(Typewriter Keys Tapping)
Ashley: Welcome to episode #128 of the “Selling Your Screenplay Podcast.” I’m Ashley Scott Meyers, Screenwriter and Blogger over at www.sellingyourscreenplay.com. Today, I’m interviewing Sean Nalaboff, who wrote and directed the new Indie house dramedy, “Hard Sell” 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 it on Facebook. These social media shares really do help spread word about the Podcast and are very much appreciated.
Over on ITunes I want to thank Jay Manaphotos, Curt Wiser, and Gerald Wiserton, who left me a very nice, who all left me very nice reviews at on ITunes. Thank you very much guys for those, it is very much appreciated. These ITunes reviews really are helpful, they really help to get the Podcast listened and listed in more places in ITunes. So it reaches a broader audience. Also, if you subscribe to the Podcast through ITunes. Then you’ll get the new episodes downloaded to your phone each week. So, that’s a nice convenient way to stay current on them, the Podcast. If you have a moment, please do leave me a review on ITunes, thank you again, guys, to the folks who did that last couple of weeks.
Any 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 something else up later. You can find all the show notes at – www.sellingyourscreenplay.com/podcast. And then look for episode #128.
If you want my free guide, “How to Sell a Screenplay in Five 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 per week for five weeks, along with a bunch of 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 sell your screenplay. Again, to sign-up, just go to www.sellingyourscreenplay.com/guide.
A quick few words about what I am working on this week? I’ve been neglecting to mention over the last couple of months. A few things that have happened with some of options that I currently have out with a few of my screenplays. I sort of take the attitude that once I option something, I just forget about it. But if the producer gets a go great. But I try not to spend a lot of time thinking about it. Because in most cases it, the options never go anywhere. I do typically mention when I option something on the Podcast. And again, most of these options never go anywhere. I think it’s valuable to mention the options, just so people get a sense of sort of the scope of what I am doing. And, you know, what you need to do to actually get some scripts produced. You need to option a lot of scripts, again, many of these options never go anywhere. And you just shouldn’t be waiting around for them to go anywhere. You should be writing more stuff, doing more stuff. And so, that’s the attitude I take. I mean, I’m working on new scripts, I’m working on “The Pinch” producing a feature film. And yes, I’ve got these options, and they are going, and hopefully they’ll go. But, I am certainly not counting on it. So, I think, that’s part of the big reason why I don’t, I forget to mention, sort of been like some updates on these options. I think the reason why I forget to mention them? Is really don’t pay much attention. I get an Email from someone saying, “Oh, I want to renew the option.” We’ll renew it, and just go on. But I thought it would just be worth taking some time to talk about some of those today. Since there are still some options that are out there going. Nothing really big is happening with any of them frankly. But, there are still a few options still in play.
So, about a year ago, I went to Delaware to work on my baseball script. And this is a script co-written with writing partner, Nathan Ives. Who I’ve actually had on the Podcast before. And this is actually the first two scripts I’m going to mention here, were written with Nathan. Basically, we, me and Nathan went to Delaware last year. We did some re-writes on the script. It takes place at a minor ball park. So, we went to a couple of games at a specific minor league team in Delaware. And kind of re-wrote the script to be specific for that minor league team. If you want to hear more about that? Last June is when I went there, so just listen to some of the episodes, the Podcast episodes from last June. And I talk about that, the bottom line is? These producers are still slugging away, no pun intended. They sent me and my writing partner a small check to extend the option for another six months. So, again, not a lot has happened there still trying to raise money to get this project going. But they still at least believe in it enough to send a small amount of money to renew the option. So, that will be good for another six months.
I also heard from the producer of an 18 comedy script. And I mentioned this script on the air, on the Podcast a couple of times. I’ve optioned it, and this producer has been renewing it. He lives in Europe, and he, this is how you can kind of remember this option. It’s a teen comedy, and it’s optioned to this producer in Europe. It’s a guy I never met, all I never even talked to via Skype or telephone. It’s just, everything has been through Email. He’s been real nice, he’s been real prompt, he’s paid for some of the original options. Now, it’s just a free option after a few years. He did pay for like, maybe the first 18 months or something? But now, I’m just basically giving him a free option. Because he’s still working on the script. So, he’s planning on doing, he sent me an Email last week. And he’s planning on doing a “Crowd Funding Campaign.” He’s kinda got his material set up. He’s shot some stuff for a little teaser, Crowd Funding teaser/intro. And so, over the next few months he’s going to launch a Crowd Funding Campaign. He’s trying to raise money, millions of dollars. So, that’s obviously far in of access of what I did for my own Crowd Funding Campaign. So, I’m certainly going to try and help him out as much as I can. But the kind of level he’s hoping to reach? I don’t think I’ll be a big help to him. Considering I was only raising a little over $14,000.00, I said, he’s trying to raise millions. But, who knows, maybe he knows a lot about this, this whole process. So, maybe once it’s over, I can have him on the Podcast. And we can talk about that. I actually think that would be interesting. But anyway, he’s got a bunch of other things in addition to “Crowd Funding.” Film financing in Europe is a totally different thing, ball game that it is here in the United States. There is a lot of government grants that governments give for the Arts and things. And so, he’s also working on some of those, getting some of those things going. So, there’s a whole bunch of things they’re doing. But one of them is crowd funding. So, I will keep people abreast as to how that is going?
And the other script, and this is maybe, probably two months ago. I re-optioned a script to a producer in the U.K. and this is my limited location, female protagonist, thriller script. And again, I mentioned it over the years on the Podcast. It’s one of the first scripts, it’s not the first script I ever optioned after starting the Podcast. So, I think it was like, September. I started this Podcast in about three years ago in August. And then, I think in that September I optioned the same limited location, female protagonist, thriller script to a producer. This is a different producer than that option ended up not getting renewed after a year or so. And then I met this producer from the U.K. And this is the guy I met through my own Email and Fax Blast. In fact, all three of these options are through the Email and Fax Blast that I talk about off and on, on the Podcast. But anyway, this guy is in the U.K. and he has a couple of leads going. Which sounded pretty solid, as far as raising the money. So again, I just gave him another free option for another six months. It was a couple of months ago, I mentioned. So, I’ll probably be like, September/October on that option will run out. But anyways, I’m hopeful, he’s got he said, and I don’t typically give a lot of free options. Especially when new rules, I typically try, if I am going to give them a free option. I might give them 90 days or something, 6 month’s free option. And then I try and charge them a little bit of money. But, this guy has a pretty good track record. I’ve been running some questions by “The Pinch.” My, the script I’m producing. There have been a couple questions I’ve had for him? And he’s been real helpful in that. But the bottom line, he’s got a track record, and he’s produced a bunch of movies in the past. And I have no doubt he will produce more movies in the future. So, I’m just trying to get, or keep my cart attached to his cart. And hopefully he’ll pull it across the finish line?
So, anyway, once again, the main thing I am working on, and that’s kind of where my options are. That’s probably an update from the last two or three months. Of what’s happening with some of the options I have out there. So, the main thing I am working on, obviously is “The Pinch.” Still putting that project together since last week. I keep giving these updates not really a lot has changed. But, you know, every day, I’m putting and pushing this thing forward a little. And meeting with more crew people getting some of the cast. I have now got offers out to cast members, so, slowly bringing on the cast. I’d say, maybe a third of the way through the casting. I’m probably like, you know, nine tenths of the way through crewing up. I’ve got most of my crew positions filled. Just a few positions I haven’t, or still need to get. And I’ve got three of the four locations locked. So, all that stuff is moving along nicely. A lot of the logistical stuff, of I’ve mentioned before is set-up. So, the main thing I am starting to dig in now is? The shot-list, and you know, I just keep coming back, I keep trying to run my mind myself. Is, one of those things I should write, on an index card and put it up above my computer. But, I just keep reminding myself, you know, what are one of the things I can do now? To make this movie better. I just want to put my time and energy into those things that are going to make this movie as good as possible. And one of the things I think is going to be a big part of that is? Doing the shot-list, and I’ve started doing it. And I’ve done a shot-list now for about a third of the script. And I’m getting better at doing the shot-list. I’m starting to think about things a little bit more like a director, than a best does to a writer. And just put that together. But I think that’s going to be the main thing I’m doing here in the next couple of weeks. Obviously, there’s a lot of logistical stuff I still need to put in place. So, I will be working on that. But, at least for like, an hour a day, I’m going to try and really focus on that shot-list. And then in maybe a week or two, hopefully I’ll have the whole script kind of broken down shot after shot. It is a couple of scenes that are more complicated, some are not that. Some are, some of the scenes are not that complicated. Some of the scenes are more complicated. So, I’ll probably go back, some are like five or six scenes maybe are. That are really going to require a quite a bit of, there are quite a bit of action. And so there are a lot of camera movements. And I want to just go back and think those things through. But I just, right now, I think that’s time going to be well spent. Is thinking through the production and making sure that, you know, once we’re on set, and shooting. I can maximize that, the value and time. Those are going to be very strong and stressful days, and long days, and tough days. You know, you got a lot of people there, you know. You only get one shot at a lot of the stuff. Some of the locations, we’re only going to get for two days. So, if we miss a shot? It’s not going to be that easy to go back and get all the crew and get the location, go back. So, as I said, if we really spend some good time on the shot-list, I think that’s time well spent.
So, anyway, that’s what I’m working on. So, now let’s get into the main segment. Today I’m interviewing Writer/Director Sean Nalaboff, here is the interview.
Ashley: Welcome Sean, to the “Selling Your Screenplay Podcast.” I really appreciate you coming on the show with me today.
Sean: Thanks for having me, it’s great to be here.
Ashley: So, to start out, maybe you can give us a little bit about your background? Kind of how you got into the business? And just worked your way up to writing and directing this feature film?
Sean: Yeah, well. I went to Community College, Art College of Design. Which had a film school in Pasadena California. And I won a scholarship to be mentored by a commercial director, named, Matthew Rawlston. So, that started the whole professional career of mine. After film school, because after the mentorship, it lead into opportunities with Matthew introducing me to the industry and getting me some opportunities to actually work in the industry. So, I was learning a lot of behind the scenes to start out with. And videos, you know, the making of, you know, becomes more important as for as important as the of, now days. On every single set has a behind the scenes crew. And I was that guy going around filming these behind the scenes videos and that and editing them together. Which kind of parlayed into this opportunity to make the movie. Because, at the time, I was following them, for a TV series creating a featurette on scenes video. And that, she really loved the way I portrayed her manager actually asked me if I would film one of her other clients? On the behind other scenes of her tour. And that client turned out to be Christian Chenowick. So, that’s how I made and was introduced to Christian Chenowick. And Christian right now I know really well, and she loved the video that I made of her. And I didn’t know it at the time? But she told my manager, that if I ever was doing something independent with me? That she would love to be a part of it. She was so happy throughout film school, that what was, “Hard Sell.” The movie we are talking about now. And that’s when I ended up offering Christian the role in that movie. And that’s her and how everything got started.
Ashley: Yeah, yeah. So, let me just back up a little bit. We’re going to dig into “Hard Sell” here in just a minute. So, you had this scholarship, and this mentorship? How did you get that, get into a position to get that scholarship and get that mentorship?
Sean: Well, they were offering at school of Matthew Rawlson, who was a graduate of Art Center. Every couple of years they offer that scholarship, to a student that, you know, had the chops or at least the effect he was looking for in somebody. And he just picked my work out of a handful of other students who were put up for it. And that’s what got the ball rolling from there.
Ashley: Okay. And was that literally like short film, or did you do a low-budget feature film? What exactly did you submit as your demo reel?
Sean: I submitted my reel, after time, I got a bunch of short films that I had worked on. And I also, Matthew is a photographer, so he is interested in some photography elements of the student he was choosing. So, I had a portfolio of photos of that, that I had taken well. Because that was an interest of mine. And so, I just gave him all that material and he gravitates towards it.
Ashley: Perfect, perfect. So, let’s dig into hard sell. And kind of talk about that and the writing of the script. Maybe to start out you can give us a quick pitch or log-line for the film?
Sean: Well, the film is about a certain high school, who is at a prep-school, and he’s a fish out of water. And he’s on scholarship there, and taking care of his mommy, the man of the house. And he needs to raise funds because, to afford his mom and their six dogs. And he befriends this sultry runaway, who he forms a business with. And you know, profiting off of the wayward teens of the prep-school.
Ashley: So, where did this idea come from?
Sean: Well, it. I was really interested in, first of all, the writing part, the script, the screenplay when I was in California. And I’m originally from New York. And I was just writing about back home, of Long Island. I went to the prep-school myself, a private school growing up. I was just, you know, just writing being home sick basically. It was just writing about the colorful characters that I grew-up with and the environment I grew-up in. And that was the origin of it. And then I was interested in the coming of age at the time. Even though I was a bit older than the central character, Hardy, in “Hard Sell.” He was 17, I was writing when I was like 20? But, you know, I was just up out of that situation. Still thinking about, you know, what it was like going through high school. And that was something that I wanted to explore. And so, the coming of age, it’s genre was definitely something that most interested me at the time.
Ashley: Yeah, yeah. And so, as you just sort of told me, what the story is about. The key, one of the key sort of plot devices, is this teenager. You know, as you describe this sultry runaway. Where did that come from, what part of that? Explain before, the prep-school teenage stuff. The sounded kind of like the genesis. What part of the process did you actually come up with those actual story points, and start to weave in the actual plot, was that early or late? I mean, did you have your characters?
Sean: Yeah, developing the characters, I was just thinking about certain things, opinions about high school. And I thought it would be sure, certain things I was kind of tickled with. I, the idea of students in high school, undergoing a sexual awakening from a stranger really. Made me, it was an idea that just came out of nowhere. And I was thinking, okay, who is this stranger, what’s her past, like, what was she doing? And that came about with the character, and that’s how I developed the character. Both, who appear to be stripper to these kids that she really more than that. She’s not really that. I mean, it’s that chameleon story, you know, from sharks to odd sharks, to
“Pretty Woman.” You’re developing somebody into the image of what you wanted to create. And that’s how I came about so and so. I was developing character by character before I was developing the actual plot. And when all the characters felt like they were full bodied, than came alive. Then that’s when I put them in situations that I felt were fun and exciting. And that’s how I weave the story and the narrative out of the characters themselves.
Ashley: Okay, so now, let’s just talk about your actual writing process a little bit? How much time do you spend preparing, like, with an outline? Maybe how much time do you spend preparing right before you actually open “Final Draft” and start writing scenes? Maybe you could just talk about that process a little bit? Is it…
Sean: I don’t really open up “Final Draft” I’m sorry I cut you off. What were you saying?
Ashley: No, no, go ahead. No, go ahead
Sean: No, I don’t really open up “Final Draft” or what? I do for a while. I am always writing long hand. That’s really how the ideas come about. Most organically to me, because if I’m staring at computer “A” being distracted looking at Emails, before I’m doing the final cut. And “B” along final cut, I’m looking at spelling errors that are taking me completely out of the moment. So, when I’m doing pen to paper, I just, you know, just writing. And like, I’m writing scenes really. And having conversations between the characters. I’m not outlining, I’m just speaking in their voices, finding their voices. Through, there are a lot of bad writing, you know? Just constantly writing, as in every day and developing each character. And then these characters’ start talking to each other. And all of a sudden, an idea, or the conflict comes about in that conversation. Then I start exploring that. And that’s how the outline starts and takes shape, for me.
Ashley: Okay. Yeah. And how long did you work on this sort of outline phase. So, are we talking three months, or three years?
Sean: Yeah, I’m sorry. About two years.
Ashley: Okay, okay.
Sean: It takes a while.
Ashley: Yeah, yeah.
Sean: Yeah, it’s like, scoring, and then also you know, and the draft, I would then show it to people. And then start talking about it, more and more, and just it took three years to come up with a draft. It took me a couple of months to come up with a draft. It wouldn’t necessarily be in the direction I want or have to take. So, I re-evaluate the story, and then continue to work on until finally it’s all ready to produce.
Ashley: Yeah, yeah. So, let’s talk about that development process a little bit? So, you have a draft done. What is that development process for you look like? Do you have some trusted friends or mentors? Who are these people that you send it to? And what kind of notes that you get back? And I’m always getting questions from people that just, how do you interpret those notes? How do you take notes, and make your script better.
Sean: You got to really trust who you give it to. I mean, on this particular movie or screenplay, I gave it to everybody. And then I started to really whittle it down because, everybody that you give somebody something and ask for their opinion. They’re going to give it to you. But it might not necessarily be in line with your overall vision for the project. And it might create some doubt which could be self-destructive. So, I then answer, I believe that’s why it took so long to. Where you have a movie that is exactly the story I wanted to tell and ready to produce. But, getting back to that, you know, I whittled it down to a few key people in my life. That really understood what I was trying to get at in the story. Not what they wanted to get out of the story. Who would give criticism of that. And very constructive because, they saw in you what you wanted to do with it. And they would sort of cater to that idea. And what was in line with my overall vision for this story.
Ashley: Yeah, yeah. So now, let’s talk about once you’re done. So, you have a draft of the script that you write, let’s talk about that process of starting to actually getting it out there. And trying, you know, to get financing and get the process moving. What were your first steps? Once you had a draft, that you were competent in. What was it you started to do?
Sean: Well, I had no interest in going to studios route or going shopping it around. Just, this was not a movie, that you know, was a paint-by-the-numbers story that a lot of people would be comfortable with. This is a very new idea, a very heart felt comedy. And I didn’t feel like I had much success trying to make this into something it was not on a larger scale. So, I immediately knew that I needed to raise independent financing. From major investors if I was going to pull it off and make it myself. Because, you know, this could be in development hell at a studio for years. And I was ready to make this movie now. So, with that being said, I align myself with a few people in my life that have business action, and the sales skill set to partner up with. So that we can start approaching angel investors out there, outside the industry who, had the money to invest in a project like this. But no, more importantly, interested in being a part of the movie business. So, that’s the people that we tried getting and we getting the support of.
Ashley: Yeah, yeah. And can you give any details on that? Because that’s always sort of the, you know, the sequence, the thousand-dollar question is? How do you find it, the initial investors that are interested in being in the movie business?
Sean: A, it’s a big leap of faith. And it’s a lot of you know, I must say, I, we probably between all of us. We have probably contacted about, or tried to reach out to a thousand people, just to talk to. And you know, even if you get, or even if you get ten people involved at it, a thousand is a lot of leg work. But, it ends up achieving your end goal. It takes a lot of time, and it’s hard to find that person. But, I’m very confident, I kept saying the montras, you move forward, you will find someone. And you move, and you continue to push forward. And you put the idea out there. And maybe one person’s pal might introduce you to another, that person who might be interested. And when your causes match. And that will be a lot to see, and it working out for us this time and come around. And you know, like I said, it took a lot of hard work, and it took some time. But, eventually the right people, you know, were attracted to the project.
Ashley: Yeah, yeah. And I’m, I wonder if you could just tell us, how long was that process? To get that thousand?
Sean: Well, a I guess under a year.
Ashley: Okay, okay. I think that’s great. And I think it’s really important that people hear that, just the sheer volume of people you got to contact. Because a lot of people are not necessarily going to be interested. So, let’s talk about Christian Chenowick’s interest, and her attachment to this? You mentioned you had a relationship with her, through these videos you had shot. Did you have her attached before you started approaching these one thousand people? And I’m curious to know, if that might have actually helped you? Or maybe she wasn’t attached, and so maybe that was the different story?
Sean: Well, she was a catch-22. To answer your question to that? I’ll get into it, the whole “Catch-22.” No, she wasn’t attached, I think? I didn’t even know she told her manager at the time that I made her video, that she wanted to do something independent with me. I didn’t know that angle until she got on set with me. So, which was like a year later. I had no idea she was even still interested in it. But, the
“Catch-22” whole situation, can’t really get talent until you have the money. And you can’t really get the money until you have the talent. As well as most cases at least? So, you’re saying to yourself, alright, so if these investors want to invest because these particular stars in the movie that they believe in, then they’ll give me the money. You can’t go to a director and say, put in an offer, when you don’t have any money. And then you know you have to put your own money in it escrow. I mean, so, it was just a matter of, we basically tried to raise money without any talent attached. And we were very unsuccessful at that. Once, and I know it sounds crazy. But, we start shooting this movie in October. And clearly, works we had no money raised till September. And we continued to plow forward as if we had money. And we were definitely held up as we were making this movie somehow we are going to make this movie. I’d phone if I had to, but, eventually sometime in September. A couple of weeks before what I set to be the first day of production. Was, I got an Email from Chenowick’s people said, but the script had been going around town I guess? And they got ahold of it, and they loved it. And they said, how would you like to work with Christian? She was, she would love to be in your movie. And so, that’s when I lucked out and was able to then leverage that conversation with prospective investors. She would eventually signed on board.
Ashley: Yeah, yeah. So, you know, that’s another great tip, and thank you for sharing that experience. So, I’d be curious to get your thought on this next question? On this Podcast, I have a lot of people that are doing the sort of low-budget independent genre film. You know, low-budget action, low-budget horror, low-budget thrillers. And I feel like those are much easier to get produced, just because they are a little bit more of a clear market for those. And I always get a lot of Emails, like most writers, like to write this kind of story. And I’m always very hesitant to recommend that they do that. So, I’d be curious to get your take on this? You know, these coming of age sort of dramedies. There’s a lot of people writing, but there’s not a lot of them getting made. And they’re all often times hard to sell. So, did you buy into that at all with raising it. And would you recommend that new?
Sean: Yeah, definitely, I’m experiencing it now too with the second project. I mean, this is true that there is more marketable genres than what coming of age story, than a newance film has to offer. But yet it’s so hard, but probably the easiest? Because “A” it has a pretty big market, and “B” you can make it for really cheap. I mean, you look at the blunt house formulas, they are making like a series of a portfolio of $500,000.00 films. And just seeing one of them stick. And that’s cool with them because one of them sticks, to pay for all the rest. And you can do that with horror movies. You know, it’s tough, I agree with your, you know, you’re a, what was I going to say? Your sponsorative, don’t go into it thinking about that. If you’re going to think about that while you’re writing something, you mine as well stop. Because it’s not going to be honest work, and it’s not. I really don’t think it’s going to full-fill the need for why you even began writing in the first place. Write something that inspires you and hopefully it will be great. And that it will be better than something that you hate writing. So, I don’t think you should think about the audience too much when you’re writing it. I mean, that could be really stupid advice. But, hey that’s.
Ashley: Sounds like great advice, yeah, that’s sort of the delema. So, let’s talk a little bit about what you have going on next? Because you mentioned just a second ago. Another film you’re working on, it’s another coming of age dramedy, or is it different?
Sean: Yeah, it’s another coming of age newance film. But, it’s actually, the way I’m pitching it, it’s like, “The Goonies” meet “Grey Garden.” It’s a bunch of kids in a tight-knit fishing community. Who are moving their barge to as riders to the gender identification, and all these people coming into their community town. So, they go to a wealthy recluse, who lives on a private island. To try to get her to be the benefactor/trusty to save their town. But once they get to the island, strangeness ensues.
Ashley: And are you going to try and raise independent funding again? Or are you going to try and go more of a main stream?
Sean: A yeah. I’m still trying to looking for independent funding. But thankfully, through the last project. You know, it’s really difficult making the first film. Because you have no track record, no, you know, who am I to say, I’m a writer/director when I haven’t ever made that feature film, you know. So, I’m sure I’ve directed commercials, and I’ve directed things that I’ve wrote, short films. But, how can I get somebody to see me as a writer/director of feature films? When I haven’t done that before. And now I have one under my belt. And it was successfully distributed and or picked-up. And it’s going to be released May 20th. And through that experience, made more relationships that believe in the work I’m doing. And want to be a part of it, the next one.
Ashley: Yeah, yeah. And so you are finding this second one? Because I often have film makers come on and I often say their second movie is just as hard to get off the ground as their first movie. It sounds like your finding it a little bit easier for the second one.
Sean: I wouldn’t say, did you say it was easy?
Ashley: No, I’m saying, it sounds like you feel like it’s a little bit easier? Is that not correct?
Sean: I’m very optimistic, but I’m not too say it’s easier? I’m saying, I’m having the conversations are coming about organically. I don’t have to chase people down as much. It’s not to say that I’m fully financed and green-lit. So, who’s to say, I mean, I’m aiming to shoot this in September. I can’t tell you if that will happen or not? But, that’s the goal.
Ashley: Yeah, yeah. So, you mentioned, a May 20th release date for “Hard Sell.” Maybe you could just talk about the different platforms it’s going to be released? Won’t have a theatrical release, on Video – ON DEMAND.
Sean: Yeah, it’ll be a theatrical release on simultaneously as the dates for
Video – ONDEMAND, ITunes, and all over the visual space.
Ashley: Perfect, perfect. And what’s the release for people theatrically?
Sean: I’m sorry?
Ashley: What cities is it going to be released in theaters, theatrically?
Sean: Right now, as far as I’m aware of? It’s going to be release in “LL.”
Ashley: Okay, perfect, perfect. And what’s the best way for people to keep up with you? I just ask this question at the end just to wrap things up. Whatever you feel comfortable sharing? If you are on Twitter, you can share your Twitter handle. Or if you’re on Facebook, you have a blog? Anything you are comfortable sharing, just tell us now, and I’ll put that all in the show notes.
Sean: Yeah. Follow me on Instagram, I just actually started an Instagram account. Because I realized how important social media is. #seannalaboff, I also have a website, production company with an Email, so if you ever want to Email? Its – www.yellowcoat.com, the company website.
Ashley: Okay, perfect, perfect. So, I will round that stuff up and put it in the show notes. I watched the movie last night, I really enjoyed it. I really wish you luck with this Sean. Well done, and thank you for coming on the show today and talking to me.
Sean: Thanks man, I really appreciate it. T
Ashley: Thank you good luck with it. Let me know when that’s done, I’ll be happy to have you back on and we can talk about it, that one.
Sean: Awesome. Take care now.
Ashley: Thanks, bye.
Ashley: A quick plug for the SYS Screenwriting Analysis Service. It’s a really economical way to get a high quality professional evaluation on your screenplay. When you buy our 3-Pack, you get evaluations at just $67.00 per script, for feature films, and just $55.00 for teleplays. All the readers have professional experience reading for: Studios, production companies, contests, and agencies. You can read a short bio on each reader on our website. And you can pick which reader you think best fits your script. Turn-around-time is usually just a few days, but rarely more than a week. The readers will evaluate your script on six key factors:
- Over all craft – which includes: Formatting, Spelling, and Grammar.
Every script will receive a grade of: Pass, Consider, or Recommend, which should help you roughly understand where your script might rank if you were to submit it to a production company or agency.
We provide analysis on features and television scripts. We also do proof reading without any analysis. We will also look at treatments, or outlines and give the same analysis on it. So, if you’re looking to vet some of your projects? This is a great way to do it. We will also write a log-line and synapsis for you. You can add this service to the analysis, or you can simply purchase this service as a stand-alone product.
As a bonus, if your script gets a “Recommend” from a reader. You get a free Email and Fax Blast to my list of industry contacts. This is the exact same blast service I use myself to promote my own scripts. And it’s the same service I sell on the website. It’s a great way to get your script into the hands of producers who are looking for material. So, if you want a professional evaluation of your screenplay at a very reasonable price. Check out – www.sellingyourscreenplay.com/consultants. Again, that’s – www.sellingyourscreenplay.com/consultants.
In the next episode of the Podcast, I’m going to be interviewing Paul Logan, who wrote and starred in a new action/horror film called, “The Hoard.” Paul is an interesting character, he’s an actor who’s done mostly action movies. And so, he decided to sit down and write one of his own. And then went out and raised the money and put the project together. So, keep an eye out for that episode next week.
To wrap things up, I just wanted to touch on a few things from today’s interview with Sean. I thought it was interesting, what Sean said. He just wrote this script and went about really getting this made without giving much thought to the marketability of the film. This is pretty much the polar opposite of what I recommend. And I think that’s fantastic. No one really has all the answers, and for you and your situation. Sean’s advice might be perfect. And then again, the advice that I give, might also be perfect for you. But, the bottom line is, ultimately, each person has got to figure out what’s best for them. There really is no easy one size fits all answers for everyone. I love having people on like Sean, that really have a different point of view from my own. And he explains kinda what he did, and how he went about did it. And there is some method of madness, just as it is some method to my madness. But again, you’re going to have to sit down and listen to what different people are saying. And really figure out your own plan, and that’s from top to bottom. Your own writing plan, your own marketing plan. You know, what sort of material you’re going to be writing. You ultimately, you’re going to be the one to figure that out. And decide what will work? And what is best for your career? Also listen to what Sean said about raising the money. How you need to reach out to about a thousand people. That’s a ton of work, but that’s the sort of work you’re going to have to do. Is especially if you are writing something like this. That’s probably a bit more risky and doesn’t have a clear market or like a lot of the genre films I’ve talked about on this Podcast. So, if you are considering writing this type of material? It might be worth really taking a step back, and thinking about how you might be able to raise the money and shoot it yourself. And maybe that means writing a script that takes place entirely in your house, or your parent’s house, or your neighbor’s house. Or some house you have had access to. Maybe it requires writing a script where you know the actors, that you know, have in mind. Maybe some friends who are actors or something, friends that want to be actors. Maybe you can write the roles specifically for them. But the bottom line is, if you are going to do for an Indie Art House film? I think raising the money yourself, is probably going to be by far the best bet. I think if you are going to write some of these drama films I’ve talked about, the horror, the low-budget action, low-budget thriller. I think there is definitely demand for those types of scripts. I’m not sure you’re going to find a lot of producers that are super interested in an Indie drama. Just because it’s so in dramedy/comedy, quarky comedy. Those types of films are so difficult to make their money back. It becomes very difficult for a producer to put his resources behind it, and spend time raising money. When the ROI is potentially, so, so, difficult. I think it’s also worth noting that Sean’s background was very important to this film. The shooting, behind the scenes footage on other films. That’s a great way to network, especially as a director. Because you are meeting the talent. And exactly what he described. Is exactly what kind of benefits you can get. It’s a great sort of example of precisely the kind of networking can kind of open and ultimately help you. I’ve talked about this before, and I’ll say it again, quickly. I can tell you, as someone who has interviewed. Now, I have interviewed dozens of working screenwriters. You know, working in the business, networking, sort of doing something like, Sean did. That really is the single biggest way people broke into this business. I mean, working in the industry and networking is a pretty broad term. But, the bottom line is that is really the single most biggest way people are able to break into the industry and the business. Getting into the business in some capacity, even if it’s not precisely what you want to do? That’s really the best way to meet people, and meet people in the business. And just learn how films are made, and learn about why films are and make money. And which films are to make money and all that stuff. Just being in the business will really help educate you. And it is the single biggest way to break in. Obviously it’s not the ultimate way, and I’m a big proponent of something, the other ways, the Fax Blast Service that I sell. You know, contests, there’s definitely been some people on the Podcast that broke in through contests. So there’s really a huge way and ways to break in. But again, the single biggest way that I have seen people breaking in, and that’s from interviewing people. And actually asking them how you break in? It’s through the, it’s through networking. I did do a post again, I’m mentioning this again, I did a post where I broke down the first 75 episodes of the Podcast. And actually made a little chart about how people broke in. And then actually analyzed some of those results. I will link to that in the show notes. But that’s worth checking out too. Just to kinda get an over view of what method might work best for you. You could maybe kinda create a template for yourself, based on what other people have done, that have been in similar situations. Everyone’s got a different situation, some people are not in a position to move to L.A. And work
low-level, low-pay jobs in the business. And I totally get that. So, it’s not the only way, but, if you can. If you are in a position to do that? I definitely highly recommend it. Because that is going to be your best bet. I’d also be real curious to hear from people about what type of material they are working on, and why? Are you writing studio type scripts? Or are you writing Indie Art House type of films, like “Hard Sell” Or are you writing like low-budget genre films. If you have a minute, leave a comment in comment sections either in YouTube, YouTube has a nice comment section. Or through my blog – www.sellingyourscreenplay.com/podcast. And then just look for episode #128. I’d love to start a conversation and just see the people who listen to this Podcast. What kinds of scripts are you writing? You might help me tailor the Podcast a little bit more. If I know what types of scripts people are writing? I might be able to get more of them, those types of writers on the Podcast. So, if you have a minute? Let’s, go to YouTube, or www.sellingyourscreenplay.com/podcast, look for episode #128. And please do just leave me a comment, I’d love to hear from you.
Anyway, that’s the show, thank you for listening.