Monday, May 15, 2006

Chronicles 21 - Keep them wagons rollin'!

The Cannes campaign is going well. So far I have 41 meetings in 5 days lined up. Just bagged 2 with Fox Searchlight and Miramax. Of course it's quality not quantity that counts but after looking at my itinerary for last year things seem to be looking a lot better on the quality front.

This time I have meetings with some serious prod. co.'s, sales agents, distributors and financiers. Interesting, now that I have more attracted or "attached" to my project e.g financiers, co-producers, respected casting director etc I am now being taken more seriously and getting higher level meetings or basically meeting requests from people who would have ignored me before. Of course I haven't quite got my grubby, sweaty producer hands on that elusive Holy Grail - the omnipotent, door opening, passport to film heaven - the - in hushed, reverent tones - bankable star attachment.

My offer to a highly bankable lead lapsed the other day. Upshot, his agent or whoever does the coverage in this UK agency has not even read the script yet. So forget about the star reading the script, the agent, no the friggin' cleaning lady hasn't read it yet!I could wait of course, months probably but we decided to move on. I sent an offer letter out to another bankable star. Let's see where that one goes. Spoke to his office today and they told me they would read the script this weekend while I'm soaking up the sun in Cannes.

Meanwhile back at the ranch I ventured to take a look at my latest opus, namely about 85 pages of a first draft Heist comedy. I've actually pitched this baby to a number of Hollywood prod. co's to an enthusiastic response. You would have thought that would have really fired me up to write the darned thing quickly so I could submit it ASAP. Not so. I've been finding it an uphill battle. I guess it's the research factor. I know this isn't the sort of script that I can just write off the top of my head based on "the author's autobiographical experiences". With this I need to go and read a whole bunch of books, go on the net etc and of course there is the pressure, (manufactured in my own head), of feeling I have to write something "smart" and "original" - a "fresh and original twist on the genre".

If feels like a bit of a mountain to climb so I've been kind of avoiding it and when I actually did get round to writing the script it's been a bit like pulling teeth with that nagging voice in my head saying, "this is a piece of bovine excrement". Anyway, I've managed to force a first draft, of sorts, out of myself and couldn't even face reading it.

I picked it up on Sunday and started reading it. Surprisingly, it didn't read too badly, I only read a few pages, but it actually made me laugh - which is good - it is supposed to be a comedy after all. I also found myself jotting down new ideas as I read through the pages. It's that onion thing. I've peeled off the first layer and now I have to peel off more layers to get to the core of this beast.

Of course I've been here before. I thought the first draft of my rom-com was terrible, embarrassing, cringe-worthy. It was the same with my first script, but, somehow, I managed to trawl through this creative treacle and produce something of worth. It's a mysterious process that you have to trust and kind of, "go with". There are no shortcuts and no guarantees.

So, now I have to finish the script and hopefully take it to the next level i.e characters that actually have a clear goal, that conflict with each other and that are three dimensional. At the moment it's all a bit foggy. Still - have to trust the process and keep moving.

Keep on truckin'! See Chronicles 20