Late Night Email to Hollywood
Here I am writing a “bump email” and I don’t even know what the term means. The Hollywood producer said if he didn’t get me the contracts soon, to write a bump email. I bet it’s just a reminder but it turned into a good page of fresh ideas about how to make me rich and protect me from being ripped off. See, the worse scenario out there is what I read about Crash. Sure, some of the main actors will go on to make huge money because of it, but how about a taste, some far-off bonus trigger if – I don’t know – the film wins Best Picture? Not that mine stand a chance of doing that. I just want to be in on the action if the producer makes it as a low budget project and then sells it to the studios. When I read that one of the main actors on “Crash” only made 12 grand off the project it made me physically sick. Imagine having to deal with some executives who are laughing that they put one over on you like that? I don’t care if the guy goes on to make 100 million in the movie business – he should have gotten more than 12 grand if the picture won an Oscar. Somebody sure as hell made a ton of money.
The other thing I’m big on is freedom. There was some truly scary language in one contract awhile back stating that I would honor any reasonable requests to appear to promote said project, blah ,blah, blah. I guess it’s standard but I can’t go for that. As I said in this email, “We had a clause in a second letter stating that I would not be required to go anywhere or do anything if the studio bought this. You said that was ridiculous; writers are never asked to promote, but I want it in writing. Freedom is a feeling and I didn't run my life this way to lose that feeling. If it's not going to be an issue, they won't mind it in the language.”
I envision a scenario where the studios want to break a contract and use a clause like that: “He agreed to do this but he did not follow through. Therefore, we will not be paying him. In fact, we intend to sue him.” I don’t even want to think about giving up any of that, and trusting some unknown third party with my future schedule. I’d rather continue like this, than to lose my freedom. Everyone has their deal-breakers. That is mine. Of course, if the incentive clauses are right, I’ll do anything I can. I don’t mind helping as long as I don’t have to – that’s got to be in there. Oh well, there's my bump email for Hollywood, whatever that means. I just hope I don't bump myself right out of this deal.