Friday, September 11

I Will Not Read Your Fucking Script

Josh Olson was cornered at a party by a young man and his girlfriend. The young man recently spent a year of his life writing a screenplay, and was about to submit it to a contest or whatever--but he wants a professional opinion. Is this any good? Who better to ask than someone who's been nominated for an Academny Award for his work on A History of Violence, right?

Olson knew he should have said no. He barely knew the guy but he knew the girlfriend, and so took the 2-page synopsis, read the crap, and tried to thoughtfully put down words on paper. The e-mail took him longer than several movie rewrites, and later, another mutual friend comes up to him. "I heard you pulled a dickmove on Whatshisface."

This is why Josh Olson--and any sane writing professional--will not read your fucking script:
Which brings us to an ugly truth about many aspiring screenwriters: They think that screenwriting doesn't actually require the ability to write, just the ability to come up with a cool story that would make a cool movie. Screenwriting is widely regarded as the easiest way to break into the movie business, because it doesn't require any kind of training, skill or equipment. Everybody can write, right? And because they believe that, they don't regard working screenwriters with any kind of real respect. They will hand you a piece of inept writing without a second thought, because you do not have to be a writer to be a screenwriter.
Screenwriters never really get the respect they deserve. Olson relates an anecdote about Picasso, who was approached by a guy at a party and asks Picasso to draw on a napkin and he'll pay him. Picasso does it, hands the drawing to the man and asks for a million dollars. "What, but it took you thirty seconds to do that!" Picasso shrugs, "Well, it took me fifty years to learn to do that in thirty seconds."

The anecdote underscores the fact that writers are never really perceived as professionals. Olson compares this with asking a house painter friend to paint your living room on his day off, or asking a surgeon to take out your gall bladder over coffee. Writers get paid to read someone's work and give their professional opinion on it. Nobody really just wakes up and goes to the gym, and suddenly realizes, "But, oh, I can do a triple bypass on someone right now." The same way with writers.

Elsewhere, a really bizarre internet true story by Olson: The Life and Death of Jesse James.

4 comments:

Crosse said...

So true. It sucks that people treat writers as if what they are doing is easy.

ZDENNY said...

A man named Finite awoke and found himself in a sinkhole full of quick sand. He was sinking very slowly and knew that he would meet certain death.

A man came along who had holes in his hands. The man threw Finite a rope and told him to grab it and he would pull him to safety.

Finite looked at the holes in the man's hands and said, “Your not real.” “It is not scientifically possible for a man to live who has holes in his hands.

The man with the holes in his hands looked at the guy a little puzzled and said, “You are in a sinkhole and about to die. Your response to my help is to say I’m not real?”

Finite said, “Well, I like how warm the sand is and I really don’t want to get out. Second, I know I am having an illusion because it is not possible for a man to have holes in his hands and still help me out.” Therefore, morally I like my plight and scientifically, you don’t exist being a mere projection of my mind.

The man with the holes in his hands said, “Listen, I was sent here by my father to help people out so please let me help you! I will take you to my father’s mansion where you can enjoy life for eternity. Obviously, death was not able to hold me in the grave because the holes in my hands are proof that I overcame death. I now have the power to save you so grab the rope!”

Finite put his fingers in the ears and said, “Now I know I am hearing things because there is no such thing as eternal life…Everyone dies so I am going to take my turn and just enjoy this warm sand until the end.”

The man with the holes in his hand said, “If you won’t grab the rope, then I won’t be able to help you…please, please take the rope and I can pull you out. Have faith my friend.”

A few moments later Finite sunk into the quick sand and out of sight. Finite was surprised that he did not die as expected. He just sat there surrounded by sand, unable to move, unable to breathe, unable to talk with his fingers in his ears. Finite tried to comfort himself by thinking, “I would rather stay here for eternity than believe that the man with the holes in His hand could help me. Faith in that mirage is irrational!!

So Finite sat in the quicksand for eternity. Day in and day out for eternity Finite was always thinking about the man with the holes in his hands. He would comfort himself thinking, “It was better to not have faith than to believe something that didn’t make sense.”

The man with the holes in His hands continued to call him for the rest of eternity; however, Finite could not hear his voice because he had plugged his ears.


The Lesson

If you are not with Christ, you will be thinking about Christ for eternity anyway... so have faith.

李弘琬 said...

IS VERY GOOD..............................

Web Demon said...

Nice Picasso anecdote.