PART ONE: My reps recently made a connection with a producer who was on the hunt for solid, producible screenplays. He wasn’t looking for anything uber-budget with exotic locations and a cast of thousands. No, he wanted stories—preferably in the horror and thriller genres—that could be shot relatively low budget. That means few locations, a handful of actors and no outrageous FX. Well, I just happen to have scripts that meet those criteria. So my reps sent this gentleman two of my scripts: one a creepy horror story and the other a psychological thriller. A few days later, the producer calls and says he’s just read the thriller. He thinks it’s fantastic; it fits perfectly into what he wants to do. In fact, he’s so enthused he’s already discussing production possibilities. A couple days after that, he calls and says he loves the horror script. He says—so I’m told—he “got the chills” as he was reading it. I’m also told he’s very enthused and very much wants to get both scripts off the ground as soon as possible. In fact, he’s coming to Los Angeles in a week or so for a meeting with my reps. They’ll all get to know each other face-to-face and, hopefully, hammer out some sort of initial deal. Well, this is all very nice and hopefully it all works out, but I’ve been through this sort of thing before and know very well that—good intentions aside—it can all evaporate in the blink of an eye. But my reps have a good feeling about this one. I told them, “I’ll feel good about it when paperwork is signed and I’m able to cash a check.” That’s when you know it’s real. Until then, it’s all talk, talk, talk. So, we’ll see. I’ll keep ya posted on any progress.
PART TWO: Some of you might recall an October 2007 blog entry about a table-read I had on a sexy-thriller I was hired to write. Well, the producers have just started sending the script out to “the money people.” Of course, we all hope these initial money people have sense enough to know a really terrific script when they read one, and that they’ll jump on board and write a check. Alas, that’s not how it works 98.7% of the time in this town. This sending the script out to potential investors can, and probably will, drag on and on for at least a handful of months. After all, they might find a funding source that’ll put in the first half of the budget rather quickly, then it takes a loooong time to find a funding source that’ll put in the other half. This could drag on for a year...or two...or three. Then finally, after about five years of madness, my producers will say something like, “Sorry, Jim, nobody wants to see your script gate made. Please go away and never darken our doorstep again.” OK, so I’m being just a bit dramatic there. But really, this is a nifty script and, given the right production support, it’ll make a hot thriller. It’s gonna sell....and if it takes two or three years, that’s what it takes. After all, this is the movie business.