Tuesday, August 22, 2006


Okay I just got the first feedback on a project that went out 4 or 5 weeks ago. This is the one I've actually written the pilot Ep for.

I had a meeting with this prodco. They'd read the bible and asked if there was a script. I said there was and they asked that I get it to them ASAP. I did. 5 weeks ago.

And the feedback is .............'' I really enjoyed the read but it's not for us at this time. Please ask David to keep in touch''


Not exactly a ringing endorsement and not exactly helpful.

But here's the thing. It isn't their job to endorse or be helpful. Sure I would have liked some kind of critique, maybe even a reason as to why it wasn't for them at this time.

But that's not their job.

Sure, it is puzzling how they couldn't tell from the bible if it wasn't for them at this time. And it would be nice to have that answered.

But that's not their job.

The truth of the matter is that there are many reasons why it may not be for them at this time. Too similar to something else on their slate. Budget issues. Crap writing. Who knows? And for the last time, it is not their job to tell you. They have a slate full of projects that they are moving on. Why should they waste precious time and energy on something they are most certainly NOT moving on?

Some producers are different and will give you a pretty detailed critique of a project and reasons for passing. But I never ''expect'' that.

Though I may have a preference for sending material first to those types of producers. It's Quid Pro Quo. They get a first look and even if they pass I get feedback on possible problems before it goes out to others.

Anyhoo, I should be hearing back from my agents on 'Project X' shortly. It is unlikely that the producer above will be in the first wave of recipients when it goes out. Don't get me wrong, there is nothing whatsoever spiteful or petty in that decision. It is common sense. You generally only get one shot with a project. The more you can maximise your feedback and correct perceived story or structural problems accordingly the more chance there is of it hitting a sweet spot further down the line.

But it does put producers who put time and effort into a rejection at an advantage over those who don't because projects tend to go to them first.

Quick update on Project X, my agents just called as I was writing this. They like it. It's different, unusual even, but they are happy to go out with it. More so if I storyline six episodes.

Looks like I'm storylining six episodes.


susiesoap said...

Gutted for you over Pilot Project. It's a rotten old business...
But at least storylining six episodes for Project X will take your mind off the disappointment. Emily Mortimer says her father is her inspiration "Because he taught me work is the best defence against depression." And John's done all right with his writing, so he must be on to something.

English Dave said...

Thanks Susie. But truth be told passes like that honestly don't bother me. It's par for the course.

Fortunately I have a few producers who do give much more detailed feedback. Unfortunately that also tends to make them the slowest to reply!

susiesoap said...

Glad to hear it Dave. Think it's the mark of the pro writer to be able to take feedback, and benefit from it, rather than howling in the corner "It jus not fair."

English Dave said...

Ah but if she had said 'The writing stinks like a six week corpse'
I would be down there with my Tazer.