Will the price of gas affect what studios pay for spec scripts?

I had this  email exchange today:

I am wondering how much of an affect does the current state of the country will have on Holly Wood when it comes to buying scripts?

I replied:

Not to be dense, but I don’t understand your question. Do you mean the
economy? The war in Iraq? The hurricane in New Orleans? And what do you
mean by affect? The kinds of stories Hollywood will or won’t buy? The
money they are paying for specs?

He replied:

I apologize for not being specific. I was talking about everything you
mentioned including the high gas prices.  Will these events have an
affect on the number of scripts Hollywood will purchase for this year?
Will they have an affect on the purchasing price for the scripts they
do buy?

I replied:

That is such a broad question, I couldn’t possibly answer it. I have no idea if all the events in the world today — economic, political and social — will affect the number of scripts Hollywood buys or what they pay for them.  But I want to be helpful, so  here’s some advice: Don’t write a script about a private eye who can communicate with plants. I think a story like that wouldn’t do well no matter what is happening in the world today.

4 thoughts on “Will the price of gas affect what studios pay for spec scripts?”

  1. The PI’s first case:
    A stand of trees is killed in a daring act of mass murder by greedy corporate land-grabbers.
    The trees are pulped and turned into various paper products, yet the PI–who also has the ability to communicate with the “dead”–continues his investigation.
    The studio turned down the script because it contained too many cardboard characters.

  2. Affect is a verb; effect is usually the noun but can be used as a verb. Confusing the two is one of the most common of all errors.

  3. Cause and effect is never certain. Still, nothing wrong with a protagonist with an environmental conscience. Certainly this week brings the need for that angle into the forefront in a big way: Except for the clueless.


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