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Ian’s LA Diary, Friday March 6th – Producers request our clients’ scripts!

Ian’s LA Diary, Friday March 6th – Producers request our clients’ scripts!

We guarantee to pitch ALL our winners’ scripts to industry, and with two new competitions now open – the Sci-Fi and Fantasy Award 2020 and the Summer 2020 Screenwriting Contest – we already can’t wait to get more great scripts into the hands of top producers! To give you an idea of how we do that, we’ve been giving you an inside look at Ian’s LA Pitching Diary. Here’s the final instalment – featuring more conversations with key decision-makers and a request for scripts from our slate…


Late last night, as a result of other discussions and links made this week, Oscar-winning producers responded to the access we’d given them to the whole of our slate’s pitch documents, and asked to receive three of our winners’ scripts. Getting your script read by the people who really can, and know they might want to, make it happen: that’s the goal of nearly everything we do with our winners – so three requests in one is a great sign. Delighted to oblige: that’s why we’re here! We’ll enjoy hearing the producers’ thoughts and doing whatever we can to get a great deal and exposure for our clients for their excellent work.

So yes, that was definitely a good way to start the day.

Dolby Sign - Welcome to HollywoodNext up, after making new arrangements for the media assets of our film THE LIST which we’ve now inherited back from Warner Brothers after a decade of distribution there, this morning I met a key member of staff from one of the big feature film production companies, who have produced many successful, household name movies. We met because she had expressed an interest in working with us, and as we talked it over she asked to see all of our slate, potentially with a view to assembling funding and production packages like she has often done before, with notable success stories.

So naturally I was delighted to give her a look: these opportunities are what we’re here for!

Everything I’ve talked about this week is just the beginning of those conversations and the relationships and partnerships that can lead from all of our interactions throughout our decades working in the business. It’s a long game and you have to be committed to that in order to succeed. We’ve been playing that game for our clients for over 20 years: if we didn’t make that work, we wouldn’t still be here.

So yeah, things are shaping up really well for us and our winners at WriteMovies and TalentScout International Management right now. We’d love to make you a successful part of that journey too. Submit your script or book to WriteMovies to know that your project is being judged against the real needs, preferences and requests of the market, and that if we believe we can take you forward, we will get your pitch and script in front of people who are looking to make great things happen for projects like yours. Whatever level you’re at, whatever project you’ve got, we believe we can take you to the next level. And the next, and the next. That’s our calling as an organization. Let us help you to the top!

To submit to WriteMovies:

  • Enter one of our Screenwriting Contests, with entry from just $39
  • Buy one of our script report services to get expert, professional feedback on your work – and free entry to our current contest!
    • Studio Coverage will give you a page of comments similar to those producers and executives get
    • Development Notes offer a comprehensive analysis of your script, focusing on topics such as concept, structure, characters, and commercial viability
  • Get Elite Mentoring, either face-to-face or over the phone from industry professionals including writers, producers, and executives

Ian & Hollywood signAnd that’s a wrap for this first series of our L.A. diary! As you can imagine, behind the scenes there’s a lot more to our work than high-profile meetings and industry liaising – just this week of meetings alone occupied weeks of preparation for several of our team – and we can’t always make enough time to write a series of articles like this about those meetings either! But. As this week was so packed with interesting meetings to talk about, we wanted to share that with you to show you what we’re doing for all our winners and clients, and the value we can add for everyone who submits their work to us.

This is our daily work at WriteMovies. Taking you to the top, by whatever mix of means are the ones that will work. Keep us and our proven industry connections at the heart of your plans and goals for your work. Let’s make great things happen for you, together!

Good luck everybody. Looking forward to hearing from you.


See the rest of Ian’s diary here! Find out how he prepared for pitching on Monday HERE, and how he got on with meeting Shaun Redick (GET OUT, BLACKKKLANSMAN) and Yvette Yates of Impossible Dream Entertainment HERE! And find out about his trip to Warner Brothers and Digital Monarch Media HERE and to BAFTA Los Angeles HERE.

Ian’s LA Diary, Friday March 6th – Producers request our clients’ scripts!

Ian’s L.A. Diary, Thursday March 5th – BAFTA Los Angeles and Hollywood traditions!

Our Summer 2020 Screenwriting Contest is now LIVE! One of the big prizes for our top three scripts is pitching them to industry – and here’s a sneak peek into how we do just that. See the latest instalment of Ian’s LA Diary below, featuring a trip to BAFTA LA and a meeting with SCARFACE co-producer Peter Saphier…


Ian Kennedy and Wayne Watkins at BAFTA LAMy first meeting today was a first chance for me to meet BAFTA LA and get to know their services and initiatives first-hand. Our founder Alex Ross is a BAFTA member, and recommended I reach out to them about how we’re increasing both our presence on the ground in LA and our transatlantic partnerships with the UK industry at the same time. Good call.

So this morning I met BAFTA LA’s Head of Partnerships Wayne Watkins at their 12th floor office, with great views across LA in all directions, from the sea to the Hollywood Sign and far beyond. Wayne gave me nearly two hours of his time and was great company. It was really satisfying to hear about the value that BAFTA LA add to the whole industry in LA and its future talent pipeline, especially for outsiders and those who wouldn’t have had the chance to get into the industry there otherwise. I’m really looking forward to taking discussions forward and finding further synergies: thanks very much to Wayne for being so generous with his time and thinking.

So from there I moved to the famous Musso & Frank Grill – Hollywood’s oldest (established over a century ago!) and fresh from its latest big-screen appearance, in Tarantino’s ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD. There I was hosting Peter Saphier, the producer of SCARFACE (with Al Pacino), EDDIE MACON’S RUN (with Kirk Douglas) and BLACK DOG (with Patrick Swayze) among many other achievements. Peter passed on traditions of visiting Musso’s and what to order, which he had inherited from the passing generation of filmmakers who first brought him here, and which I will now continue and pass on too – such as the tradition of ordering their excellent Flannel Cakes. It was also one of the best-value meals I’ve had in LA, and a beautiful venue. What’s not to like?

Ian Kennedy and Peter Saphier

It was fascinating to hear Peter’s stories about oldtime stars of the postwar years and subsequent decades. His stories from SCARFACE were particularly eye-opening – and made me all the more aware that sometimes we have to take big creative and reputational risks in order to achieve works that will really break through and resonate down the generations. In that spirit we both later began to talk about our own current slates and consultancy services, and it was great to be able to share some industry insights and approaches that can help even someone at his experience level (transatlantic industry knowledge again!).

Peter also offered to host a lunch for our winners in Hollywood in the future, like he and Alex used to do for them at Warner Brothers – an offer I’ll be delighted to take up. It’s another great example of the kind of industry access and expertise we aim to open up for all our winners at WriteMovies, and anyone else who we come to partner with.

After lunch with Peter discussing about a wide and very enjoyable range of subjects, we got into a final conversation about the filming equipment I’ve been walking round with lately, to be able to film and photograph at instant industry quality wherever I go: the audio recorder, monopod and 4K DSLR camera I walk around with, to be able to shoot spontaneous useable footage, audio and stills at a few moments’ notice. I explained that the DSLR had already recorded tens of hours of primetime UK series, produced by a Director-Producer-DP friend of mine. It’s remarkable how far our technology and potential has come, in the space of our careers, and it’s fun to be able to show an experienced hand like Peter something new!

HollywoodThe DSLR came to good use straight after the meeting with Peter too, because I stepped out of Musso and Frank’s straight onto the Hollywood Walk of Fame. As I ambled back, I took dozens of new stills of the famous names there in the space of a few minutes, which can help to illustrate our future WriteMovies articles for many years to come. Though I can’t say the nameplates themselves are all that exciting, they’re a great token of how the work of Hollywood is kept alive and gets to resonate down the ages like so few other works.

 

I only photographed the names that meant the most to me, and maybe half of those were for stars who died before I was even born. Truly, great cinema is a global gift for the ages. My meetings this week have really invigorated me with that sense of purpose once again: to continue to champion great global storytelling through WriteMovies. It’s a great position to hold in the industry.

And something else amused me too. At one crossroads on Hollywood Boulevard, the Walk of Fame comes to an end while the Boulevard continues on ahead. Once you cross the road and continue along Hollywood Boulevard, straight away, the next sidewalk is just a messy patchwork, without pretences or tourist traps, yet still at the heart of the action. Yeah, there’s a metaphor in there somewhere.

My last meeting of the day was with the creator of an online LA industry network that now has over 30,000 members. I don’t think there will ever be over 30,000 stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, but considering the length of the credits on any major movie, there’s definitely enough work to be had supporting the ones who do get one. It’s great to know that so many established industry players we’ve met this week can recognize the difference we try to make for those writers and storytellers looking to move up to the next rung in their own journey in the industry, wherever they’re starting from.

I, and our founder Alex, both got separate emails from Peter after my meeting with him, telling us hugely complementary things about how the meeting with me had gone. I replied that if I could print and frame an email, that would be the one! Moments like that make all the hard work worthwhile…

NEXT TIME, IN FRIDAY’S L.A. DIARY… Producers of many huge movies look at ALL of our slate and clients!


If you’d like to see more of Ian’s diary, you can check out how he prepared for pitching on Monday HERE and how his meeting went with Shaun Redick (GET OUT, BLACKKKLANSMAN) and Yvette Yates of Impossible Dream Entertainment HERE! And find out about his trip to Warner Brothers and Digital Monarch Media HERE.

Summer 2020 Screenwriting Contest now OPEN!

Summer 2020 Screenwriting Contest now OPEN!

As the impact of Coronavirus sweeps across the globe, we’ve reshaped our packages to give the best possible support to writers, whatever challenges they’re facing right now – and we’ve opened a new Grand Prize contest early. The Summer 2020 Screenwriting Contest is now OPEN, with new offers to help writers out!

We’ve got all the usual prizes on offer, but we’re also offering a special discount on repeat submissions for our script reports – so if you buy a second script report from us, you’ll receive a $10 discount, and if you buy a third, the discount goes up to $20! That means you can get Studio Coverage for your third script for as little as $79, or Development Notes for as little as $129!

And that’s not all. After you receive your report from us, you can resubmit the same script FREE OF CHARGE until the end of the contest!

That’s on top of all the great prizes on offer. We offer a Grand Prize of $2000, and the top three scripts all receive a year of free script development and we GUARANTEE to pitch them to industry too! With recent meetings with the likes of BAFTA and the producers of the films SCARFACE, GET OUT and BLACKKKLANSMAN, we can get your script into the hands of top decision-makers who can make things happen.

Keep an eye out too for our next genre award, which launches next week – the Sci-Fi and Fantasy Award 2020. But for now, make sure you submit to the Summer 2020 Screenwriting Contest for the chance to win big and get your script out there – click here to enter now!

Ian’s L.A. Diary, Wednesday March 4th – Warner Bros. and groundbreaking VFX!

Ian’s L.A. Diary, Wednesday March 4th – Warner Bros. and groundbreaking VFX!

The coronavirus crisis is making life hard for everyone right now – today, all Californians were ordered today to stay home. Here at WriteMovies, though, it’s business as usual thanks to an established business model we developed several years ago, enabling us to continue our work around the world from our own homes where necessary! We’ve got big plans coming up to help support our followers and clients during this pandemic, too – we’ll be telling you more about that next week…

But before that, we promised to share a week of Ian’s L.A. Diary from the beginning of March – and here’s Part 3! We GUARANTEE to get our winners’ scripts in front of top producers with the power to say yes and make things happen, and this sneak peek gives you an idea how. Here’s what Ian got up to on Wednesday March 4th…


So today I had two long crosstown trips to make. First was to Warner Brothers, where I had to check and collect the movie assets they had distributed for a decade from the film WriteMovies produced in 2006 – THE LIST. It’ll be really exciting to open new doors for one of our greatest success stories – a charming New York rom-com written by our winner Marcus Folmar and starring Wayne Brady, Sydney Tamia Poitier and Jane Lynch among others – but at this moment the focus was purely on the nuts and bolts: cross-checking the inventory, ensuring all the assets are present and indexed and in good condition, packed and ready for shipping.

Warner Bros sign

Visiting the media archive at Warner Bros!

I took my time to check that all of the details were right, because you can’t expect to be able to go back after the fact, to argue that something should have been there but wasn’t. I videoed the contents of the pack and inventory too, in case we ever need that for reference. Some things you only ever get one chance to do right, and this was one. Thanks to WB staff for their help throughout the process! As you can imagine, their media archive is a vast and (as far as I could tell at this point!) meticulously indexed warehouse facility, and was a fascinating place to visit and spend time.

So, one big box heavier, I set off from Burbank to Marina Del Rey, an hour away, to meet double Oscar-nominated and double BAFTA-winning VFX expert Habib Zargarpour (THE JUNGLE BOOK, BLADE RUNNER 2049, and much much more including Tom Hanks’ imminent GREYHOUND). Habib is now Head of Film Development at Digital Monarch Media, a division of Unity Technologies, and welcomed me to meet his groundbreaking team managing film for a company within Unity Technologies. I spent time getting to know the team, and catching up about the latest filming for THE SQUADRON (directed by Habib and produced by our founder Alex Ross).

Ian (right) getting to grips with amazing real-time VFX capture equipment, with Habib Zargarpour (left) and his colleagues at Head of Film Development at Digital Monarch Media, a division of Unity Technologies.

Then they took me along as a visitor to a demo they were doing for a fascinating film school, who it was great to meet and get to know as well. Then we all came back to the company office where Habib and his team showed how their latest equipment enables directors to generate – and customize – their VFX in real time. This technique proved extremely effective when they produced the VFX for THE JUNGLE BOOK live-action/CGI remake and we look forward to sharing much more about their unique work and tools with you in future. In the meantime, massive thanks to Habib for his team’s hospitality and help with our media assets from Warner Bros!

Next, another lengthy cross-town trip later, I liaised with further candidates for the new role we’re looking to add to our team, and caught up on emails – with so many exciting meetings happening, it’s vital to follow up what’s been agreed and discussed thoroughly. Emails are important to confirm them and start to make things happen and take industry interest in us to the next level every time: vital details are easily missed or forgotten in the rush of other work if not, and could come back to bite you if you can’t show a trail of substantive evidencing for them. And meanwhile, not forget to check in for the next meetings and confirm any extra details.

The logistics of a week like this in LA are vital to its success, and agreeing the wrong number of meetings or times that don’t work with each other can undo all your good work getting this far.

NEXT TIME, IN THURSDAY’S L.A. DIARY… BAFTA LA, and Hollywood traditions with an iconic film role producer!


Want to see more of Ian’s diary? Check out how he prepared for pitching on Monday HERE and how his meeting went with Shaun Redick (GET OUT, BLACKKKLANSMAN) and Yvette Yates of Impossible Dream Entertainment HERE!