Today I experienced my first taste of dealing with US agents from a producers viewpoint. To say it’s not easy is an understatement.
The day was a roller coaster as it was; and it was almost like a Hollywood screenplay with highs and lows.
It started when I received an e-mail from a powerful financier who decided that their company slate was full but at least gave me the option to re approach when we have a screenplay. That’s fine by me. Early development funding for SPELLSINGER was always going to be the challenge and traditionally the small money is the hardest to come by.
Besides this company was only one possible piece of my puzzle but I have lots of other options.
We know that we have to get ahead and the only way to do that is to start packaging the project even to make it attractive for the early investors.
Now I have heard so much about “Packaging” and read so much about it. The idea is to get a director involved and piece it together from there. We want the director involved from the get go. I have read about Pay or Play and scoured the internet looking at all sorts of stories and ideas and ways to go about development. I have a library of books that all have very different ideas. This is not rocket science.
All roads led to the directors agency.
If the director liked it we might get the agency to package it.
I asked a few rather prominent producers if they would go to an agency before money or distribution was attached. “Sure” they said. This was a relief. A little bit of homework is always a good way to prepare beforehand.
Time to make the call.
I was immediately directed to a very friendly assistant.
Everything seemed to be going well until I learned something.
Unfortunately the agency had a policy that loomed up like an iceberg.
Unless I had a track record with dealing with them, they would not deal with me. I had to know someone who had that record and they had to refer me personally.
But I completely understand why they have such a policy rather than look at the merit of the story.
After all they have a right to protect their clients. It’s not just a chicken and an egg scenario. it’s about protecting clients from an army of time wasters. Time is so important in this game it’s like gold. It’s valuable.
I was just caught off guard. I knew about unsolicited scripts.
It’s the same principle. So I played it cool and ended the call on a very positive note.
I was glad that we were not alone. If I had no leads or contacts I would be in a worse position.
I would be in no position.
But I have a good lead who is not just entertainment royalty in Australia but a consultant on the film.
I e-mailed my consultant and the response was immediate. If the consultant dealt me a hand in poker it would be 5 aces. BAM!!
So I called back and the assistant was even more receptive but asked if my consultant could call personally.
I told the assistant that my consultant (Who is doing everything with the flu) could not call today but I had a rather lengthy e-mail from them.
The assistant asked if forward the e-mail.
When I sent the e-mail I felt great. It’s like making it to another level of a video game!!!
Looking forward to that follow up call on Monday!!!
I learnt a few valuable things. It’s an exhilarating experience. Highs and lows. But determination and changing your approach must be a part of the plan when facing what are seemingly insurmountable obstacles!
Here is a song I listen to a lot