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One Little Victory

February 13, 2011

The big news:  I have been offered an option on my screenplay!

Some of you may be thinking  this had already occurred.  I have mentioned a couple of other instances where I thought I was close.  A producer mentions it,  I get excited, but I never actually ended up with the document in my hands. This time was different:  it was emailed to me this week.  I printed it out, and there it was: an honest-to-God option from a director.

I know this is just a step–that ultimately what screenwriters want is the sale, with the screen credit.  Usually, though, those things don’t happen without the option. You hear stories about someone who sells their script without an option–Diablo Cody of “Juno” for instance, who then goes on to win an Oscar–but one has to understand that the Diablo Codys of the screenwriting world are the exceptions, and not the rule.  Especially the former stripper part.

When we have any small success at this business at all–a contest win, a script request from a producer, or an option agreement–it is easy to be seduced by the visions of sugar plums.  A high-powered CAA agent!  Big screen credit!  Red carpet walks!  The truth of the matter is that screenwriting and filmmaking is a slog.  Every little victory is a reason to pause and reflect on that success, and of course, to celebrate.  However, the fact remains there is still a big mountain to climb–a terrifying, humbling mountain at that.

I remember last month when I won the Bridge screenwriting contest.  Later that day, I got a rejection from a producer who decided to take the time to explain why she was rejecting me.  I don’t think she could have hated my script more if I had sent it to her in an envelope laced with anthrax.

Did I mention humbling?

So this is still just the beginning.  I don’t know what is going to happen next.  The option isn’t even official yet.  Even so, the offer has led to another piece of good news:  I asked a judge from a contest I had won a few months ago if she would be willing to look over the  option and make sure it was a fair offer.   Aside from judging this contest, she is also a manager of writers (including one Tony and Oscar winner) and I hoped she might be willing to help me out.

She said she would, then asked something I did not expect.  Would I like her to represent me in the negotiations?  In short–to be my manager?

One more little victory.

Post script:  After winning the Bridge contest, a terrific screenwriting web site called MovieBytes asked to interview me.   You can read the interview here.

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. Valerie Brodie permalink
    February 14, 2011 1:00 am

    Your humbleness inspires me always.

  2. Theresa Leclerc permalink
    March 7, 2011 6:49 pm

    Congratulations!!
    That’s awesome!

    • March 9, 2011 1:34 am

      Thanks–the deal ended up falling through, but here’s the good news: my manager saw the contract and realized they were only interested in obtaining my script if they could end up paying me nothing for it. When she insisted to the producer that I should actually be compensated fairly for my script, they decided to pass. The deal fell through, but it showed my manager totally has my back.

  3. June 2, 2011 3:25 am

    Dang, so close. Well, it’s at least good to hear you have a manager. I hope things work out for you and your script.

  4. June 2, 2011 3:27 am

    Oh, this is Michael. (forgot i now have a word press log on and blog. oops

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