Today is the first day of May. It is very, very nice outside. All the green is returning and flowers are blooming and the days are getting warmer. And, on top of all that, I’m receiving emails asking about the film/TV rights for my new collection, Nobody Gets Hurt and Other Lies. And from a very reputable company, to boot. Chances are, you’ve seen their handiwork.
This is exciting, while also not being that exciting. Let’s discuss!
Having something you’ve written be optioned for either a film or a television show is pretty wild, no doubt. I mean, holy cow, I am just happy knowing that at least somebody is reading the damn work. To be read, that’s the thing, right?
But . . . film and television, well, that’s a whole other ballgame. You think getting reviews on Amazon is stressful? Get involved in studio production. Bring medication (your choice!), because that is a bumpy ride, at best.
And, honestly, it may not even end up being any kind of ride, at all. Unless there is a contract or, more importantly, an exchange of monies, then inquiries like these are just good employees doing their job. Researching and acquiring material is a day-in, day-out activity for any production office. And I should know, because I used to have one of those jobs.
I read screenplays and treatments and ARCs for a good chunk of my time in Los Angeles. Go into any representation or production office and marvel at the stacks of material cluttering every employee’s desk. If you are lucky, and you work in a busy enough office, then chances are there exists entire floor-to-ceiling bookshelves that are just jam-packed with screenplays, some very old and some very new.
Options and buyouts happen every single day, but that doesn’t mean the material becomes a film or television show. An option or a purchase just means those rights now belong to someone with an invested interest in your property. If said person is smart, they didn’t invest too much, because now they have to try and get other people interested in investing, as well, because this type of media is super duper expensive. Often, an option or a purchase will happen and then . . . nothing.
I had an option on a screenplay. I even hammered out about a solid year’s worth of re-writes. That project is now buried in a shallow grave off the 101 Freeway. I even wrote (and got paid for) a second screenplay and that one is, technically, still in development. It has been in “development” for over 10 years! Pretty soon, it’ll roll through puberty and I can teach it to drive.
Which is to say . . . exciting, but not that exciting.
I compartmentalize news like this with a truckload of salt. Pack it in real good and tight! It’s gonna be a loooooong winter.
Yet . . . having a major talent management/production company contact you regarding the rights to your work, well, that’s not a bad way to kick off a new month.
However, just like all the pretty flowers outside, enjoy it while you can.