Sunday, August 9, 2009
So I'm trying to come up with observations about Repped Week, although the small sampling makes the findings far from conclusive. The most telling moment and probably the biggest thing to come out of the week is that the highest rated script (Emergency Contact) unknowingly came from a writing team that had already sold a script. The fact that I didn't know they were sold writers (and therefore wasn't biased) and still saw the writing to be at a high level says a lot. Then again, my second favorite script of the week, The Conquered, came from two writers who only recently secured representation. I honestly believe that with a wider net, that script is lower-half Black List material. However I do not think it's an accident that they are repped by UTA (a big agency).
Someone in the comments section mentioned Project Greenlight - Damfleck's attempt to prove that the Hollywood system was ignoring a huge talent pool that couldn't get their foot in the door simply because they didn't have connections. Sure there were a ton of variables involved, but the resulting three movies (ranging from bad to mediocre) proves that maybe, just maybe, Hollywood knows what it's doing.
As for the whole "The Void" thread, which unfortunately turned personal, I believe - from an objective place - that Zach just isn't ready yet. That's not to say he won't be. That's not to say he can't be. But The Void has too many flaws to sell in its current incarnation. Howevuh!
...there are some good things about the script, and that is why he's getting these [heavily debated] meetings. Someone doesn't have to want your script to want a meeting with you. They may simply be looking to establish a relationship so that if you do improve and do end up writing something great, they have you in their rolodex. It's good business sense.
What I learned from Repped Week is that by and large, writers are successful because they deserve to be successful. Scripts get sold because they deserve to be sold. Sale scripts are rarely perfect, but the combination of concept and execution is usually better than whatever else is out there. That's not to say wherever you are, you're stuck there. Writers are constantly improving, and once your writing gets better, more people will take notice. Bigger agents, bigger directors, bigger actors will woo you. And let's not forget the wild card: the brilliant concept. Come up with a great concept (A dinosaur park) and execution or not, you shoot to the top of Spielbeg's speed dial. I believe that knowing what a great concept is is part of what makes a great writer. So all of that has to be factored into the equation.
So my final very unscientific analysis is that the hierarchy, while fallible, is for the most part accurate:
Unrepped < Repped by Manager < Repped by Agent < Sold Writer
Posted by Carson Reeves at 2:59 PM