Tag Archives: ICM
Even in 2-minute increments, writer’s work still heinous
The advent of new media has created a growing demand for inventive storylines and compelling characters, but there’s still no market for the hackwork produced by 28-year-old scribe Andy Kaplan.
“[Kaplan] sent me an idea for a web series based on robot hamsters and their human lovers,” said ICM’s Bob Kelleren. “I don’t even know where to begin criticizing that one. ‘Hambot Love?’ Whatever.”
Undeterred by years of rejection by the film and TV industry, Kaplan has decided to focus his efforts on the digital front.
“I really think my writing caters to the shorter format,” he said. “I’m always getting feedback like ‘the writing doesn’t sustain’ or ‘the story sags in the middle.’ With webisodes, I only have to worry about keeping people interested for two or three minutes, tops.”
In addition to Hambot Love, Kaplan is also working on 13 different reality web series ideas and a mobile entertainment game based on shopping cart racing.
Ultimately decides not to sign it
Exclusive ‘Text Message Consultation’ available for $1 per text
The Hollywood Roaster is proud to partner with former ICM intern and freelance script reader Mike Bernell to provide a range of consultation services for today’s gullible writer.
Struggling to get past the industry gatekeepers? Let a former gatekeeper tell you what you’re doing wrong. Complete with official-looking letterhead, as if it’s from people who really matter!
Basic Coverage, Half-Pasted™
You might be wondering why coverage that’s 50% recycled from previous scripts is more expensive than all-new coverage from our Basic Package. That’s your first problem: assuming there’s a rhyme or reason to our services. Stop doing that.
Personal Bias Package
Mike hates comedy, horror, action and drama. If you have a screenplay that fits into one of those genres, Mike will be happy to rip it to shreds for you, no matter how good it is. Overnight rush available! Just add 50%.
Using both a physical thesaurus and thesaurus.com, we’ll go through your script and change normal words to big ones. Guaranteed to impress, galvanize, stimulate and thrill your readers! See?
Add $75 for Pseudonym Punch™
You’re not going to address our notes anyway, so let’s just call this what it is: a desperate plea for positive reinforcement. We’re more than happy to oblige, especially since we’d like your return business. We guarantee you won’t be disappointed by our glowing review! Also included is a chart of companies to target with your material, which we can already tell is fabulous.
Misguided Development Notes
We’ve never been part of the actual development or production process on a feature film, but that won’t stop us from giving you all kinds of ignorant, misguided advice!
Add $200 for casting suggestions
Mike has handled literally thousands of scripts in his career, from photocopying them to delivering them to merely stacking them. For some reason, we feel that qualifies him to come up with better titles for your script.
$250 Overnight Rush
Go one-on-one with Mike for just $1 per message. Text ROASTER for more info (charge applies to first text).
If we truly LOVE your script, we’ll blast it out to all six of our contacts. Which is pretty awesome for YOU, because The Hollywood Roaster and Mike Bernell have connections at the top management companies in town (and two in Florida). If you think it’s weird that we have all these hookups, but still can’t work them for our own benefit, please don’t read too much into that. We only care about your success. We promise.
About Mike Bernell
A failed screenwriter himself, Mike can identify the weaknesses in any writer’s script, then exploit and insult those deficiencies for pure profit. His wide-ranging experience includes a 3-month stint at ICM and numerous freelance gigs (i.e. unpaid internships) for small production companies. He is currently unrepped, but working on his 23rd feature screenplay.
“My scripts have NEVER been better. The passes I’ve been getting from managers are much more polite these days. Thanks Hollywood Roaster!!!!!!”
-Sheila Harding from Peoria
“I can’t believe they let me pay for this! It’s like they’re doing me a favor!”
-Bill R. from Dallas
“I never send a script to studios without running it past The Hollywood Roaster first.”
-Marcy B. producer of numerous films
Download the Hollywood Roaster Script Services price chart (PDF).
His hope to erode slowly and painfully over time
For more than eight years, aspiring screenwriter Ben Simons has been looking forward to the day he sells his first feature script. That day will never come, according to most industry experts.
“Oh, I read one of Ben’s scripts last year,” said ICM agent Paula Barker. “Well I guess I read like five pages of it, to be more accurate. I think it was about killer hamsters or something…pretty awful.”
That script, Hamsterphobia, did not ultimately sell or garner interest from any reps in Hollywood, much to Simons’ confusion.
“I really thought I had something with Hamsterphobia,” he said. “No worries, though. My structure has improved so much since then. I’m sure this new script is the one that will kick off my career. It’s super-high concept and totally commercial.”
Benderspink’s Todd Larouche disagrees.
“A script about a guy who loses his virginity to a nun?” said Larouche. “That’s neither high concept nor commercial. This guy should just give up.”
Resulting coverage mostly a guess
A story analyst employed by ICM recently revealed he hasn’t read a single script in more than a month, but that hasn’t stopped him from turning in 42 coverage reports over the same period.
“And it’s all thanks to Bobby,” said the analyst, referring to the 16-year-old ‘skimmer’ he found on Craigslist. “His basic process is to flip through a screenplay and kinda guess at the plot. Then he gives me a page of notes, and I expand that into the traditional report.”
According to the ICM analyst, the new process has not only saved him a ton of time, it’s also improved his standing within the company.
“The skimming-based coverage is typically shorter than my old reports, and the agents really appreciate that,” he said. “We pass on 99% of scripts anyway, so it’s not really like the content matters anyway.”
When asked if he was worried about being caught, the analyst shrugged.
“Oh no, please don’t take away my awesome job!” he joked. “Besides, if I was fired, I’d just go off on my own and start a lucrative script skimming business. There’s a whole legion of newbies out there waiting to fork over $200 for a skim.”
‘This is just the break I need!’ exclaims irrational hack
Screenwriter Jake Friedman has been unable to land a literary agent for the past six years, a failure he attributes solely to the fact he wasn’t related to anyone in the biz – until now.
“I was talking to my mom yesterday, and she mentioned that my second cousin Karl just got a job on a desk at ICM,” said Friedman. “I’m so in, baby. It’s on like Donkey Kong!”
Friedman, a talentless hack from Illinois, currently slings burgers at a local Carl’s Jr. and writes science fiction screenplays in his spare time.
“I’ve had to dodge seven of his calls in two days,” said Karl Blankenship, Friedman’s reluctant relative. “I’ve only been at ICM for like a week…the last thing I want to show my boss is a 134-page shitpile about a race of alien sex slaves who need mankind’s help to escape their bug-like captors.”
According to sources, Friedman has already informed 11 people that he will be a full-time screenwriter by June.