Filmmakers Notebook brings you Part 2 of a Q&A with InkTip Founder Jerrol LeBaron, so read on to learn more.
What separates InkTip from similar websites on the internet?
This can’t help but sound arrogant, because for me, the real difference is one thing only – results. We had 30 movies made last year and 30 the year before that. There isn’t a single website out there, besides our own, than can claim even one movie made every three years, nor can any claim 5-10 scripts optioned in a year. And we get 300! In terms of movies made, we do 100 times what any other website out there does.
Is there any advice you’d give aspiring screenwriters who want to try using the site?
Our site won’t work for everybody. Some of it is timing. Just like our writer who had a western. It took years before the right producer found it on our site. The thing is, you can’t be at the right time and right place if you don’t have your works out there available for others to see.
What do you find impresses producers most who are looking for projects?
Honestly, I don’t have a good answer for you on this. I do know what pisses them off, and that is the prima-donna who is not willing to work with the producer to make the screenplay sellable to the producer’s financiers. Nothing will turn off a producer faster than that. Well, incessant emails to the producer and emails that are longwinded do that too.
Do you have any plans for expansion or adding additional services to the site?
We have our InkTip PitchSummit which is kind of like speed dating. We rent out a huge hall at the Marriott and get 300 or more producers there and an equal number of writers. Some writers with a lot of scripts are able to pitch as many as 80 companies in a single day. The average is probably around 35 or so. This works pretty nicely. From the one day, there will be somewhere close to 30 hires, scripts sold/optioned or writers hired. It is pretty effective. Only problem is that we can only do this once a year. It is just too much work to do more often than that.
Since launching InkTip what has surprised you most about running the website?
How much work it was to get started in the first place. This was a passion project for me. For two years straight, I worked 100 hour weeks. By the end of the first year, we were grossing $400 a week. It took two solid years just to get it to break even. In the following 3 years, I worked 80 weeks. Then 60 and now it runs itself. But it was so, so hard at the very beginning. When my wife was asked how the first two years (she worked a full time job and then also worked in the business on evenings and weekends) were, her response was “I would have had more fun in prison.”
What do you consider the greatest challenge for screenwriters and producers who are looking to take advantage of InkTip and what suggestions do you have for overcoming them?
To me it is really simple. If a producer has the potential to get a movie made and can prove it with references and credits, we will give him or her access. For 38 cents a day, a writer can have one of his or her scripts on the site.
You can find out more about what’s going on with InkTip by visiting their website at www.inktip.com and following them on Twitter @Official_InkTip