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Sunday, 24 January 2011

Development Department Executives in Hollywood read more than 
10 scripts in a day.   Of course, I think they get their assistants to read
most of them, and they actually only read the ones highlighted
by the assistants.
Despite this it is an extraordinary feat to find that golden script,
which is like a treasure in a vast desert. Moreover,
it is sometimes like the beautiful blue ocean that is turned completely
red as all the rivals swarm together. 
It’s abnormal increase of  phytoplankton.
Sometimes, there is somebody wonderful left unnoticed
amongst all the scriptwriters and their work falls from
the hands of these executives.
One of these was MARGIN CALL, which is showing currently at Sundance.
In fact, it was big news in the film industry at script stage
even before it’s premiere in Sundance.
In Hollywood, there is a list put together by important people and
superior assistants called the “The Black List”.
“The Black List” means;
“In reality these are brilliant scripts but they have not yet been produced”.
J.C.Chandor’s MARGIN CALL was a rumoured script,
and in 2010 it was in the top 10 on “The Black List”.
Although it did not get selected by any studio,
it caught the attention one day of a certain independent film producer,
who decided to make the film before the 2010 “Black List” was circulated.
It is quite a Cinderella story.
The man who spotted the possibilities in this script was Cassian Elwes,
who is credited on the film as an Executive Producer.
Oh, I know this man!
Six years ago, I was a acquisition executive in my former job at StyleJam.
I had my eyes on a documentary film about the police called
and I flew to the Sundance Film Festival to watch it.
First of all, I watched the film, and then asked to speak to the producer directly.
That producer was Cassian Elwes.  I am sure, he was a producer
working out of the William Morris Agency at the time.
I really thought he was quite tough man to deal with.
Moreover, the director also came to the negotiating table,
and this turned out to be the drummer Stewart Copeland!!
I remember I was so tense that my body was covered in sweat
and my tongue kept getting twisted, despite the severe cold of Utah, USA.
What I really want to say is that he is a doer,
and creates quite an intimidating atmosphere, very professional. 
Of course, the real reason for my perspiration was the fact that
“I am talking with Stewart Copeland, now”; it was like a dream.
Stewart Copeland surprised Japanese fans at press conference.
Anyway, to return to the main topic.
MARGIN CALL, which had caught Cassian Elwe’s attention,
was a hot title at the American Film Market last November.
This is an industry film festival that is held in Santa Monica every year.
Though the film was not complete, the film rights were sold to
17 territorries on the strength of the script and the those wonderful cast attached.
It will open to the public in Germany, Italy, Australia, Scandinavia, Mexico, Brazil,
Canada, Argentina, Latin America, Peru, China, Russia, Near & Middle East,
Turkey, the Ukraine, former Yugoslavia, and Romania.
It is always delightful to know that one film can go to so many countries
after it has been born.
China purchased this foreign film at script stage,
which is a very noteworthy point at this time.
Will it get approval from SARFT, which is the very strict administrator
over the performance of foreign films. 
It’s interesting to keep an eye of this.