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So It Begins . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Tuesday, October 09, 2007

As I mentioned awhile ago, my brother and I recently completed our second comedy screenplay - Monkey Business - and now it's time to see if we can do anything with the script beyond laughing at our own jokes.

Working inside a vacuum for six months can easily lead to a biased perspective. You might be creating drivel which you think is gold, and this is a very dangerous situation with no outside forces to slap you back into reality. But through a stroke of luck, a friend who knows an acquaintance working in the movie industry brokered an introduction which turned into a pitch meeting late last week.

Clear as mud?

The guy we were introduced to has offices in both Austin and Los Angeles, and has worked on films including "Grindhouse," "Sin City," "Red Planet," "The World is Not Enough" and many others. He has been on the effects side of the industry, however, he is ramping up to start producing and directing feature films in the next year or so.

Needless to say, my brother and I were excited to meet him and receive feedback from an outside source who might just tell us that we were roughly as amusing as a steel-toed kick to the groin.

Before anyone will actually read your script, a treatment is commonly required in advance to serve as a filter for their time. A treatment is typically around 7 - 12 pages, and contains common elements including a logline (2 - 3 sentences describing your film), themes, character descriptions and a synopsis which walks through the film by covering the story arc.

Until we were asked for a treatment for Monkey Business, we had forgotten the importance during the re-write of the actual script. So, in a rush job that consumed several days, I churned out our first treatment - clocking in at 13 pages - and sent it out prior to our meeting.

We met for coffee to discuss his impressions (a "dental appointment" excused me from my real job) and it was a positive meeting. He told us that he was "intrigued" by our idea, and that he felt "a lot of comedy could be mined from it." The discussion only lasted 30 minutes, but it felt like several hours as we discussed movies in general, and projects he'd work on in the past.

It ended by him requesting our full script for inspection, which was a victory unto itself.

So, we printed and bound the screenplay over the weekend, and it goes into the mail today. I'll give him a few weeks to digest it, and then I cannot wait to schedule another meeting for feedback on the actual product. Regardless, our first talk left us with two very encouraging take-aways:

1) Our "high concept" idea for this script does catch the eye
2) Our treatment is viable to send around as we try to catch the attention of anybody in the industry

Those are both very exciting developments, and next 6 months will be spent trying to get our script read by as many people in the film industry as possible. We'll see how this first contact works out, but at the very least, the initial response has been positive, and comes from an outside source who doesn't care if we sink or swim.

And that's a good feeling.



  1. Good for you and your brother. Hopefully all goes well and in a couple of years or so, you'll be at some club in Hollywood telling chicks "Hey baby, I'm a producer. I can make you a star" And not have that just be a cheesy line to get in her in the sack. Okay, its still a cheesy line used to get her in the sack, but maybe you could actually make her a star.

  2. JLee Says:
  3. You're on your way!! It's good to get that outside perspective to know you're on the right track. If this guy doesn't work out, there are many more opportunities...

  4. kismetic Says:
  5. congratulations! sounds like it's going to continue to be a long process, but as we learned from the fitness model saga, you're pretty fucking stubborn (in a good way?)

  6. WhatIgot - It would all be worth it to be able to utter that line at least a dozen times. Ha. But power corrupts . . . However, I'll take that chance.

    Jlee - Thanks a lot as chasing down opportunities is fun & interesting, and we'll keep our fingers crossed that this turns into something interesting.

  7. Kismetic - Missed you in Cyberspace, but I appreciate the sentiment. I think. Ha. Anyway, I think a certain amount of stubborness is the only way to bull through this world, but it's always a fine line I suppose.

  8. Wendy Says:
  9. I feel your pain and joy and wish you only the best. It's a long, hard fucking road. Which sounds nasty, but you know what I mean.

  10. Hey! Congrats and good luck. We can all look forward to saying... "we commented when he was writing that mega-blockbuster movie."

  11. Wendy - Thanks as I know you feel the pain, and I have no illusions that it will be anything other than a struggle. Ha. Let's hope we can both keep laughing along the way, eh?

    Anonymous Boxer - Thank you, and let's hope that story you tell happens sooner rather than later. Why not? I'd love to quit my day job for film.

  12. BostonPobble Says:
  13. Congratulations. Oh, $$...Congratulations. There should be more to this comment but I'm grinning too big to think of anything else.

  14. Miss Ash Says:
  15. Congrats on the hard work. So who would you want to be in your film if you could choose anyone at all?

  16. BostonPobble - I appreciate that very much, especially given your own published nature. Ha. It's only a very small step on a long road, but you never know. Right?

    Miss Ash - Good question. We actually discussed some casting choices during the meeting, and I threw out Luke Wilson for the main character, and John Turturro or Steve Buscemi for this strange yet compelling one. I also like Maria Bello for a part as well as Monica Bellucci (but that's just for my own personal reasons).

  17. thats awesome, man. I hope you too get the chance to quit your job for something less soul-sucking.

    Here's keeping the fingers crossed to you renaming your blog "20 million dollar productions"

  18. Stephanie Says:
  19. A similar process for writing a novel. Only, we usually work alone and we send that "treatment" (we call it a synopsis) to agents instead of meeting with H'wood types. Sometimes we do story pitches at conferences where editors and agents are present but usually we're on our own.

  20. Idig - Thanks & I hope you're right on all fronts. I'm not holding any real hope on the cash train, but I would really enjoy seeing a movie on the big screen one day. That would be cool.

    Stephanie - An agent would be very helpful in this endeavor too, and I will likely be looking for one to "grease the wheels" or something like that. The biggest trick for an outsider is simply getting your script read, especially if you're not living in L.A.

  21. vivavavoom Says:
  22. congrats! the hubby has written a few screenplays and it is tough just getting it to be seen by the right people. it can be a long process.hope you hear back soon.

  23. Good luck! I'm so happy everything went well with the first meeting. That's very encouraging. Everything will work out fine.

  24. Vivavavoom - I believe that completely, and I hope luck is with me. My feeling is that we're going to end up trying to make the movie with a guerrilla effort, which may or may not work out. We'll see.

    Trina - Thanks, and I hope you are right. Regardless, it's an interesting first step.


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