Tuesday, October 26, 2010

2010 Spec Sale Analysis Through October 17

Scott Myers over at Go Into The Story yesterday posted the 2010 Spec Sale Analysis through mid-October. An interesting (fairly quick) read, it's also a valuable tool for anyone looking to break into the industry, particularly as a writer. Knowing your craft is an essential tool for success, but so is knowing the market. Having an understanding of what is selling, to who, when, and by which companies is an integral bit of information for launching your career. If you're interested in writing big dramas, for example (not something the numbers seem to favor right now), it pays to know which reps are getting that material out into the marketplace and what companies are buying.

The basic stats broken down:
  • 45 specs sold out of a total 307 brought to the market, for a total of 14.7%
  • 25% action/adventure; 25% comedy, 8.3% drama; 31.2% thriller, and 10.4% sci-fi
  • Of the studios, Warner Bros. bought the most with 7 (15.6%); Columbia, Disney, Dream Works, Fox, and Lionsgate tied for fewest with 1 each
  • No specs sold in January; July was the next slowest month
  • Of the agencies, CAA sold 46% of what it introduced to the market, followed by Original (38%), Verve (33%), UTA (32%), and WME (27%) for the top five ranked by success
  • UTA had the most sales for agencies with 7
  • Of the management companies, Energy, FilmEngine, Infinity, Kapital, Mosaic, Safran Co., and Smart Entertainment all sold 100% of what they took out (Infinity went out with 2 scripts, the others 1 apiece)
  • H2F had the most sales for a management company with 4, followed by Circle of Confusion (3)
Numbers can tell a lot, but they don't paint the whole picture. For example, the first chart shows a 1 for January, but the number actually corresponds to the month in which that script hit the marketplace, not the month in which is was sold. For all we know, it sold in September. The numbers do not reflect how long a writer has been developing the script (although, in this instance, everything tallied debuted in 2010). Some of these sales could have been years in the making, with handshake development deals preceding any intro to buyers. Nonetheless, a valuable read for any emerging writer. Thanks, Scott!