Wednesday, April 22, 2009

This Is Why It's Called Development Hell

Hi. Long time no see. How you been? Yeah? Me? I've been OK, I guess. You know, same old, same old...

Oh who am I kidding.

Last week, my dream was momentarily crushed.

So you all (or you both, or maybe just "you") remember how I was working on a super-secret TV project with a hot big-name director who was gonna develop it and start selling it to networks who would have all jumped at the chance to work with this guy? Life was good.

We (me, My Manager, some other people on my side of the bill) were working with them (the big-name director and his underlings) for about six months. Sending drafts back and forth, getting notes, refining the script and treatment to fit their brand, etc. We were close. Actually, I thought we were done.

Turns out, all was not what it seemed.

The big-name director hadn't actually ever read any version of the script, or if he had, it was the earliest version, back when this started. After that, it was all Us and His Underlings. And His Underlings were developing (in our opinion, at times over-developing) the script with a fine-toothed comb. Then we got to a point where We and Them figured it was time to run our baby by the big-name director. So the big-name director took it home over a weekend, read the script, read the treatment, read the "this is what's really happening, but don't tell the audience" document, and came back to work on Monday.

And he told My Manager that, while he thought it was decent, it didn't really fire him up, and he was gonna pass. He had other projects that interested him more in his lap.

They walked away.

So, well, fuck.

Where does this leave the project? Well it's ours again, and we're gonna have a meeting of the minds, decide what version, or what part of each version, we want to keep, draft a new version and send it out again. There were other big-name directors interested six months ago (though none as big as this guy) so we'll see if they are still interested, and we'll see if we can get anyone else interested.

And the TV project will continue to exist in a little place known in Hollywood as Development Hell.