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From pages 92-93...
Rowland sat back in his chair. “Now, I’m assuming you know full well how this business works, so I probably don’t need to tell you that this next project could be a long way off. Maybe eighteen months to two years…”
He leaned forward, hands resting on the desk, his fingers interlaced. “What I’d like to do—and please, feel free to tell me if you think I’m at all out of line…”
Please, motherfucker, PLEASE, just get to the fucking point…
“I’d like to take out an option on your script.”
YES! Okay, great, now we’re finally getting somewhere!
“I feel a three year option is appropriate.”
Huh? Three years? Was he fucking kidding me? I really really hoped I had heard him wrong.
“Sorry, Jeff, did you say three years?”
He nodded confidently. “We feel this is the absolute outside timeframe for us to maneuver into position for our second production.”
I chewed on it. Well, three years isn’t exactly forever, especially in the film business. I mean, if he offers a healthy option fee for those three years…
“For three years I can offer you one-thousand dollars.”
My face was blank and I didn’t make a move. But on the inside, my guts churned like the roiling waters of
Niagara Falls. A grand? For three years? This had to be a joke. It had to be!
We sat there, looking at each other like a couple of idiots. Finally I spoke up. “Jeff, you said I should tell you if I thought you were out of line…”
Rowland nodded. “Yes, that’s right, I did. So please, by all means…” He sat back in his chair yet again, preparing himself for whatever it was I had to say.
“Well,” I said, “I happen to think that one thousand is pretty low for three years. Nine months, a year maybe…but three years?”
Rowland nodded. “Sure, sure,
Trent, I understand completely, I do. Of course, keep in mind,
at the end of the option period, there would be a very fair purchase price.”
“If it gets that far,” I mentioned.
There was that smile of his again. “Yes, you are correct. If it gets that far. But I’m confident—in fact, very confident—that we will get that far.”
Rowland sat there, looking so damned sure of himself. I didn’t want to tell him how you could fill the fucking
Grand Canyon with all the misplaced confidence that oozes from Hollywood each and every day of the year.