The success ratio of cold querying scripts to Hollywood executives and getting a positive response is comparable. None the less – and I will live to regret this statement – I miss querying.
Here’s where we’re at: After a month of negotiating, I accepted a producer’s offer to option Script #1. However, another month later and I haven’t heard jack from my lawyer. It seems unlikely that the producers have changed their minds, but the wait is a little tough to bear. During this time I also haven’t heard from my manager. As he’s also slated to be a producer on the film, I expect he’s keeping his distance until the deal is done.
So in a way, I’m exactly where I was at this time last year: No manager, no lawyer and (as of yet) no deal.
The difference? I can’t query.
Since aligning myself with Manager I’ve written three new screenplays. All are presently sitting on a virtual shelf. Collecting virtual dust.
This never happens to me. For years now, I’ve been completing scripts and immediately launching into the process of emailing executives to solicit reads. It’s how I’ve widened my network of contacts. It’s how I landed Manager in the first place along with this option deal.
Now, however, my scripts – like me – sit and wait.
I’m not sure how this is supposed to go. Or even that there is a supposed to at all. When I first started out with Manager he told me that I wouldn’t have to query any more. That he’d be doing that for me now– Hearing that was like music.
What I didn’t factor into that proclamation was that this would also mean I’d be on his schedule. And he’s a busy guy. Not to mention he’s got a reputation. So he’s not just going to send out anything and everything I hand over.
My relief over never having to query again has turned to restless, fidgety pacing.
I get that Manager’s not going to be there ready to read at a moment’s notice. That makes sense. He’s gotta move at the industry’s pace. A slow pace. Not to mention, not everything I generate is going to be worth sending out. I’ve written over twenty screenplays in the past couple years. Only one’s gotten optioned. It’s better than the maple syrup ratio but that’s still a lot of sap to boil down.
But I can’t help wake up every day, see these scripts sitting here and think to myself, nothing is being done right now to further my career. This material is just sitting here. In my querying days I’d be hammering out loglines and getting this shit read!
I have to remind myself that this is a process. That if Script #1 starts to make some noise, then the town will wonder what else I’ve got to offer. That they will come to me– To Manager.
But that’s still a while down the road. And in the meantime I miss the activity of actually working on my own career. It’s hard to ease off the reigns.
The first time I did so in while was taking last weekend off to pursue a new interest. Tapping maple trees. I’ve thought about it for a couple years now since moving out into the sticks but never looked into it further. Last weekend I spend an entire day reading and watching videos about it.
I was super excited! Yeah, I get excited about this stuff. Eating directly from nature is huge deal for me. And that I work in a starving artist type field and often find myself literally scavenging for food in the woods, is not lost on me.
But this maple thing should be fun. And I haven’t really given myself the opportunity to consider anything fun in a while. In the coming weeks I’m going to get myself outfitted to tap the maples in my yard. I’m going to build an outdoor boiler. With any luck, be swimming in syrup by April.
It’ll be a good distraction. Give Manager a chance to do his thing. To boil down my supply of sappy writing and see if anything sweet emerges.