Do You Even Want To Be a Screenwriter? (part 1/2)


I’m behind on reporting what’s been going on with Script #1. Gonna try to make up for that right now. But it’s gonna be in two parts. And not for brevity’s sake. But because I’m just swamped right now. And I want to be a semi-reliable blogger.

In fact the reason I’m behind on blogging is fast becoming much more interesting than the story of my option. It’s actually turned the volume way down on all this option / rewrite business.

I’ll come back to that.

The other week, Co-Manager set a meeting for Producer and myself. Told me only that Producer really wanted to explain his new vision of Script #1. Told me that it’s a very compelling vision. He’s confident Producer and I will find common ground. That what’s become a point of contention will soon be behind us.

If I just meet and listen.

Alright. Let’s do it. No reps this time. Just Producer convincing me that there is a way to write Jaws without the shark. I’ll bring my open mind. Seriously, I will. Remember, I can gripe about this here, but I want this film to get made. It would be incredible. Even if it turns into a giant piece of digitized shit, I still stand to make more money than I’ve made in a decade.

So, my mind? — Open.

Come meeting time: Hey, how’s it going… Yada yada… So, Co-Manager said you wanted to explain your vision to me so that we can move forward on this rewrite.

Imagine the phone call equivalent of a blank stare.

Me explain my vision? Co-Manager told me you wanted to get on the phone to pitch an outline of the page-one rewrite we’ve asked for.

Imagine me snapping a pencil in my fist.

What was this? Some kind of ambush?

Producer had zero to say. No vision. No compromise. Just the same cataclysmic Note dangling in the wind.

Well… We we’re here. So I guess I could plead my case for reason again.

Which I did.

And then we were done. Hung up the phone and waited for treacherous Co-Manager to call.

Call he did. To vaguely apologize for the misunderstanding as to the premise of the meeting. And to say that Producer still isn’t budging.

I don’t really think Co-Manager was been deceitful; what would that achieve? I think it was just good old negligence.

I suspect managers are people who are always hedging their bets. They’ve got a bunch of clients. Clients have a bunch of projects. The manager’s only gonna focus on the hottest irons in the fire. These are business people. You can’t take their flattery personally, you’re just a meal ticket to them… Or in the case of this metaphor a hasty blacksmith of some sort.

So the post-meeting situation was status quo. Worse perhaps, as – like a crab in mud – Producer was digging in deep on his suddenly monumentally precious Note.

Leaving me with the legal responsibility to respond to a request for a brand new script for a fraction of the price of a rewrite. And what I’ve come to realize is even more important than that: A new brand new script in the time it would take to do a rewrite. A deadline mandated in the option agreement. And it’s a point I hadn’t even considered yet. And as it turns out, it’s the straw that’s about to break this writer’s back.

Here’s where all the other stuff I never talk about here bleeds into the picture…

(To be continued in part 2 of 2)


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