Friday, 31 August 2007

Fun with Marchmont Films, Part 2

Those naughty people over at Marchmont have been at it again. This from the Shooting People, Screenwriters Network mail out, issue 3081 (thanks to James for the tip off):

"Not demotivated exactly, Marchmont... From: Louise Bentinck Pennington

I felt the usual sympathy for Andrew Thackeray with regard to the ‘non-responses’ he has received for his script submissions and, as usual, thought ‘that’s part of script writing’. However, read this and see what you think –

“Thank you for submitting your script material to Marchmont Films (18 April)… I am pleased to inform you that it has been recommended to our producers for final consideration.

Although we are unable to comment on the likely outcome, we do feel that it is an exceptional achievement to have reached this stage and would like to express our sincere appreciation for your writing work.

Our producers will obviously be considering this against other recommended projects, but will endeavour to advise you personally of the outcome within approximately six weeks.”

I think I could be forgiven for actually anticipating a response of some kind at some point, but no, not even a ‘thanks but no thanks’.

I decided to contact Marchmont direct (last week) and Andrew Cussens in particular (he emailed me when I was short listed), and discovered it was virtually impossible to reach anyone at the company until I went through their ‘website form’ and finally received a reply back from someone called Iris No-Name (no offence, Iris), who proceeded to email the standard gumpf about ‘not taking any projects further at the moment…’

Frankly, I’m surprised that a production company like Marchmont with a good reputation would behave in this way, particularly as several of the production team have writing backgrounds themselves and know the score. However, perhaps there is a good reason for this ‘non response’, but having taken me thus far and shooting themselves in the foot with the phrase “will endeavour to advise you personally”, even a ‘personal email’ would have sufficed.

Part of Life's rich tapestry as they say. In the meantime, best of luck to all you scribes…"

Worry not, Louise, the wedding season is almost over!


Anonymous said...

Great blog!

Good to see you publicly shaming Marchmont. To all writers I say don't waste your time with this so called company.

Chip Smith said...

Strong opinions from Anonymous there!

To be honest, I am very 'zen' about the whole Marchmont thing - let them take their time if that's what they want - nothing will probably come of it, but hey, it's all in a day's entertainment!

Lucy said...

Well I got my script solicited back in early 2006. I waited...and waited...and waited...

Then my script was returned to me.

No letter with the usual three line "thanks but no thanks" (which would have been fine Btw). Not even one of those "With Compliments" slip.

I'm not the only one this has happened to either, according to my clients. Not good enough in my view, not by a long shot.

Chip Smith said...

My script has been in limbo there now for 15 months! Seeing as no-one's bothered updating the Marchmont website since July 2006, I think we can all safely assume that not a lot is happening any time soon!

Weird really, as why would they bother wading through all those hundreds of submissions only to sit on their hands for months on end? Maybe the wedding business isn't so profitable these days ;-)

Lucy said...

To be honest Chip I think you need to let your script go - sounds like it's slipped through the net into UNSOLD SCRIPT LIMBO there. Had several scripts that I've never heard again from, even after talking to the producer/director/teaboy. Happens.

Chip Smith said...

Well, when I said 'in limbo', I meant that my script has been hanging around there since July 06 - every now and again, I'll get an email stating that it's sat 'on the producer's desk', and to batten down the hatches and wait for a response - and nothing ever comes...

I last contacted them about six weeks ago and they are 'busy' with other things at the moment, but the script is still 'in consideration', whatever that means.

I'm at the point now where I have in fact written it off and hey, that's cool - it happens. If they want to get in touch, then no doubt they will, but I'm not holding my breath!