Producing : Benderspink comment on 'going out' with overexposure by M Wood

M Wood

Benderspink comment on 'going out' with overexposure

Happy Sunday! I’m looking for coverage on a mid to high budget script - a WWII love lost story with tanks and explosions, etc. A comment from a manager at Benderspink expressed frustration around not getting to a specific script before it was passed around town and not being able to ‘go out with’ it with the desired control and packaging attempts. Overexposure. Are there any red flags from producers or studios regarding coverage and who has copies - In the fantastic chance this high budget script goes forward? The questions: Would larger project producers/studios have these concerns about copies sent out for coverage or to industry friends? (i’ve heard either way keep record of every eyeball that sees it) Is there ‘etiquette’ that proper coverage entities follow not to expose it to others? And who are they :) Any wisdom or anecdotes, either posted or direct, are much appreciated - vino, fishing tips or even reads :). I’m very excited to move forward...until they tell me to get back to the day job! Enjoy the day

Regina Lee

Hi M, "Would larger project producers/studios have these concerns about copies sent out for coverage or to industry friends? (i’ve heard either way keep record of every eyeball that sees it)" - Yes, producers/studios would be reluctant to pick up a script that has already been sent around town and passed on everywhere. If everyone else has passed, why should they jump for it? But really, how widely are you slipping out your script? I doubt the exposure problem will be a real problem for most people, but I don't know you, and I don't know how you plan to blanket the town with your script. If you're sending your script out for coverage, I hope the story analyst will be signing a contract with a confidentiality clause. If you're sending it out to industry friends, I hope your friends will come to you and ask for permission before sending out your script! Let's use a sports analogy. Let's say a college senior plays in the Rose Bowl, plays OK, and is exposed to a nationwide audience. But after the game, no NFL scouts go talk to him. His fate in the NFL is likely already sealed. He's been seen by all the decision-makers on a national stage, and it's unlikely that, come Draft Day, he will be a lottery pick. Same thing with your script if you expose it to a lot of major players before you officially have a manager go out with it. "Is there ‘etiquette’ that proper coverage entities follow not to expose it to others? And who are they :)" - I always sign a contract with my script consulting clients that protects both of us. It includes a confidentiality clause to protect the writer and his script. You should ask for a confidentiality clause if you pay for consulting services. Lastly, if you're a new writer, it's probably a very good thing if one of your readers - be it a paid story analyst or well-placed Hollywood buddy - loves your script so dang much that he wants to show it to more people. If that's the case, embrace it, and work out a strategy before they send it out willy-nilly. Industry pros know the rules of play, and it's in our best interests to have a good strategy for your script. If we sell it, it helps our careers; if we blow it, we lose too. So I wouldn't get too paranoid. There's usually not a big problem with people unofficially running around town with scripts before the manager can officially send it out. Again, the pros all typically follow standard rules of play so as not to tarnish our reputations and ability to keep our relationships.

Tony Fisher

This strikes me as being similar to having a brilliant business product prototype. Maybe but then again maybe not, as Regina has said it will depend on who you send it to although I like the idea of keeping a record of who its been sent to.

W. Keith Sewell

Keep a written paper trail, (or e-trail) of who you have sent it to with dates, if possible. As an unproduced, unknown writer, I gave permission to a mid-level Prodco VP of development to feel free to pass it to someone she knows who may be in the market for this type of film - and she agreed, if it doesn't fit their needs at the time. Now my current dark comedy thriller, I'm working on - always raises eye-brows when pitched - but it has a hook that cannot be revealed through synopses, or treatment unless it's to a Prodco/ manager/ agent whom I have a signed confidentaility agreement. Some ideas you want to keep close to the vest...

M Wood

Thanks for the replies! Regina the in depth reply is especially appreciated!

Regina Lee

No worries!

Andrew Pritzker

If a script has already been shopped around town and seems old hat to managers and producers, if it's been covered by the majors and mini majors, you just might need to alter your approach with attachments. Go out to production companies set up by actors and see if you can generate an attachment. Cast the film yourself and go after those stars. That might breathe new life into your project.

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