Wednesday, 10 March 2010

"Let me do you a favour.....

.....and take that pesky script off your hands. Wouldn't you like to see it all shiny on the tele? Wouldn't that be nice? Yes, that's right. Goooooood boy. Have a cookie."

Ok, so I exaggerate, but I saw this on this morning and just thought I'd share it with everyone:
I'm seeking a script in order to test out the Canon D5 Mk II. Any short film script considered but should likely be shot in or around London.. unless you want to drive us around yourself!
I will be revising and editing the completed footage myself. Everything is negotiable. We will share costs of production (pay for our own food etc. - I provide the camera!) You can buy me fish & chips though if you want.
This is a no payment venture but any future income can be shared. Hopefully, the thrill of making your script will be enough to start with.
If the above doesn't set the alarm bells off, let me explain why it should:

1) This person wants to "test" their camera on your script. That's the only reason they're interested. Then don't care about the story, the characters, YOU! They just want to show off their own abilities and nothing more.

2) The comment "I provide the camera" definitely seems to suggest that this person expects you to pay more than him. He seems to have forgotten that you've provided the script. He then seems to expect fish & chips, because he's "providing the camera."

3) He is also under the impression that the only thing a writer ever wants is to see their script made. Wrong! No, you're not going to get paid for a short film script, but payment is never "seeing something get made." It may be secretly, but officially, no!

It's obvious from this message that the director in question has no respect for writers or the work they do. Directors are not doing you a favour by taking the script off your hands. Neither are you doing them a favour by letting them use it. It's a mutual partnership - both equal, both important.

On another note, as a writer providing a script, you would usually have no say over where you park the damn car or what the director has for tea. This person is clearly looking for a producer who can provide a script. Failing that, they're looking for a skivvy. That's very different to a writer.

The bad news? This person will receive 10+ scripts from inexperienced writers. Some will believe his bullshit, but a few will know - just like me - exactly what he's doing. And not care. Had I seen this message a year ago, I'd have already sent a script off.

Just a little heads up for everyone out there. Know what you're doing and respect yourself! If people aren't prepared to respect the work you do, they're best left to their own little world.

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