The client is happy. Cue happy music in the background.

Sure, the script needs some work and and the tagline will requires some tweaking, but the idea has been approved.

But (the scene turns dark, the music ominous) all is not well with the story. Even before the script has been finally approved, those dreaded words are uttered.

Three Quotes.

The servicing team descends upon you, holding the clients economic and brand interests like a sword to your neck.‘Three quotes’, they repeat incessantly. The words follow you around.

And so begins the hunt for your holy grail. Your quest isn’t to find just for 3 producers, or 3 directors. You are tasked to pick 3 teams that are available and equally accomplished to bring your creative vision to life. At a pre-decided that doesn’t break the client’s treasury.

As you begin to identify deserving contenders, many fall by the wayside. Some defeated by their lack of experience in a particular category. Others felled by their refusal to make a mountain out of a molehill budget.

Sometimes this travesty has a happy ending. Within those three quotes, the film finds it’s perfect match in a producer and director. And everyone lives happily ever after.

But more often than not, even the finest script falls victim to a cruel fate of compromise. Three quotes, but no worthy suitor. And finally an unhappy marriage between film and filmmaker.

A tragedy indeed.