Part 3: Negotiations

Before we can write a profile, of course, we need to secure the subject's participation. On July 17, Kaufman's representatives asked Nancy for a synopsis of the story we planned to write. It kicked off a brief round of negotiations:

On 7/17/08 6:06 PM, "Jason Tanz" <> wrote:
Hm. How's this? Not sure how much detail/ass-kissing is required. Happy to revise.

We'd like to profile Charlie Kaufman--Wired's favorite screenwriter--as he enters this new, ambitious stage of his career. Why we're interested now: Kaufman recently finished his directorial debut, Synecdoche, New York, taking the reins from the A-list directors who have filmed his previous work. We want to capture this show-and-prove moment. And we're rooting for him; Kaufman is a Wired hero, a formal innovator who brings a bracing intellect and wonky humor to his work. By all accounts, Synecdoche is his boldest foray yet into Borges-Dick territory, the kind of stuff our readers would eat up. We'd like to paint a unique portrait of Kaufman at the crossroads, a glimpse at one of our best screenwriters as he tries to extend himself into honest-to-God auteurhood.

On 7/21/08 1:42 PM, "Nancy Miller" <> wrote:
Hey, Wanted to let you know I sent a version of this to [Kaufman's agent]. I'll follow up tomorrow. How much time do you want to spend with him?

On 7/21/08 1:46 PM, "Jason Tanz" <> wrote:
I mean, as much as possible, obviously. At the very least, I think we'd need a couple of different scenes tho, so maybe an interview and then fly-on-the-wall as he deals with some aspect of selling his movie?

On 7/21/08 1:53 PM, "Nancy Miller" <> wrote:
So, I'll ask for three days. One interview day. A ride-along as he does something with his movie. And a follow-up day.

On 7/21/08 1:53 PM, "Jason Tanz" <> wrote:
Great. Thanks.

On 7/21/08 1:54 PM, "Nancy Miller" <> wrote:
They'll just want to know time commitment. We can get a little more if we need it--but timeline helps.

On 7/21/08 1:55 PM, "Jason Tanz" <> wrote:
Absolutely. Seriously, thanks again. I'm terrible at stuff like this.

On 7/21/08 1:55 PM, "Nancy Miller" <> wrote:
I hate to admit this, but I kinda love it. I love the "get." So I'm here!!!
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