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Treatment Contract

By Paul | April 5, 2008

Here’s the latest “Movie News” update.  Sony has now officially hired me to do the treatment for the movie (for those who don’t know what a treatment is, it’s explained in the previous post).  I pitched my treatment/vision of the Pooch Café movie to Sony along with a number (not sure what the number was) of other experienced Hollywood screenwriters.  Sony told me that after reading my pitch they were sitting around relaying to each their favorite parts and laughing, which they felt was a strong indication that I was on to something and at which point they decided I might be the best candidate for the job.

The contract I’ve signed is for a complete treatment, with two rounds of revisions.  Sony has made me aware that despite the fact that I’ve already submitted a working treatment that this will be no walk in the park.  Meetings are being held this and next week and I’m to prepare myself for a barrage of notes and comments.

They’ve also told me to prepare for two other possible scenarios:

1: Although Sony has not yet done a “B” category CGI feature film, they’re considering Pooch for this.  From what I understand, the animation is pretty much as strong as it is in an “A” category feature, it’s more a matter of really close attention to detail — say, “Finding Nemo” — which Pooch might not require, and also a matter of advertising budget.  The plus side of this is that if it’s not a full, big budget feature, there won’t be as much scrutiny over every detail and making sure every joke is “PC” and lowest common denominator, which would leave more room for creative freedom.

2: It’s possible the higher-ups aren’t going to be comfortable hiring an unproven screenwriter to write the finished script.  Which means even though I might come up with the story another screenwriter might step in to write the final.  Obviously I’d like to get a crack at this myself, so I’ll be working hard at convincing them to give me a shot.  But of course ultimately getting the best finished product is what we’re all after, however we get there.

Topics: Movies | 16 Comments »

  1. nicholas Says:
    April 5th, 2008 at 11:12 pm

    A word to the wise, Paul, if I may. Be like J.K. Rowling and do not lose creative control.

    Who knows, you may end up a billionaire, like her!

    That aside, a caveat: Once the “filmies” get their mitts on your work, there is a likelihood you will not recognise the final product.

    Cheers, N.

  2. Archie Says:
    April 5th, 2008 at 11:32 pm

    Paul, congratulations to you for they have seen the talent that we already have come to appreciate over the years.

    May I ask how much creative control you will have? For instance, if you really do not like the direction it is going, will you be able to say, “This isn’t at all how that character should be”?

    Either way, this is a wonderful opportunity for you. And Poncho of course… ;)

  3. Shannon Says:
    April 6th, 2008 at 5:45 am

    Congratulations Paul!
    As Pooch Cafe has shown for years, your writing is as fabulous as your art.

  4. bunny Says:
    April 6th, 2008 at 1:23 pm

    This is so much fun being let in on news like this from the beginning of a project. I’m very excited for you Paul, and for us Pooch Cafe fans!

  5. mailman Says:
    April 7th, 2008 at 5:11 am

    I agree with nicholas and Archie. I have read others who have lost creative control and didn’t recognize tha finished product. The characters are given personalities that they don’t have. I always think the best finished product can only come from the originator of the characters. Still, I wouldn’t be able to turn down an opportunity like this if I were in your position, no matter how it came to be. Good luck, Paul.

  6. Frosted Donut Says:
    April 7th, 2008 at 7:57 am

    “The best way to deal with Hollywood is this: You drive up to the California border in the dead of night. You toss your manuscript over the fence. They throw back a big bag full of cash. You drive away fast and forget the whole thing ever happened.”

    Ernest Hemingway

  7. Paul Says:
    April 7th, 2008 at 10:20 am

    Oh, I don’t know if there’s a need to get so worried about evil Hollywood just yet, they’ve been very accomodating so far and want to have me in on the process one way or anther all the way through. It’s basically my vision that they’re interested in, Pooch Cafe itself isn’t much of a name brand overall. But we’ll see how it goes in the end. Sometimes changes will be made simply because certain things work (or don’t work) on the big screen as opposed to the printed page. I’ll keep you guys in the loop as things go along though. Nice quote by Hemmingway!

  8. NinaGeeka Says:
    April 7th, 2008 at 3:57 pm

    Congratulations Paul. As far as I am concerned you are the ONLY ONE who can bring the unique quality of Pooch Cafe to life. If those honchos know what’s good for them, they will be totally thankful that you submitted your treatment and will continue with you to the end. That is what will ensure their success and yours in this movie. Its’ that unique blend of humor, some touching moments without being maudlin, and then pulling out the stops and being downright Poncho that makes the strip what it is. Who else could pull that off? No one but you. Thank God the hired you….This should be a great movie! And we want ALL the merchandise…

  9. Paul Says:
    April 8th, 2008 at 12:35 am

    Very sweet words, NG. I should get you to write quotes on the backs of my books and loan applications.

  10. Dr. Riekeyword - Child Abuse Avoidance Suggestion Tool Says:
    April 8th, 2008 at 3:31 am

    We like your blog!…

    [...]Mabuhay, my colleagues and I heard of your blog over at McBrides, so we thought we would take a look. We’ve read several of your posts and we all agree that you have a fine writing style[...]

  11. uboy Says:
    April 8th, 2008 at 6:54 am

    Congrats Paul! Paul, if you haven’t read it before, I whole-heartedly recommend reading the comic book “Fortune & Glory” by Brian Michael Bendis, it’s a humorous and informative look at the movie industry by following his comic book movie adaptation story.

  12. Paul Says:
    April 8th, 2008 at 10:18 am

    Thanks for the shout out, Dr. Riekeyword!

    And for the book tip, Uboy. I’ve read Bendis before but haven’t heard of this one, it definitely sounds like something I should read right away.

  13. Larry Levine Says:
    April 8th, 2008 at 10:50 am

    Congratulations, Paul–Pooch Cafe is a great strip & will make an equally great movie!

  14. sasha Says:
    May 12th, 2008 at 6:16 pm

    Just remember if they do hurt ya, your pooch cafe fans are here for ya.

    I love that strip, Pooch cafe, and you sound like a really nice person just as I read what you said.

    Just remember you are one of the most popular cartoonists around who has a loyal and considerable following.

    All the best–( PS Droolia was hilarious)

  15. Paul Says:
    May 12th, 2008 at 10:06 pm

    Good call, Sasha, I am indeed a nice guy! And I won’t let Hollywood beat me down! ha ha! Thanks for the props.

  16. hoodooyoodoo Says:
    May 20th, 2008 at 5:52 am

    Congrats on the movie deal…I’ve worked for years in an around hollywood, and my best advice is to keep it real. Most of the corporate people feel more at ease when you treat them like an old friend, rather than a business associate. They will usually come around (to a point) if they are more comfortable. Basically be professional but in a laid back kinda way. Obviously you are doing great, can’t wait for the movie.

    (I’ve always wanted to do voice overs lol)

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