Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Logline-Synopsis Query for AH7

Okay, guys, here is THE e-mail query that I have been sending out. And it's also the one that got the positive response from that one prodco (see previous post). This query took me several months to craft. I recently read that writing the logline alone can take almost as long as writing the script itself. And boy do I beleieve it!

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Hi [name of executive deleted]!

I sat in on last night's [name of radio show deleted] interview you had with [name of radio host deleted]. Thanks so much for doing the interview. Your enthusiasm is amazing! (And that pitch for your TV pilot called [name of TV pilot deleted] brought me to tears! I can't wait to see it!)

My feature-length script is a romantic comedy in the same neighborhood of hilarity as "My Big Fat Greek Wedding." Which is to say: it's a poignant kitchen-sink piece with an ongoing tension, underscored by constant humor.

I wrote it with Jim Carrey in mind for the lead role, with "Bruce Almighty" as my original inspiration.

Thanks!

--Sheila West [and you guys all know this is NOT my real name]

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TITLE: The Angels of Highway 7

GENRE:
Romantic Comedy with strong Fantasy/Spiritual elements

LOGLINE: Think Roswell, New Mexico ...... but with alleged angels instead of alleged aliens.

SYNOPSIS: The ailing desert town of Harksville hires a shallow promotional expert, GALVIN REED, 32, to come in and advise them on how to revitalize their economy after the local army base shuts down. He falls for a local pottery shop owner, PERCY WINTERS, 29, who unsuccessfully hides from him her own growing financial desperation. Deeply moved by her predicament, he sets out to exploit the forgotten legacy found in decades-old newspaper reports of angels sighted on the local highway. With his skill as a promotional expert, he secretly fans the flames of rumor and speculation, triggering a booming tourism industry that transforms Harksville into the Roswell of angel enthusiasts. But little does he realize, most legends are based on truth. And so the REAL angels of Highway 7 eventually catch up to him.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Where have I been?

Hi guys,

Sorry for the long hiatus. Here's my lame-o excuse:

Back in early April is when I finally finished my screenplay "The Angels of Highway 7." That original April draft was an unmanageable 270 pages. I spent a lot of time revising it and by early June I got it down to a quasi-acceptable 123 pages. (Some would argue it STILL needs to get down to 120 or lower, but I just can't do it!) And then I began sending out queries to production companies. So I have been utterly enamored with the querying process. Thus my absence from my blog.

I've sent out about a dozen queries total so far. Most of the time I never heard back from the companies. Two of them did get back with "Thanks, but not for us. Good luck."

And last week, I finally got a bite. It's a pretty well-respected prodco. They've got a name for themselves in Hollywood. And the e-mail query came back with a "Hi! I'd love to read it! I'm cc-ing my assistant with instructions for him to send you our release form! And please give us 6 to 8 weeks to get back to you!" And then the assistant e-mailed me the release form with instructions to either fax the form and e-mail the script, or snail-mail the form and script together. I e-mailed the script, and then ran to Staples and faxed the release form. That was this past Friday.



Wow. This is so surreal.






I recall reading the following statistics:

1) At this moment, there are millions and millions of half-finished, incomplete scripts kicking around the desktops and hard-drives of wannabe writers all over Hollywood (and even all over the world).

2) Only about a million scripts per year get finished.

3) Of those, only about 600,000 per year get read by executives, producers and agents.

4) Of those, only about 20,000 per year get bought/optioned (some for as little as a dollar).

5) Of those, only about 9,000 per year BEGIN production (by big studios or small indie outfits and everyone else in between).

6) Of those, only about 4,000 per year COMPLETE production.

7) Of those, only about 800 a year hit any form of distribution (either in theatres or festivals or straight-to-DVD)

8) Of those, only about 200 a year hit wide distribution.

9) Of those, only about 100 a year are financial successes.


So, two months ago, I left Tier #1 of the incomplete script club, and progressed into Tier #2 where I joined the ranks of those with a finished work.

And as of last week I progressed yet again to Tier #3 of having a script that is actually going to get read by someone.

Will I progress any further?

Every single one of these Tiers has any of a dozen terrible pitfalls that accompany it. Every last one comes equipped with an ejector button where I can get jettisoned right down the trap-door garbage chute hidden in the floor beneath my feet -- rejected by anyone at any point and sent all the way back to Square One again where I might have to consider my script incomplete and in need of a rewrite.

What a nerve-racking business. I just wanna tell stories.