Tuesday, 15 February 2011

A golden fleece

I’ve just had an email letting me know that me that my time is running out.

Yup – it was almost exactly six months ago that Jake and I stuck Resurrection up on InkTip, under the misguided belief that we might be able to sell the bugger. Our personal circumstances have obviously changed since then, but originally we had no intention of making the movie ourselves.

*Sigh*. Our more astute regular readers settle themselves in for another Phelpenrant.

For those of you unfamiliar with InkTip, it’s an American website onto which you can upload unsold screenplays; this is then allegedly trawled by industry professionals looking for new projects (“on average 150 different professionals do searches for scripts every week”). I am well aware that there is an enormous industry in the US dedicated to fleecing wannabe scriptwriters with vain promises of access to Hollywood bigwigs, but mildly positive feedback on an old Shooting People posting made me think that InkTip might possibly be the exception.

And the sad thing is that I really should have known better. This particular hound has bitten me on the arse already; I posted my previous screenplay up there, to marginal levels of industry enthusiasm.

The thing about the last screenplay though is that it’s a very British road-movie sort of personal drama with un-likeable characters and a backwards time structure that not everyone gets but which I think is essential to showing the emotional journey of the protagonist who’s either an intravenous drug-user or mentally ill and it’s kind of like a fucked-up fairy tale with dark humour and a nihilistic world-view where friends betray you or abandon you or are just plain psychopathic and you find out within the first eight minutes that our lead character is doomed which kind of tinges everything that follows in a bittersweet hue.

And it seemed that Hollywood just wasn’t ready for me then.

So, we play the game. With Resurrection we tried to target the perfect combination of genre, novelty and budget. A bunch of zombies terrorising a small cast, in one location, with a totally new twist to unload into an unsuspecting audience. Marketable as Hell itself; it was even listed on InkTip as Zombie Resurrection, just to hammer the point home. A mere $100 later (including a listing in their magazine – “4,500 entertainment professionals receive complimentary printed copies, and we e-mail PDF copies to thousands of others”), and we were all set for our first big sale.

And how many of these thousands of entertainment professionals have checked out our screenplay over the last six months?


Yup. Not a single person.

To put this into context, the only information that these Hollywood execs had to go on was the name of the movie, the synopsis (“15 months after the zombie apocalypse, a group of survivors are forced to take refuge in an abandoned psychiatric hospital, where they encounter a mysterious zombie with the power to bring the undead back to life”), and the budget estimate (which we obviously set to the lowest range available). If this reels you in, you go download the script. Or rather, you don’t.

No one? Really? I’m intrigued by the premise, and I already know how it ends.

As a great man once said – “fool me once, shame on you. But we won’t get fooled again”. Mugged.

1 comment:

  1. Happens to the best of us, lucky you didn't lose a lot more wool! Cx