Magazine article Variety

Oscar Win Throws Open Screen Doors for Scribes

Magazine article Variety

Oscar Win Throws Open Screen Doors for Scribes

Article excerpt

A higher quote. More offers. Better opportunities. Ail of the above.

What exactly does an Oscar nomination or win mean for Hollywood's decorated scribes? It's no surprise that films recognized by the Academy enjoy a bump at the box office. Reps note that screenwriters, too, can count on their own windfall after landing a nomination or a statuette, particularly those involved in the lucrative uncredited rewrite business.

"The bump is not set in stone, " says a tenpercenter who handles a recent winner in the adapted category. "It's not scientific, and it's not like there's an Oscar premium. But it will up your quote. (As a rep), you come in from a point of strength in negotiating. It gives you one more big argument for more money."

One agent who handles a number of past winners says that Academy recognition best serves the so-called discovery voices like "MuIk1S" Dustin Lance Black, "Little Miss Sunshine's" Michael Arndt or "The King's Speech's" David Seidler. The agent estimates that their quotes typically increase by hundreds of thousands of dollars for a nomination and seven figures for a win.

"The box office success of the film will also play a significant role," the agent adds. "In a world that is increasingly challenging representatives to fight for raises, Oscar attention remains one of the last true dependable weapons."

For a discovery voice like Diablo Cody - who scored a trophy for "Juno," her first credited screenplay - the payday couldn't help but improve. "I think it would have been impossible for me to make less than I made for 'Juno,' " jokes Cody, who is once again in the awardsseason mix for her original screenplay "Young Adult," which she began penning shortly after her Oscar win.

But Cody herself is quick to point out that "Young Adult" wasn't about making a killing. "It was a passion project, and not something I did for money," she says.

Cody, like a number of recent Oscar winners including Geoffrey Fletcher ("Precious") and Aaron Sorkin ("The Social Network"), parlayed their Oscarwinning status into directing jobs. Post"Juno," Cody was offered a number of high-paying gigs, most of which she turned down, including studio directing offers, romantic comedy rewrites and even shampoo endorsements. …

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