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Fellow writers, beware! BC Management Group is not a professional, honest entity. This individual--Ben Cahan--posted a similar ad liked the one posted on 05/03/04, sometime last year. I responded to his earlier posting via email. He telephoned me, acted all nice and fuzzy, and requested I send him four or five of my screenplays, promising to return them in a SASE if I provided one. And he also promised to telephone me again regardless of his decision regarding my submission. Well, I sent him four screenplays and a SASE. Months went by. He never telephoned. More months went by, still no telephone call nor the return of my scripts in the SASE, nor even a single response to the many follow-up emails I sent him. Now, after many months, I'm out of 30 or 40 dollars as well as a lot of time I spent on Mr. Nobody Cahan. Never got a single response nor the return of my scripts. Never was accorded the respect and consideration I provided Nobody Cahan.
I advise all of you don't waste your valuable time and hard-earned money on this creep. He'll suck you in, flatter and stroke you, then leave you high out to dry without so much as a thank you or one bead of sweat of decency or professional respect.
Well let me be the first to jump in here-- NOW PATRICK I hope you have a LAWYER- cause if BC Management reads this you could be sued for SLANDER.
That being said- don't send out SASE s- writers don't do that anymore- looks like you don't have confidence in your work- amateur.
Gee is sent a script to Jerry Bruckheimer and got no response- he is a hack eh?
Something you have to realize is that this company may have just had a couple of 100 or 1000 scripts hit them depending on what and where they were posting requests. Your e-mails and attempts to contact these guys is nothing short of harrassment- that is a big put off and is the reason they don't contact you now.
Now reality time Patrick- I don't know you from Adam but 90% of all your submissions will probably go with no response as with Pitching Loglines and Synopses. The bigger company you contact- the less likey you will ever get a response unless they really like your material.
Now for what could be the reality too- they just didn't like what you sent and don't have the time nor the want to communicate that to you.
Who knows but I wouldn't be posting SOUR GRAPES here- you'd be surprised at what other Agents/Managers or Producers that post and read here at Moviebytes.
Patrick- move on, get over it and best of luck with the next one.
I really have to wonder what has set off this recent round of BC Management Group chatter. I see Ben has placed another ad on "Writers Wanted." I also see a new thread praising BC Management on DD.
And now, this thread.
Sure does make a guy scratch his head. I personally don't have any dealings with BC Management to report, but it is certainly a strange coincidence that these two threads pop up, on different boards. For all you mystery lovers out there...
Writers would be warm, loyal, and otherwise terrific people--if only they'd stop writing. --Laura Miller from a salon.com review of the movie Finding Forrester
If I had a dollar for every script or logline I never got a response for, I could fund one of my bigger budget scripts.
Unfortunately Steve is right. This guy (myself included) probably got like 500 - 1000 scripts. He can't respond to each one. That's just a part of the business.
Also Steve is right in that you don't know who is reading this board or who they are friends with. Don't burn your bridges before you have a chance to build them.
With that said, all you need is just one person to like your stuff. Keep plugging, if you have the talent and drive you will get there.
TANGENTIALLY RELATED: Why would anybody in 2004 want a script returned? Or a manuscript? Or a short story? I don't get it. It makes NO sense to send out anything other than a pristine, freshly printed copy of your work, so that reason for wanting it back doesn't compute. If it's not wanting your work "out there" that's in play, who's to say they didn't make a hundred copies before returning it? Knocks that one out. So, why would anyone want anything returned? I always mark my title page neatly at the bottom: RETURN NOT NECESSARY, PLEASE RECYCLE.
The only time I would ever include a return envelope, is if the prodco, mgt company requested it. This week I included one for Circle of Confusion, that had requested a script (and return envelope) from a pitch. Complete waste of $$$, in an effort to give them what they ask for.
Patrick - There really is no evidence that anyone should beware of BC Management. If he didn't like your scripts, so what. Move on. He put out an open call for scripts and he got flooded. Others have said it many times - send out your scripts and forget about it.
I agree with not sending return envelopes. I don't have the time to mess with it. I sent one out (requested) one time and never got the script back. I assume they were just collecting postage-paid envelopes for their own use.
Yup, wholly different thing there, Ron. You didn't want the script back; you just didn't want to peeve the recipient. :-)
As others have said, Patrick, you've listed no evidence of that company or person being someone for writers to avoid. This is the way the writing business works.
Most of your responses to my warning about BC Management are really asinine and non sequitur. I realize that one should not expect his submission to be returned in most cases, or rather that writers certainly take a chance of this happening whenever they send out submissions. You all missed the point here!
The guy at BC Management asked me to provide a SASE. Told (promised, declared, swore, etc.) me he would no matter what return my submission. And told (claimed, assured, volunteered, guaranteed, vowed, affirmed, etc.) me he would no matter what telephone me, email mail, contact me. If he had no intention of doing this then he should not have promised that he would and caused me to spend more money on two SASE's, not to mention deprive me of the choice of submitting to him in the first place. If some of you are so rich that you can send out dozens of scripts each day (and incur the cost required for it) without their return or remuneration of any kind, then I guess you're not writing to make money or a living. Perhaps you enjoy keeping the postal service busy. And just like throwing time and money away. Good for you!
No matter. When a person swears to do a thing, is capable (and still capable) of doing such a thing, but deliberately and improperly doesn't do that thing, it is called lying. And usually, people who lie are called liars. But be it not for me to call anyone a liar. Even someone who lies! I wouldn't want to upset the delicate, politically-correct attitudes of fellow writers.
I was kind enough to post a message on this board to let you know of a person who lied to me and who solicited me for God knows what reason to spend time and money on his behalf (or pet project?). No, I'm not whining about it. I was informing you about it. And you're all welcome. NOT!
Now if you want to deal with people who lie and who with total disregard will waste your time and money to the amount of $30 or $40 bucks (this is called cheating), go for it. If such is your moral standard, then I guess birds of a feather do flock together. But it not for me to tell you about some bad person down street who's waiting to run over with his car. Warning and protecting you at the expense of casting aspertions is far worse than you getting run over by a car!
As for slander, telling the truth is not slander, especially with regards to relating or verbally sharing an experience or incident that one has and which describes another's misconduct and misbehavior, professionally or otherwise. Police and intelligently wary individuals listen and pay heed to such reports routinely. And usually thank the conscientious messenger for his conscientious message.
Now all of you get your scripts out and send 'em to BC Management, en masse. Or better yet, since the cost of snail mailing four or five full-length scripts means nothing to you, why bother sending what you expect and believe you deserve no response for? Simply write out a personal check for $30 or $40, and send it to me. No, I won't promise to acknowledge your check. I promise you nothing henceforth, except to spend it! And call you a dummy for being so nice to me, as I was being with you!
Maybe this is why I'm finding little respect for other writers: because they have so little for themselves and just love to be abused and disrespected by big-shot, self-proclaimed film execs and supercilious publishers and editors. You deserve no warnings. Jump out into the street and get run over, as far as I'm concerned! I've lost all respect and consideration for the whole lot of you.
Especially you, Steve!
Basically, the rule of thumb doled out in seminars and conferences lately, is to never inundate the agent/producer/manager/lawyer with a barage of e-mails/phone calls/follow up letters. It wreaks of amateur behaviour.
If you don't hear from the people you've submitted to after a reasonable interview (say 2 months), then take it as a no and, at the most, send a very brief letter that you will now start sending your script elsewhere.
This solves two things. First, you're reminding them in a polite way that this is their last chance (but please don't use that phrase in your letter). Second, you are being courteous and above all professional. After all, this is a business relationship not a date (and if it were a date, it would be stalking if you kept at them).
Whatever happened to Emily Post and decorum?
Anyhoo.... take it as a no by all accounts and move on. Do you know how many other management companies are out there? Then why bother wasting your time with someone who is not interested? Maybe they don't like your style or genre. Don't take it personally. Find someone else out there that you click with.
Now I'm feeling like Dr. Ruth.
um, I meant interval not interview. Don't know what happened there.
Especially you Steve- Oh how I love to be singled out.
Who here wants to send BC Management the original post from dear Patrick- I do...I do....
You know Patrick, I'm sympethetic with your financial position- yeah it absolute stinks spending money to submit your work to have someone disregard you totally. It has happened to me and everybody else that has ever sent out scripts in this industry.
Personally, I am very careful with regards to who gets to read my scripts. I ask for references, contacts and get deadlines in advance now for timetables. It works and Prodcos for the most part are understanding.
My point of addressing your Thread here is that if we, as writers, started a thread everytime a Prodco- Agency- or Manager didn't follow through with what they promissed, we would be literally posting these by the 10fold every day and yes, this would be slanderous.
Our industry doesn't have a decorum of consideration and it is a problem but as a writer, you are not in a position to change that decorum from where you are sitting. If you have an Agent or Manager, then you have some clout to make some people wake up and be considerate but there are too many hacks that drive these people crazy with the belief that their script is the next Oscar winner and they submitted it on PINK PAPER, using Comic Sans fonts and the format is that of something you would read in Grade 4.
If you don't think that happens, ask the next Prodco you are talking to and they will tell ya all about it.
I guess to my fault, I have worked on my SCREENWRITERS THICKER SKIN, so that this crap doesn't bother me as much. I have learned to accept it and I am better for it.
Patrick, I mean no disrespect but look within and really exam how you handled this situation and judge whether there were other ways of handling this.
Based on all the posts on this thread, I am not alone in my thoughts of how this was handled and I hope that your next dealings with the industry are much better- you will be in a better frame and this will reflect in your writing.
Best of Luck
Another consideration: Patrick, if you're expending this much energy on a submission to one place, fretting over it enough to send multiple emails and start a thread like this, reality is you're wasting time you should be using to write a better script, to become a better writer.
Making a submission and then sitting around waiting to hear back is a killer path to choose. I've been down that path, but thankfully woke up one day. Now I make (hopefully) intelligent choices about where to sub, I sub, and then it's out of my mind and on to the next project. I will spend my energy becoming a great writer. I can control that. I can't control what happens once it leaves my hand.
First of all, if you look at Ben Cahan's listing as opposed to his last one, you will notice that his address, email, and phone have changed. Hence, the new listing. Second, as many have mentioned, the man is flooded with scripts. Send your scripts and be patient is the key here.
I'm the guy that praised Ben on the DoneDeal site. I can assure that this man is on the up and up. He has worked with me since February on a script of mine. We have spent countless hours on the phone rewriting it and preparing it for market. He was involved in every step of the rewrite, even talking on the phone at 3:00 am to work around my work schedule. I'll be honest with you, I had no idea what was involved with selling a script. It take more hours than I could of ever imagined. Ben is probably the most honest and most upfront man I have ever met. I sent him a partial rewrite and this is a quote from Ben "James, don't ever send me crap like this again!" After a deep breath and a lot of soul searching, I realized he was absolutely right, it was crap. I could of sulked and bad mouth him but I realized he was right and I trudged forward. So I guess you could say that I am partially to blame for his lack of response as he was working with me 24/7 rewriting my script. Stay tune people, this is the real deal.
If he likes your script and your willing to work with him and accept critism, he is definitely someone you want representing you. I feel I am one of the luckiest people who frequent these boards. I have Ben and his associate repping me!
I don't know his associate very well, but he has taken the time to send me very detailed notes on how to improve my script. I do know that he is very well connected to the industry and is very thorough with his responses. In order to send the type of notes he has sent me, I know that he has read my script very thoroughly from cover to cover. He can see what is needed to make this a marketable screenplay. Keep in mind, these two get zilch, nada, nothing for doing all this work UNLESS the script sells. It cost me a little over $3.00 media mail to send it out to them, and hour for hour they probably have as much time invested in it as I do.
So send or don't send, it's totally up to you. James
I have to say it's pretty cheesy singling out Steve, Patrick. What Steve wrote is very true of this industry and I took it as sound advice. Man, you don't want to go around talking badly about folks. That stuff comes back and haunts you. Trust me on it. Unless of course it is something truly so over the top it is worth repeating. Like if they gipped you out of money etc. But to not get a script back. Nah, it's not worth warning us about a place. For instance I got a call for a rush for my superhero script. That was a month ago. Have they read it yet? Of course not. That's just the way it is. It sucks, but that is the industry. And as a spec writer we are below the working writers on the totem pole. Move on, dude. Send the scripts elsewhere. I'm sure you have. I don't think anyone here is trying to make you sound insecure or foolish or naive. I think we're all basically just doling out the same advice.
Really sorry that you had such a bad experience. It's probably happened to everyone on this board and we know how it feels to send out scripts, and then wait, and wait.
Of course they shouldn't have asked you for the SASE and then shrugged you off. But, it could have just been that they were overwhelmed (someone else may have already said this) with scripts.
A while back I read that an agent or mgt. company was soliciting scripts---when someone went to their office ---they had HUNDREDS of unread scripts sitting in boxes on the floor. Whoo!! Now, I'm not saying this company is doing that----but just be aware that there are thousands of writers wanting to "break in" or should I say "write in." You have 4 scripts that you sent. That's great!! Great that you've written this much. Let this unfortunate situation behind you, keep working on new stories, and you may even want to put those 4 away---then get them back out in a month or so and read them again. Sometimes, when I do this, I say to myself, "Why in the heck did I do that????"
Treat yourself. Hey, you wrote four screenplays and actually got them copied and out to a company! That's a big accomplishment!
I'll leave you with this philosophy of mine----if it's meant to be, it will be. Take care.
If Patrick spent as much time writing scripts as he does sending threatening letters, he might make it. I figured I would show all of you a snippet of one of his e-mails to me, just you guys understand what Mr. Stafford is about:
"I informed a lawyer friend of mine about you and he told me that you're a kike. Don't know what this term means, but you're probably it also. And he's going to file a report on you with the Florida Attorney General's office."
If you folks were a management company, how would you respond?
Regarding James DeMasi...He's a great guy and has worked tirelessly to turn a good idea into a very good script. I wish all the new writers out there had his work ethic and strong desire to turn a hobby into a profession. Can't guarantee I'll be able to sell his script, but I'll do my best.
Lastly, about SASE and responses. It is difficult enough getting through the HUGE volume of scripts I have received. And to boot, I have my own taste and sometimes good scripts will just not be for me. I have to be able to believe in a project to represent it, and I know what Ilike. That doesn't mean that all scripts I pass on are crap, just that they're not for me. For anyone who has not heard from me, I may not have read it yet for a number of reasons, one of which is the time I have put into Mr. DeMasi's script.
And there is a G-d!!!!
Thanks for making our day Mr. Cahan.
When I read:
"No matter. When a person swears to do a thing, is capable (and still capable) of doing such a thing, but deliberately and improperly doesn't do that thing, it is called lying."
When I read this I thought that "Patrick" must be around 110 years old - the whole Miss manners thing.
But reading: "I informed a lawyer friend of mine about you and he told me that you're a kike. Don't know what this term means, but you're probably it also." I figured "Patrick" was closer to 10.
I agree with Steve. Thanks, Ben for making our day.
well 'nuff said. Move on.
The PRESENTER opens the envelope.
And the winner is... Professionalism.
Four scripts, printed and mailed----- around $50.00 for me.
Sorry, Mr. Cahan, but I think he deserved a reply. But, no, the conversation via emails should not have gotten to that "gutter" level. I can see the frustration on both parts.
I'm glad you found a script that appealed to you, that you thought worthy of the marketplace, and I hope it does work out for both of you.
But, it has been my experience in life that if you step on one person to get to another------it usually never works out.
One or two scripts---a reply, IMHO, is not necessary. Three or four scripts----yes, I think a reply is "expected." And would be "professional." Especially if you told him that you would return the scripts-----oh, that was more postage----so, see, this would have costed me----around $75.00.
PS Maybe you should hire some help!
I don't know whether Patrick is being reasonable or hysterical in his dealings with Ben Cahan. On the one hand he does seem to have a legitimate gripe, although I agree with the others that whatever an industry person promises should be taken with a grain of salt. And if Patrick sent the e-mail Mr. Cahan quotes, then he indeed went too far with his anger and frustration.
But I believe he is right when he says he should have gotten more sympathy from his fellow writers. If indeed he was encouraged by Mr. Cahan to send, not just one script but four or five, and if Patrick did just that, then I agree with Sue Miller - he should at very least - for the time and money he expended - gotten a response, if not the scripts mailed back. Even a "No thank you" is better than nothing.
He also brings up a very good point when he suggests that screenwriters seem unwilling to expect respect. I have alluded to this in the past. There seems to be a cynical, an almost death wish-like attitude on the part of many writers that a kick in the teeth from the movie industry is de rigueur. For the amount of sweat, hope and, yes on occasion, talent we put into our work - we deserve better. No matter our amateur status. If screenwriters (and I include the successful ones) expect nothing better than disrespect, the movie industry will happily oblige.
I agree, Patrick will probably have to develop a thicker skin to make it in this business without having a nervous breakdown. But that should never mean sacrificing his pride simply because he's dealing with a "professional." And he should always be able to expect a shoulder to cry on from a fellow writer.
I submit that the timbre of Patrick's original post is what caused shoulders not to be there that normally would've been. Yes, we'd all love to get responses. But if you've done a few submissions of any kind, you quickly come to realize that it doesn't work that way. And when Patrick showed up with the ultra-strong condemnation, I suspect more than one writer who would've normally responded sympathetically chose not to.
One script copied professionally four times: $34.00
Priority mail postage for four scripts: $15.80
Getting your ass handed to you on a public message board by head of management company you're badmouthing: Priceless.
By the time you go to get your screenplay professionally copied (which sometimes turns out to crappy) you should start thinking of investing in a laser printer. The quality is excellant and will even out shine a professional company that specializes in such matters.
Basically you'll spend hundreds upon hundreds of dollar on professional business, while you can cut your costs by doing your own thing.
Richard-- LOL -must blot the tears of laughter from my eyes.
Writing and making submissions is directly parallel to sending out resumes, trying to get a job.
You can't sit by the phone and wait for the calls. You have to continue to work and proceed to better yourself.
Yes Mr. Cahan should have at least sent him a rejection based on a 4 script submission but getting harassing e-mails cuts it right off there.
I don't even contact any of my submissions for at least 5 or 6 weeks unless it is arranged differently.
Keep on Writing and turn to a fresh page!
What a strange thread.
As writers we have all been in this situation many times. It's strange what can really get under some peoples' skin though.
We have all, I think, found that not getting responses is pretty much par for the course and we all understand why. I am disappointed when I don't hear from someone but if I don't I assume my script just didn't do it for that company. Simple as that.
I run a small independent production company that I'm using to produce my own work. I have ceased responding even to email queries because I get so many and I just don't have the time. Never mind actually responding to every writer who has sent a script in.
It's almost impossible.
As far someone 'losing all respect and consideration' for those who disagreed with his rage over this situation it's apparent why some people don't have what it takes in this industry.
Imagine what will happen if someone actually does contact him and say they don't want his script.
Thanks for the constructive comments. I always like to hear a few words from the professionals.
One lesson in metaphysics is that we should never find fault or criticize anyone. I'll add my view: just arrest them and jail them. But, don't find fault with them.
If you substitute federal employees in the right places, the subject would fit like a glove. How many times have you had a hassle in getting info or a reply from a fed agency?
Don't gripe, vote! Vote for good people. They can only be identified on night time radio programs.
An agency answered my query by asking to see the screenplay. IT WAS SEVEN MONTHS AFTER I QUERIED THEM! Did I bug them? No. Did I worry about their silence? No. Did they read the script? Maybe, who knows. Did they want to rep me? No.
I must improve the scripts to the point where they jump out of the mail truck and run into the producer's office and play a recording, "take me to your reader."
Eternal vigilance is the price of freedom. Eternal writing results in a nice price for the script.
Wish two of you were in N. S.D. County so we could support each other.
I can relate to your situation. I have a DBA as "Positive Impact Films" in order to film my own scripts. Recently, after a simple posting on the Dallas Producers Assoc. list on Yahoo, I got an email from someone I'd never heard of looking for a producing partner for a script he was doing in the DFW area. I never solicited any material and probably never will, but I had to send out a "I'm too busy with my own projects" note to him.
I have no interest in any one else's scripts and will have a little more respect for Producer's who may read one of my scripts and "pass".
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