Friday, June 23, 2006

Recently I attempted to contact Richard Linklater (WAKING LIFE, SCANNER DARKLY) via his production company Detour Films. I asked them if I could send a copy of my book, DOGVILLE VS. HOLLYWOOD, to Linklater via them, as it contained a couple of pieces on his work. They wrote back saying they had a “firm an unalterable policy” not to receive any submissions there, but were good enough to give me the name and email address of Linklater’s agent, Beth Swofford. I wrote an email to Beth, at Creative Artists Agency (CAA) with same request, and when I heard nothing back two days later sent a reminder. I then received the following (which included my original emails), not from Swofford, or from any human willing to be identified, but from the “CAA machine” itself:


Dear Mr. Horsley: We received your two e-mails dated June 16, 2006 and June 20, 2006requesting to submit literary material to Creative Artists Agency for Richard Linklater.

Although we appreciate your interest, we cannot assist you with your request. Moreover, please be advised that we have a firm policy of returning allunsolicited material unread. Accordingly, we are forwarding your two e-mails back to you and we have deleted your e-mails from our system. Your unsolicited submission has not been, and will not be disclosed to any executive or other employee of Creative Artists Agency or any other person.

You should be aware that many ideas are generated by ouremployees and our clients or other sources. To the extent that anyprojects are generated which contain elements similar to what yousubmitted, the similarities are purely coincidental.

Thank you for considering Mr. Linklater. We wish you much luck in your endeavors.

Cordially, CREATIVE ARTISTS AGENCY Submissions

Department Attachment cc: Beth Swofford -----Original Message-----From: jake horsley [] Sent: Tuesday, June 20, 2006 9:52 AMTo: Swofford Asst, BethSubject: Linklater

Hi Beth
not sure if my last email got through Could you give me an address so I can send my book to your client, Richard Linklater, or would you prefer i send it to the CAA offices, care of yourself? If so,which CAA address should i use? thank you
best wishes
Jake Horsley

-----Original Message-----From: jake horsley [] Sent: Friday, June 16, 2006 10:27 AMTo: Swofford Asst, BethSubject: Concerning Rick Linklater

Dear Beth Swofford

I'm writing to you to see if there is a way to send a copy of my recent book, DOGVILLE VS HOLLYWOOD, The War Between Indie Cinema and Mainstream Movies to your client Richard Linklater? As a great admirer of his work, the book includes short pieces on SLACKER and WAKING LIFE, and I think in general it's something he would enjoy reading. I'd be happy to get the publishers to send Richard a comp copy, if you can give me an address. Yours very truly Jake Horsley


So how do you like them apples? Not only can I not send a complimentary copy of my book to (the supposedly “fringe player” and “alternative” filmmaker) Linklater, not only am I unable to contact him directly, but I am even deemed unworthy of making contact with HIS AGENT, and instead am passed onto the CAA Gatekeepers, to be rapidly processed and ejected, and firmly discouraged from daring to sully their pristine enterprise with my impertinent and wholly irrelevant requests ever again. Am I raving? Only mildly. I just thought this might be of interest to any of you out there who are attempting to make headway within the Industry, such as it is.

The “artists” are now so firmly “protected” from we poor, humble “fans” (or aspiring artists) by the cult of celebrity and the jealous edifice of agents, managers, and representatives, that it is, verily, as if they did not exist in the same world as we do at all. You would think I had tried to get into see the President rather than simply to send a book to a filmmaker whose work is included in it.

One more broken arrow.

Pull bow back, take aim again.


Pultok said...

Is the threat of being sued over ideas theft as big as the agents reaction would suggest or are they just being paranoid?

jake horsley said...

what are the odds, i just got this, a full year after the fact!

Subject: Linklater
Date: Sun, 17 Jun 2007 08:05:02 -0700
From: "Swofford, Beth"

I just came across your blog entry. My assistant obviously thought you
were trying to send a script to Mr Linklater. For legal reasons we
cannot accept unsolicited submissions. Now that I realize you were (very
nicely) trying to send him a copy of your book about indie filmmaking, I
apologize for the mix-up. If you still want to send it to him then I
would be happy to forward it on to him.
All the best,
Beth Swofford

This e-mail and any files transmitted with it are intended solely for
the use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed. If the
reader of this e-mail is not the intended recipient or the employee or
agent responsible for delivering the message to the intended recipient,
you are hereby notified that any use dissemination, forwarding,
printing or copying of this e-mail is strictly prohibited. If you have
received this e-mail in error, please e-mail us at or call

Anonymous said...

I'd say the odds that she googles herself from time to time are decent.

jake horsley said...

yeah but i tried to find this post on google and found no listing for it...

Dmitry said...

I'm a great fan of Linklater's movies myself, Scanner Darkly and Waking Life were breathtaking, I also was hoping to somehow get in touch with Detour Films and perhaps offer my humble service as an artist/animator for any of his upcoming work. I would concider interning if it were possible. Is it possible??

Anonymous said...

Hi Jake, I have been trying to get in contact with Mr Linklater himself for a little while now, is it worth my efforts continuing this do you think? He's my absolute favourite director and I would love the chance to show him my work as you did. Any advice?
P.S. I promise I am not a mad fan or stalker.
Thank you for any help you can give, Shannyn

jake horsley said...

loathe as i am to say "give up," this would have to be my advice, unless you a) have some connection who can help or b) live nearby and can take it to him "in person" (ie, to his offices)
BTW, i never did show him my work. I find it is simply too soul-destroying and energy consuming trying to reach these celestial beings: they are in their own stratosphere and however decent they may be, after awhile they simply don't think like we do (they can't afford to, probably, if dozens of people are trying to show them sutff every day)

Anonymous said...

I sent a query letter to Beth Swofford and it was sent back to me unread! They said my query letter was an unsolicited submission! I called them and told them how ridiculous that was, but to no avail.
If CAA doesn't bother reading the query letters from writers anymore, good luck to them on finding the projects of the future. I thought that the agents of the future actually did something in the mail room, I guess I was wrong. LOL!

Richard Linklater said...

Hello guys, please do not try to contact me because I am very busy. If you are fairly well known on the radio you may contact one of my agents and I'm sure they'll be able to help you.
Thank you,

Jason Horsley said...

Hi Richard - if that's really you!?

I can't speak for the other guys (who have somehow been drawn to this little blog due to resonating on the same "must-contact-Linklater" frequency), but I haven't tried to contact you in a year or so, and in fact, all I wanted to do was send you a couple of my books.

If anyone in Hollywood can understand the frustration of fringe artists trying to get by the corporate machinery of gatekeepers, as illustrated above, it's surely yourself?

best for your continued success, & hope you finally got the books!


Anonymous said...

I wrote an email telling Mr. Kevin Huvane that I was a screenwriter/author and that I had just written 5 stories for Keanu Reeves and he told me never to email him again! He is a very rude man! Does CAA help new talent or no?

Anonymous said...

Never mention the "KR" words to anyone in filmmaking - actors, directors, agents, etc. It will get you an immediate "Kook", "Stalker", or "Dangerous Person" label. Don't know why - just is! He apparently is a super magnet to the crazies - what a shame, poor man (oh sorry - I mean God)!

Anonymous said...

It's a shame that there is so much new talent out there and they are not noticed because of the gatekeepers, the big machine.
They (big machine)do not want to be bothered by the smaller people and they (smaller people)are the ones that support their endeavors and help make them successful.
It's a shame!