Hello bitter script reader...
First off, I enjoy the blog--and I really like the youtube videos as well.
Second I was hoping you could shed some light on something I've been
thinking about. I'm currently fortunate enough to finally break
through that first tough barrier of getting representation. There are
several agencies/management companies I'm currently considering. I
know you have a long history of reading screenplays for various
places--and probably know a ton of other readers as well.
I was curious if there was any bias you've ever seen amongst readers
when you get sent scripts--lets say from CAA vs. a boutique agency or
Circle of Confusion vs. small independent manager.
Do companies/readers take "bigger" agency/management submissions more
seriously than a smaller ones? I would love to think that the writing
will simply speak for itself, but from what you seen is this true?
The first time I read this, my gut reaction was "No, not at all. I don't think that has ANY bearing on the read." But then I thought about it a little more and realized the following issues MIGHT come into play.
- Scripts from bigger agencies probably will be read faster. This has less to do with reader bias and more often to do with the fact that the exec who needs the coverage will assign a higher priority to a script that comes in from a more reputable source. On that count, all you're really losing is time, though.
- If a submission comes in from one of the bigger agencies and it REALLY sucks, odds are we might be subconsciously harder on it. Probably every reader has finished a particularly bad script and thought "CAA reps this guy?! How the hell did that happen?" But again, that's a problem for the bigger repped writer, not necessarily you.
- The one instance where having a lower-level manager might hurt you is if your rep has shoveled a LOT of shit to my company lately. I'm not talking about the "Eh, it's not for me" kind of PASS, nor the "Generic on every level" PASS. I'm talking about the "I don't believe anyone in your office read a fucking word of this script because this is so bad you'd be embarrassed for people to find it in your trash!" (And yes, these guys exist.) That's when you really start off on the wrong foot with me and then everything you do wrong in the script will go into my master thesis of why this particular rep should not get his calls returned.
But again, not that for this to be a problem, you have to have written a bad script. Down on my level, there aren't many ways for a lower-prestige rep to screw you over. Where the lesser rep might present a problem is in getting someone to accept their submission, but that's mostly a decision made above my level.