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The Scoggins Report: August 2012 Spec Market Roundup

The Scoggins Report is a compilation of sales and trends in the industry. The Report is reprinted on by permission of the authors.

The Scoggins Report
by Jason Scoggins & Cindy Kaplan
September 4, 2012

August 2012

Spec Market Roundup

As delightful as our respective summers have been (we hope yours were a blast, too), we’re breathing a collective sigh of relief that the Fall selling season kicks off this week. We expect relatively little spec activity in September thanks to the start of the Toronto International Film Festival this week and the Jewish holidays later this month, but there are plenty of reasons to think the hot pace of 2012’s spec market will continue.

Exhibit number one: Last month saw the highest number of monthly spec sales so far this year, period, and the most since October 2011. August 2012 was so strong, we’re now basically even with 2011 again (74 so far this year vs 75 to this point in 2011), which is amazing considering 28 specs sold from June through August last year.

Here are last month’s overall numbers, with year-over-year comparisons to Augusts past, followed by the usual breakdowns and project details, including loglines..

Keep your tips up, Hollywood.





 New Specs





 Number Sold1





 Percent Sold2





  Genres Sold

4 Comedy 2 Drama 3 Horror 1 Sci-Fi 3 Thriller

2 Action 1 Sci-Fi 2 Thriller

1 Action/Adventure 1 Thriller

1 Action/Adventure 3 Comedy

1 Total Sales in August

2 Sales percentage of scripts that came out and sold in August

Weekly Activity Breakdown

Week of July 30

  • 7 scripts hit the boards (3 in July), one of which sold (“The Beard”)
  • 3 additional sales were reported – 1 in July (“Untitled Cameron Crowe Love Story”) and 2 in August (“Chewie,” which was one the 2011 Black List’s top ten scripts, and “Panic Zone”)

Week of August 6

  • 3 scripts hit the boards but have not yet sold
  • 2 additional sales were reported (“Alive And Well” and “The Voices”)

Week of August 13

  • 2 scripts hit the boards, one of which has sold (“Lights Out”)
  • 1 additional sale was reported (“Nancy & Danny”)

Week of August 20

  • 3 scripts hit the boards, none of which have sold so far
  • 4 additional sales were reported (“Candy Store,” “The Last Breath,” “Pontius Pilate” and “Swimming Hole”)

Week of August 27 (run up to Labor Day Weekend)

  • No scripts hit the boards
  • 2 additional sales were reported (“Haunt” and “Love and Weapons”)

Genre Breakdown

Three of August’s sales originally appeared in 2009 (“Candy Store,” “Nancy & Danny” and “The Voices”), one went out in 2011 (“Chewie”) and one is from July this year (“Panic Zone”).




% Sold


























Spec Sales (alphabetical by title)

Alive And Well

Writer: David Hubbard

Reps: WME (Cori Wellins) and CODE Entertainment (Rich Freeman)

Buyer: Vendome Pictures

Genre: Romantic drama

Attachments: Ken Kwapis will direct and produce with Alexandra Beattie under their In Cahoots banner, along with Kim Zubick and Vendome’s Philippe Rousselet.

Notes: Guy Stodel and Sarah Schweitzman will oversee for Vendome.

Logline: Story centers on a man, dead for nearly 25 years, who is given the chance to return to earth and reclaim his life.

The Beard

Writer: Becca Greene

Reps: CAA (Jacqueline Sacerio) and MXN (Mason Novick, Michelle Knudsen)

Buyer: Chernin Entertainment

Genre: Romantic comedy

Attachments: Reese Witherspoon will star and produce with Chernin through her Pacific Standard banner.

Logline: Under wraps.

Candy Store

Writers: Shannon Burke & Stephen Gaghan

Reps: CAA (Beth Swofford, Brian Kend, Joe Cohen, Micah Green)

Buyer: Lionsgate

Genre: Thriller

Attachments: Gaghan will direct and produce under his Unsupervised banner along with Allie Shearmur through her eponymous production company. Flashlight Films’ Kipp Nelson and Allyn Stewart will executive produce.

Notes: Project originally appeared in September 2009. At the time of sale, Brad Pitt and Denzel Washington were reportedly circling the two lead roles. Shearmur’s Chris Coggins and Lionsgate’s Matthew Janzen will supervise.

Logline: An elite, highly trained, deep cover operative loses everything and disappears. He resurfaces years later as a beat cop in Brooklyn, only to discover that the global organization he was dedicated to fighting is now operating in his new back yard.


Writers: Van Robichaux & Evan Susser

Reps: WME (Mike Esola) and Industry (Jess Rosenthal)

Buyer: Inferno

Genre: Comedy

Attachments: Kyle Newman (“Fanboys”) is attached to direct. Rosenthal and Inferno’s D.J. Gugenheim will produce.

Notes: Script was on the 2011 Black List.

Logline: A satirical, behind-the-scenes look at the making of “Star Wars” through the eyes of Peter Mayhew, who played Chewbacca.


Writer: Andrew Barrer (“Die In A Gunfight”)

Reps: WME (Danny Greenberg, David Karp, Mike Esola, Zach Druker) and Prolific Entertainment (Will Rowbotham)

Buyer: QED International

Genre: Horror

Attachments: Commercial director Mac Carter is attached to direct. QED’s Bill Block and Paul Hanson will produce along with Rowbotham, Anton Lessine, Sasha Shapiro, Room 101‘s Steven Schneider and Rivergate Entertainment’s Alex Yazlovsky.

Logline: A family moves into a home with a dark past, and their son becomes involved with the beautiful girl next door. When the two begin to explore their sexual awakening, they unwittingly invoke an alternative dimension of the house.

The Last Breath

Writer: Paul J. Salamoff

Reps: Station3 (Kailey Marsh)

Buyer: Chickie the Cop Entertainment

Genre: Supernatural horror

Attachments: Chickie’s Eric Gitter and Peter Schwerin will produce.

Logline: Per Variety, story revolves around the lone survivor of a suicide pact who’s haunted by a vengeful, otherworldly entity which demands her death.

Lights Out

Writer: Jay Frasco

Reps: APA (Ryan Saul) and Festa Entertainment (Dannie Festa)

Buyer: Universal Pictures, SyFy Films

Genre: Sci-fi thriller

Notes: Based on Frasco’s unpublished manuscript.

Logline: TBA, but Deadline reports “the story focuses on [a] teenage boy trapped in his house with his sister when a deadly intruder enters the home and mysterious events” start to occur.

Love And Weapons

Writer: Stephen Belber

Reps: ICM Partners (Ted Chervin, Todd Hoffman) and Brillstein (Missy Malkin)

Buyer: Myriad Pictures

Genre: Action comedy

Attachments: Andrew Lazar will produce with Myriad’s Kirk D’Amico.

Logline: Per Deadline, it’s “a wild ride of a love story in the spirit of “Three Kings,” set against the backdrop of travelling U.N. weapons inspectors.”

Nancy & Danny

Writer: Brad Ingelsby

Reps: WME (David Stone) and Energy (Brooklyn Weaver)

Buyer: Indian Paintbrush

Genre: Thriller

Attachments: James Marsh (“Man On A Wire”) is attached to direct. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Carey Mulligan is in negotiations to star. Alexandra Milchan is still attached to produce through her EMJAG Productions with Todd Field and Indian Paintbrush’s Steven Rales and Mark Roybal.

Notes: Project originally surfaced in December 2009.

Logline: Per THR, project is in the vein of “To Die For.” A money-hungry woman whose big-city dreams failed uses a hapless man as a pawn in a get-rich-quick scheme that quickly goes awry.

Panic Zone

Writers: Karen McCullah & Kristen Smith (“Legally Blonde”)

Reps: Paradigm (Lee Cohen) and ContentEngine (Seth Jaret)

Buyer: Ealing Studios

Genre: Comedy

Attachments: Ealing’s Barnaby Thompson will produce with Marc Platt Productions’ Marc Platt and Adam Siegel as well as McCullah and Smith. Ealing’s James Spring and Ben Latham-Jones of Londinium Films will executive produce.

Logline: Per Platt’s quote in Variety, it’s “a modern comedy about the perils of being a woman over 35 trying to find love.”

Pontius Pilate

Writer: Vera Blasi (“Woman On Top”)

Reps: UTA (Andrew Cannava)

Buyer: Warner Bros.

Genre: Epic period biopic

Attachments: Mark Johnson will produce through his Gran Via production company.

Notes: Lynn Harris will oversee for Warner Bros.

Logline: Biopic.

Swimming Hole

Writer: Justin Bull

Reps: Manus Entertainment (Marc Manus)

Buyer: Envision Media Arts (“Celeste And Jesse Forever”)

Genre: Horror thriller

Logline: From EMA’s website: A high school senior ditches class to meet her boyfriend at the local swimming hole on the last day of school, only to be trapped on a dock in the middle of the pond, surrounded by a school of “an experimental breed of bloodthirsty, hyper-intelligent bloodsuckers.”

The Voices

Writer: Michael R. Perry (“Paranormal Activity”)

Reps: UTA (Charlie Ferraro) and Kaplan/Perrone (Aaron Kaplan)

Buyer: Mandalay Vision

Genre: Thriller

Attachments: Marjane Satrapi (“Persepolis”) is attached to direct. Roy Lee will produce through his Vertigo Entertainment along with Mandalay’s Matthew Rhodes, Adam Stone and Cathy Schulman.

Notes: Script originally surfaced on the 2009 Black List. Per Deadline, casting is under way for a Spring 2013 production.

Logline: A disturbed man attempts to walk the straight-and-narrow while receiving evil and benevolent advice (respectively) from his “talking” pet cat and dog.

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. Mol?n labé.