Chicago Screenwriters Network Welcomes Leslie Conliffe.
The Chicago Screenwriters Network had the pleasure of sitting down with Leslie Conliffe, manager at Intellectual Property Group (IPG), based in Los Angeles. The company reps screenwriters, directors, producers and authors. Some of their clients include, Paul Haggis – writer/producer (Crash), Andy Davis – director (Fugitive) and also a Chicago native, and Geoffrey Fletcher – screenwriter (Precious). IPG is composed of six managers that work in teams, and since they represent a smaller client list, they are more involved with guiding the careers of their clients.
Leslie, originally from Montreal, studied communications. When she couldn’t land a job in her hometown, she applied for numerous internships to get some level of experience in the hopes that she could move back to Montreal and start a career.  She got an internship in Los Angeles with an independent producer who at the time was working with the biggest action star in the business, Stephen Segal. That six month internship became a job and one thing led to another and she ended up staying in Los Angeles for the next sixteen years.
What excites Leslie about a script is good writing. The writer should have a sense of how to move a story forward, develop characters and incorporate great dialogue that flows and moves the story in an easy fashion. “It should be a joyful read.”
She states “some of the biggest mistakes writers make are over writing scripts, overly descriptive scripts, scripts that are too long, and scripts that are derivative of something we’ve seen a thousand times before. The old rule of thumb that a script had to be 120 pages no longer applies. These days, scripts are 100 pages or 110 depending on the genre.”
When asked what she thought about the pitches of the Chicago writers she said “I thought that everybody did a great job. I heard a lot of great ideas, great enthusiasm and talent. Talent is universal so it’s just getting that break and opportunity, truly.”
The advice she gives to writers is “it starts with perseverance. For every “no” you get you have to have the belief that you will get a “yes.” Write what you know and be receptive to feedback from others.”
Leslie is one of the readers for the Chicago Screenwriters Network Screenwriting Contest. The deadline is May 22nd.