Friday, September 4, 2009

How to sell a script with a little help from a friend and a lot of dumb luck...

I was so exited last night I could hardly sleep. I belong to a small group of talented screenwriters who meet once per week to give each other feedback on the scripts we are each working on. Recently I finished a script called Daddy’s Money, and one member of the group was kind enough to arrange a dinner meeting with James, a screenwriter/director in the international film scene. The idea was for us to simply meet, have a pleasant dinner, and then at some point a few weeks down the road, for me to pitch my screenplay to him in hopes that he would, for a cut, arrange a meeting with someone willing to produce the movie.

As it turned out, it was James’s birthday, so it turned into a celebration with plenty of champagne before, during, and after dinner. James and I hit it off immediately, and about thirty minutes into the celebration, we began to talk shop. James is on my screenwriting group’s email list so he occasional reads snippets of scripts as we pass them back and forth for review. So I was floored when James said, “Which one of the writers in your group wrote Daddy’s Money, it really terrific.” I was thrilled for two reasons, 1) that he liked it, and 2) because he brought up the subject so that we could talk business without it seeming like I was pitching to him.

We talked about the plot for several minutes and he seemed excited about it. Then I asked him for advice on where I should take it from here. He began by telling me I should raise several hundred thousand dollars, gather a cast, and direct the film myself. Then take it to all the GLBT film festivals. That of course, was exactly what I didn’t want to hear. When I made it clear I had no interest in making movies, only writing scripts, he suggested that he might be willing to take it on as a project and direct the film himself. He said he’d been looking for a script to like mine for a while.

At that moment my heart was beating so hard I thought it might jump out of my chest. I had visions of Alien. He asked if I had an updated script he could read. I, of course, had both the completed script and an outline in my car, which I promptly handed over. He said he would read it on Sunday and we would talk turkey later in the week. Then he invited me to his house next Saturday.

I’m still pinching myself to see if I’m dreaming. I’m trying to not get too excited, but being an eternal optimist, I can’t help myself.

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5 comments:

Eric Arvin said...

My fingers are crossed for you!

whabbear said...

OMG, Allan! This is incredible! Very best of luck with the project as it moves forward!

whabbear said...

Even if I did spell your name wrong!

AlanChinWriter said...

Thanks for the support guys. Not sure what will come of it, but I'm excited.

Karen Walker said...

Wishing you the best of luck, Alan.
I love the serendipitous way this occurred.
karen