READ THE SCRIPT IMMEDIATELY .
YOU'VE FINISHED THE SCRIPT, NOW CALL THE WRITER IMMEDIATELY AND PRAISE THEM!
BEGIN YOUR PRAISE WITH A VAGUE COMPLIMENT, THEN FOLLOW IT UP WITH SOME SPECIFIC POSITIVE COMMENTS.
SET THE MEETING AND STICK TO IT
THE MEETING - START A VAGUE POSITIVE STATMENT
DO YOUR BEST TO TAKE A POSITIVE ATTITUDE TOWARD THE SCRIPT
GO THROUGH THE ENTIRE SCRIPT PAGE BY PAGE AND TELL THEM SPECIFICALLY ALL THE MOMENTS YOU LIKE!
BEING NICE PAYS OFF - AKA THE BENEFITS OF BEING POSITIVE
WHEN GIVING A SCRIPT CORRECTION BE AS SPECIFIC AS POSSIBLE
DON'T PUSSYFOOT ABOUT WHAT YOU DON'T LIKE.
CONVINCE THE WRITER THERE ACTUALLY IS A PROBLEM
SOMETIMES YOU WILL BE WRONG.
THE WRITER IS WRONG AND REFUSES TO SEE IT. WHAT DO I DO?
DON'T OFFER SOLUTIONS. CONVINCE THE WRITER THERE'S A PROBLEM AND THEN LET THEM COME UP WITH A SOLUTION.
DON'T "SPITBALL" IDEAS. (SEE RULE FIFTEEN)
THE WRITER SHOULD FEEL IT'S THEIR STORY...
BE SPECIFIC ABOUT THE PROBLEM AND VAGUE ABOUT GIVING A SOLUTION
WHAT IF YOU HAVE A GREAT SOLUTION?
THERE'S A PROBLEM AND YOU'VE DROPPED HINTS AND DESCRIBED YOUR GREAT IDEA VAGUELY, BUT THE WRITER CAN'T GRAB THE HINT?
SUBMIT YOUR IDEA AS A CLICHE THAT SHOULD BE AUTOMATICALLY DISMISSED
DANGER! HACK WRITER AHEAD
PREFERABLY HAVE ONLY ONE PERSON IN A ROOM, ONE EXCLUSIVE DEVELOPMENT EXEC FOR EVERY WRITER
23. PREFERABLY HAVE ONLY ONE PERSON IN A ROOM, ONE EXCLUSIVE DEVELOPMENT EXEC FOR EVERY WRITER
(This probably should have come earlier, and I might just rearrange all these rules someday. But now, bear with me.)
I once sold a screenplay called BAD DOG to DreamWorks for millions of dollars. The first creative meeting involved three people, Steven Spielberg, Walter Parkes and Laurie McDonald. Yes, I actually met and talked with Mr. Steven Spielberg hisself.
Because the second meeting didn't have Spielberg nor McDonald, only Walter Parkes. And by the third meeting Walter was gone. Though there were three execs in third meeting, there was nobody from the original meeting .
Ideally the writer should deal with just ONE exec throughout the process. This way there is only one master to please, one opinion, and no mixed messages.
This may be difficult because some execs are dying to be in the meeting. There is a way to coordinate it, but ideally you should be meeting first and be of one mind when you talk to the writer. I've been in meetings where not everyone agrees and it is terribly confusing.
Coming in the next installment - the most common problem with screenplays and a possible fix.
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