Monday, March 13, 2006

I Needed A Hero, Part IV: A New Hope

If you know anything about either Global Frequency or me, personally, you already know that the show didn’t happen. The pilot was finished, it tested well, and had the support of both the studio and the network. That is, until the president of The WB was replaced. The new guy wanted nothing to do with anything the old guy had a hand in and so Global Frequency was doomed. (For more, check out John Rogers’ excellent blog and this post in particular.)

So I was left with a lot of time and money invested in trying to write for a show that now didn’t exist. But I had this spec script. I liked it. My friends liked it. Even John liked it. Might as well try and do something with it.

I bought a book called Writer’s Guide to Hollywood Producers, Directors, and Screenwriter’s Agents and combed through the appendix, which listed hundreds of different production companies and agencies, their contact information, as well as whether they were looking for new clients and willing to take a flier on unproduced writers. I made my list, checked it twice, and started emailing. (Like a high school student applying to colleges, I had my dream get: Circle of Confusion, the management firm that represents, among other folks, the Wachowski brothers. They were NY-based, very science-fiction friendly, and willing to work with rookies.)

I got a few pings back, thanks to a relatively funny query letter; three to be specific: one from a production company and two from literary managers. And, yes, one of them was from Circle of Confusion. They all wanted to read the script. One of the management firms had a release that needed to be signed before they’d read it. Fine. Whatever it takes to get it in front of the right eyes. (Famous last words.)

The production company passes. They liked it, but had no experience with sci-fi and didn’t want to start with Hero. But Circle called, and totally dug it. They think it’s completely sellable and want to run with it.

The Dance of Joy was danced and danced well. And long.

Then the other management firm calls. They had the script evaluated by their own readers and it got some pretty fantastic scores. They, too, want to represent it.

An embarassment of riches. A very high-class problem to have, two different managers wanting to take you to the prom. But I chose Circle, since, A) they got back to me first and B) they’re really who I wanted to be in business with.

The Other Manager respected that decision, but informed me that, buried in that release I signed was a clause that said, essentially, If They Liked the Submitted Script, They Could Exercise the Right to Exclusively Represent It, Regardless of What I Think.

They exercised that right. And, legally, there was little I could do about it. I told Circle about the development and, while a little ticked, they took being kicked to the curb with good spirits and said they hoped we could work again in the future.

So, somehow, I found myself represented by a manager who loved the script and would only take on material he knew he could sell...and pissed off at the same time.

Not so much dancing.

Next time: It all comes full Circle.

EDIT: So we're all on the same page, and for those of you coming in late, the events detailed above took place in fall of 2004. We're all good now, ja?

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