by Jennifer Bozell
For writers anxiously waiting for a producer or creative executive to respond to a script submission, it can be frustrating. Why exactly do they sometimes take so long to reply? Well, that’s because they often have a LOT on their plates. Here’s a sample day in the life of a busy producer or executive:
9AM. Arrive at the office, check email and return phone calls. This may include passing on projects, setting up meetings for projects that have potential, or setting meetings with promising writers.
10AM. Staff meeting. Discuss with co-workers the status of the projects on the company’s slate. What projects are moving forward, what is stalling. How’s the search going for a director on the feature film in pre-production?
11AM. Notes conference call. The second draft of a pilot script is due to its network buyer in two weeks. First it has to pass the studio’s round of notes. But before that, it has to pass the producer’s round of notes. The producer gives the writer constructive criticism on what still needs work in his script, while praising its successful elements.
12PM. Writer meeting. This might be a general meeting with a writer who’s written a good sample script, or a pitch meeting, or a meeting to hire staff for a new TV show. Or maybe the company owns the rights to a property and the producer is taking meetings to find a writer to adapt it.
1PM. Business lunch with another industry professional.
2:30PM. On a slower day, the producer has some time to write up notes on the newest drafts of the projects she’s overseeing. There’s always another draft of a script coming in, and that means more notes for the writer!
3:30PM. Meeting with another producer regarding a project that’s a co-production between the two companies.
4:30PM. Watch dailies of the company’s TV show/film currently in production. Email or call the production team with feedback.
5:30 PM. Pitch meeting! Meet with a studio/network/buyer and, together with the writer of the project, give a presentation to try to sell a pitch.
6:30PM. Attend the company’s movie’s premiere (or a colleague’s) or attend its TV show’s audience taping.
If the producer doesn’t have an event to attend, or a dinner with a colleague, working past 7:00pm is not uncommon.
What is it, then, that the producer often doesn’t have time for? Reading the giant stack of scripts sitting on her desk! Those often become evening or weekend reads. So remember, the producer really wants to get back to you in a timely manner…it’s just not always possible!