Open Script Submissions Cancelled For 'Enterprise'By Caillan
July 24, 2001 - 12:13 PM
It fuelled the dreams of many a fan, but now Paramount Pictures has suspended its Star Trek open script submission policy, starting with Enterprise.
TrekWeb reported yesterday that the policy has been placed on hold indefinitely for legal reasons. Although there is a possibility that unsolicited scripts may be accepted in the future, currently all scripts not received from a registered agent will be returned, unread.
The practice of accepting speculative script submissions began during The Next Generation's run, but although the volume of scripts received was high, 99% were rejected. The lucky few who did have their teleplays bought included Ronald D. Moore and René Echevarria, who both went on to serve on both TNG and Deep Space Nine for many years.
Up to two unsolicited script submissions per person were allowed, after that all teleplays had to be submitted through an agent. Rather than selling a complete script cold, the policy usually led to pitch sessions with the writing staff. In these sessions the writer pitched three or four story ideas, either in person, or over the phone.
This isn't the first time the future of the policy has been in doubt. Ron Moore, in one of his 1997 AOL answers stated that the policy had led to a lot of plagiarism suits against the studio, which may also be the reason for the current suspension. "All I can tell you is that it's under review," he wrote. "There does come a point where the legal costs of dealing with the various claims (justified or not, they all have to be handled by a Paramount lawyer) and the paperwork involved, (not to mention the administrative costs associated with managing such a huge flow of material) becomes too burdensome for us to continue."
Currently, the only method to submit speculative scripts for the series is through a registered WGA agent after the Enterprise premiere.