I’m Still My Own Best Manager

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een almost a year now. A year since I first got the call that set me on this course. When Script #1 landed in Manager’s hands and he called me up. I haven’t sent another query letter since.

It’s been almost a year and a lot’s happened. Slightly less than Manager optimistically forecast would happen. But still quite a lot. In theory.

Until the option agreement for Script #1 is signed, this is all still just theory as far as I’m concerned. All of it.

What remains fact is that bit about me not having sent a query letter in almost a year.

We’ll handle that from now on, is what Manager told me.

At the time, I didn’t think to explore that process in more detail with him. I was just excited at the prospect.

A few weeks ago I found myself talking to a production company exec. Nothing to do with my writing. Until the subject came up. The subject of what kind of scripts they were looking for. Like reflex, I pitched her a script from my arsenal (Script #3).

She loved the pitch. Wanted to read it right away. Had an A-list actor she wanted to take it to.

Hm. Here’s a situation… I just a got read request from a prod co without Manager’s help. Yet, in theory, he is my Manager. Though in practice – in nearly a year – he has yet to have fulfilled much of this role. So… Do I notify him of the read request?

I decided I should. It seemed like the good-faith move. Not to say I didn’t weigh the pros and cons.

Operating under the assumption that the exec would love the script as much as the pitch, the reasoning was, Manager’s guidance would be of value to me if I was presented with an option deal on Script #3. Whereas all I had to gain by cutting him out was his 10% commission and a potentially touchy phone call to explain myself.

So before sending the script, I sent Manager an email about my exciting pitch to the production exec. Manager hadn’t even read Script #3 yet. Maybe there was a chance he could fit in a read over the weekend. Give me some quick feedback.

Waited a week.

Heard nothing.

Nothing. He acknowledged another portion of my email, so I know he got it, but nothing about my exciting read request.

Finally I couldn’t hold out on the exec any longer so I sent the script.

Same thing just happened again the other day. Different production company. Brand new script. Script #4. Excited production exec requesting a read.

Ask me if I even bothered letting Manager know.

Not this time.

It’s been almost a year since I first got the call. And a lot’s happened. Sort of. In theory.

What’s fact is that in that year I’ve written three new scripts. Manager’s done nothing to disseminate any of them. Has, in fact, only even read one.

And I get why. I hope that I get why. It’s because I’m still a nobody in this industry. Manager isn’t a mass emailing service. He’s not gonna just turn everything I write out to his Rolodex of Hollywood buddies. He’s gotta wait til I’m starting to look like a somebody. He’s gotta wait til Script #1 becomes Movie #1.

I get that.

That and that I’m barely even a blip on his radar. He’s got a dozen irons in the fire. I’ve just got this one.

Which is why it’s hard to put aside what I’ve spent years doing. Being my own manager. Seizing every opportunity.

I shouldn’t hold it against Manager. He’s playing the game he’s been taught. But if either of those execs comes back excited about either Script #3 or Script #4… Then that 10% commission is staying right with me for just a little bit longer.

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