I’ll let that sit there. Think about it for a minute. I’d earn more standing behind a till at Tesco.
This was posted today on Mandy.
Type: Film (LB)
Salary: No Pay £100
Duration: ASAP shooting in July
We are looking for a writer for a feature film being shot in July. The team have put together an outline and character breakdown so we are looking for a talented writer with strong structure skills to join the team.
The story is about a Sri Lankan rickshaw driver who drives a stripper home, shot in real time. Knowledge of globalisation is a plus.
The team is made of industry professionals collaborating to take the feature to festivals. We have very strong industry links and have a production company so everything can be done in house. This is a no budget production, no one will be getting paid but the writer will receive a back end percentage on the film and £100 as we know it is a big job.
We are open to all levels of writers but would like to see some sample scripts, have a reference (film school is fine) and meet you in person before confirming.
We would like to have a first draft by 1st June and final draft by 15th July.
Not entirely sure what to make of this. I’d be interested to see what the rest of the world thinks of “the writer will receive a back end percentage on the film and £100 as we know it is a big job”.
I am confounded by an advert typical of those posted on mandy.com.
Director seeks feature film script, drama or thriller only. Low budget. Salary min wage. Apply to: Julian.
Why would anyone reply to an advert like this?
Would Julian reply to an advert like this?
Why would anyone work with someone who shows so little respect for your efforts as a writer?
Doing that thing again. I see adverts posted on mandy, read them with some interest, then discard them as a waste of time.
The problem is I keep going back for another look. I know they’ll be a waste of time, and I will achieve nothing by pursuing them, but I still find myself thinking about applying.
Has anyone ever got anything other than a headache by replying to “collaboration” adverts?
I see a lot of adverts on websites like mandy.com requesting screenplays. I read them with optimism. Go back to them looking for a glimmer of possibility, ultimately rejecting them as more trouble than they’re worth.
Am I cutting my nose off to spite my face?
I don’t know. I do know the promised credit, festival submission, and copy of the film, is not enough. If you want my work, I want to be paid, even for a short. Getting paid means ou mean business.
I’m also suspicious of would-be directors who have no writing skill at all, because it seems to me, if they have no writing skill, they have no understanding of how hard it is to actually write something.
How do I know this?
Because every time I have given a director a project screenplay, they’ve requested changes, massive changes, the kind that change the story. If you don’t like the story pass. As if I hadn’t thought about every aspect of the story, every word on the page, and made a conscious decision to write it that way. It seems to me the directors job is to tell the story, as written, not the other way round.
Perhaps I will regret writing this, because it’ll probably alienate potential collaborators, but that’s what I am looking for, collaborators, people who respect what I have done, enough to tell that story, as written.
The posters of these adverts could write the screenplays themselves. That’s why I started writing, I had stories I wanted to direct. Failing that, if they have stories they want to tell, and are unable to put it on paper, they could hire me to write it for them, not take what I’ve written and turn it inside out.