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SYS Podcast Episode 166: Academy Award Winning Producer Tony Bill Talks About How He Finds Screenplays To Produce (transcript)

This is a transcript of SYS Podcast Episode 166: Academy Award Winning Producer Tony Bill Talks About How He Finds Screenplays To Produce.


 

 

Ashley:  Welcome to episode #166 of the “Selling Your Screenplay Podcast.” I’m Ashley Scott Meyers Screenwriter and blogger over at – www.sellingyourscreenplay.com. Today, I’m interviewing producer, Tony-Bill, he’s had a long successful career. Which includes winning a, “Best Picture Academy Award” for, “The Sting.” We talk about his whole career, which includes his current projects and how he finds screenplays to option and produce. It’s a great insight to the thought process of a successful working producer. So, stay tuned for that.

If you find this episode valuable please help me out by giving me a review in ITunes. Or leaving a comment on YouTube, or retweeting the Podcast on Twitter. Or liking us on Facebook. These social media shares really do help spread word about the Podcast and are very much appreciated.

And websites or links that I mention in the Podcast can be found on my blog in the show notes. I also publish a transcript with each episode. In case you would rather read the show or look up something else up later-on. Just go to – www.sellingyourscreenplay.com/podcast, and look for episode #166.

If you would like my free guide, “How to Sell Your Screenplay in 5 Weeks?” You can pick that up by going to – www.sellingyourscreenplay.com/guide. It’s completely free, you just put in your Email address and I’ll send you a new lesson, once a week for 5 weeks. Along with a bunch of free bonus lessons. I teach the whole process of how to sell your screenplay in that guide. How to write a professional log-line and quarry letter. How to find agents, managers and producers who are looking for new material. It really is everything you need to know to sell your screenplay. Just go to – www.sellingyourscreenplay.com/guide.

So, now let’s get into the main segment. Today I’m interviewing, Producer, Tony-Bill. Here is the interview.

 

[01:48]

 

Ashley:  Welcome Tony to, the “Selling Your Screenplay Podcast. I really appreciate you coming on the show and talking with me today.

 

Tony:  Thank you, it’s good to be here.

 

Ashley:  To start out, maybe you can tell us a little bit about your background? Where did you grow-up, and how did you get interested in the entertainment business?

 

Tony:  Well, I grew-up in San Diego. I was not interested in the movie business. I was interested in movies in particularly. But, I went to college. And majored in English, and Art, and kinda minored in Music. And so, I had kind of like the peripheral interest that the movie business engenders. And to make a long story short, right after I got out of college. I acted in college for fun. I came to L.A. to see if I could get a job acting for pay. And the only job I got was starring in a movie. And so, by 3 months out of college, I was in the movie business.

Ashley:  Okay, okay.

 

Tony:  So I got interested in the movie business by being in it.

 

Ashley:  Okay, so what do you attribute your success that sounds a lot of actors come pouring into Hollywood in, and don’t have that kind of success. What was the difference, why were you able to get some of these first acting jobs?

 

Tony:  Well, for the same reason most actors get jobs. You’re the right person, for the right part.

 

Ashley:  I see. Let’s talk about then, your transition from actor to producer. At what point during your acting career did you decide you wanted to start producing? What were the first steps to becoming a producer?

 

Tony:  Well, almost immediately I was comfortable being a movie star and being and actor in the movie business. And so, I kind of tried my ideas out on different people. And among them, was but York and Norman Lear, who wrote, produced and directed my first movie that I was on. Was, “Come Blow Your Horn.” And they encouraged me, they said, “Listen, you know, you’re a guy just up out of college. We’d love to hear what your thoughts are, about the kinds of movies we might want to make?” And that led to my giving them a book that I thought would make a great movie, called, “The Graduate.” And giving Liza Minnelli a book I thought would make a good movie, called, “The Sterile Cookoo.” Who, in Francis Ford Coppola, who’s a friend of mine, who was struggling at the time. The book, “You’re a Big Boy Now.” Became his first movie. So, I saw that my instincts might be worth pursuing myself, not just doing for other people.

 

Ashley:  And were you just reading a ton of books and just reading scripts, reading books. How did you even come in contact with some of this material? Well, I was an English major, I was interested in reading. And as a reader I was interested in books. And then as a book reader I was interested in new books. And so, those were all first novels. And I also became interested in this screenplay. So, as a form because I’m interested in a freshness, and so, as it turned out the movies I’ve made have all almost all have been from original screenplays. And almost all from first time writers. So, I’m interested in the new and I’m interested in the fresh, and the original, and the raw center of the word. So, I’m interested in the stuff I haven’t seen before. Not stuff that follows in the footsteps of other movies.

 

Ashley:  Sure, sure. So, let’s talk about some of these first producing credits. And maybe you can kinda tell us a little bit about how you came in contact with this script? And in

IMDb “Deadhead Miles” by Terrence Mallard, is one of your first credits. How did you get involved with that project? And how did you find the script, what was it about that script.

Just exactly what you said, just doing stuff that is fresh and original.

 

Tony:  Yeah. Well, I didn’t find the script that commissioned it. I had met Carrie when he was a student at the American Film Institute, and we hit it off. So, we became friends, good friends. And I had another friend, a sailing friend, that I sailed a lot with.

 

Who became head of Warner Bros. John Kallie. And so, one day I said to John, John said, “Hey listen, come over to warner brothers and develop some material for us.” Because he knew me through sailing, and through working with as an actor in a movie. He kinda knew what my thoughts were paid for. And he responded to them. And said, “Come on over here, see what you want to do.” And I said, “What if I don’t want to do. What I want to do is, develop a movie about the world of big rig truck driving.” The whole world of country western music, truck driving. The men who spend their lives on the road, in trucks. And so, I have this friend named Carrie Mallach who could write. He’s never written a screenplay before. But I think he can do it. And so, John said, okay, let’s hire him to do it. So, Warner Bros. Paid a small fee, you know, the Screenwriters Guild minimum, hired Carrie. And I hired Carrie to write a script. And that became

“Dead Head Miles.”

 

Ashley:  And just where did you get the original idea for that? How were you exposed to those ideas?

 

Tony:  The idea, was my own case. I was interested in the world of country western music. I was interested in the sort of sub-genre of music that is about life on the road. And so on and so I thought it might be an interesting you know, untested world to look into? No one ever made a movie about it before, to my knowledge. And so, again, it was fresh, it was something I thought would be good, and interesting.

 

Ashley:  Yeah. And so, let’s talk about, “Steelyard Blues.” Maybe you could give us the same sort of summary of how that one came into it, into existence?

 

Tony:  Well, again, I, an agent sent me a script of a young college graduate, a guy just up out of college at UCLA, named David Ward. And I read the script, and it was, “Steelyard Blues.” And I thought, it was really fresh and interesting, and unusual, and original, and was not like some other movie I’d ever seen, or heard of. So, but I also thought it was very, very difficult to get made because of it. Because it was so, different. And so, I met with him, and we started talking. And I said, well, this is like a really tough movie to get made, I think? Do you have something else next? What do you, what are you working on now? Then, in about 4-5 minutes he told me this thought about. Nah, I want to do this movie that ends in the 30’s and the world of con men. About a guy, who’s best friend gets killed by another con man. And then he decides to go after the guy and cons him out of it with every dollar he’s got. That’s pretty clear. And I said, I love that idea, let’s develop it. And so, I set about to find somebody who would help me find advance the script. Because I didn’t have any money, you see. And also, to produce it with me, be a partner. And so, I had met, Julius Phillips, who worked as kind of a reader for a company. And her husband Michael, who I just loved. And I said, “Why don’t we do this?” So, the three of us, developed, you know, put up the money and hired David Ward to write this script, that wasn’t called, “The Sting” it was just, it wasn’t called anything? And at the same time, we optioned “Steelyard Blues” to see if maybe we could get it made? So, it turns out we got both of them made.

 

Ashley:  Okay, so I’m curious. Because one of the big things especially in today’s market. You always hear producers saying, period piece’s are a really tough sell. That didn’t concern you back then? You just said, too that “Steelyard Blues” was a difficult movie. And the fact that

“The Sting” is a period piece, isn’t a problem?

 

Tony:  Well, every movie’s a problem. You know, there isn’t a movie made I don’t think that hasn’t been turned down by someone along the way. And certainly, “The Sting”,

“Steelyard Blues” was turned down. And “The Sting was turned down, by a bunch of old people before we could get it made. So, the degree of difficulty is different on every movie. Is a period movie difficult to get made these days? Or was it then? I don’t think it was as difficult to get made a period movie then, probably as it is now? But, it was not as enormously expensive as it is now, relatively speaking probably. Let’s talk a little bit about just that development process, and I think, “The Sting is a good example. And maybe you can kind of even talk about even today and the years after this thing, the development process look like for you? I mean, bringing him in very early. Where all he has out of a pitch. Are you reading drafts, and getting notes, and how many drafts along the way, something like, “The Sting” goes through.

 

Tony:  “The Sting” went through 2 drafts, one of which we never saw. Because David Ward wrote a draft of in about a year, or so. And took them a year to do it. And he didn’t like it, so he started over again with it, without even telling us. So, and he called in the middle of it all and said, he got an offer to do another writing job. You guys need me to do it? And we said, yeah, sure, go off and do it, we’re in no hurry. So, that took quite a while, it was basically 2 drafts. Whatever the one David wrote, and threw away. And the one that he finished. And was in almost every detailed script that we shot, we didn’t screw around with it, nobody did.

 

Ashley:  Yeah. And is that unusual, for you? Or you kinda let your writers, write?

 

Tony:  My experience, almost without exception is? When somebody writes a script, than that’s the person who wrote it, that’s the end of the story, I don’t hire re-writers. If you’ve written a script, as far as I’m concerned, that’s your script. And that’s the one I try to get it made. And by the way, if you don’t want to do any further work on it, than that’s fine, it probably won’t get made. If there is, you know, a reason to work? But, I don’t go out and hire other writers. I’m neither interested, or talented enough to figure out who can do a better job on the script than me, the original writer.

 

Ashley:  Yeah. Let’s talk about cold, Email quarry letters. We started Emailing a few years ago when I sent you a cold Email letter. You’re gracious enough to read my script and actually write back. I have to tell you that’s highly unusual? You usually never hear anything back, one way or the other. I’m curious, how many quarry letters do you get in a month, like the one I sent a few years ago.

 

Tony:  I don’t know? Several day? What does that make? 60? 60 to 100? Maybe pitching, quarry’s of source. Now, they aren’t letters like, you sent. The others, you know they are Emails, or some other form of like, finding their way. They are very unimaginative to by the way. People are so incredibly unimaginative when it comes to sending out letters or scripts. Very unusual that I get one that I respond to.

 

Ashley:  And do you have any just rough ball park account? What is the difference in how many would you say you were getting let’s say 60-90 month. How many of those do you do you request the script.

 

Tony:  Oh that’s a good one, oh maybe 10%. I would be happy if it were 10%, if I were given. If I was interested enough, I would ask for a script that’s a good sign.

 

Ashley:  Yeah, yeah. Can you, you just mentioned that some of the quarry letters are very unimaginative. Do you have a couple of examples over the years that people have sent, very imaginative quarry letters. Ones that really stood out and that you really liked. Just to have, and give some tips to the people listening to this.

 

Tony:  Well, when you say, quarry letter? I’m taking that as meaning usually an Email that says, “Dear Sir, I’m a writer and I’ve written a great script, if you would like to read it.” Kind of thing letter.

 

Ashley:  Great.

 

Tony:  A, the mistakes are much more common than the standouts. And you know, the common turn-off for me is? Is a writer, who writes a letter saying, you know, I’ve just written this great script first of all, by the way, I don’t like people bragging how good their scripts are, like, I’ll decide for myself. But, there’s many things that come to mind. Telling me how much other people have liked it. Well, like, if so many other people have liked it? Than why hadn’t they done something with it, I say. Telling me how much like another movie it is. Or like some other combination of movies. The God Father meets Love Story, ya know? I mean, come on now! If that’s your idea of what you’ve written than I’m not interested in it. Because it means it’s common, I’ve seen it before. A, miss-spellings, bad English, poor grammar, within the letter is pretty common. I mean, I in however many, 50 years or so of reading scripts, and the letters that introduce them. I only remember one instance of a poorly spelled kind of amateurish, not amateur, poorly spelled and badly punctuated letter. That introduced a very interesting script. And it was by somebody that had never written a script before. And, there was something about her letter that charmed me and had got my interest enough to overcome the fact that she didn’t know how to write. If you demonstrate it in your letter that you don’t know how to write? Or that it’s a letter just like everybody else’s letter, your script is going to reflect that, and I’d bet on that. And I’ve never had a contradictory experience. So, you know, I’m just not interested in, and I dare say, most people aren’t. There are people you can sell a script to that want it to do something. Just like most recent hit. And send it to them, but, don’t send it to me.

 

Ashley:  Yeah, yeah. So, I’m curious in general so, you’re getting a lot of 2-3 quarry letters a day. How else does scripts get to you? You know, as a director, do you have an agent? Do agents submit scripts to you? Just are, what are some of the ways that you come in contact with scripts. Aside from like the quarry letters we just talked about?

 

 

Tony:  Through, I wish I could think of a good analogy? You see, sort of like the, almost the way “Birds of Prey” find it to, the cruise around at altitude until they see something moving that looks interesting. So I have, many of the movies that I have done, not through agents. I’ve also had, I can’t even remember, how many come through agents, or come through a quarry letter, that come through meeting somebody in a bar? From somebody saying, hey I have a friend who just wrote a script if you want to read it? Through any number of unexpected encounters. But, you know, if you’re attuned to those unexpected encounters. If you’re looking for the unexpected, you’ll find it. And which is the case with me. I’m looking for the unexpected submission. I’m looking for this person who isn’t doing what everybody else is doing? And he isn’t writing whatever everybody else is writing. I’m looking for the person who has an imagination when it comes to submitting. So, I’ll give you an example. I don’t know if you know my book? “Decomp. Movie Speak” But, somebody sent me once an armed guard, with a script, in a briefcase that was chained to his wrist. And wouldn’t release it till I gave him my ID. Now that really hits my.

 

Ashley:  Huh?

 

Tony:  That really hits my attention. That’s not just somebody saying, “Dear Sir” or

“Dear, Tony”, or “Dear Producer” letter. Not somebody just doing an unimaginative way of presenting a script. It’s somebody who clearly thought about, and thought enough of their script. That they found a way to get it to somebody they didn’t know? And there are many ways to do that, depending on your imagination. So, that stands out in my mind, to answer your question? Most imaginative presentation that I’ve got, there are many.

 

Ashley:  I’m curious, keep going back to this idea that you want fresh and original scripts. Scripts that are not like other things. And is this just, is a conscious decision at some point you make just because you feel like ultimately that what that is going to be, you know, that fits in the marketplace the best. Is it a personal preference to say, you know what? I’m not going to take the money, you know, and take the easy projects that could make a lot of money. But I’m not interested in working on them. Where does this sort of come from? Is it a business decision? Do you think ultimately fresh and original will win the day with the awards, with the business, where does that come from.

 

Tony:  Oh, it’s strictly personal based. It’s not smart from a business point of view. Because it’s so difficult to get in the originals script made. And when I say original, I mean, I’m talking scripted, not derived from popular novel, or popular play, as well as original in it’s content. Listen, if I invited you to come see a movie with me tonight? Would you like to go see a movie that is very much like some other movie you’ve seen before? Or would you like to see the most original movie out there.

 

Ashley:  Yeah, probably with you the most original freshest unique.

 

Tony:  Fine with me, too. And that’s my question than. Yeah, I’m not a rug merchant salesman. You don’t like this one? Hey, how about this one, or that one? I’m just interested in, I wouldn’t be any good at pursuing, or hanging in there.

For the amount of time it takes to get something made, for presenting it to a director or studio, or star, saying, “Please, read this, I love this, script. This is so special, not like something else out there. It’s an original, it’s fresh. How could you say that about something, that follows in the footsteps, you know, of 16 other movies that made money, that got a lot of notice. So, it’s just the way I work. Because it’s not a calculated decision.

 

Ashley:  Yeah, yeah. So, let’s talk about what happens when someone gives you a script? You read it, you like it, you think you can do something with it. Just give us a sort of ball-park you know, overview of kind of what happens to that script? Do you option it? What does the option agreement look like? With somebody like yourself, and then what does that do to the development process, realistically look like? A lot of re-writes, how many years does it take to get that movie produced. In all that sort of stuff. That writers will find interesting.

 

Tony:  First of all, I show it to my partner, Helen Barlette whom I worked with for the last 25 or 30 years. So, we decide whether we both like it? If it doesn’t make sense to pursue something only one of us likes. But, given that, we make a deal with them, the banker. We’re going to give you some money for an option for a year/ year and a half. And we’re going to try and get it made for that period. Kind of as simple as that, although your question was more complex.

 

Ashley:  No, yeah, I think that gives it an overview. I was curious, like about the terms. Writers are always asking? Oh well, how long should I option a script in. I think you just said,

12 months to 18 months is kind of pretty standard. Then again, I think that’s interesting to have.

 

Tony:  That’s kind of, yeah, that’s kind of minimum. You need in terms of trying to get a movie made. And also, in terms of trying to exhaust all possibilities. You know,

 

Ashley:  And would you say, just again, just a ball-park figure, but roughly speaking. How many options, how many scripts do you option in a given year? Versus how many scripts actually get produced.

 

Tony:  Oh, well, you can’t get a movie a year made. Probably can’t get movie every 2 years made. So, let’s say, with luck, you get a movie every 3 or 4 years made, if you’re me, or us. And in one case, it was a script that became a series called, “Pitch” that we just did last year. Do I rely on a script that we had for a, ten years. For 10 years I tried to get that made as a feature film. And never could get it made. And finally, after 10 years of trying, got it made as a series. So, that’s one example. There’s no normal. Sometimes it takes 10 years, sometimes it takes 5. Sometimes it happens, you know, maybe within a year, it would be highly unlikely,

 

Ashley:  Yeah. With something like “Pitch” where you had it for 10 years. Are you continuously re-upping the option.? Or does it come in and out of options. And you are kind of always on the back burner.

 

Tony:  That one I never gave up on. Th,ere are others we kind of gone in and out of option with.

 

Ashley:  And let’s just run through a couple of specific ideas of some of your recent projects again. I’d be curious to just like, hear specifically how this project got to you. And let’s start with, “Pitch.” How did you originally come into contact with this script.

 

Tony:  Um, a friend of a friend. I met a young guy, ten years ago. Who, I don’t know, he was a friend of a screenwriter friend of mine. And he was just a sort of struggling screenwriter. Well, let me read what you wrote. Why don’t you read what you have written. And he sent me that script and I just loved it. So, that was just a chance encounter, one that I talked about before.

 

Ashley:  Yeah, how did, Pictures of Woods, that was a film he directed. How did you get involved in that project, desperate.

 

Tony:  That was unusual. Although, I’ve taken over a couple at least. That was unusual. Sissy Spacek who was an actress we worked with, called me, and said, I’m starring in a movie for television. We’re having a lot of trouble we need a director overnight, like tomorrow. And can you come and take over this movie. Start shooting in 5 days? That is a “Yes” or “No” question? So, I said, “Okay!” Let’s go for it. And so, I said,

 

Ashley:  You had never written, you had literally never heard of this project until she called?

 

Tony:  Exactly.

 

Ashley:  Huh?

 

Tony:  And so, I showed up, I decided to go for it. And showed up, and the script needed a re-write. So, we worked on the script for about 3 days. And then we took an extra day or two to prep. And we started shooting. And it actually turned out wonderfully. And which it is not credit to me. It shows you how little you need to worry about with on certain movies, you need to worry about the location. Sort of the extras, or you know, the schedule, as much as you do worry about the times where it’s very liberating not to worry about too much. So, when you don’t have time to worry about things, you don’t. So, in that case, I said, I’m not even interested in looking at locations. Just tell me where we’re going to shoot and make the best of them.

 

Ashley:  And what about “Flyboys” that’s another film you directed. How did you get involved in that?

 

Tony:  That grew out of a friendship with Dean Develin who was a producer. Who knew that I was a life-long pilot. And knew that I was passionate about objects of flying, the older airplanes which I fly. And he came across that script. And he called me up and said, I just read a script and I think you were born to do it. I read it overnight, I called him back and said, “Let’s go to work!” Well, he said, it’s going to take me a while to get the money for it. I said, that I’ll wait. So, I turned down all other jobs, for years, several years while he raised the money for it, and that was how that was born.

 

Ashley:  Yeah, yeah. And what about “Fitzgerald” that’s a movie where you Executive Produced, maybe give the same sort of summary on that.

 

Tony:  Helen, my partner and I, Helen Bartlett, had a friend who was a very, very successful television writer. And he came to us and said, I’ve written a script that I want to direct. That’s my first job. And I would like you guys to produce it. So, that’s how that happened.

Ashley:  Okay, how about, “In the Time of the Butterflies” Where did that project come from?

 

Tony:   That was Helen’s baby. She read a book, and called, “Time of the Butterflies.” Optioned it, developed it into a screenplay. And it took years and years to get it made. Again, wanting to make, it was a feature, not being able to get it made as a feature. It was very difficult material, whereas very limited, very different, very fresh. About a dictator, in Central America, and to be women who in effect try to, and did over throw him. And finally got it made as a movie for television.

 

Ashley:  Okay, and I know you keep coming back to this sort of idea that fresh and original. Is there anything else that you are looking for I think it’s some of the Email correspondence we’ve had. You said yourself, you’re not specifically looking for the typical genre film. Do you not care about genre at all, it’s purely if it’s fresh and original art. But, are there any other criteria that you might sort of add onto fresh and original.

 

Tony:  I don’t know? It’s beginning to look that way. It’s beginning to look it. When I look back on it, I mean, I never made a zombie movie. I never made like a horror movie, a western or a thriller, or a you know. The movies that I’ve been attracted to, or the scripts that I’ve been attracted to, been kinda generous, one of a kind. They don’t fall into a category, I would say. Maybe not remembering all of them well. They have their own kind of charm, it’s like, I don’t know, personality, they have a personality that’s unique. Because when you meet somebody, now and then you meet somebody and you say, It’s not like somebody I’ve ever met before. They’re like different, they have different tastes, they have different looks, they have different whatever? And you say, this is such an interesting person. Well, that’s what I’m looking for in scripts. It’s a turn-off, it’s a western, or it’s a comedy, it’s a sci-fi, you know, if you can categorize it, I’m probably not the guy to send it to. Nor, and I say me, for I’m talking about both Helen and me, we’re probably, we are not in that business, of copying, following in the footsteps, of or categorizing encroaching in on previous access of other peoples, much less our own. So, it would be very rare, if it’s starting to look like that after all this time. For me, or us to respond to something like that and be pigeon holed. Which is why we have such differences at the beginning as a whole and the film gets made. It’s because, and why anybody would who does set out to make a movie that’s fresh and original has a hard time with it, it’s not the easy route. And it’s not the easy route in any world where there is, you know, music, or you know, design or anything, any number of enterprises of that people under take. Being fresh and original is hard, it’s hard to be that. And it’s hard to market that. And it’s hard to attract an audience for that. And you know, ask Steve Jobs.

 

Ashley:  Exactly. And is it a producing taste, or is it a view taste to? I mean, do you not go and watch these movies? Guardians of the Galaxy 2, is coming out, you know, I’m excited to see it. Are those types of movies, you don’t enjoy watching? And you can forget about the big business and the producing side.

 

Tony:  I probably wouldn’t go to anything that had “2” after it.

 

Ashley:  Okay, the recent Star Wars movies?

 

Tony:  A, I saw the Star Wars that came out, what, a year ago.

 

Ashley:  “The Force Awakens” yeah, yeah, okay huh?

 

Tony:  Yeah. Because friends of mine made it. Because son’s of mine made it. To tell you the truth. I like them so much I was invited to see it. I had gone to see it without having that personal stake, that personal affection, for J.J. Abrams, you know, and Kathleen Kennedy. I don’t know? And I probably wouldn’t have gotten around. I don’t want to be misunderstood, and say I have refused to see, or had not seen it, you know, to put it down. But, knowing my habits I wouldn’t have been there for that no.

 

Ashley:  So, just in general parting advice for screenwriters, we certainly touched on fresh and original. Do you have anything else you want to tell screenwriters that are looking to break in?

 

Tony:  I think the biggest mistake screenwriters make is thinking that they can be screenwriters. There is a gold rush of writers, who think that they can do it. it’s like thinking that you can play the piano, you can’t. You have to practice, you have to learn, you have to practice, You have to be familiar with other music. You have to be trained, there’s a lot of things. And writing screenplays seems so easy. When you hear somebody say, I think I’m going to write a novel, I mean, no one says that, they think it’s hard. Everybody thinks they can write a screenplay. And, in terms of numbers, people that are trying to do it that I’ve been aware of? Since I’m in sort of associate business, working for new writers, they’re wrong, it’s not easy. It’s a very, very, demanding difficult form. Much more so, than the novel, much more so than the short story, much more so, than any other form of fictional endeavor. Everybody thinks they can write a poem, you know, they’re wrong, not a good one. And everyone thinks they can write a script, they’re wrong. And the world is just unbelievably filled with that. That’s my advice.

 

Ashley:  No doubt. So, Tony I really appreciate you coming on the show. I appreciate you reading a few of my scripts over the years and I’ve really enjoyed talking to you.

 

Tony:  You bet.

 

Ashley:  Today, so thank you very much for coming on and sharing your insight.

 

Tony:  I hope it was helpful and not to be negative. But,

 

Ashley:  Thanks very much. I appreciate it.

 

Tony:  Okay, thank you.

 

Ashley:  Thank you we’ll talk to ya later.

 

Tony:  Okay.

 

 

 

Ashley:  I just want to mention two things I’m doing at “Selling Your Screenplay” to help screenwriters find producers who are looking for new material.

First I’ve created a monthly newsletter that will be sent directly to producers. Every member of SYS Select can submit one log-line per newsletter, per month. I went and Emailed my large list of industry database. And asked them if they would like to receive this monthly newsletter of pitches. So far, I have well over 350 producers who have signed-up to receive it. These producers are hungry for new material and are happy to read new material. And how they get to read scripts from new writers. So, if you want to participate in this pitch newsletter? And get your script into the hands of lots of producers. Sign-up at – www.sellingyourscreenplay.com/select.

And secondly, I’ve paid on of the premier paid screenwriting leads sites. You can syndicate their leads to SYS Select members. There are lots of great paid leads coming in each week from our partner. Recently I’ve been getting 10 to 12 high quality paid new leads every week. These are producers, and production companies that are actively looking to buy new material. Or are looking to hire a screenwriter for a particular project that they may be working on. If you sign-up for SYS Select, you will get these leads Emailed directly to you several times each week. These leads run the gambit of production companies looking for a specific type of spec. script.

To producers looking to hire a screenwriter to write up one of their own ideas. Producers are looking for shorts, features, TV, and web series, pilots. It’s a huge aray of different types of projects that producers are looking for. And these leads are exclusive to our partner and SYS Select members. To sign-up, go to – www.sellingyourscreenplay.com/selelct.

I recently set-up a success stories page, for people who have had success through the various SYS Select Services. So, if you want to check out some of the other people who have tried the SYS Select Services, are saying? Go to – www.sellingyourscreenplay.com/success.

On the next episode of the Podcast, I’m going to be interviewing another producer, named Dallas Sonyier many of the film makers that I talk to on this Podcast have worked with Dallas. He produced movies like, “Bones”, “Tomahawk”, “Was the Night” “Some Kind of Hate” and many others. As I was doing the interviews with these film makers. His name kept coming up. So, I thought it would be interesting to talk to him. And try and figure out why he was producing the sorts of films that he was producing. This is invaluable information for screenwriters. Both Dallas and Tony whom I interviewed today, are established successful producers who are opened to working with new screenwriters. So, these guys are exactly the sorts of producers that should be on your radar. And you should be looking for ways to learn more about them. And potentially network with them. So, keep an eye out for that episode next week.

That is the show, thank you for listening.

 

 

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