don’t know how this is supposed to go. My only comfort is that I don’t think there’s a solitary answer to that question. As everybody’s path to a career in film is different, I imagine so is their experience with their first option negotiation.
Mine’s got me feeling like I’m on new legs. Taking my first few steps. Alone.
I didn’t think I’d be alone at this point. After all, I’ve spent two years querying managers and agents to avoid being alone. To have a partner. A team. People who do this professionally, around me.
But it’s not feeling like that at this particular moment.
Yes, I’ve got Manager. Yes, I’ve got Lawyer. Yes, I’ve got my own experience and thank goodness for that. It’s having Manager on as a producer for this script that’s really making my legs wobble.
I went looking for a manager because I wanted a guide. A man on the ground. Someone who knows the ins and outs. Has been here before. That’s what I wanted.
And that’s what I got and then some, far as I can tell. Manager seems like a really decent guy. Has working experience. Not only as a manager but as a producer. A successful producer. Which made his interest in producing my script even more validating. Enticing.
But that’s where the complication lies.
I’m learning to walk here and my guide isn’t around to hold my hand.
Manager and I agreed that during the negotiation part of the process he’d step aside. The negotiation is with the executive producers. The guys with the money. But ultimately they will be Manager’s partners when it comes to producing. Ultimately he will be a producer. In essence, my employer.
And your employer makes a rather poor guide when you’re negotiating your contract.
So he’s doing the right thing. Stepping aside. But it’s left me virtually alone out here taking my first steps. Fortunately, I do have Lawyer. And Lawyer’s great. Answer my questions. Works on commission so he wants to see results. All good stuff. But is he a guide? Not so much.
So I’m just wobbling cautiously forward. Trusting that Manager is a successful person and seems like a decent human being. That as such, he would choose to work with other decent human beings. Ergo Producers must be decent human beings. That Lawyer is a decent person who has something to gain by doing right by me. That everybody is moving toward the same goal. That I am not a complete and total egomaniacal primo uomo. That I won’t freak out and trip and fall.