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.


raymond said...

That's exciting! I hope you get to #4! Well, 9 would be nice too, but we don't want to be greedy. Yet.

Mercurie said...

Wow. I hope your script does get turned into a movie.

jasdye said...


here's to step 4! *lifts white grape juice*

The Cubicle Reverend said...

Wow, I didn't realize there were that many people in the world trying to be script writers. That is kind of scary. But at least you made it farther than most people.

Sheila West said...

Thanks guys. Sorry I missed all your comments here. (That's how busy I've been!)

Yes--prayer and happy thoughts are appreciated.