Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Writing Week (Vol. 5) part 231 - Decision Time

There comes a time when you might have to make some big decisions about one of your scripts, one of your babies. The hope, as always, is that you have to decide how much more money you're going to push for before you decide on a sale amount. I wish you all the best of luck in that. However, if things aren't quite working out that way, you might need to sit down and do some serious thinking about what's next for your material. 

A couple years ago, when I got an agent, it thought that my first sale and introduction tot he industry were moments away. I just knew that something big was in the works. The reality of the situation, though, fell far short of expectations. I received one email from my agent with a potential project he had in mind from me, and then nothing else back from him. What happened, I wondered. A producer was supposed to read my post-Apocalyptic spec and, if he liked it, I would write something on spec with him. Maybe he didn't like it. Maybe another writer came on board first. Maybe the project fell through. Who knows?

It's easy to allow myself to wonder what went wrong and why nothing came of that. Out of curiosity, I re-read the email yesterday. If the producer liked the script and liked me, then my agent was "going to recommend [I] write it on spec." Looking back, I'm not even sure that means there would have been money involved. Because he's an agent, I doubt he would have wanted me to do any work for free. But who knows, given the reality of the writing world at this point. Had I done it, and done it well - even for no money - my career could be in a whole different place now. Should I have followed up with my agent about that deal? Probably, actually. And I kick myself now for not doing so, because even if that fell through, then maybe something else would have come up. Rather than wallow in those thoughts though, I've decided to remind myself that something similar recently came about; a producer put me on a project, that I am writing on spec with my partner, the more firmly established W.A. It's not for money yet, but W.A.'s connections will hopefully land us a sale. Two years later, it seems I'm sort of on the same path as I thought I was on back then.

But I digress. The post-Apocalyptic spec that I first landed the agent for is still out there in the Hollywood ether, but it's not gaining any traction. I had a long chat with my producing team last week to discuss the possibilities of adapting the material as a graphic novel in hopes that doing so would get the film picked up. It would be a long process. Aside from securing a writer and getting the thing drawn, I'll probably have to re-write the material from page one to make it more suitable to that format. My team is excited about the possibilities, as am I, but I can't help but think that maybe the project is done for now. Maybe we should take the hint - Hollywood doesn't want it. Instead of re-writing it again, perhaps my time will be better used by working on something new, something fresh. Or, maybe I do the re-write simultaneously with a new script. Or... so many things to consider.

Decision time, indeed.