Tag Archives: ICM

THR Radio Report: ICM goes wide with ‘Chopposites Attract’ script

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New media gives aspiring scribe yet another path toward failure

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.

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Writer pays entertainment attorney $175 to review ICM’s standard release form

Ultimately decides not to sign it

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The Hollywood Roaster introduces script services starting at $150

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.

Basic Coverage
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%.

Thesaurus Plus
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™

Validation Pack
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

Text Consultation
Go one-on-one with Mike for just $1 per message. Text ROASTER for more info (charge applies to first text).

Scouting Policy
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).


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Writer who can’t wait to sell a script forced to do just that

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.”

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Script reader hires script skimmer

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.”

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Screenwriter way too excited about second cousin getting job at ICM

‘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.

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13 industry readers bored to death by same script

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.

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Hollywood professionals return from “vacations” surprisingly orange

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.”

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Your awful spec script causes ICM reader to quit business altogether

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.

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