Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Chronicles 12 - Hollywood Agent - "I don't have a sense of humour"

November 8th 2002

It was Friday. The day I was flying home. On the whole, it felt like a successful trip. I'd had a great response to my pitches. The meetings went well. I had opened a lot of doors that would make future project submissions easier. Maybe something would come of all this. Maybe.

A friend of mine invited me to The Ivy. I told him about all my exploits and he said, "I'm sure it will happen for you. I can feel it". Mmmh...the question is...when?

After a positive meeting with Warner Brothers animation where I was told the children's TV concept was, "Awesome", and having had a positive round of meetings I was feeling pretty fired up. I had high hopes for the new family comedy which had a unique concept inspired by an idea my son came out with when he was 9 years old. The family comedy was more of a US studio movie than the rom-com. I felt it could sell. So, feeling all buzzed up I managed, driving up Wilshire boulevard, to get through to a busy and successful Hollywood agent and convince him to take out 10 minutes of his time to meet me. He agreed. Great!

This was to be my last and most challenging meeting of the day. His office was on Wilshire Boulevard. I parked the car and after a long wait the, rather unfriendly, personal assistant, uttered the words, "Come with me" in a very Eric-von-Stroheim-Sunset-Boulevard-type way.

I walked into the agent's office. He was sitting behind a desk covered in books, scripts and Post-It notes. He gives me a cursory glance as if I've just landed from Mars and says, "Okay, what have you got for me" whilst writing away on Post-it notes and checking his email.

I launch into my pitch and talk about everyone I've been to see and he continues checking his email and scribbling on Post-it notes. "What's the project?", he says. That was my cue to launch into my pitch so I start with a scene from the movie. "Don't give me scenes", he says, abruptly. I tell him that this is how I pitched to the guys at Sony and they thought it was really funny. "I don't thave a sense of humour", he says.

BOING! Another email alert and he's checking his email again. I realize that I have to grab him at this point or I will have lost him completely so I forget the scenes, I forget the log-line and I just give him a 9 word tag line i.e. the line that would appear at the bottom of a movie poster. SUDDENLY, he stops what he's doing and looks at me with an epiphany-like gaze and says, "That's good, that's good - who have you been to see?". Obviously he had completley ignored whatever I had said earlier and began to take interest in the project.

I left his office with a promise that he would read the script, (once written). I spoke to him after completing the script. We spoke for a while. I sent him the script. He never read it. Next! See Chronicles 11