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How to ruin a two million dollar studio deal

Once upon a time there was a young writing team.

They pitched an idea to an agent they knew and were told it was going to sell.

In fact, a studio verbally committed to buying their idea.

Then The Writer’s Strike happened, and the studio stopped the purchase.

Instead of sulking, the writing team decided to write the script on spec.

Through their network, they were able to get their script into the hands of a significant producer, and this producer took their script to the marketplace.

In the very first hour of Day 1, they got a preemptive offer, their largest to date.

The deal was two million dollars up front against an additional fee.

Plus the studio was prepared to commit to them on a blind agreement to write a remake of one of their big titles.

So based on this original screenplay, which didn’t sell as an idea, they were now being offered two million dollars upfront, which was their first big payday.

Plus they had an additional movie in the pipeline.

Fantastic, right?

Well, here’s what happened next.

The producer told the team to hold on a second, because he wanted to take the project to another studio that he felt would also buy it.

The other studio was bigger, had the ability to offer a better deal, etc…

So while the bigwigs at the new studio were reading the script, an A-List director quietly signed onto a project (already owned by that studio) that was very similar in tone and concept to the new one that was being read.

As a result, the studio passed on the spec script.

At this point, the young writers went crawling back to the original studio.

Fortunately, the studio still agreed to take back the project.

But this time, they offered only $150,000 against a paltry set fee.

Within a day, the writers went from being millionaires to taking 150k.

Now, what made the producer turn down the sweet deal that they were being offered at the first studio?

Well, greed was certainly part of the equation.

But mostly it was fear.

Fear of missing out on a better deal, fear of failure, and even fear of looking foolish.

Here’s what’s instructive.

So the guys were crushed.

They were heartbroken.

And they were disappointed beyond belief.

But do you know what they did?

They dusted themselves off and immediately got to work on their next script.

This project was done, so they said “Next!” and moved on.

They knew exactly how to handle all the voices clamoring in their minds, all the voices of self-doubt, discouragement, and fear.

They acknowledged the voices, recognized that the voices didn’t serve them, and so they continued in their pursuit of their screenwriting dreams.

These writers are super successful today as a result.

During these last days of 2015, this is an interesting story for you to ponder.

How do YOU handle fear in your screenwriting career?

Do you let it beat you down and control you?

Or do you USE the fear as a tool to propel yourself towards your screenwriting goals?

Knowing how to do the latter will give you a huge competitive advantage heading into 2016, so I hope you actually answer the questions listed above.

Speaking of 2016, Happy (early) New Year!

I value you more than you can possibly imagine, and it’s an honor that you’re reading these words as part of The BOSI Community.

But a quick reminder for you.

Like I mentioned yesterday, I’m permanently shutting down the “Read My Script” program in 2016.

So from now until Saturday January 2nd, 2016, you get one, final chance to register.

And of course you get a steep discount as a “bon voyage” gift!

Check it out here:

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