Monday, November 18, 2013
Maybe a sale... or not?
I had a message left on my phone Friday, posted around 1pm but never noticed it until around 4pm. Message was simple enough, someone wanted to "talk" to me about my script. He gave a name and a company.
Those are the kind of calls a writer likes to hear.
Someone wants to talk about my script. At first it sounds great. "Talk" is akin to buy? For a moment, I went back to my Christmas movie in 2010 wherein a woman left a message for me and actually saying; "we'd like to make a deal, who do we talk to".
That was plain and clear and within a few days the contract was signed. And the movie was made 4 months later. I actually have kept that message on my answering machine and now and then press it again "we'd like to make a deal..."
So why shouldn't I be happy about this new one? Because they "want to talk with me" about the script. Not buy -- talk.
Now my friends say that no company is going to call me to say they don't want the script. So why am I expecting the worst.
Well, for one, I don't know which script they mean; I have a half-dozen circulating around town. But that'll be easy to know once I call back today.
And for another reason to be uncertain can be told in 3 words. Emperor of Mars. The screenplay I wrote in 1989 and was "almost made" 4 or 5 times. And each time it started with "we'd like to talk to you about your script".
So, now you understand?
Talking and buying are two different things.
I know, I know, some of you out there would be happy to have someone call who wants to talk to you, or take you to lunch or have you wash their car.
That's the problem with experience. You get dropped too many times and after a while you begin to be more suspicious than ever. Being dropped 2 or 3 times is hurtful but how about a hundred times, or two hundred times.
So what else would they want, if not an outright sale? How about these possibilities?
- What else do you have?
- Can you do a free rewrite?
- We don't have a lot of money, can we have it for free?
- Can you change it to Romania?
- We have someone else in mind to rewrite it.
- Can we put another name on it as well as yours?
That's the insecurity of being around as long as I have.
After all, after around 50 or so screenplays I've written and dozens of others that I never finished, I begin to think I really don't deserve it.
Actors are the only others in this business who go through the insecurity thing; writers and actors are always judged on what they bring to the table, actors bring their face, writers bring their 100 pages of story.
So here I am, Monday, wondering exactly what time I should call back. I checked the producer and he is valid but I'm not sure what his company was as it was a little blurred in the message.
So there I am... I figure 10am is a good time. Or does that suggest I'm too anxious? Maybe 10:30.