Sunday, April 24, 2011

Dollar option deal about to go down....

I'm going to make a confession: I've been off my screenwriting game big-time for about six months now. A combination of getting work done on the house, job disruption and a new day job that eats my brain has meant that my focus has not always been what he should. Plus, I've been a lazy procrastinator who's spent far too much time websurfing, watching telly and going out.

But that's all over now. The real me, the one who loves movies and is determined to write movies that get made, is back. It's time to roll up my sleeves and make the dream happen!

Had a good start on Thursday this week when I got an email from a lady producer in Hollywood. She saw one of my scripts on Inktip. It's a low-budget Christmas family script that I always imagined getting made for TV. Producer lady likes the script and wants to option it for a dollar.

I thought about this for approximately ten seconds and then said yes. It's not like I have a ton of other people beating down my door, after all. A dollar option is definitely better than none at all. Option away!

I checked my mails on Friday morning and found that producer lady wanted to speak to me on Skype. At 10am PST, which is around 6pm here. This would have been fine except for two issues. First, my Mac laptop has an operating system from the Dark Ages and will not support Skype. Second, my folks have a holiday house in Kinvara, and I was due to join them there for part of the weekend. Kinvara is a lovely spot, but it's not known for its great mobile phone signal (you used to have to go upstairs and practically hang out of the window to make a call). I didn't have high hopes for its wifi signal.

My sister lent me her laptop to make the call from. Thanks O! Then my dad did some scouting in Kinvara and told me when I got down there that the Merriman Hotel has wifi. I trundled up to the Merriman at six and found I had two location options: the lobby (bit public) and the dining room, which was deserted apart from a guy looking at Youtube videos, two old ladies having tea and a German man who kept talking loudly to a waiter. Dining room it was.

The only problem were the staff, who (somewhat reasonably) wanted us all to shag off so they could start setting the place up for the dinner rush. They were not at all impressed at the dollar option deal about to take place in front of them and hovered in the background, wielding cutlery and salt cellars.

Lady producer called at five past six and a shouty Skype conversation ensued. I can't see her (laptop has no camera) but I imagined her firing up a cigar in a huge office.

She loves the script. Doesn't option much stuff but needs a family Christmas movie to make quickly. No time for script revisions or development (great! Recent experience has put me off these). She'll get her people to email over an option agreement. Wants to know if I have anything else. I have a thriller. She'll read a synopsis for it.

Then she asked what time it was in Ireland. Asked how I pronounced my name and I told her ("Jeez, I would've butchered that"). And that was it!

I've been down this road before and been disappointed, so I'm not going to get too excited yet. But still, progress! Thanks dining staff and thanks family, for helping me in my hour of need. I'll mention y'all in the Oscar speech, etc...

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