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
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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.
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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.
Unfunny romantic comedy wreaks havoc on Hollywood
More than a dozen assistants and script analysts were senselessly killed this week by “Sports Bar & Girl,” a painfully stale romantic comedy penned by aspiring screenwriter Frank Drennan of Skokie, Illinois.
“It’s just so horrible,” said an ICM executive, referring to both the script and its path of destruction. “I nearly lost my life after reading just a paragraph of the coverage. This writer has no respect for human life…or dialogue.”
According to UCLA physician Allan Chu, death by boredom is more common than ever, thanks to websites like Triggerstreet.com, which encourage talentless hacks to deluge innocent Hollywood assistants with queries and, sadly, the brutal scripts that follow.
“Historically, death by boredom was caused by activities like attending church or watching softball on television,” said Chu. “Nowadays, bad screenplays account for 74% of all boredom-related deaths. One minute you’re suffering through convoluted action descriptions, and the next minute your life is over.”
Sports Bar & Girl marks Drennan’s fifth completed screenplay, but the first to actually cause death. Previous scripts have merely discouraged, enraged or maimed readers.
Refuse to admit they couldn’t afford lavish trips this year
ICM agent Lisa Rendell returned from “two weeks in Hawaii” refreshed, happy and dark orange, according to her assistant Molly.
“She looks like an Oompa Loompa,” said the assistant. “I thought she went to Maui, not the paint aisle at Home Depot. Her face is nasty.”
Rendell wasn’t the only one looking a bit off-color. Nearly 72% of industry professionals came back from their “warm weather destinations” looking as if someone slapped a coat of orange paint on their normally pale skin.
“It was like an army of George Hamiltons coming at me,” said a Beverly Hills Starbucks employee, of the unusually colorful morning crush. “I thought these people were supposed to be rich. Maybe they couldn’t afford vacations this year, but they didn’t want other people to know.”
Despite the telltale signs of spray-on tans, many in Hollywood refused to acknowledge the fake tanning.
“South America is so amazing this time of year,” said Mosaic producer Dan Flacco, resembling a member of the Gotti family. “Man, my life is fucking fabulous.”
ICM script reader Josh Danali vowed to give his Hollywood dream at least four years to come to fruition. Then he read your awful spec screenplay about alien robots from the past, and he decided to quit the business after just six months.
“I knew I was going to move back to New Jersey by page 30,” he said of your screenplay, Robot Martians. “It was truly that bad.”
According to Danali, he suddenly realized that he didn’t want to be associated with an industry that even remotely entertained idiotic ideas like those found in your script.
“It wasn’t even the fact that the script was the worst piece of shit I’ve ever read,” he said. “I mean, it was. But the real worry was that I could actually see some agent or producer reading it and thinking ‘hey, this alien robot thing could work.’ That’s when I knew it was time to leave the biz.”
When asked whether you should continue writing, Danali suggested you may have a future in crafting direct mail copy for a marketing services firm.