Friday, May 18, 2007

And Then, The Crunch

Did I say June was going to be a bear? Man, was I getting ahead of myself. Getting to June is going to be an ordeal in and of itself.

Last week a small press publisher asked for some brief pitches--springboards, I believe is the generally accepted term, though I've started calling them logline pitches, a title, a H'wood "X meets Y" description, fifty words or less on the story (which I generally use to establish how what I'm talking about is different from X and Y.) Slammed together six of these things during breaks on scripting stuff for UP1, sent them off.

Got a response from the publisher yesterday: "These are all REALLY good." Which was nice to hear; at this point my ego is sufficiently swelled that I'm generally reasonably confident that, at worst, I won't look completely incompetent, even if I miss the boat in terms of what people are looking for. But positive feedback is always nice.

He especially liked two, had something similar going to one of the two already, so we settled on the other. Having done this, I stopped and actually gave the thing some thought, and decided that yes, this is something I could see myself doing even if I wasn't being supplied (as I am in this case) with an artist, a publishing deal, a nominal payment on completion and a 50% stake in the property.

On that last--I've frequently railed against small press publishers whose business plan revolves around something other than, well, publishing comics. I still think it's a dodgy way to deal with things. That said, I've got to live in the real world, here. I'm not averse to sharing ownership of a property, even with someone who doesn't have the connections in other media this guy does, I'm not even averse to losing control of a property, as I will with this one. It's all a question of whether what I'm getting (or, more frequently it must be admitted, supposed to be getting) from my prospective publishing partner is enough to make it worth the loss on my part.

For an idea that wouldn't exist without this publisher's asking for ideas last week, which I'm now excited about writing this week, getting an artist I don't have to find myself, a publishing deal, a nominal payment prior to publication and 50% of the property (along with the publisher's higher-powered than my manager agent repping it in The 'Wood) is worth it. And now I've got 84 or so pages of script to get to work on, in addition to everything else.

Speaking of everything else, I also got an offer for some paid rewriting work on an old script of mine this morning. Money would be good (good as in nice to have, not sure of how many changes are required to make the judgment on whether the pay is good), but the work comes with what might be an uncomfortably impending deadline. I'm waiting for the exact details on that, because I don't want to sign up and then leave someone in the lurch, but, as I've got a terminal case of Freelancers Disease, the primary symptom of which is an inability to say no to work that pays actual money, no matter how little the money or hard the work--I suspect I'll have that added to the 12-page script I'm hoping to have a first draft of this weekend and the revision to the 15-pager for UP1 in short order.

And that's assuming She Who Must Be Impressed is unimpressed with my proposals. If that gets tossed in...well, you might not be hearing a lot from me in the near future. And that would be a good thing (for me. It'd suck for you, of course.)

And while I was typing that, the details on the rewrite have come in and I've accepted that work (the deadline really wasn't nearly as onerous as it had been made out to be) AND a difficult situation seems to finally be resolved. One nod from the lawyer and after six hard months, I'll be able to start breathing normally again.


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