Earlier today I lied on Twitter.

It wasn’t a big lie, but it’s been playing on my mind. The tweet in question was:

Can you spot the blatant lie? Can you? Huh?

I hope not, because you’d have to have access to my laptop or desktop to work it out.

Actually, it’s not really a lie, more of an error – I’ve only been involved with 50 feature projects. One of them was in two separate folders under different names. Call it sloppy research, call it an inefficient filing system, fuck, call it Clarence for all I care – the point is, it’s not 51, it’s 50.

Luckily, the error was on the unproduced side, not the produced side, so my produced/unproduced ratio has gone up! It now looks something like this:

Which may be good or bad, I have no idea. What percentage of projects are supposed to be produced?

No idea.

At all.

But it got me thinking, how many projects do writers get involved with? How many get produced, how many fall by the wayside or fizzle out? Is there any place on the Internet where this information is available in easy to understand yet not terribly useful charts?

Yes there is my friend, look no further! Here’s that same pie chart as a bar chart!

And here is what happened to the nine which went into production:

Four have yet to make it out the far end. Four! That’s 44.44% … apparently.

How did all these projects come about? Well, for these reasons:

Only one of the nine produced films was a spec script, by the way. I haven’t got a chart for that. Oh wait, I could make one! Here it is:

Bit pointless that one. Or is it? You can deduce from that spec scripts are 8 times less likely to be produced than commissioned ones. If you’re me. At this time.


But here’s a useless chart with no labels on it:

As you can see, company A has come back for more punishment scripts 14 times! Suckers! Company B are gluttons for punishment too.

But how does that equate to actually produced projects? Well, I’m glad you asked me that – for I have a chart detailing it right here:

As you can see, Company A makes good on its promises 4 times out of 14. That’s … um … a percentage. Company B are obviously a bunch of complete and utter no hopers. What a waste of time and money. Well, time anyway. The money wasn’t wasted, I spent it. On crack.

As for the time … well, how much writing is there involved in 50 feature film projects? Stick around, kid; you’re about to find out!

And how does that break down per project? Startlingly similar to this:

I know this isn’t much use really without the names of the projects, but I couldn’t fit them on. Here’s the same chart for treatments:

It would have been kind of nice to have these charts overlaid on each other; but I don’t know how to do that, so I haven’t. Hey, it would be nice if we could all fly and eat cake without getting fat, the world’s not perfect, okay? Leave me alone.

Here’s the chart I didn’t do for the number of synopses per project:

Because I couldn’t be arsed.

I suppose it would be helpful to know which projects were actually produced? Well, it was the last F, the first K, the L, the M, the second N, the 4th and 5th S and the third T. Does that help?

Yeah, whatever. I’m kind of getting bored of charts now. Here’s an extremely pointless one detailing how many of the projects were sequels to existing movies:

None of them have fucking happened, have they?

Two more and then I’m going home. After counting all the treatments, synopses and drafts in my ‘Films’ folder I checked to see how many files were in there in total:

1140? Only 207 of which are drafts, treatments or synopses? What. The. Fuck?

I guess the others are duplicates of the documents either as pdf doc fdr or without dates/draft numbers on the front. Or with different titles … who knows? Not me, that’s for fucking certain.

One last chart. An important one. How many of the projects I’ve worked on am I completely and totally happy with?

Which one? Well, the one I did for you, of course!



Categories: My Way, Random Witterings, Sad Bastard | 6 Comments

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6 thoughts on “Stats

  1. Ooh, apparently:

    “This is your 555th post. Splendid! This post has 787 words.”


  2. It is truly amazing how many things writers can do to put off writing – the other day I logged two years worth of five credit card statements to show myself that the debt really is going down – slowly – very slowly. I then made a graph of that. When I next have to put off some writing I am going back to the pile of statement to log all the interest paid per month. That should frighten me back to writing.

    • Procrastination? But this is vital information the world has to know. It was absolutely essential I wrote it and it’s lucky for you lot I’m prepared to sacrifice my time so you can … um … hmm.

      What colour was the graph?

  3. How did you make these graphs? Is there a graph making website that I am unaware of?
    Either way, interesting information. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Pingback: 2011 « The Jobbing Scriptwriter

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