By A.J. Llewellyn
I'm so excited that this wonderful anthology, Sins of Winter is out and it contains one of my fave stories, If Come.
Until the day before I started writing this story I'd never heard of an If Come deal, which, I learned is the hot new thing in Hollywood. How it works is that a producer reads a screenplay and instead of giving the writer money and a contract, they give the author a contract and a promise that if it comes to pass that the screenplay is sold, the writer will get extra money on top of the industry standard rate.
The producer I'd met with on a project wanted to give me an If Come deal and I was a little...perturbed. I'd never heard of an If Come deal and hated sounding like a dumb-ass asking him to explain. I've worked as a screenplay reader for several years and it shocked me that I didn't know what an If Come deal was.
He patiently described how it all worked. I'd had deals in the past where I'd allowed a couple of people to option my material for free. Both times, they were actors and I still lament that those projects never worked out. My lit agent at the time warned me against these deals saying unless people paid for the right to projects they didn't take them seriously but I've never believed this to be true.
I personally know tons of people who have no financial binding to a project but heartily champion their passion pieces...besides, as a struggling young writer, I was thrilled that people even liked my work, let alone wanted to option it. I even had a mad dinner one night with actor Robert Blake about a screenplay I wrote...but that's a whole 'nother story...
The If Come deal is a whole lot better for writers because they get more money than they otherwise would, and hungry producers get to pitch something they love to the studio and/or production company.
After checking with a couple of friends who are smarter than I am and knew all about If Come deals - one of them actually had one and it panned out!! - I signed the contract but of course, I am waiting. I'm not thinking about it much except of course it gave me the idea for a cool story!
If Come is about a struggling writer, Zam Carmarthen, who is dealing with depression - actually he is dealing with acedia - one of the oldest of the seven deadly sins - and he wants badly to make it in Hollywood. He's had some success with one screenplay, which he sold...except that a famous script doctor, Dominic Glass was hired to rewrite it and got the final screenwriting credit.
Yep...those things happen in Hollywood every day.
When Zam gets an If Come deal for a second screenplay, he learns to his horror that Dominic Glass is being scheduled to take over as author. ARRGGH!
Of course...love, sex, passion, movies...love...did I mention love? happen...and well, I won't say anything more. I hope you'll check out this handsome new antho with my story and two rocking great ones from D.J. Manly and Serena Yates.
And if it comes to pass that you read it, gimme a holler. I'd love to know what you think!
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