Hurry Up And Wait

February 26, 2008

Not much posting lately – there are a few balls in the air right now but none of them are resolved enough to write a complete post about. Just when it looks like something is about to happen, there’s another pause to hold it up. So here’s the latest:

Supervillain Coverage: Last week I received the three rounds of coverage from Abbot Management. This proved to be no less complicated than the coverage for Aftershocks. The first reader happened to be the same reader who was negative about Aftershocks, but he gave Supervillain a “Recommend.” However, he had a lot of critical commentary and gave me fairly low marks – basically he felt the script was commercial enough for Abbot to get involved, but he believes the script will require a pretty comprehensive rewrite. His comments revealed that he may have a different basic philosophy than I have regarding what the story is about and what its content should really be, what the script should basically be about. This was… interesting. Thoughtful and philosophical musings about the primal relationship between the expectations of the reader and the writer will result from this some day soon… Anyway, that’s one recommend. And because it came from this particular reader, I thought I was in, no problem.

The second reader was not as critical in his commentary but passed on the script. After the first reader, I was surprised at this. I guess I interpreted the first reader to be the big hurdle, which he apparently wasn’t. So that’s 1 and 1.

The third reader loved it. Loved it. The kind of reader that actually makes the dream seem possible. This reader had been one of the readers who liked Aftershocks, although he was not the same reader that I labeled my ideal reader in that post. So, 2 recommends and 1 pass. This was the same score I racked up with Aftershocks, so I assumed I would receive an email fairly quickly with some discussion as the script made its way up the chain. But after several days, no further news. I’m sure these guys are busy and are reading plenty of stuff, and their speed is still astonishing. But again, no bottom line to report yet. I expect something fairly soon.

Supervillain Option: I checked in with my producers the other day for a progress report. The option lapses in a couple of months, so with an agent possibly interested I thought it best to catch up. They say they still have 80% of the budget committed and they talked to a possible money source a week ago who may be interested in footing the entire bill. So again, progress, but nothing definitive to report.

Dead Guy: The Good News is that act one is one scene away from being done. We have reached Syd Fields’ infamous plot point one. The Bad News is that this scene will begin on page 39. Yes, it’s way long. I’m up to 39 script pages/50 pages total with outline. The Very Bad News is that I still don’t have a firm enough grasp on The Line to take me through Act 2. Much more thinking work required. Have I mentioned that this may actually be a novel and not a screenplay? Dead Guy is about to move to the back burner to make room for

Psycho Ex: Currently at 45 script pages/54 with outline. It had stalled in the act two lull, but I’ve come up with a couple of ideas to make The Line stronger. It appears that the point/counterpoint strategy of writing two mirror-image scripts simultaneously might have actually worked for once: getting stuck on one has energized me on the other one. Imagine that.

It’s been crazy busy at work and will remain so through the end of March, so I may not make much headway for a while. As for The Challenge 2.008, the scripts appear to be moving in parallel as I had suspected, so the idea of a timetable becomes… complicated. That seems to be the theme these days.

Only one way to simplify everything: just keep writing.

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Abbot Management Feedback: Aftershocks

February 15, 2008

[2/21/08 Note: In the weeks since I wrote this post, I submitted Supervillain and have seen only professionalism from these guys. As your personal guinea pig who came out alive, I recommend that writers submit their stuff and learn from the coverage.]

It has been about a week now since I received three sets of Aftershocks coverage from Abbot Management, and I’m still trying to figure out what to think about them. I am reminded of an earlier post which covered some of the same territory when I got coverage from BlueCat. But this coverage from Abbot was exponentially more… complicated.

The first reader loved the script – loved it. I wish I could just copy/paste his entire coverage here and walk away, but that would be less than classy. Let’s put it this way: on Abbot’s 5-point grading scale, I received perfect scores (5 out of 5) in Dialog, Character, and Pacing, with 4 out of 5 scores in Premise, Conflict, Originality, and Structure. Not only did this reader “get” the twist ending and grasp the solution to the puzzle perfectly, he found it profound and powerful. My favorite reader ever. My lowest score was 3 out of 5, and I only received that in one category: Clarity, which is understandable because Aftershocks is a time-jumping puzzle movie which is pretty demanding. Clarity has always been a concern of mine, because some people “get” the twist/puzzle and others don’t. His overall rating for the script was 4 out of 5 with a “Recommend,” or a recommendation that his company represent the script. Victory.

The second reader wasn’t quite as ecstatic (all 4s and 3s, no perfect 5s), but still gave it Read the rest of this entry »