Coming off a record number for specs out (421) and specs set up (148) in 2013, the 2014 spec market has found itself stuck at the starting line. With the first 6 months of the year just about in the books , we’ve had just over 150 specs out, and just under 50 set up. While that is 1/3rd of all specs out being set up, that still means that the market will have to work overtime in the second half of the year to even match last years lofty numbers. But, from what we hear across the board, it’s not because the buyers have disappeared, instead, it’s because there has been a lack of market ready projects. In fact, in 2014 we’ve had more agents and managers reaching out asking about hot projects and writers then in every one of our five years of existence before now combined. Perhaps the monster rise in the TV spec world has stolen some of the thunder the spec market once had. Hell, as we’ve seen here personally, of our 60+ Launch Pad writers, more than half of them are actively developing TV projects now. It has, and will continue to alter the spec market in a big way. But, that’s not the case for everyone.. at least not at the moment…
Enter Andrew Godoski. A name, admittedly, we’d never heard of before two weeks ago. Andrew is a 20-something guy living the Hollywood dream… aka, working as an assistant to a director by day (Michael Mann) and pounding out pages in every free hour he has at night. We’ve never met Andrew, and in fact, we’ve never even engaged in a conversation with him (though we hope to change that soon). Instead, everything we’ve heard about him in the past two weeks has come from some of the biggest names in this town. From studio heads to A-list reps, to producers and damned near every development exec in town, nearly everyone from our rolodex hit us up in the past week or so to ask what we were hearing about Andrew, and his hot new spec EDEN. And what had we heard in the very beginning, when a pair of agents hit us up about him first… nada. In fact, we even asked around, and the name was still a mystery. Cut to one week later, and it quickly became a name every assistant and CE would have rolling off their tongue. So how did someone no one knew two weeks ago suddenly become one of the most in demand spec writer in this town?
I should begin by reiterating that we’ve never spoken to Andrew, so everything we’re hearing about this journey is in fact from about a dozen assistants, development execs, producers, managers, and agents across town.
Two weeks ago Andrew’s script EDEN lands in the hands of Jeff Portnoy over at Resolution as a favor to a friend. The initial reads from there are already stirring early buzz, as it begins to slip across town introducing a new spec and a new voice. From there, the interest and heat begins. Days after it’s introduction to the town we start getting emails from development execs and CEs asking if we’ve heard about this new spec going out, asking if we’ve heard who’s into it, where it’s going, how to get ahold of it. Days later we’re getting the same emails from some of the biggest agents, managers and producers in town… days after that, VPs of studios we’ve worked with start asking what we know about this new spec people are talking about and who the hell reps this kid. As it turns out, at the time… no one. Andrew had in fact slipped his work around town, and somehow while creating some of the biggest spec buzz 2014 has had, hadn’t actually landed with anyone yet. But that didn’t last for long…
Having been slipped the script early in, manager Brooklyn Weaver at Energy Entertainment jumped at the opportunity to represent Andrew and to help steer the ship. Immediately following his signing, EDEN found it’s way into CAA and WME, both of whom are prepping some A-list directors and stars to begin fast-tracking a spec package. Names behind some of the biggest projects this town has ever made topping some of those lists. And all of this from a guy who two weeks ago you’d never heard of.
So what’s it about? Well, we managed to read it ourselves following the 50th comment on it, and have to say we love it. Think of a mix between “Gravity” and “Children of Men” with sci-fi and biblical stories interweaving throughout. It’s gritty, it’s raw, it’s bleak, and it’s one hell of a fucking read. A redemption tale following a futuristic (or is it) shepherd trying to save humanity. It’s fresh. That’s the biggest thing we’ve heard here at TB… it’s a new voice, and it feels original and fresh. And considering the amount of buzz backing this one before it even technically hits the market (as of checking in this evening it’s still yet to be “submitted” to anyone and is eyeing a package).
So consider this piece a first for TB… the first time we’re actually writing a HEAT METER before we’ve even covered the spec.
Look for more spec details, and perhaps a follow up to this one tomorrow morning.
And to Andrew Godoski, a name I have a feeling we’ll be hearing a hell of a lot more this year… welcome to the show!