Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Coverage Ink/Writers on the Storm March Newsletter

MARCH GLADNESS! Get $20 off any coverage/story analysis submission to Coverage Ink now through March 15, 2014. Includes features, 1-hr TV and manuscripts. 1/2-hr TV, shorts and outlines are excluded. May not be combined with other discounts. Submit your script at and use code GLADNESS to get your discount. Coverage Ink -- The Industry Experts. 

Hi friends,

We’re very excited this month to bring you an interview with WOTS top ten writer Patrick Tobin (“Cake.”) Tobin’s script made the Black List late last year, catapulting him into orbit. “Cake” is now fast-tracked with a certain actress whose initials are JENNIFER FREAKING ANISTON starring and producing.

Yeah, holy crapola is right.

I think Patrick’s story will resonate with many of us. See, he is not what we would call “young,” at least not in Hollywood terms. He graduated film school in 1990. And we all know that Hollywood is a youth-oriented town. “It would be ridiculous for me to say that (ageism) doesn’t happen,” says manager A.B. Fischer from Shuman Co. “If they’re looking for the next up-and-coming writer, the 50-year-old person is probably not that person. But with an incredible piece of writing, it doesn’t matter.” Manager Ava Jamshidi from Industry Entertainment feels that it’s less about age than personality. “For me, the biggest thing is how they are in a room. If somebody’s awesome and dynamic and great in a room, then that’s almost as important as being a really good writer. Having a really good script gets you into the room, but if you can’t wow ‘em once you’re there, you’re never going to get the job.”

Ava put her money where her mouth is. She signed Patrick Tobin based on the strength of “Cake.” How about them apples? So for all of us out there who are noticing the gray hairs are beginning to overtake, check out what Patrick Tobin has to say.

One other thing. I asked Richard Arlook from the Arlook Group (who discovered last year’s Black List darling “Rodham” off a query letter) for the real skinny on ageism in Hollywood. “Let’s say Writer ‘A’ graduates USC Film School at 21 years old,” says Arlook. “He writes a spec, and it sells; he gets a couple of assignments. By the time he’s 25, he’s a working writer. Everybody that he knows (are now) VPs at the studios or working for producers or producers themselves. He continues to work and tends to get hired by his contemporaries. So now it’s 20 years later. He’s in his mid 40s. Meanwhile, there are other guys in their mid 20s that went to film school being hired by their contemporaries. The reality of it is that once you get to be in your 40s in this business, you’re working on a really, really senior level. How many guys in their 40s are reading samples and stuff like that? You can call it ageism. To me, it’s like a circle of life.” 

True dat. On the other hand, us writers in our 40s, 50s and 60s have that much more life experience and skill to bring to the table. As long as we leave our inner geezer at home, we should still be able to kick some ass. But I’ll let Patrick Tobin tell you all about that.

Fight the power, my friends!

Jim Cirile

TRACKING B TV Script Contest - Early Entry Deadline 2/28/14 

Whoa, the Tracking B early entry deadline is upon us. If you have a TV pilot, this one is a must-enter. See, Tracking B is the real deal -- a genuine industry tracking board. Their contest offers no prizes per se -- just access. Check out the jaw-dropping industry panel who will be reading the submissions, companies like Lionsgate, CBS, Gersh and many more. Tracking B's success rate puts every other contest to shame. Last year's finalist, sci-fi pilot EXTANT, was picked up by CBS after a bidding war with FX and TNT. The series launches mid-season. HURRY - enter now! And good luck.


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