Paul, the Hollywood Pitch Festival doesn't pay their insiders, and it's the biggest Pitch fest.
Anyway, this August was the first time I attended it (HPF), and I did really well. I got a lot of requests, so I am now trying to polish the scripts, before I send them off to the people that requested them.
What I don't get is this whole thing with one-sheets. I mean what happens when you send them it? How long is the wait? I hear between 6 to 8 weeks. I rather have the script request than to wait for that to develop.
I mean it seems to be the thing that the Insiders were asking for, even though HPF said you don't need anything but your pitch.
Overall, I got three script requests and nine one-sheets requests. It wasn't easy selling your product, but I beat my record of only getting three requests and NEVER following through, except with one. (Chalk it off to being young/naive and more fascinated with the request that turned into a rewrite/possible option)
In summary, one should consider what the pitchfest offers before they plump down their money. To me, Inktip seems to offer Insiders who are looking to produce low budget films, and if you have that in your inventory, then you should by all means go.
However, if you have higher budget scripts, then you need to go to a festival that will bring the individuals that are in the market for those types of films.
Another thing I learned by going to the HPT and talking to the producers is that the "big budget" isn't so big anymore. They are really looking for something mid-range. I think 50-75 million tops, which means mid-range is the new big budget. As a result, I am going to write my next script keeping that in mind.
I guess if you go to Inktip, you will have more opportunities for producers to say yes to your pitch, because there is less of a financial risk.
"Maybe it's wrong of me to compare but I see a few other writers who got their first scripts optioned long after me, yet they already have agents, are out in LA taking generals, and doing assignment work, etc."
In terms of your script, that doesn't mean anything. It's all about how marketable your script is and if it's something they want to make. Plus, having a manager doesn't mean anything either; you have to do a lot of the leg work. It just helps to have someone on your team, when the deals come to the door.
"Despite my manager working hard on the script that I have optioned, I feel everything else is moving too slowly and I have a few managers elsewhere who I know are interested in managing me (and they are higher up the food chain so to speak).
The problem is the option. If I was going nowhere fast, I would easily walk away. But the fact that I am toward the end of an option on a script that my manager has, admittedly, worked hard on, makes my decision to leave feel unethical."
If the option runs out, which happens, then everyone invested in this project stands to lose. That is the nature of the game. If you have other managers interested in you, then tell your manager that, maybe that will set a fire in him, not to say that he is not working for you. At the very least, give him the curtsey of knowing that you are entertaining the thought of getting a new manager.
If you think your manager is good, offers good feedback, and direction, then you continue to build your inventory of scripts and tell him not to sugarcoat his critiques.
"I was thinking of leaving my manager, yet giving him somewhere between a 5-10% fee of the scripts purchase price(if the script is purchased that is). I feel he would at least deserve something from this one particular script. It would seem heartless of me to have him do all the hard work he has done, and then leave him at the last minute before he made any money of it himself, if you see what I mean."
Usually, an option is a year or two, that is one to two years your script is off the market to others. I don't think you owe your manager a thing, but I do think you should be nice to him. Since, you will never know who you might meet later down the road. However, nice does not mean giving him a cut of your script.
His job is mainly to sell or starve. He knows that.
"The types of commercial films I like: say, Witness or Chocolat or The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel or The King’s Speech… these are films that found a large audience though they’re not in the key demographic. (Not sayin’ my scripts are at this level, just giving an example of my taste.)"
Marg, Chocolat, Best Exotic, and King's Speech were indies that expanded out to the masses. If your scripts are more like the movies you listed, have you considered trying out Inktip?
I hear that's the place to be for indies. I'm not saying not to write a novel; I think that's a smart thing to do. However, since you wrote these scripts, maybe you should change your marketing strategy.
If you already considered Inktip, how was that experience? I'm asking because I'm seeking an avenue to market, since I fall short in this area. Personally, I might have only one or two scripts that might be suitable to Inktip, but they're not the best.
"That's it in a nutshell, and what I learned in my screenwriting class. In fact, we were encouraged to choose high concept stories."
That's writing material that appeals to the masses for those that are not in the know.
It's totally a different way of looking at things. One thing we had to do in the class was to come up with ideas (high concept ones) and test them on people. After that, we wrote the script that had the highest score among the people.
I threw caution to the wind and allowed myself to go with the process. Moreover, I learn the business side of Hollywood, and it all has to do with mass appeal, meaning what can get investors, increase our odds of filling seats, and make a profit. Plus, what will attract A-list actors.
After I started thinking this way, I don't know if I'll ever write a script the old way I used to do things. I guess we'll have to write that novel if we want to have a bit more freedom with our expression.
" It’s likely the majority of these people are male and attracted to the type of material they feel is easiest to sell: material that appeals to teenage males. Because of this, I think material that might appeal to other groups may not be able to rise to the top here."
That's it in a nutshell, and what I learned in my screenwriting class. In fact, we were encourage to choose high concept stories.
"Sorry for this long post"
Don't be. I like when a poster is giving information.
In regards to writing your novel, that's a good thing, but don't give up with screenwriting. I suggest you write a novel of your script, and maybe you'll see it up on the screen.