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Developing and Packaging Scripts for Hollywood

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With literary manager Candace Lake


The movie business is changing, and this week’s guest has reinvented her business as a result. What inspired literary agent Candace Lake to become a literary manager, and what is a literary manager anyway?

Candace Lake began her career as a production assistant on network television pilots and specials. In 1974, she joined the literary agency Ziegler, Diskant Associates, a premiere boutique specializing in writers and directors like William Goldman, Sidney Pollock, and Frank Pierson. In addition to her work helping writer clients develop original scripts and directors select projects, she represented the agency’s New York corresponding book agents in the sale of motion picture and TV rights. The agency helped launch the then nascent movie of the week business with book sales involving such acclaimed popular novelists as Mary Higgins Clark.

After rising to Vice-President, Literary, at Ziegler Diskant Associates, Candace joined Jeff Berg and Jim Wiatt at International Creative Management as an agent in the film department, then worked with Lee Gabler as a packaging agent in the television department. In 1980, she left ICM to form her own agency, The Candace Lake Agency.

At her own agency, Candace has represented writers and directors in the film and television industry and has been responsible for the sale of such disparate original screenplays as the Sean Penn vehicle Bad Boys by Richard DiLello, Comes a Horseman written by Dennis Lynton Clarke, and the Chris Bryant period drama Lady Jane, which launched Helena Bonham Carter’s career. She has placed writer clients on television series like CSI, Star Trek Voyager, L.A. Law, Roswell, Farscape and 1-800-Missing. Her clients have also written pilots for Showtime, Oxygen, and the WB. Other clients have ventured in to new media by writing scripts for movie-based thrill rides, video games and Internet shorts.

Recently Candace started a literary management business, Stone Canyon Media, with her partner, Ryan Lewis. She now develops projects and, in some instances, produces them as well. Her first project for the new company is 105 Degrees and Rising, by William Akers, to be directed by Jon Amiel and produced by Echo Lake Productions and Overture. She is also partnered with Mark Gordon on a project at Paramount Vantage and with Piler/Segan on a book adaptation.

Join Candace and Writing Show host Paula B. as they delve into the high-stakes world of writing for Hollywood, including:

  • What a literary manager does
  • Why she left agenting to become a literary manager
  • How writers get jobs in Hollywood
  • What she looks for in a writer
  • What qualities give screenwriters the best chance of finding and keeping work
  • What it takes to be a successful agent or literary manager
  • Which TV shows and movies she considers excellent
  • Whether screenwriters need to live in Los Angeles to be successful.

Interviewee: Candace Lake
Host: Paula B.
Date: June 4, 2007
Running time: 55:51
File size: 34 megabytes
Rating: G