The Scoggins Report: May 2013 Spec Market Roundup

The Scoggins Report
by Jason Scoggins & Cindy Kaplan
June 3, 2013

May 2013
Spec Market Roundup

It’s probably time to stop bitching about the studios not buying enough spec scripts so far this year and start thinking about the implications. Specifically, which companies have been smart and nimble enough to skate to where the puck was headed earlier this year? And which companies represent the biggest opportunities for the rest of the year?

The safe prediction would have been WME at the top of the agency heap at this point regardless. But as you’ll see when we publish the next Spec Scorecard, WME is #2 so far, behind UTA, which has been happily selling to studios and non-studios alike all year. By contrast, and surprisingly, CAA is currently in 5th, behind tied-for-3rd APA andParadigm.

On the management company side, stalwarts Benderspink, Energyand New Wave are on track to beat (maybe even blow away) their 2012 records. All three companies have embraced non-studio buyers for years, and the real reason they’re doing so well this year is they’ve been the boldest players in the space all year. The rest of last year’s top 5 management companies have barely dipped a toe in the water so far in 2013.

As for the biggest opportunities…we’ll save that for the next Scorecard. The details and loglines of each of May’s spec sales are below, with the usual breakdowns. Enjoy.

Year-Over-Year Breakdown

May 2013 May 2012 May 2011 May 2010 May 2009
New Specs 23 23 31 25 40
Specs Sold1 9 11 8 4 10
Percent Sold2 35% 35% 26% 16% 23%
Genres Sold 1 Action2 Comedy1 Drama2 Horror3 Thriller 2 Comedy1 Drama2 Sci-fi6 Thriller 1 Action2 Comedy1 Drama1 Sci-fi3 Thriller 1 Action2 Comedy1 Thriller 1 Action4 Drama2 Sci-fi3 Thriller

1 Total sales in May  2 Sales percentage of scripts that came out and sold in May

Genre Breakdown

 Genre Total Sold % Sold
Action/Adventure 9 1 11%
Comedy 5 2 40%
Drama 0 0+1
Fantasy 1 0
Horror 3 2 66%
Thriller 5 2+1 40%


The +‘s in the above grid indicate scripts that sold in those genres that went to market prior to May 2013.  The percentage reflects just those that came out and sold in May.


Weekly Activity Breakdown

Week of April 29:

•     5 new specs hit the tracking boards (one in May), none of which have yet sold

•     3 additional spec sales were announced, two in May:

•     Capsule (4/29)

•     A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (5/3 – went out in April)

•     Cornered (5/3)


Week of May 6:

•     7 new specs hits the tracking boards, 1 of which has sold so far:

•     Little Evil (5/16)

•     1 additional spec sale was announced:

•     Dark Summer (5/7)


Week of May 13 (Cannes):

•     4 new specs hit the boards, none of which have yet sold

•     2 additional spec sales were announced:

•     Party Girl (5/13)

•     The Man on Carrion Road (5/13)


Week of May 20 (Cannes; run-up to Memorial Weekend):

•     5 new specs hit the tracking boards, one of which has sold so far

•     Visions (5/31)

•     No additional spec sales were announced

Week of May 27 (Memorial Day):

•     1 new spec hit the boards and has not yet sold

•     2 additional spec sales were announced:

•     The Asterisk (5/30)

•     Jump (5/31)


Spec Sales (alphabetical by title)

As you’ll see below, starting this week, project titles in the report are now linked to the corresponding Spec Scout page, so you can click to see the several projects we’ve covered and scored there.


Writer:  Alexis Jolly

Reps:  APA (Adam Perry, Chris Ridenhour)

Buyer:  Treehouse Pictures

Genre:  Drama

Attachments:  Treehouse’s Justin Nappi and Kevin Turen will produce and Juliet Berman will co-produce.

Logline:  Biopic of beloved children’s TV icon, Fred “Mr.” Rogers.


Writers:  Richard Bobbie & Andy Fraser

Reps:  WME (Holly Jeter) and Manus Entertainment (Marc Manus)

Buyer:  1821 Pictures

Genre:  Thriller

Attachments:  1821’s Terry Dougas will produce with Apocalyptic Entertainment’s Erik Olsen.

Logline:  Trapped in a desolate strip mall, two young women must outwit and outlast a group of desperate criminals.


Writer:  Mike Le (“K-Town”)

Reps:  APA (David Saunders) and Hung Entertainment (Jonathan Hung)

Buyer:  Preferred Content

Genre:  Supernatural thriller

Attachments:  Paul Solet is attached to direct. Preferred’s Juliana Cardnelli and Ross Dinerstine will produce. ContentFilm’s Jamie Carmichael will executive produce.

Logline:  Centers on a 17-year-old boy who is placed under house arrest for the summer while his mother is away on business.


Writer:  John Scott Shepherd

Reps:  Paradigm (Valarie Phillips, Debbee Klein)

Buyer:  Relativity

Genre:  Romantic dramedy

Attachments:  Sheldon Turner and Jennifer Klein will produce through their production company, Vendetta.

Logline:  TBA, but said to be in the vein of “Jerry Maguire,” with a strong male role at the center.


Writer:  Eli Craig (“Tucker & Dale vs Evil”)

Reps:  CAA (Greg McKnight, John Garvey) and Wet Dog Entertainment (Stephanie Davis)

Buyer:  Universal

Genre:  Comedy

Attachments:  Craig is attached to direct. Bluegrass Films’ Scott Stuber will produce. BF’s Nick Nesbitt and Uni’s Jon Mone and Jay Polidoro will oversee.

Notes:  THR reported the price tag was in the seven figures.

Logline:  Under wraps.


Writer:  Vik Weet (“The Dyatlov Pass Incident”)

Reps:  UTA (Charlie Ferraro, Max Michael) and New Wave Entertainment (Josh Adler, Mike Goldberg)

Buyer:  Nostromo Pictures

Genre:  Supernatural horror

Attachments:  Nostromo’s Adrian Guerra will produce.

Logline:  A group of high school students underestimate the power of belief when they use social media to create a new urban myth, and their story of supernatural vengeance spreads so far, so fast, that it takes on a terrifying life of its own. “The Ring” meets “Candyman.”


Writers:  Jordan Goldberg & Alex Paraskevas (“The Gun Eaters”)

Reps:  UTA (Emerson Davis, Keya Khayatian) and Oasis Media Group(Benjamin Rowe)

Buyer:  Warner Bros.

Genre:  Action

Logline:  TBA, but said to be in the vein of “Lethal Weapon” and “Beverly Hills Cop.”


Writer:  Nils Lyew

Reps:  UTA (Jon Huddle) and Principato-Young (Evan Cavic)

Buyer:  Relativity Media and Atlas Independent

Genre:  Thriller

Attachments:  Gonzalo Lopez-Gallego (“Apollo 18”) will direct; Timothy Olyphant is set to star.  Atlas’ William Green and Aaron Ginsburg will producen and Andy Horwitz will executive produce.

Notes:  Picked up preemptively last Fall by Atlas and Relativity; production is set for August 2013 in Medellin, Columbia.

Logline:  In the aftermath of a smuggling deal gone awry, two border-town sheriffs must resort to extreme measures in order to stop the mysterious cartel butcher sent to punish their small town.


Writer:  Lucas Sussman

Reps:  ICM (Erik Horine) and Benderspink (Jake Wagner)

Buyer:  Blumhouse Productions

Genre: Horror thriller

Attachments:  Kevin Greutert (“Saw 3D”) will direct. Blumhouse’s Jason Blum will produce.

Notes:  Production is set to begin Fall 2013.

Logline:  A woman begins experiencing terrifying visions when she moves to her husband’s vineyard. In the vein of “What Lies Beneath” and “The Others.”


About The Scoggins Report:

The Scoggins Report is a terribly unscientific analysis of the feature film development business based on information assembled from a variety of public and non-public sources.  The numbers in the reports are by no means official statistics.  Caveat emptor.

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