Tuesday, November 27, 2007


Anonymous has asked (on the Will Producers Turn To UK Writers post:

I'm wondering why your assumedly British project 'Hero Trip' has had to be put on hold? What's the US strike connection?

Well Hero Trip is technically a British project, and more so after the UK Film Council got involved in the funding, but it's set in the States, is deliberately American in flavour (I decided that if a big cigar chewing US producer read it and even suspected it had been written by a British writer, I would have failed) and is sufficiently big budget that it would need US involvement were it ever to get off the ground.

The script has been passed along to all the big UK producers, and has got a positive response from most of them (offers of meetings, rewrite work and so on), which has been gratifying and lovely, but it's just too big a project for a British company to take on all on their own, which is as I suspected. It was worth taking the longer route though, partly because the Film Council are keen on getting as much British involvement as possible, because that's their remit, but also because if it were to be placed with a british producer I would have more involvement with the project. If Hero Trip goes to an American studio, I can probably wave goodbye to it at a fairly early stage

However, one of the British producers was kind enough to pass the script along to their big parent company in the States, jump-starting Phase Two of the operation. This company make films that cost quite large sums of money, and don't necessarily have the vapours when reading scripts that have descriptions like 'EXT. EDGE OF SPACE - EARLY MORNING', which is handy.

Unfortunately, the script was passed along on the Friday afternoon, the WGA strike starting on the Monday. As I stated in the original post, I'm not a member of the WGA, so technically there should be no barrier to the script going further. However, I am in complete agreement with the issues the WGA are striking over, so witholding my script is one way of giving them my support, paltry and limited though it may be. In fact they'll probably never know about it, but I will, and that's the important thing.

There's also the issue that eventually, were I to start working in the States, I'd need to join the WGA, something I couldn't do with a clear conscience had I tried to profit from the the strike by sneaking my own work in under the wire. Basically, I would Like To Work Again.

It's in my own interests in another way as well: if the WGA get a better deal, and Hero Trip were then to go through, I could then benefit from whatever online deal they've negotiated. Note that I'm talking with a couple of people about working on two specifically UK-based film projects at the moment though - that's not a problem, as US writers wouldn't be involved anyway.

Also, I know of at least one US writer who's chosen to postpone a British-based writing project for the duration of the strike, so it's working both ways.

Did that make sense? Either way, Marc Andreessen has written an extremely interesting article about the film and television industry shifting over to multiple companies specialising in creator-owned content along the lines of the computer industry, which is well worth a read.

Rebuilding Hollywood in Silicon Valley's image

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Cheers for the explanation.