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The New Haven Register

Gary Maynard

Man Grooms Scripts Into Movie Magic
By Jodi Amatulli
Register Correspondent

STRATFORD - Award-winning screenwriter and director Gary Maynard says "there's no such thing as a bad story - just bad story-telling."

So, to help writers weave a tale that may end up having movie possibilities, Maynard, has established a literary agency that helps develop and prepare scripts for presentation to film production companies.

What makes Maynard's agency different from traditional agencies is the $450 fee he charges writers, and the script consultation and development they get for their money.

"I deal in a completely different fashion than most agents," said Maynard, whose agency is called The Gary-Paul Agency and is headquartered in Stratford.

Maynard goes over a script page by page, making format changes and content suggestions.

"Most scripts are 110 to 115 pages," said Maynard. "If it's 120 pages, it's too long."

A graduate of the University of Southern California School of Cinema Television, Maynard has worked as a professional script reader. During his 10 years in Los Angeles, Maynard also was a production associate for the television series "Golden Girls" and "Mama's Boy."

In 1990, his dramatic short film entitled "Medicine Men" won the American Indian Film Festival and the "Ten Best of the West" film competition.

Since the establishment of The Gary-Paul Agency in 1989, Maynard has worked with hundreds of clients, pitching their work to production companies and actors.

"It wasn't that Gary told me to cut 15 pages; it was that he told me how to cut them," said Patrick Horton of California who is writing his fourth script.

"Screenplays are a strange format. Gary knows how to instruct you to be concise, and we've had positive feedback on what we've sent out," Horton said.

Once a client's script is complete, Maynard helps the author incorporate suggestions. After, a solicitation mailing is conducted which introduces the script to the industry.

Through his association with Maynard, Horton was commissioned to write a script. Dorie Baker, a North Haven resident who took Maynard's screenwriting course in July, appreciated his expertise.

"He's a professional, and was very encouraging to me," said Baker.

His initial advice to new clients is to register their scripts. It can easily be done by contacting the Writers Guild and filling out a $20 registration form, and it helps protect a script and the film's idea from being "borrowed."

Maynard said his client base is nationwide, involving writers in California, Florida, Massachusetts, Wisconsin and Missouri.

Maynard estimates that each year, more than 50,000 scripts are sent to agents. Of those, less than 400 end up as feature films.

Maynard, who teaches screenwriting and directing at Fairfield's Sacred Heart University, believes his hands-on experience in the industry makes him a better agent.

"I feel that I'm as much a script analyst as I am an agent," said Maynard. "I've worked with directors and writers. I know the process. I know what it takes."


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