Sean Paul Murphy, Writer

Sean Paul Murphy, Writer
Sean Paul Murphy, Writer

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Art of the Pitch, Part Three, (Lack Of) Sales Update

I mentioned a few months ago that I was pitching a script entitled "Judy" which was co-written by Lee Bonner.  I just wanted to give you an update.

It hasn't sold.  Yet.

We got a few bites.  A former Charlie's Angel requested it.  If that isn't cool, what is?

So what happened?

A producer who requested the script called me after he read it.  First, let me say this:  Calling Is Good.  Very good.  It is a sign of respect.  He liked the script, but he felt it could be better.  He didn't like the direction we took with the main character.  He thought it would be better if we had handled her differently.  And, you know what, I have to admit he was right.  The man certainly had a great mind for story, character and structure.  I took notes throughout the entire 45 minute phone call.  After I hung up, I called Lee and told him what the producer had said.  He agreed too.  We immediately went into rewrites, and regretted that so many people were reading the old version.

In a couple weeks, we had a version we liked much better.  I contacted the producer who inspired us, but he wasn't interested in reading the rewrite.  (That's another law of screenwriting:  You only get one shot at a person.)

In fact, no one has read the rewrite.  Lee and I have both gotten so busy on other projects that we hadn't had a chance to send this script around.

Want to see our pitch?  Here it is:


Judy, the secretary for the Scranton Police Department, has a secret.  She has clandestinely helped the retiring homicide detective Mac McLane amass an unprecedented 86% clearance rate without the knowledge of the chief of police, who also happens to be her overprotective father.  Judy would love to provide the same assistance to Mac's handsome replacement Ron Robertson.  But Robertson isn't about to let the secretary help him solve his cases, no matter how much he finds himself attracted to her.  Also, his feelings will have to take a back seat when they are forced to join forces to catch a serial killer with his sights on Judy in this rom/com mystery.

I co-wrote this screenplay with the award-winning director Lee Bonner ("Homicide: Life on the Streets," and "The Practice,") whose most recent production, "The Band Didn't Die," directed by Academy Award winner Barry Levinson, was an official selection at the 2009 Toronto Film Festival.  My previous writing credits include "Hidden Secrets," starring John Schneider ("The Dukes of Hazard,") released by Genius Products/The Weinstein Company, and the upcoming "Holyman Undercover," featuring Fred Willard ("Wall E") which will be released by EMI in January 2010.  Lee and I wrote "21 Eyes," starring Rebecca Mader ("Lost,") which was released by Vanguard Cinema.  It has been called "sleek, stylish and cunning" and "a courageous, absorbing and unique piece of indie filmmaking."

May I send you a copy of "Judy?"


(Note:  "Holyman Undercover" was ultimately not released by EMI in January 2010.  It just went into limited theatrical release last weekend.  Hmmm.  Maybe I should blog about that.)

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