Thursday, 7 April 2011

Confessions of a Writer: the Truths 'They' Wont Tell

Here we are again... Just you and me. Same kind of moon same kind of jungle. In Confessions of a film scribe and author I touched upon sequels and critics. Moving swiftly on to part two, I will use the word F*ck several times, with a little asterix (*) cute eh? Arguably it could be because I have poor vocabulary or it maybe that I'm just trying highlight the point. The following is a basic possibly crude overview.

So here it goes... You send your work to a publishing house or your script to a production company... If you're even lucky enough to get a response it'll most likely say, "we don't accept unsolicited material." Do you know what it means? As the late, great, Brian Glover said in Alien 3, "YOU'RE F*CKED."

Well almost, this can mean an array of different things, usually it means that they did not ask to see you specifically, or you didn't follow their 'method' of submitting information or they do not accept anything sent unless it was sent by a professional literary agent or it means simply they're just not interested and the list goes on and on. These guys have thousands of enquiries, someone has to read them all (or not) so they want to weed out as many as possible.

Now agents, god bless them, can be a money pit, also they usually are not interested unless their is a company interested in you. Yeap, that's right, you can't get agent unless there's someone interested in your work and you can't get someone interested in your work unless you have an agent. It's a catch-22 situation. As time goes on you'll harden to rejection and you'll realise it's not what you know but who you know. It's not necessarily the quality of your work is either.

What you have to remember is that the aforementioned are all in it to make money, it's a business and business is hard. It not necessarily the creativeness of your work or even that they do or don't believe in it. They want sure things. Whether it's film, books or music it's all the same. There's a reason that you can almost link people in a kind of Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon way. Dig deep and you'll be shocked. That said, there are some decent attentive agents out there and companies, but you'll no doubt find that they have a small client list. 

The thing is no one wants to hear the truth and it grates me when people use the words "I sincerely mean that." Twitter and Facebook is prime for that. It feel like it's an admission at times that what they usually says isn't sincere. And that is only because it usually wasn't.  People want lots of followers, ask yourself why? People will only be interested if they are interested. It's unlikely their friends will be interested either or they'd already be following you. I'd rather have 2 solid followers than 500 or 10,000 that,"don't give a damn."  to quote Clark Gable. 

Am I going to be honest and talk about myself and plug my work on social sites? Yes. Why else would people follow, they are interested in you and your work. But never send a cold blanket email or randomly entice people to follow you only then to tell them about your latest script. And if you've got an idea for a book or script go and write it, there's nothing worse than someone saying, "Oh I've got an idea for a..." The only exception possibly, would be if you know the person well and you'd want to work together.

Now there is hope... I'm not trying to shatter anyone's dreams. Remember this is free advice. You can sell-out an go and kiss ass, you may get lucky, you'd be surprised how many people are just rubbing egos, playing the system. But I wasn't built that way. Like in a Serpico way - I have to stay true, if that costs me jobs then so be it, but I'll keep my integrity,

You'll hear folk say 'them' and 'they', well who are them and they? Find out how it works, find out the process.  Or do it old school and start at the bottom and work your way up and if all else fails do it for yourself. There are many people I know who are inspirational, some indie-filmakers and the like are making it happen with people that believe in them, not just in the system. But they believe in the business and the business to entertain. Instead of being spoon-fed by bland soulless manufactured entertainment.

I'll leave you with a nice inspirational quote and the one I like best. It was said by Cilla Black and that was, "believe in yourself and keep plugging."

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