I recently sold a spec script called Rushlights (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1536437/). Rushlights is being produced and directed by Antoni Stutz. It stars Josh Henderson, Haley Webb, Aidan Quinn, and Beau Bridges.
Rushlights is a film noir story about a down on his luck guy who tries to steal an inheritance by getting his girlfriend to pose as the dead guy’s long lost granddaughter. The protagonist gets knocked around the whole story always getting dangerously close to being exposed but he plugs away, and keeps plugging, and doesn’t stop until there’s nothing left.
I optioned Rushlights to Antoni years ago and he plugged away, too, trying to get the film financed. I can’t help but notice the parallel between the film’s protagonist and Antoni. Getting an independent film financed is incredibly hard – mainly because it’s such a risky venture – but Antoni never gave up and I congratulate him for persevering, getting funding and being able to realize his vision.
In hindsight I think I was smart to write a story about a guy who wouldn’t give up even in the face of overwhelming odds because that’s the sort of person a movie needs to get made and it’s the sort of person that was attracted to this story. I optioned the script several times before I met Antoni and all the people who liked it were dogged as hell. If you write a story about a bunch of goof-ball stoners it might be hilarious but if that’s the sort of person who comes on board to produce it you’ve got big problems.
I sold this script using exactly the tactics I talk about in my How to Sell Your Screenplay (in a nutshell). There was nothing more than sending the script out (a lot) and finally optioning it to someone and then waiting a long time. Antoni placed an ad in one of the trade magazines, either the Hollywood Reporter or Daily Variety. I don’t remember which one. I responded to his ad, he responded to my query letter, I sent him the script and we met at the Chateau Marmont in Hollywood. He basically liked the script although he did do some re-writing to it over the years.
Inheritance (which was my original title for the script) was the sixth script I wrote and probably the second script that was coherent enough to actually be turned into a half-way decent film. So while I’ve had other scripts produced, this one is my earliest script to actually make it to production and it probably always will be because I doubt any of my earlier work will ever see the light of day (thank God!).
Look for Rushlights to be released sometime next year. I hope it turns out well.