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Thread: The Gary-Paul Agency (Garret Maynard)

  1. #1
    Doogie
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    The Gary-Paul Agency (Garret Maynard)

    This is a very disturbing email I got today:



    thanks for letting me review the first twenty pages of your screenplay.

    Before I offer my commentary and recommendation, let me detail my
    background so you will feel confident in what I have to say.

    As you know I am the owner and operator of The Gary-Paul Agency which is a Signatory Agency of the WGAe. I am its content agent and editor and have been for over fifteen years. In addition, I guest lecture and teach screewriting and film production at several universities here in Connecticut, namely Yale and Wesleyan. I have written several award winning films and was nominated for an Emmy in 2005. I also work as a film producer and cinematographer. See: www.nutmegpictures.com for my latest film project.

    GOOD NEWS AND BAD NEWS

    BAD NEWS : (
    Without going into complex detail about story paradigm and format, I found your screenplay somewhat flawed. Not to worry, this is typical of unproduced writers, it makes sense. Your screen-story works, yet the execution of that screen-story into a produceable screenplay is in need of editing. This is a consistent issue with hobbyists or those writers who are "trying out" this form of visual communication. The up-shot to all this is that your screenplay is in the first draft status.

    Again, your screen-story is functional but the execution of that story into a produceable example of cinematic writing is not. Again, this is typical of most unproduced screenwriters.

    Here is an important stat that may make you feel better: on average, any screenwriter who has had a movie produced has written at least fifteen screenplays.

    Feel better? maybe not.....maybe the next paragraph will help.

    GOOD NEWS : )
    I believe your story is sound enough to offer you representation!

    TWO CHOICES OF REPRESENTATION

    INDIRECT PROMOTION
    If you choose Indirect Promotion I can rep your screenplay and place a paragraph on my agency's web site's Script Resource page. When in review, producers and development executives can read your paragraph and request your screenplay. However, your screenplay will be listed in FIRST DRAFT STATUS. In this offering you can send out query letters on your own using the agency's name as validation for representation. If there is a response, I can send out your screenplay. There is a $50.00 administration, coping, packaging delivery and mailing fee per script sent out.

    DIRECT PROMOTION
    Here you will be offered representation and an edit. Getting your screenplay into final draft status should be our goal and in working together through an edit we can reach that goal. The results from an edit are a much improved screenplay and a writing sample that is listed and promoted in FINAL DRAFT STATUS.

    IN ADDITION
    When you choose to have your screenplay play edited, together we will organize, a direct mailing campaign that solicits development executives and producers. It's more reasonable to aggressively promote a writer who has a strong understanding of cinematic writing then one who tells a good story but offers a screenplay that is underdeveloped.

    ANOTHER OPTION
    If none of this interests you, HOLD ON, there is one other option which involves our company shooting your movie. Call for details.

    Nevertheless.....

    There is no cost to you for Indirect Promotion and representation but there is a cost if you choose Direct Promotion. For $450 you get a complete read and unlimited phone time in the editing of your screenplay and there is no charge for follow-up calls. Also, free query letter
    drafting and free management of your mass mailing campaign.

    I'm sure you have questions and I have answers; nevertheless, let's get your paragraph on our web site ASAP.

    Give me a call and I will explain the simple process.

    Sincerely,

    Garret C. Maynard
    The Gary-Paul Agency
    203.345.6167
    www.thegarypaulagency.com
    maynard@optonline.net

    Signatory WGAe
    In Business Since 1993
    Last edited by CaoPaux; 05-27-2008 at 11:48 PM. Reason: reformatting to conserve space

  2. #2
    Now departed. Rest in peace, Scott, from all of us at AW Requiescat In Pace Popeyesays's Avatar
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    It's a scam. It should be making you nervous. This came out of the blue? To you?

    I'd trash it and not reply, or send it to Preditors and Editors so if they have these guys listed they can make sure of what mischief they are making.

    Regards,
    Scott
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  3. #3
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    He claims to have been nominated for an Emmy in 2005, even though his name isn't on the list of nominees!

    See http://www.emmys.tv/downloads/images...s/2005noms.doc (or http://www.emmys.tv/downloads/images...s/2005noms.pdf ) for what the Academy calls the 'complete list of nominees'.

    (Edited to add: It turns out it wasn't the 2005 Emmy Award that he was nominated for - it was a 2005 Boston/New England Emmy Award (a much smaller fish) for cinematography for a PBS doco. See http://boston.emmyonline.org/pdfs/no...nationList.pdf for details)

    Good luck,

    Mac.
    (PS: Wow. I just re-read it. $50 per script sent out !!!! )
    Last edited by Mac H.; 11-14-2007 at 04:56 PM.

  4. #4
    Nefarious Ghost Fan AnneMarble's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doogie
    BAD NEWS : (
    (Well, quoting spam Doogie received...)

    As much as I like smileys , I'd be suspicious of any businessperson who uses a frownie face and a smiley face in an e-mail to a complete stranger. It might be one thing if you know the person and have a relaxed relationship with them, another in the e-mail equivalent of a cold call. In that case, my smily response is...
    THE Official FreakTM
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  5. #5
    practical experience, FTW Tsu Dho Nimh's Avatar
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    He shows up in IMDB as a Cinematographer on ONE movie. No scripts to his credit, no other movies where he was given credits show up at IMDB.

    http://imdb.com/title/tt0427577/fullcredits
    http://www.pequotwar.com/
    Emmies GIVEN: Outstanding Achievement, Documentary Program, and Outstanding Achievement, Program Writing.*

    The film also was nominated in two other categories: Music Composition for Charles David Denler's compositions and Videography/Cinematography, Gary Maynard and Charles Clemmons, Cinematographers. The ceremony was presented by The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Boston/New England Chapter.

    If he's a working cinematographer, as he claims to be, he doesn't have time for being an agent ... I would not want to be someone's source of supplemental income.

  6. #6
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    This agency has been charging fees of one kind or another at least since 1998 (the date of Writer Beware's earliest documentation). I'm not aware that it has a significant track record of any kind.

    - Victoria

  7. #7
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin charlieearp's Avatar
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    Gary/Paul Agency

    Fortunately I checked out this site before proceeding. I almost signed up with the Gary/Paul agency however ... this is his first reply ...

    "I finally had the chance to read through your material. I got behind because the Industry's development process and their costly departments are being eliminated so producers are now looking for scripts in a "ready to go" form; i.e., they expect a screenplay to look and be complete. As a result, I have been pressed into service by screenwriters who need help navigating through the revision process. I'm spending more time now editing...in fact, this makes up the bulk of my duties now.

    I still work as a WGAe Signatory Agent as I have since 1995 offering services according to the Guild's Charter but due to this new Industry standard I have to be a bit more strict in offering representation.

    With that said, I read your material and find your story worthy of representation but the screenplay itself is not complete and if sent out as is will get a bias read.

    Again, I like your story and can offer to rep it but if you want to be represented by the GPA as a Screenwriter, you need to have a stronger example of a screenplay that is ready to go.

    Here are some options: you can revise it based on more accurate information about cinematic writing. You could find someone to mentor you through the revision process (we offer these services at hourly or flat rates) or you can leave it alone and we can promote it as is. Only cost for promotion is if you choose to place a paragraph on our web site. $25.00 to place and $15.00 per month to keep. None of this however is a perquisite for representation.

    In any event, please call the office so I can explain your offered representation and the options for you in detail. In the mean time, please read the endorsement letter below."

    Tx!

    Garret C. Maynard
    The Gary-Paul Agency
    203.345.6167
    www.thegarypaulagency.com
    www.nutmepictures.com

    I called him and we spoke. That was the 1st trigger as he was trying to sell his services and more or less bad mouth the screenplay while still wanting to represent it???? Why on earth would any agent want to do that? A flag went up and I then read about him on this site and sent him the following email ...


    Garrett, we spoke last week on the phone about possible representation on my screenplay - "Lifesaver." I was almost ready to sign and post the agreement, along with my script, when I happened upon something I found interesting. I am not going to quote the whole thing, I'll give you the link for you to peruse .

    http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=43360

    Can you elaborate please? Under no circumstances am I going to pay 50 odd bucks to send out a script. I can do that myself at a fraction of the cost. I will also NOT pay any other type of fee of any kind; editing, rewrites, coverage, marketing etc. The only fee I would ever pay is 10% of the sale price if YOU secure a sale. Like any good agent who thinks they can make a sale, they do it all and in return get 10% without charging any other fees.

    Lets not bullshit each other. My script is funny, damn funny, and if you
    agree and think you can make a possible sale, fine. If you don't think you
    can, fine, just say so and I'll look elsewhere it's that simple.

    I am going to give you the opportunity to respond to the above and I'll take it from there. If I don't hear from you then I can take it you no longer wish to represent me.

    Thanks, Charlie.

    To which he replied ...


    an old article set up by bloggers who work for a publishing company to try and discredit independent agencies.

    I'm a WGAe Signatory.

    Your reacton and use of bad language tells me you are not in line with what is needed to represent you.

    FYI, I offer services, that's all there is no required anything. If you called and asked me then you would have known that but instead you took the cowards way out through an arrogant, vulgar and self centered posting.

    BTW...your script is not that funny and needs a lot of work. If you were a filmmaker you would know that.

    If you want to send out a script now you can do that on you own...for much cheaper as you mentioned.

    Don't post me again or I'll forward your last note to the WGA.

    GCM

    I guess a week is a long time, in his mind anyway. But I am so glad I got this site before sending him anything ... I checked other sites and the only thing he has ever done is some unknown film camp 2007 or something like that ... hardly anything at all. If he was in the industry so long wth so many credits, he should have a lot more credits and sales to his name. I would be vary wary of this one.

  8. #8
    Agent of Chaos EzraHoliday's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by charlieearp View Post
    Fortunately I checked out this site before


    Garrett, we spoke last week on the phone about possible representation on my screenplay - "Lifesaver." I was almost ready to sign and post the agreement, along with my script, when I happened upon something I found interesting. I am not going to quote the whole thing, I'll give you the link for you to peruse .

    http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=43360

    Can you elaborate please? Under no circumstances am I going to pay 50 odd bucks to send out a script. I can do that myself at a fraction of the cost. I will also NOT pay any other type of fee of any kind; editing, rewrites, coverage, marketing etc. The only fee I would ever pay is 10% of the sale price if YOU secure a sale. Like any good agent who thinks they can make a sale, they do it all and in return get 10% without charging any other fees.

    Lets not bullshit each other. My script is funny, damn funny, and if you
    agree and think you can make a possible sale, fine. If you don't think you
    can, fine, just say so and I'll look elsewhere it's that simple.

    I am going to give you the opportunity to respond to the above and I'll take it from there. If I don't hear from you then I can take it you no longer wish to represent me.

    Thanks, Charlie.

    To which he replied ...


    an old article set up by bloggers who work for a publishing company to try and discredit independent agencies.

    I'm a WGAe Signatory.

    Your reacton and use of bad language tells me you are not in line with what is needed to represent you.

    FYI, I offer services, that's all there is no required anything. If you called and asked me then you would have known that but instead you took the cowards way out through an arrogant, vulgar and self centered posting.

    BTW...your script is not that funny and needs a lot of work. If you were a filmmaker you would know that.

    If you want to send out a script now you can do that on you own...for much cheaper as you mentioned.

    Don't post me again or I'll forward your last note to the WGA.

    GCM

    I guess a week is a long time, in his mind anyway. But I am so glad I got this site before sending him anything ... I checked other sites and the only thing he has ever done is some unknown film camp 2007 or something like that ... hardly anything at all. If he was in the industry so long wth so many credits, he should have a lot more credits and sales to his name. I would be vary wary of this one.

    Personally I think you handled it rather well. Any agent that will shy away from words like 'bullshit' and 'damn' I wouldn't want as an agent anyway, regardless of the fact that the moment they mention ME paying? *zip* Outta there!

    Keep looking. Someone else will be more constructive in the future.

  9. #9
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Wow! I almost got hosed!

    I am so glad I came to this site. I have received those same mailings from the Gary-Paul agency VERBATIM. I was so excited that someone liked my script, I thought a little money for an "edit" was no big deal. Now I'm glad I avoided the scam just in time.

    DO NOT WORK WITH GARRET MAYNARD

  10. #10
    figuring it all out
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    OK. So here's my story with the Gary-Paul agency.

    I sent Maynard my stuff and got the exact same thing that Charlie received. I was shocked when I saw that he asked for 55 bucks to send a script but then again selling my script on my own is incredibly hard. I've been trying for a year now. I don't know if signing with him is gonna help me out or not.

    We talked a little bit by email and I noticed that I have to query the production companies by myself and then if there's an interest to read the script, the prodco will ask the agency to send the script. Not really cool. I do the work. He gets paid.

    Talking to him via email was weird. I didn't feel like he was interested in doing whatever he could to sell the script. I thought agents were there to fight for you. Get you the best deal so that they could take 10% of a badass contract. I just didn't think he was convinced the script could be sold (even though it kicks ass. best thing I ever wrote). He just looked like a bitter and pretentious douchebag (apparently those guys are everywhere in the movie industry).

    Anyway, I still have the contract somewhere. I've been thinking about signing or not for a week now. I don't think I will but then again not everybody on this planet is a scam artist. I sent a letter to the WGAe a couple of days ago to know if the Gary-Paul agency was backed by them since I can't see the agency's name on the website.

    P.S. He used the word "bullshit" himself in one of his emails. lol"

  11. #11
    Your thoughts are not real... mario_c's Avatar
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    I'm sneaking off hiatus to mention there are threads about this bait and switch guy on TriggerStreet and probably elsewhere. There are so many places to get coverage and they tell you what you're going to pay right up front...just go to Mandy or HCD Online and search away. Or ScriptPimp or Inktip or...you get it.
    I'd rather pay someone $300 who has credibility and actual experience in the biz and who doesn't BS me about my work or our business relationship. That is, if I had that kind of money to hand out for coverage...

    BTW His office is down the street from me. Look for the wedding videos sign I only mention it because a. small world, and b. I live in a bedroom community in CT....not a good sign for a Hollywood agent's credibility.
    Last edited by mario_c; 06-02-2009 at 08:33 AM. Reason: I'm lurking. Withdrawal is a bitch.
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  12. #12
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    I can echo all that was said previously here... one more humorous thing, the thing that made it crystal clear I was dealing with a scammer, he asked that I send him three scripts. After supposedly reading only one of them, he gave me the same exact responses I see here from others.... but he said that since he read my 1st script, he wouldn't have to read the other two because he could tell that they need work just by reading the first. So, I knew right there that he was just a tool.

    So, I decided to have a little fun... in my next email I praised him, telling him how lucky I was to gain his insight on my work, playing the part of rube as best as I could, and I wrote: "but please, it would mean so much to me to get the opinion of an expert like yourself, so tell me what you thought of Charlotte's arc and how it supports the theme? If you can't, I understand -- afterall, you're busy re-writing those scripts for those major Hollywood people, I can't imagine what pressure you're under... but if you can't tell me about Charlotte's arc, at least take one minute and give me a thought or two on how Harold's scene with Jenny felt to you? Did it work? It would mean so much to me to know how it came across to an experienced Hollywood guy like you."

    Well, as you might have guessed, there is no Charlotte, or Harold, or Jenny in any of my scripts. He wrote back that he could give me tidbits of information about the script he read, but it would be a disservice to me, etc.

    I kept at it, writing that "of course I understand, and I'll definitely be signing up, yada"... and then i just kept asking him ridiculous questions about my script that anyone who read up to page 20 would know about. He never answered, just kept giving me comical excuses, etc.

    But, being the generous pro that he is, he offered, for no money, to list my script on his sight where industry pros the world over would come and read about it. Hmm, I never realized that Spielberg checks the Gary-Paul website for scripts. Interesting.

    My biggest problem is that I got his name out of the Hollywood Creative Directory. Do you think they'll de-list someone if presented evidence? I wonder, though, because this douchebag has been generating complaints for a long time now.

    Thanks,
    John
    Last edited by jtbarr; 07-29-2009 at 08:36 PM. Reason: typo police came calling

  13. #13
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    YOU ARE SERIOUSLY, IGNORANTLY WRONG TO TRASH GARY MAYNARD AND THE GARY-PAUL AGENCY

    I have personally known Gary Maynard since the mid-1980s. I crewed on his multiple-award-winning student film, "Medicine Men" at USC -- a film school I doubt most of you name-callers could get accepted to.

    I don't personally like Gary's business model of charging for development work. Why? Not because there is anything intrinsically wrong with it, but because it causes such adverse reactions among idiotic, unknown, unproduced writers of scripts that will never see representation from the 10% commission agents or the 15% commission managers in Hollywood.

    Exactly what is wrong with charging for one's expertise? Nothing. But a high percentage of new writers (and I've dealt with quite a few more than Gary has) are naive folk who share the belief that their script alone, out of the 125,000-plus that get rejected by Hollywood every year, is that one great unique piece of work that will get made if only someone at CAA or ICM or William Morris sees it.

    Well, kids, you're lying to yourselves. First, none of those agencies will even open the envelope if you send them a script or query. Second, if you haven't had a script shot and edited, or purchased and put through the development process, or rewritten with the help of a professional script analyst or consultant, then you most assuredly don't know how to write a polished script. You need development help.

    Most of you, in fact, need someone to tell you just how off the mark your first five pages are.

    Gary Maynard is an honest, capable script analyst. He has gone through the process of writing and directing his own work. He has raised money to get films made. He has taught a lot of students who started out clueless.

    On the East Coast, a person in his position has these choices regarding unknown writers' scripts: (a) don't bother, or (b) charge money to develop them. Only a very few of the top screenplay agents make money selling East Coast writers' work. There aren't enough sales outside of Hollywood to support out-of-town agents working on commission. Moreover, NONE of those agents -- NOT A SINGLE ONE -- will give advice and notes on a script free of charge. That is not a commission agent’s job. That is the work of PAID screenplay consultants and script analysts.

    Who am I to say all this? I have hired numerous screenplay consultants and analysts and readers for producers as screenplay contest judges. I have double-checked their work by reading a couple hundred scripts after my judges evaluated them.

    I researched, wrote, and published the only book about screenplay consultants and analysts. My research showed that the median charge for a basic read (according to the nearly 1,000 screenwriters who replied to my survey), was $300+. Gary's fees start much lower than that.

    I know because I have worked with him that he is good at what he does. Is he the best? No. But plenty good enough for unknown writers.

    You who trash Gary without having gone all the way through the rewrite process with him are utterly ignorant. There are script scam artists out there. I have published exposes about them. Gary Maynard is not one of those.

    As for the script that didn’t have a “Charlotte” and “Harold”: so Gary mixed it up with another script. The other one probably had the same title. I’ve made that error myself a couple of times in screenplay contests I’ve managed. Obviously, the “jbarr” who went on and on and on about how he tricked Gary, has never made an error in his or her life. Congratulations, jbarr! But maybe, instead of being such a suspicious, nasty jerk about it, you could have simply said, “That’s not my script.”

    But no. Rather than simply correct the record, you set out to “prove” that Gary’s a scammer. It gives you a great excuse, doesn’t it? Your work doesn’t sell because there are all these scammers out there ... I saw that loser attitude among so many untalented wannabe screenwriters over the years. Yuck to the likes of you!

    Again, I don’t like Gary’s business model, because it brings out the worst in mean-spirited ignoramuses who haven’t the courage to admit that their work is crap in need of help. But his work is honest work. Take your “gimme your work for free” attitudes to the grocery store some day. See if it gets you a free Porterhouse steak. You already know better? Then wise up about script analysis work. People in Gary’s line of work need to pay their rent, just like you do.

    It is evil behavior to hide behind your anonymity and attempt to destroy the livelihood of an honest man like Gary Maynard. I accuse all of you who trash Gary of being cowards and losers.

    Bill Donovan

    P.S. If you want to try selling your screenplay yourselves or to fund representation in Hollywood without Gary’s help, I wrote and I self-publish the book, “Sell Your Screenplay–The Directory to 220+ Producers, Agents, and Managers Who Will Look At Your Unsolicited Query Or Script.”

    I also wrote and sell the above-referenced work about screenplay consultants and analysts. Buy that e-book for $10.95, and you’ll find that among the 100+ consultants and analysts, Gary’s rates are quite reasonable.

    See http://screenwritingcommunity.net

  14. #14
    practical experience, FTW Wisteria Vine's Avatar
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    Bill, do you think you could have made your point without the name calling?

    Also, why are you bumping a thread from 2009? Do you have any recent experience with Mr. Maynard?

  15. #15
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    Okay. But in between charging development fees, has Mr. Maynard ever actually sold a literary property? His website is silent on that issue.

    - Victoria (not anonymous)

  16. #16
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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  17. #17
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    Hi Bill,

    I think that the reason that he is considered in such low regard is that he isn't being up front.

    If his initial reply had said:

    1. I don't think the script is high enough quality to represent, but ...

    2. If you do all the work to find people to read it, then I'll be happy to send it on your behalf for $55 each time (simply forwarding a PDF from my email account - 30 seconds work for me). However ...

    3. I have **NEVER** sold a script this way so it is likely to be a 100% waste of money.

    4. However, it is entirely your choice.
    ... then people would be saying that he is being honest about it.

    But people aren't simply getting the vibe of 'honest response' from him.

    Good luck,

    Mac
    (PS: Bill - Not everyone here who criticises him is a coward and a loser. Like yourself, I am not anonymous, nor am I a coward. The jury is still out on whether I am a 'loser' or not.)

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