I Is a Professional Screenwriter
In short, I signed a contract last night to write a screenplay on assignment for an independent production company. Well below WGA minimums, but still a professional screenwriting job. And I'm quite pleased and excited about this big step forward.
The somewhat longer version:
Some time ago, a friend put me in touch with a producer he had met. My friend is not a writer, so he was happy to mention my name and talk me up when he found out these people were looking for a less experienced writer.
I got in touch and they asked me to send them a sample. I was actually a bit hesitant to send them anything, primarily because the best sample I had to send (the D2DVD horror script I wrote) was unlike the types of stuff they were looking for, and because I still planned to give it a full revision. Still, I eventually sent it to them and explained the reasons for my hesitance, essentially asking them to keep those things in mind when they read it.
They did, and asked to meet. When we met, they described a project to me, and asked if I would be interested. I said I was, and they asked me how much I would ask for the job. I was a bit overwhelmed by this, and took a few days to think it over, as well as to ask people for advice. That advice came from many people I knew, both in and out of the Scribosphere. Let me now give thanks to some of those people.
Thanks go especially to Stephen Susco, Bill Cunningham, Alex Epstein, Chris Soth, and Bill Martell within the Scribosphere, and also my buddies Rock Shaink, Jay Tan, Jonathan "Rack" Rackman and my writing group outside it. I also consulted heavily with an entertainment attorney I know.
Anyway, we met again, and had a lot of back-and-forth discussions, negotiating my fee and the like. In the end, I am quite happy with the deal we struck. I'll be getting paid decently well, and will have a nice-sized back-end, should the film go into production. I'm also looking forward to receiving a produced film credit to add to my resume! Furthermore, since the film is an action adventure set on safari in Botswana, the company will be taking me on a research trip to said safari. So come August (probably), I'll be off to that great continent of the Southern Hemisphere!
Now interestingly, this life development transpired around the same time as another one. I was recently laid off from my job, due to an unexpected (by the employees) downsizing. There is a belief that God creates the cure before he creates the disease, and I feel that this is another example of that. The potential for the screenwriting assignment came to me before the layoff, and both were completely unexpected to me.
I was originally planning to write the film around my other job, but now I am back to freelancing full time, and will be writing the screenplay around that. The screenplay itself will not pay me enough to do that alone, but I am liking the return to the freelance lifestyle, and greater attention to dedicate to this project. Of course, my financial situation will still be taking a step backwards overall, meaning I will need to keep working, but I will also have the chance to focus on this script a bit more.
Unfortunately, I can't say much more about the project, at the company's wishes. But I'll just say that I'm excited about this screenplay, and am already continuing with research and development of the treatment.
So, that's what's going on in my life. I hope I'll be able to pull some insights out of the process to give you guys some more good posts down the road!
Tags: screenwriting, screenwriting+assignments, Scribosphere