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Thursday, June 4, 2009

Dialing for Dollars

Hello, Wavers! You've by now noticed I've been posting less Wavy goodness lately. Mama has been very busy. Administrating and judging the Silver Screenwriting Competition, running The Script Department, working on my own writing and producing plans and projects, preparing for my class at the Great American Pitch Fest on June 13th and the panel I will be on at the Broad Comedy Film Festival in Venice the following day and (deep breath) writing a book based on The Rouge Wave and (deep breath) finding time to exercise, get enough sleep and eat well. Foof. It's a lot.

In addition, I feel as if I've said about everything I have to say on the topic of screenwriting here on The Rouge Wave so I'm posting less often and only when I really have something to say or a question to answer, rather than just warming over old topics just for the sake of posting. Hope that's okay with all of you wonderful, loyal Wavers. I love love love a good question or comment - that way I know I'm posting something that you wanted the answer to, not just postulating cutely on organic dialogue again.

Today I had to call 40 - 40 - agents, managers and production companies on behalf of a client with a script that I am in love with. Once in a blue moon, a script bubbles up to the surface that I just have to throw myself behind. And when I am a fan of a script, look out. My phone is smoking right now.

You know why calling a lot of people, some of which you know, some of which you don't is anxiety-inducing? Because some people are so short and rude on the phone. As I say, 40 calls, right? Of those 40, I would say I know or am acquainted with about 20 of those people. And those people are friendly. Hey Julie! Sure, what's the logline? Sure, send the script. Yay. Feels good. I know if the writer called on his own behalf, he'd be shut down just by dint of the We-Don't-Know-You Filter. So it's great to see those pay-it-forward/networking efforts cash out in getting reads when I want them.

Some of the companies I called - wow, dude. Take a coffee break. Breathe it out. Be nice. I can imagine being on the receiving end of query-type phone calls every single day must get really old and that the second you answer the phone, you're on defense but geezo, we're not curing cancer here, we're just talking about whether you'll read a story. Chillax.

Got some really, really interesting skinny from my old employer, Walden Media, about what's on the slate upcoming and what the new mandate is all about. Very different mandate, I'm surprised - moving closer to the Bristol Bay mandate of old. (Walden and Bristol are both owned by Anschutz. Well, they were. Til Bristol was shuttered a few years back). Cary Granat has formed his own prodco, continuing his interesting odyssey from Dimension to Walden to what amounts to Walden-II-Minus-Anschutz unless Anschutz is funding Granat which I seriously doubt. Phillip Anschutz is the man who signs the checks at Walden, incidentally, being the conservative Colorado billionaire who owns Narnia-land. I used to LOVE reading for Walden Media, let me tell you. That was a great gig. It's nice to continue to be in touch with creative executives there. Another reminder, Wavers - yesterday's assistant you were polite to is today's exec who gives you all the skinny.

It's very fun being just down the hall from Heroes and Villains; I just walked on down there all casual like with my coffee and leaned on the door frame and was all like, dudes, I have a rockin script that you need to read. Script in reading pile. YES.

All righty Wavers, more later, I will not abandon you, I'll just be posting a bit less and please, if you have suggestions or questions - send them my way and I'll be happy to answer them.

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Dave Shepherd said...

You want rude? Try going door to door for a couple months. People will say the nastiest things you can imagine to your face.

Great preparation for Hollywood :D

Julie Gray said...

Yeah but here's the thing. You knock on my door, that is a 100% unsolicited interruption of my most intimate, private space - my home and my life. You are a stranger to me, I did not invite you. Rude is not excusable but....curt is fine. It's quite an invasion. CALLING a business in the business of buying and selling stories to ask if they would consider a story (which is their business) see where I'm going with that?

Anonymous said...

Julie, I think one of my favorite parts about the Silver Screenwriting competition last year was keeping us updated on how the contest is going. I hope you continue to do that again this year. It's so insightful and fun to be able to be a fly on the wall as the contest unfolds. The ups, the downs ... whatever you can share would be wonderful!

I'm tired just reading about all that you do, thank you!

Anthony Peterson said...

Totally agree Julie. You are dealing with their core business. They can tell in 2 minutes if a script is worth reading beyond Page 5.

Dave Shepherd said...

Yes, but being chased out of the place with a baseball bat when you're there for a children's charity is a little overboard in my opinion.

Saying "Not interested" and slamming the door is fine, I don't even consider that rude. Verbally attacking the person and/or trying to fight them on the other hand...

Anyway, glad for the experience, no longer have any fear of rejection.

writer0825 said...

WE know you ROCK Julie. One of these days I'll get to give you a big hug in person ;)

P.S. How do you do all that????