If the writer is an unknown, you must attach a reputable, bankable, NAME director, who will then attract bigger cast.
If an A-list actor is attached, you can get away with up and coming writers and directors.
The process is very much a chicken or the egg scenario as to where you start, but if you have financing to back your offers, and a pretty good script, you have a fair shot, at attaching one or the other right? WRONG.
One would think that you contact Director/Actor’s agent, submit the script and an offer commensurate with what they are getting on other projects, and depending on their availability, they will read it and decide if they would like to come on board.
It seems that if the offer isn’t coming from a studio, the agents/managers could care less about presenting it to their clients. It’s not like real estate, where no matter how shitty your low ball offer is, the agent must show it to the owner. They will simply wait a few days, be very polite and say that their client didn’t respond to the material.
After a while, you start to wonder – did they really even read it?
If you are relentless like me, you aren’t going to take the first NO lying down. So you find another way to get to that specific Actor/Director to see if there is any feedback or interest AT ALL. Maybe they just wanted more money?
And then something infuriating happens. Through your dermatologist’s shaman’s sister’s AA sponsor, you find someone right in the person’s camp to ask them about the project. Guess what: they’ve never heard of it. The agent never even told them about it.
Here lies the new system. While ENTOURAGE gave us many gifts (Fat Turtle and Skinny Turtle) it showed us that every star, be it actor or director, has an “E.” A best friend/producing partner/Eskimo Brother that serves as a gate keeper. If you can get to them, and grease their palms a little, you may actually have a fair shot.
If the actor/director does decide to sign on (as long as he and his friend both get producer credits, production company credits, huge back end, plus their 7 figure fees), you still have to then go back to the Agent to negotiate.
At this point, the agent/manager has done absolutely nothing to get their client this gig, so you’d think they would respond quickly to earn they commission. Wrong again!
In my experience, it may take some passive aggressive comments to the client saying “Hey, you know we sent your reps the offer with the numbers and everything you wanted, but how strange, it’s been two weeks and they haven’t returned our calls…”
Then the client has to call and threaten to leave before they can get back to you, defer to a lawyer, and milk you for more money (to cover their commission).
Once you get to the lawyers though, its heaven – they get paid by the hour to respond to you and the pretense is over.
So who is going to re-vamp IMDBpro and delete all the agent info and replace it with each person’s E?