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Friday, April 18, 2008

The Good Dearth

Okay how many Rouge Wavers recognize that spin on Pearl Buck's The Good Earth? A show of hands? Anybody? A very good read, by the way.

In yesterday's Hollywood Wiretap- and if you don't have a daily email subscription, do yourself a favor and sign up now - there was an article about the dearth - oops, let's pause briefly for this vocabulary break:

Dearth: A scarce supply; a lack.

Back to scene: ...about the dearth of spec scripts that has caused executives to look to magazine articles and books for film material.

The $64,000 question (and no, thank you very much, I am NOT old enough to have been a fan of the show, ergo the link for you fellow youthfully dewy writers) is - WHY? Why did writers not take advantage of the strike to write more spec material?

No, I change my mind. The question is not why is there a dearth of spec scripts right now, the only important question here is what are we going to do about it? Wavers - where are you with your script(s) right now? Because the bell tolls for thee. In a good way.

This is a great time of year to get your material out there. The competition is always stiff but relative to the predicted tsunami of specs - it's not that bad. This, guys, is the time.

Cannes, arguably the most prestigious film festival in the world is coming up on May 14 through the 25th. If you've got spec material to query, do it by May 1st to catch the full attention of those who will be shortly decamping for France. And wait about a week after Canne - so perhaps June 1st or so to query again (or more).

I predict a very busy summer of reading, requests and deal-making. So Wavers, consider this the kick-in-the-well-toned-butt you need - take advantage of the dearth. If executives are reading articles in magazines about deep sea treasure hunters (kinda cool, actually) then they might be pretty tempted by your fully completed feature script about a diving impressario in love with a dangerous cliff diver. I can't stress this enough - NOW IS THE TIME.

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PJ McIlvaine said...

Got a quickie for you, Julie. What say you about pitching a script idea that is not yet written? Or how about pitching a script you're in the process of writing but is not yet complete? My friends and I are of two minds about this. Some say yes, some say no. What say thee?

Julie Gray said...

In my opinion, i.e., WWJD - I would not do this unless you are already repped on another piece of material and you are pitching to an agent or manager. If you pitch a brilliant but unwritten idea to an exec, now you are under the gun to deliver and deliver FAST because six or nine months later, now you have to reignite the relationship and the interest and that's a long time for them to forget you and lose their interest. So - I say no. It's a bit foolish, in my opinion. Unless you can deliver a perfect draft 3 weeks later. You'll just lose steam doing this and then look like a writer who can't deliver.

Luzid said...


How long do you expect this window to last, especially given the possibility of an upcoming SAG strike that may shut the town down once again?