Friday, January 23, 2009

The First Big Pass

Yesterday, I found out that the production company my manager gave an exclusive early look at my script to passed. This company (which shall remain nameless) has a first look deal at one of the big studios (Warner, Fox, Universal, etc.). I don’t know whether it acted on their first look option – i.e. whether they took it to the studio. If they didn’t, then the pass came from this smaller company and not the big studio (which would be better for me). Either way, working with that production company – for the time being – is closed.

Some people would think that this pass would come as a crushing blow. Honestly, it didn’t. For one, I have to remind myself that I’ve managed to achieve something good in attaining a manager – that alone should keep my spirits up. (My buddies here at League HQ know that has been somewhat frustrating, since as someone whose patience levels could be a lot higher, I now wait second hand. Instead of finding out directly if someone passes, I wait while my manager waits, then wait for him to get back to me.) My manager’s enthusiasm about the script is another support. Sure, we got passed on by one company (and its A list actor), but I wasn’t sure that the actor we were targeting was best for the script anyway. I wouldn’t have said no to him, but if I could cast whoever I wanted, I don’t think he’d wind up at the top of the list.

In a business where money = king, getting rejected by the company that had an exclusive does another thing; it opens up the possibility of much more money. It’s like eBay – if only one person bids or there’s a buy now option, the seller only makes so much and doesn’t have the option to make more. If, however, the item (or script in this analogy) becomes hot, then you get yourself a bidding war, and might wind up making much more than you thought (or maybe deserve).

As much as I’d have liked to be able to put in my two weeks’ notice at my job today and have A-list talent attached to my first spec, I’m not bummed it didn’t happen. The future is wide with possibilities, and I have a call set for Monday with my manager to find out more. Have you gotten passed on by companies before? How’d you take it?