Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Screen Life: baby steps

My adventures in screenwriting have been the slowest aspect of my writing life, for quite a while. I secured a manager in LA about 3 1/2 years ago, and we worked together on some of my scripts, but we never got much off the ground. They submitted one of my pieces once or twice, but that was about it. Then they got busy on the production end, and basically got too busy to call or e-mail me back.

At the same time, I got busy writing plays (and having productions) and having a novel published. But I have four spec scripts that I'd love to see get sold and produced, and since I haven't been doing anything with them, nothing's been happening.

My writing account is just about dry, but I got some money for my 40th birthday, and I'd been thinking about putting some of it into writing stuff. Tonight I plunked down $100 for a year's subscription to Script P.I.M.P. (Pipeline Into Motion Pictures), which is web site that offers access to a database of production companies, agents, and managers. It's not a huge database, but it has a number of folks who will look at material from unknowns like me. I used this back in 2004, and that's how I ended up with my previous manager. So I know that it can work. And maybe, since I've put my money down, I'll feel inspired to make a lot more queries now, to make sure I get my money's worth. Spending that much money definitely makes me feel a little queasy (screenwriting has had the worst payback, financially, of any of my writing, so far).

I was especially inspired to do something today, because the news is full of a story about a man with a rare strain of TB who has been quarantined. Elements of the news story are extremely similar to The Carrier, my screenplay that's had the most close calls to-date. To me, it felt like this was really the day to start getting those queries back out there.

I realize that I don't understand the movie biz, and especially how to make it work from Boston. It seems like a place where there are lots of folks interested in lots of different projects, but getting them to follow all the way through to the end is the tricky part.

Maybe this time it'll finally work out. I sent out two queries, through the Script PIMP site tonight. I'm down to $50/query already.

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