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The first feature film by Koo (dir. of The West Side, founder of explores the high-stakes world of youth basketball.
AMATEUR is a Netflix Original Film, available now worldwide!
AMATEUR is a Netflix Original Film, available now worldwide!
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2,336 backers pledged $125,100 to help bring this project to life.

Fifty Meetings Later...

Hey Manchild backers!

It's been a long time... but I have big news: the movie's finished!

Just kidding. I wish!

So here's what's currently going on with Manchild: I'm working really hard on it. Specifically, I've gone through... I don't know... something like fifteen more drafts of the script. But we're not in production yet, and it's looking increasingly unlikely that we'll be able to shoot this summer (chiefly because it's already "this summer" as I send this). I thought the script I had at the time of the Kickstarter campaign was good, but... it can always be better. And that's what I've been working on.

The title of this update is "fifty meetings later," which is literally true -- I just updated my database of every meeting I've had with producers, production companies, and the like -- and the count just crossed fifty. That's a lot of meetings (most of which happened as part of the IFP and Tribeca Film Institute programs for which I was fortunate enough to be selected). So, one might ask, why don't I have a producer attached yet? The truth is, because I'm still writing, and because I'm a perfectionist, I haven't been sending the script out until it's is as good as it can be. The first draft of the Manchild script was dated May 22, 2011 -- it's now been more than a year since I sent it off to the IFP program that first selected the script -- and after all this time I think I've got JUST one more draft to go. (Maybe two). THEN I'll go out with it, and I'll have a much better sense of how and when we're shooting sometime after that.

I didn't want to send another "no updates" update, but this project is very logistically complex -- it's not just a sports movie, it's a sports movie primarily starring child actors -- and I'd be lying if I said it was going to be easy. Or fast. So stay tuned and the next update should be much more consequential!

Here's an inconsequential update, however: the title of the film has gone from Man-child to Man Child to Manchild. (Big difference, I know). These are the things you change when you're staring at the same document day in and day out...

Yes, you read all this way just to find out that I changed a hyphen to a space and then dropped it entirely. I promise my changes to the script have been much more meaningful!

Thank you all for you continued patience. Back to the script, and real news soon(ish)!

All best,

Ryan Koo


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    1. Missing avatar

      Glenn Taylor on July 5, 2012

      Hope you also getting "notes" from some teenage basketballers. All the best. I'll be there when Manchild opens in my town.

    2. Ryan Koo Creator on June 22, 2012

      I'm going to write a lot more about the revision process on my website, NoFilmSchool -- once I finish this draft -- but in terms of feedback I've been getting notes from a couple of producers, a screenwriter, and one or two others in the industry. And while some notes can be helpful, part of the art is knowing which notes NOT to take. Ultimately my revision process is all about refining the script to achieve my intentions with the story, not taking the narrative or characters in a different direction.

    3. Armak on June 21, 2012

      I'm an indie producer, and this is the first film I've financially supported before reading the script (a testament to your video). I'm curious who you've been getting feedback from, and what your revision process is.

    4. rg29 on June 21, 2012

      Take all the time you need, this is a rare campaign that is for a film nowhere near even pre-production at the time.

    5. Ryan Koo Creator on June 21, 2012

      Oh, but it's NOT "just another basketball film!"

      Thanks for the encouragement, guys -- I'm not being a nitpicky perfectionist. We're seriously talking about one more draft, and then it's going out. I agree Jason!

    6. Filipe Oliveira on June 21, 2012

      Keep up the good work. And remember to leave some room to the unexpected. The script is just the beginning. =)

    7. Missing avatar

      Bryce McNabb on June 21, 2012

      Remember the video you put out about your self critic. Be happy with what you have, put the pen down, send out the script, and keep the ball rolling. In the end, it's just another basketball film.

    8. Jason Marc Pierce on June 21, 2012

      Taking your time to get the script right is the best thing you can be doing. Looking forward to the next steps as they come!

    9. Lalithra Fernando on June 21, 2012

      You got this buddy! Keep it going! :D

    10. Ronn on June 21, 2012

      No work of art is ever completed. It is only abandoned. Real genius is recognizing when you must abandon in order to complete. Good luck.

    11. Greg Lowe on June 21, 2012

      Ryan, keep those wheels rolling man. I am so looking forward to your film. You are an inspiration as well... your online book was my first step into film (last summer) and I'm shooting my first short film this summer. I never realized how hard the "work" behind 17 minutes of film can be, so I know you're getting much more overwhelmed than I am. later...