Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Welcome to the New Coverage Ink!

Hope you guys are digging our new web site. Hat's off to web designer Lena Elkhatib for the layout and working through my (many!) changes and picayune tweaks, but I think the end result is worth it. I really love the new color scheme, and the fact that things are so much more organized than they were before. If you haven't seen the site yet, check it out right HERE.

Brand-new for the site are some videos, basically just me yakking into the camera. I answer the age-old "How Do I Get an Agent?" question in rather in-depth fashion, as well as how I personally deal with coverage -- with no small amount of kicking and denial! Check out the Resources page and click on videos to watch 'em. I'll be adding more to the site, so if any of you have any questions you think would be good topics for a video, e-mail me at

If you guys haven't checked out my Agent's Hot Sheet column for Creative Screenwriting magazine this month, please do so. It's a double-length piece called "How to REALLY Break In To TV." I'm really proud of this article. A lot of research went into it, and more importantly, there's stuff in there that I had never heard before -- really crucial intelligence from top TV agents and managers about how the paradigm has changed, as well as three success stories from guys who broke in to TV their own way (and how you can pilfer their tactics.) Speccing out episodes of your favorite show is no longer the way to go. So before you waste six months on that "Desperate Housewives" spec, do yourself a favor and pick up the latest CS (the one with "Kick-Ass!" on the cover.)

Coming up next -- a 1-2 punch of articles in Script magazine -- "The Top Ten Unproduced Spec Sales -- What the Hell Happened?" -- as well as "WGA Arbitration -- the Good, the Bad and the Ugly." And next issue in CS we bring you yet another crucial piece about the state of the spec marketplace (not good) and what it means for screenwriters. That's a lot of journalism, but we do it just for you ;)

Feedback on the new site? Want to bitch and holler about the biz or anything in general? E-mail


Jim Cirile
Coverage Ink
The Industry Experts

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


By Courtney J. Webb


At some point or another, many of us will take the plunge and move to LA to pursue our writing. LA’s newest arrival: Brit-by-way-of-Australia novelist/screenwriter Courtney J. Webb.


I arrived in Los Angeles two weeks ago; I left my home in Australia, sold my car to finance my trip and headed towards my dream. I intended to adapt my book “Immaculate Deception” into screenplay and Americanize a comedic movie screenplay I have written. Oh, yes, my dreams were big, my purse small and there was no margin for error. I *had* to make it in the City of Angels. Little did I know, I would need an angel in this city, literally!

I had prearranged a house share with a guy who works for a well-known recording studio. He seemed friendly and respectable. I was also comforted by the fact that my cowriter also from down under was with me, and we would all split the rent; I mean, what could possibly go wrong, right? Wrong!

When I got there, the respectable American whom for the sake of this article I will call Frank, had his parents there. Not a problem right? Wrong! They both had flu, and I was woken up every day by them spitting out phlegm in the bathroom -- and then there were the strange noises that came from Frank’s bedroom when his “mummy” put him to bed every night! Breast feeding immediately came to mind…

Needless to say, I had to speak up. It’s the right thing to do when there is a problem right? Wrong! Despite my tact and diplomacy when inquiring as to how long they may be staying, the household, including my cowriter, conspired to chuck me out on to the mean streets of LA. I mean, things couldn’t get worse right? Wrong! I checked my money that my cowriter had been looking after for me, and it was two thousand dollars down!

Crying on my suitcases, I rang a girlfriend who picked me up in her car and I explain my dream was becoming a nightmare. Luckily I was rescued by a knight on a mare, this one in shining armour – a fellow screenwriting acquaintance I’d met online whom I shall call Arthur. Despite having never met me face-to-face, my colleague and fellow writer welcomed me into his home immediately -- and ten days later, this is where I stay, safe and warm. Now, nothing bad could possibly happen right? Wrong!

I had to report my cowriter’s crime to LAPD, I am on foot, bearing in mind you guys drive on “the dark side” and crossing the road is a death-defying experience for me. Anyway, I go to the local post office to ask where the station is, they explain its miles up the same road. My heels were already causing blisters on blisters so I guess my expression said it all. To the rescue comes yet another knight in shining armour -- a dear old Indian man, who explains he is going that way; he gives me a lift. I mean how nice, right? Wrong!

All the way down Culver Blvd, he attempts to molest me, and when we arrive at the police station he tries to lick inside my ear whilst explaining how attractive I am. He has good taste, right? Right!

Now just because I lived for ten years in a coastal country town in regional Australia doesn’t mean I am stupid. I grew up on the streets of the UK and I am still streetwise, right? Wrong! As if that one experience wasn’t enough, I accept another lift this time from a very friendly chap I met in Venice Beach who offered me a lift home as he was going the same way. I mean, let’s face it, you can’t tar everyone with the same brush right? Wrong!

I know what you are thinking, that he tried to molest me, Right? Wrong! He didn’t try to molest me, he molested himself! He pulled out his willy and gave it a good spanking while staring at my legs, and not the road!

But at least these crazy experiences are over and have served to teach me a few valuable lessons, one of which they teach 5 year olds in school -- do not take lifts from strange men! So after all this grief, it’s clear I am different, vulnerable and alone in this big city. I may as well give up and go home where I belong, right? Wrong!

I am both inspired and empowered by my own vulnerability. I have seen the city through different eyes, and will now present it in words with a new passion. Writing about my experiences can serve many purposes; it is my escapism, my therapy and my job, and that is the ultimate in freedom.


Check out Courtney’s first published novel “Immaculate Deception,” a hilarious British sex farce, right here on Amazon.

Friday, March 05, 2010


We must be nuts! The CS Open--now relocated to the icy cold vastness of cyberspace--back again? Wasn't the last time punishment enough? Why, yes it was! But that's not stopping us. Yea, though verily we battled most mightily through thousands of scenes not even a year ago, we are gearing up to do the very same thing again. When? Oh, how about... NOW?

You got it -- the CS Open writing tournament is back for year 9, once again judged by yours truly and our team of expert industry readers. Big prizes are once again on tap, as well as much excitement and challenge for participants as you guys attempt to impress the hell out of us with your best interpretation of our diabolically convoluted scene prompts! The premise goes live April 16th, and you will have an entire WEEKEND this time to write something truly splendiferous. no excuses this time, folks!

And yes, we've learned our lessons from last time, and hopefully (!) have solved some of the technical issues and foul-ups from the first online go-round last year (recall, previously the CS Open had been a live in-person, not online, event at the Screenwriting Expo.) But the best part is, this time out, we are VIDEOTAPING the 3 top scenes and will be posting them online for EVERYONE to judge! Forget tallying up a couple hundred votes on paper ballots from our audience members--this time out, everyone gets to vote (note: Diebold/Premier Election Systems will have no part of the vote counting, thereby assuring you that who you vote for will actually be who you vote for.)

Register online now RIGHT HERE and may the best scenes win!

--Jim C.
Coverage Ink