Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Spec scripts and things that quietly went away.

I was slightly startled early in the new year to have a meeting with a development exec who told me she'd looked up my website and read my sitcom script sample 'Romey Loves Jools'. Startled, because a) I sort of forgot I had a website, and b) I wrote 'Romey Loves Jools' at least ten years ago, so I have no idea if it's in any way representative of my current work. I'm still very fond of it, I just have no idea if that's my 'voice' any more. Also it's only the first twelve pages, I should really put the whole thing up there. Or delete it entirely.

But it did make me think I should maybe put up something more current.The problem is of course you can't put anything too new up, because it might still be up for grabs, and execs hate being more than the third or fourth person to read a script, which is fair enough.

So I've put up one spec* sitcom script, which is dear to my heart, as it's about LARPing, but I'm going to have to accept that the look most comedy producers give me when I get all excited about a show in which 'people with social problems dress up as wizards and elves and fight each other in the woods with rubber swords' is probably not a positive one, and release it into the wild. It's called 'FELLOWSHIP OF THE WRONG'

The other script was developed with the lovely lovely people at Carnival Films, who after hitting gold with 'Downton Abbey' thought they could develop my idea about a failed superhero who ends up working in a gated community filled with (he discovers) reformed, or at least 'pretending to be reformed' supervillains, into something NBC might like.

Unfortunately, the relevant people at NBC kept wandering off, or dying, or regenerating into newer, less-interested people, and in the end we pulled the plug. But I'm still very fond of it, and it's up now and called 'HOLDING OUT FOR A HERO'

* A spec, or 'speculative' script being a non-commissioned or unsolicited screenplay. Upside: you can write about absolutely anything you want. Downside: it is entirely unpaid writing work, although you write in hopes someone will be interested enough to pay you something at some point, or (more likely, although still not *that* likely), it will interest some producer or development exec enough to lead to paid work elsewhere.

3 comments:

Steve said...

And you can always turn an original spec script into a novel.

Bob said...

Have these comedy producers not seen Role Models?

James Henry said...

Steve: Mayyyyyyyybe, but they feel more telly-y, to be honest.

Bob: I don't think people in comedy actually 'watch' films and that, sadly.