This week, I’ve had emails from: four people about writing a feature for them (two complete strangers, one I wrote a treatment for last year (who might want a re-write on a new project) and one who I was recommended to by a friend); a woman who’s read one of my features and wants to produce it; a guy who wants to discuss the writing of a sitcom based on his web-diaries; a guy I worked with who wants to employ me as a part-time, in-house writer for a corporate production company; and two people who are still intent on filming two of my short scripts.
Now, this is not a ‘normal’ week for me; what the hell’s going on? Is there a writer’s strike or something?
There’s an odd pattern to the people who ‘cold email’ me about feature writing jobs. They all say something like:
Hi Phill, I found your profile on **********.com; I’m a producer/director who’s done ******* and I’m looking for a writer for a feature film I intend to produce/direct next year/month/millennium. Are you available/interested? The budget is quite limited, but there would be a small fee available.
Now, I always reply to these people; because you never know who they are or what the chances of them actually making a film are. In the past I’ve been paid by reasonably established people who then disappeared; and ended up with a feature produced by people I thought were full of shit. So I always reply:
Dear Random Person,
I’m certainly interested in learning more about you and your project. If you’ve got some details about yourself and the story, I’d love to look them over.
I look forward to hearing from you.
But I never do. Hear from them, that is. I always look forward to hearing from them.
This is weird, isn’t it? It’s not just me? What’s going on? Have they emailed a large number of people, found someone they like more and can’t be bothered to tell me? Were they drunk, having a laugh and emailing random people? Have they realised, actually they don’t have a story idea or the means/will to make a movie? Is my reply rude? Have they found out I’m ginger?
What’s going on?
Surely it doesn’t take much for a ‘thanks, but I’ve found someone else’ reply? Where’s the professionalism? Where’s the courtesy? Where’s the love?
Actually, scratch the love, I’ll just settle for some good old fashioned courtesy. Am I asking too much?