Screenwriting : Do writers need a Lit Manager? Justin Marks vs. John August by Regina Lee

Regina Lee

Do writers need a Lit Manager? Justin Marks vs. John August

For what it's worth, I'm 100% with Justin Marks. I'm producing pitches by several writers - some Emmy winners - and managers play a huge role in the process.

Managers, and the generation divide
Managers, and the generation divide
Justin Marks is a screenwriter who has worked on feature films ranging from the geek-driven to the way-too-serious. I first met him on the Film France trip to Paris in 2008, when his career was in its…
Regina Lee

Btw, read every single blog by John August. He's a giver, man.

Danny Manus

I also agree with Justin 100% and not just because I'm friends with his manager and moderated panels with Justin & his manager at AFF last year. Also, not because John August hates me. lol.

W. Keith Sewell

Sounds like a good read... thanks.

Shaun P Carr

If you do not have a good manager make sure you have a fantastic attorney.

William Martell

One of the interesting things I've noticed in my travels on screenwriting message boards are the older writers who seem stuck in their specific experience and don't seem able to see that breaking in has changed since when they did it decades ago.

A. S. Templeton

My personal "breaking in" strategy runs, after a few false starts, thus: Write the screenplay Revise until the marked-up hardcopies stack about two feet high Set the mature draft aside then start the book novelization by simply exporting to .rtf and taking it from there. Revise the script and co-write the novel. In the process of tightening & polishing the script, my novel gets tighter too. In the process of fleshing out the novel, my script gets purged of novel-ish elements that are unneeded and a likely irritant to script readers (never good) Register copyrights for both works Submit the script to contests or others who give feedback. Ditto the draft novel. Reconcile feedbacks and co-revise both screenplay and novel manuscript. Revise, revise, revise. Kick yourself about having submitted the first script "too early"; get over it. Make both works the best possible; re-register the "final" drafts. Create final loglines/blurbs/taglines, summaries, synopses (two-pager and 300-word versions). For lit agents, create first 5-10-50 page extracts, formatted to look good when pasted as plaintext into an email (many agencies don't accept attachments). Submit or pitch script to the usual suspects and contests. Submit manuscript to reputable literary agents (assuming you don't have one already); get signed if you can. If one or the other catches fire, watch out for subsidiary rights clauses and/or let the lawyers duke it out. Try not to get screwed.

Shaun P Carr

And very rarely there is a parting of the great sea, where you kick in the door to a production company (who actually listen) to the blabbering rant pitch coming from quivering mouth. Then calls someone in from the next office and tells you to repeat.......development deal signed this month. Pretty surreal. After pushing a rock up a hill with no results for a number of years with an agent.

Regina Lee

Congrats, Shaun!!

Shaun P Carr

Can I just say the traditional agent/manager thing for me did not work, No one will pimp you as hard as you would/can yourself. I live in SF and drive to LA a few times a year with targets in mind, I have a fantastic entertainment attorney for who I sometimes feel 10% is not enough (then I get over it) he is down there in the thick of things with his finger on the pulse. He often networks me as it is in his best interest to do so, we have a great working relationship. for me he is an all in one agent/manager/attorney.

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