Sunday, December 03, 2006

Old Times

All of a sudden, it feels like the good old days. Or at least, the early days of my green and keen time of being a reader. When you start out as a reader, you're eager to take on as many scripts as possible in order to build your reputation and demonstrate that you're fully reliable.

Most readers breeze in and out by doing two reports a week, maybe going up to four if they're pushed. Most companies like it this way in order to space out who gets to read what, and to receive a variety of coverage in return. But sometimes, the spec pile just builds and builds, until there's a script traffic jam so large that the only way to create some space is to offload the scripts to whoever wants 'em. And so, the beleaguered reader finds himself with double the workload, partly out of necessity, partly because of his inability to say 'no'.

Last week, what started out as a five-script week quickly turned into an eight script charge. One of them was a 'fast turnaround' where you get the script in the evening, last minute, and they want a report by the next morning. These can be frustrating and demanding but they're also interesting and challenging because you don't have time to question your instincts, and the coverage usually comes out honest and illuminating.

When I lived in London, I could finish off whatever reports needed to be done on Friday morning and then I'd toddle off into town in the afternoon to drop the scripts off, and pick up some more. Now that I live in Poole, I don't have that morning-report luxury anymore (because of the two hour train journey) which means I have to have all reports done the day before my travel and return. This might not sound like much but it feels like you're losing a day of work.

For this week, I have taken on five scripts and two books to read but I only have three days in which to get them done, and I'm in London twice, so it's going to be a bit of a rush and a few late nights. This is okay, I knew this when I agreed to take away the scripts, but it means that I may not be blogging as much this week, or in the next couple of weeks, as I try to bash through as many scripts as possible so that I can buy some Christmas presents.

On the script front, there are still exciting things on-the-go, in the pipeline and waiting in the sidelines but as ever, they have their own unique length of orbit around the reply & respond sun of rejection & commission. Never hold your breath. Always crack on with something else. Tis the Season to Make Money so I'm going to get through as many scripts as humanly possible, and come up for air on the other side.

If a Q&A comes in or a Guest Post pops up, I'll be sure to post. See you soon-ish.

1 comment:

Bang2Write said...

Wow - obviously the diff between reading for production co's and literary agents if you'd do four at a push! When I very first started I would literally drag two bags of scripts back home on the train, both of them fit to bursting. I'd usually have 2-3 weeks to read them AND on that very first placement (which I had to fit in round uni work and the fact I was a single mum) it was unpaid! Thank christ those days are behind me, though it was absolutely invaluable experience.