Friday, October 29, 2010

A strategy that as yet went nowhere

My rep is a very very busy person - they all are if they're any good - so I've been gently tapping her on the shoulder on occasion to remind her of my existence. Things in this business move remarkably slowly and even though you're tapping your foot with impatience, the people on the other end are actually busting their asses. So while my rep is busting her ass for her successful clients, I sort of wave, take her advice when she gives it, and keep writing and reading, which is the majority of her advice anyway. She's very pleasant and I'm grateful for her time, but she only has so much of it.

Every time I contact her she has the same question, have you been reading screenplays? This is very important to her, so I know I always need to be able to tell her what is the last thing I read. In fact, the best thing about being able to contact her has been goal setting. I know now that someone will read my scripts and ask what I've read, and for that reason I bust my ass to make sure she approves of my answers.

But as yet, I've just been building my script library. The networking is still my responsibility.

So I wrote a chase movie called Salvage that takes place in North Carolina, where I'm from, so I had this idea of trying to get the script in the hands of actors from the area. In researching contact information I discovered that Danny McBride, Jody Hill and David Gordon Green, who all went to school together in North Carolina, formed their own production company.

That's just terrific news, ain't it? Because even if an actor loves a script, they can't always get it to go anywhere, but the guys behind Eastbound and Down have got to have a little pull. Sure enough, if you check IMDB, this is a company that actually produces things.

I researched the company thoroughly and listened to the interview last week on KCRW's The Treatment, wrote out what I was going to say and called. I got voice mail so I panicked and hung up.

The next day I called again, this time reaching a live person. I did my pitch, thinking as soon as I said North Carolina I'd get at least a cheerful response of recognition. Nope. I got that old standard "we only accept project submitted by a lawyer or agent."

This is just wrong. People from North Carolina are supposed to be friendly and talkative and call each other "honey." I know I do. Maybe the guy who answers their phones is not from North Carolina.

Anyway, I HATE bothering people, which is why I'm not very good at the nagging you sometimes have to do around here. You should have seen what a horrible news reporter I was before I discovered teaching. I don't like being the squeaky wheel. The angry, fuck-you-because-you-just-disrespected-me wheel, but not the squeaky pay-attention-to-me-please wheel.

But Manager's name, and the name of the company she works for, gets my projects past that guy on the phone, so now I have to ask for her help. So we'll see what happens next.


  1. Hey, you have shit in motion, that is awesome.

    Keep fighting. Good luck and have fun Emily!


  2. Good luck with the North Carolina Connection.


  3. Anonymous8:42 AM

    Hating to bother people is one reason women have less success as filmmakers & writers than men. Sexism is a much bigger part, probably, but still...get past that issue and you'll not only move further faster but you'll strike one for feminism while you're at it.

  4. First year of basketball, won the sportsmanship award (that's miss congeniality for sports), polite way of acknowledging my inability to take the ball from people. Never got much better (but happily hard work despite no talent or ability to grab stuff from others paid off with softball, got real good with home runs).

    Good luck fighting this battle, as you move forward in your profession, figuring out that line between polite and determined, and let the quality of your work strengthen your resolve. And please share any insights you gain along the way.

  5. That line between polite and determined - always so hard to see.

    Thanks guys.


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