13 February 2008


The Strike is over. Business (or attempts to stir such) is now back to normal.

Three months ago—a time which now somehow seems an eon behind us—I had some small amount of heat/buzz/mojo, but then "things happened" and we all got to sit on our hands for three months as no scripts could be read or submitted or talked about or sold or wrapped 'round a wrench and throws through a window. It sucked.

Now we wake and find that the embargo is lifted, and everyone is again clear to engage in acts of futility.

And it looks like that's what they are doing. I've already seen a huge number of folks saying they are starting crazed self-marketing efforts at dawn today, and I fully expect that the folks in Hollywood are returning to their offices to find a white tsunami approaching, a tall teetering tidal wave of awful writing from folks desperate to get their stuff out there, regardless of quality or readiness. These next two weeks will likely see a flood of scripts into prodcos, studios, and agencies, and the 95% Rules will surely remain in effect, meaning there is a massive cleanup effort about to commence as workers shovel these scripts into the nearest deepest hole.

Yeah, that sounds harsh, and it is harsh, but what it ain't is wrong: if you are honest with yourself, you understand that there are a whooole bunch of folks out there writing a whooole bunch of really bad scripts, and a whooole bunch of those are going to be in the huge first wave of pent-up energy now being unleashed.

My reps and I have been talking and think it's probably best to just stand back and let this flood push past, to let things normalize a bit before we jump into the stream. We have some projects we're eager to get out there, and people we're eager to reach, but right now we expect that everyone is up to their ears in content right now, and we're confident enough in the products we're pitching that we can afford to let things calm a bit.

But lordy it does make the heart flutter a bit to say those happy words again: "resume racing."
calmly excited B


Unknown said...

Curious to whether you might think that the strike could have an effect on the competition season, since we're heading into that time of year now. More/less entries? Earlier/later entry crunches? Ideally, it probably shouldn't, but you never know...

aggiebrett said...

I'm not privy to the numbers for all contests, but the Nicholl posts (somewhere online -- I forget where) a chart showing the total entries per year. What's interesting is the entries seem to have peaked two or three years back at just over 6100 or so scripts, while this past year they were down to 5400 or so. That's still a hefty pile of scripts and a lot of talented competition, but it's down 10% in just two or three years.

Then I think back and remember the "Project Green Light" show and that it ran some 3 or 4 years back, and then I recall some other odd clues like that which suggest perhaps the big screenwriting craze might maybe have peaked. There was a bokk some 5 or 6 years ago where screenwriting was described as the last best chance to become a wealthy writer, and that seemed to spark or perhaps just signal an odd frenzy of "get rich quick" wannabee writers who all hoped to pen one script, mail it to some address and discover they'd been paid 2 million bucks.

That ain't the way it works. At least, not often enough to hope that it might work that way for anyone except a few damned annoying exceptions (may they choke on their foie gras...).

I bet the entry numbers agaiin show a slight decline this year, but nothing really huge, and I bet the winning scripts in all major contests will again be really good efforts and will bring great buzz and attention to their writers, and a few more careers will get launched.

Bottom line-- the only career you can begin to hope to control is your own, and if you don't enter, you can't win.

And trust me-- it's impossible to know what will happen when you enter. Strange things. Weird things. Wonderful things.

Cathy Fielding said...

Congratulations to the WGA for a successful end to this strike, and may this year be the one in which you finally become a member!

Off topic -- Just where did you get that wonderful "progress report" section for your blog??????

japhy99 said...

I think it's a smart move for you to hang back for a bit and let the insanity cool down. Obviously your stuff is good, so it'll hold.

MoviePen said...

I'm with you -- it feels like my career has finally been taken off hold and I'm able to talk to a live body once I get through the menu tree (push 1 for n00b, push 2 for not-so-n00b, push 77 for Nearly There...).

PJ McIlvaine said...

I had already come to the same conclusion. Great minds think alike!