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.