Originally posted by downisreallyup
reply to post by whaaa
If anyone is interested, I have written a finished feature film screenplay that takes place 1 week before the flood of Noah, and is based somewhat on
the Book of Jasher and The Book of Enoch.
When I tried to pitch it to Hollywood, there was a very strange reaction. For example, I had a friend who had many connections in Hollywood, was a
film commissioner for one of the states, and a top location manager for some big movies, and when he tried to get a long time friend to take a look,
the guy was "sure, be happy to." After he read the script, he would not return my friends calls, and acted very strange.
Every place I sent it had similar results. There were those in the industry who read it, and they said things like "this is the best story I have
ever read", and there were even people who read it and came up to me crying, saying they were so moved by the story, for it told the story of those
pre-flood days like no other, and people resonated with it. But, if there were Hollywood "big wigs" who read it, they would react in a way as if
they would never want to see that story told, not if their lives depended on it.
There are certain things that can have a screenplay instantly trashed. Even if you have 99.999% fabulous writing, a single line can have it instantly
trashed without even bbeing read.
You might like checking over yuor screenplay as you might have set of one of the "tripwires".
Here are things that commonly "boobytrap" scripts:-
1. Length. If it is well over 120 pages they conclude that you are clueless and dump it without reading it. If you are a few lines over the 120
pages then they conclude that you are sloppy as any writer worth his salt can edit down a few lines and so they still dump it. In some studios and
agencies, they actually employ unpaid interns and all they do all day is to check the last page number of an incoming script and if it is higher than
120, they put it straight through the shredder.
2. Music. If state a specific piece of music, it will cause your screenplay to go straight into file 13. By stating a specific piece of music, you
allow the artist to jhold the studio to virtual ransom. the only pieces of music that you can use are:-
= Traditional, eg the sailor's hornpipe
= Types of music, erg by saying Rap music is playing
= Music where the copyright has expired, eg Tchaikovsky
Also remember that "Happy Birthday to You" is actually copyrighted and adds seriously to the costs of the screenplay.
3. They re/There/Their - Some agents and studios run a quick word scan on the use of these. If they see an example of where this is wrongly used,
they don't bother to read it but assume that you are illiterate.
4. Wrong Brads - If not fastened properly, interns are paid to trash it without anyone reading it. The correct system is:-
In the USA - Two brass brads one at the top and one at the bottom wth the middle hole empty.
In the UK - Three steel brads
5. Copyright - Always copyright it before sending it, BUT if you put copyright on it, they conclude that you might be setting them up to sue them and
it is instantly trashed.
6. High Quality or coloured paper - Agents and studios regard that if you have to use flashy gimmicks like this, then your script is not worth
anything, so again the interns are paid to trash it before anyone sees it.
7. Mentioning a specific actor/actress even if dead or other TV series or film - Again this leaves the studio at the mercy of a greedy actor or
executors of a will. Causes the screenplay to go straight into the bin at the corner of the desk. Consider the comedy "Can't Hardly Wait". IN
one scene the nerds are talking about how they were going to disrupt a high school party, by planning their "raid" with the use of Star Wars action
figures. This scene had to be reshot. Lucas discovered this scene and threatened to sue for substantially more than the entire budget for the
8. Lack of Editing Down - Studios will not touch a project if they think it is "badly written" which includes if you have not been economical with
your words. Why? Consider this, rough rule of thumb...each word you use in a screenplay will add approximately $150 to the cost of production. SO
they want the final minimalist version, not the wordy one.
Since this is nothing like anything that I am working on, if you like, you could send me a copy and I can advise you what is wrong with it.
[edit on 15-12-2009 by aristocrat2]
[edit on 15-12-2009 by aristocrat2]