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Q&A: Manager / Producer Alexander Robb

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We covered a ton in this Q&A with Producer / Manager Alexander Robb of Insignia Entertainment! Here are some highlights to help you navigate this 2-hour interview:

  • 00:00 – Intro to Alex Robb: What brought you to LA and how did you get on the producer/manager track?
  • 04:15 – How do you decide which of your clients’ projects you’ll also produce? And, why writers shouldn’t fear their reps also producing.
  • 9:10 – Alex’s recent big announcement (for client Tyler Hisel’s project The Fixer) and a question it sparked in the Screenplay Lab Facebook group: “Considering this big announcement has to do with a feature, how are you advising clients or navigating this new landscape where only 30 something specs sell but over 500 TV shows are aired?”
  • 17:00 – Technical difficulties! Alex talks about the contraction of the movie industry, but unfortunately we lose him for a few seconds.
  • 19:00 – Alex’s caution for screenwriters writing movies and the challenges of the feature film business.
  • 22:20 – My caveat about all of this information – take it with a grain of salt because we’re only talking about the certain type of screenwriter (Alex’s typical clients).
  • 24:40 – I ask Alex about the “IP” aspect of this recent Facebook post: “If you’re a screenwriter, here are a few things to keep in mind in your career. If you’re not connected politically, and if you’re not someone with several credits, very few execs will take a spec seriously. Always go after IP before starting in on an original idea. Buyers have told me multiple times they won’t look at anything not based on IP. If you think your idea is great? Try to gauge the market before you start in on it. The subjectivity of a concept can torpedo a property before you even write “Fade In” and save you months or years of your life…”
  • 39:55 – Then we talk about the part of the post advising writers to gauge the market before you start working on something. How should writers approach doing so?
  • 47:20 – Additional career things to consider when you’re deciding what projects to write.
  • 48:57 – I remind Alex of advice he gave me many, many years ago about writing sellable projects. He expands on that, including what writers need to bring to the table in order to get what they need out of their reps (so they can build their careers)
  • 58:00 – Alex’s advice for writers looking to break in: check out the competition. (And my dogs go crazy in the background)
  • 59:50 – I ask Alex about something he wrote in one of his Creative Screenwriting articles: “Should screenwriters focus on writing something sellable (least risk), or totally off the wall (most risk)?
  • 1:12:25 – Question from Screenplay Lab group member Brian: “When reading new material, how soon do you know you have found something special? (And Alex very graciously tries to keep going even though the dogs go crazy again.)
  • 1:22:00 – When considering new clients, what do you look for besides the ability to write?
  • 1:27:20 – Do writers need to have their own industry relationships?
  • 1:38:25How many scripts does a writer need to have?
  • 1:43:13 – Question from Eddie in the Screenplay Lab group: “Do you need an inimitable marketing plan for your career as well as a unique script?” (And Alex tries to cover the state of the industry and the changes LA has gone through over the past 20 years, all in about 10 minutes.)

As mentioned in our Q&A, Alex has written a series of articles for Creative Screenwriting that go even deeper into his thoughts on what screenwriters can do to set themselves up for success. Well worth the read!

WRITE SCREENPLAYS THAT GET NOTICED AND OPEN DOORS

Start with my 3-part email series: "3 Essential Tips for Writing a Screenplay That Stands Out." After that, you'll get a weekly dose of pro screenwriting tips and industry insights that'll help you get an edge over the competition.

Subscribe