Two Adverbs


Since only a small amount of spec scripts are
purchased a year, the likelihood of receiving a
"pass" is about 99%.

So, IMO, a "pass" is not a good litmus test
for whether or not the script "sucks."

You want the script to earn you - at least -
meetings.

If you can't even get a meeting out of the
script - then it isn't connecting with anyone
who's reading it.

Maybe you need to reassess. Maybe you
need to put it aside.

And sometimes you can't polish a turd.

Meetings are a good barometer of a script's
pedigree because execs have to meet - it's
part of their job. They need to fill up their
calendars. And if they can't find time to
squeeze you in for even 15 minutes - they
didn't find much merit in your project.

Most scripts suck.

So you're in good company.

And remember that a bad script does not
(necessarily) mean the writer has no talent.

Even some of the very talented singers on
AMERICAN IDOL (someone referenced it above)
give a bad performance every now and then.

When I first started at the agency, my boss
asked me to read a script and then called me in
wanting to know if the writer had any talent.

I was stunned by the question, replying that
I could not base a writer's "talent" on one
script only. In theory, I couldn't do it with 30
scripts either. Because the 31st script could
be brilliant.

I have read DREADFUL scripts by writers
like:

Coppola
Gary Ross
Horton Foote
Robert Benton
William Goldman

And hundreds of others. (Some of the
worst scripts come from the best writers.)

If I hadn't known who these writers were,
I might assume they had no talent.

Every writer will write a script that sucks.
Some will have a higher "suck" ratio than
others. (And remember, it's ALL subjective
anyway.)

But keep writing. Enjoy the process. There is
no rule that says you have to be good in order
to write anyway. It's a free country. Writing
is cathartic. (And I'm the one who should
complain about the bad scripts, because I'm the
one who has to read them.) The more you
write, the better you may get. And you just
might write the script that connects with
someone enough to shell out some bucks for it.

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