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ScreenwriterBones

Stories from a seasoned screenwriter. Take heart! Your creative source is infinite and un-ending. Sometimes Hollywood just rips up the roadmap back to it. The bottom line is that Hollywood is not at all as bad as it sounds. Additionally, it's worse than you can imagine. Remember to pack a sense of humor.

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I am a screenwriter living in Southern California. I've written screenplays for most of the Hollywood studios over the past 20 years. One of the uncredited writers of FANTASTIC FOUR, I wrote FIRE DOWN BELOW starring Steven Seagal, and the TV Movie 12:01 PM starring Martin Landau and MANEATER with Gary Busey. I have directed short films. I have written on numerous Hollywood studio assignments, some for big shot actors, some for small shot nobodies.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Heard Good Feedback

Well, apparently I was a big hit at the producer's meeting on Friday. They're reading me this weekend to "make sure I don't write like an idiot", as my director said. Otherwise, I came across as everything he promised. Tomorrow will reveal all.

7 Comments:

Blogger Fun Joel said...

Awesome! And if your blog (and comments on others') is any indication, the read can only support that great first impression. :-)

Sunday, July 17, 2005  
Blogger The Moviequill said...

excellent news!....

Monday, July 18, 2005  
Blogger Jessica said...

Good luck! And, because I know nothing about screenwriting, what does "reading me this weekend" mean? In fact, what does "write like an idiot" mean?

Monday, July 18, 2005  
Blogger Philip Morton said...

Jessica: "reading me" or as an agent would say "reading you" is just slang for reading my material. "Write like an idiot" is just my friend being funny, knowing the case is wholly other.

Monday, July 18, 2005  
Blogger Jessica said...

Wait, they take the time to meet with you before even reading you? I keep thinking that the script is something created ahead of time and then everyone just follows it. From reading your blog, it sounds more like the writer is hired (not the writing), and you act almost like a consultant through the whole process.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005  
Blogger Philip Morton said...

JESSICA: You noticed! Well, first of all, the script is always king. And good writing is the only way to sell material, and then get a good agent and then get known as a "good writer". Also, in most cases, the script always goes out first so people can read you to see if you're right for a certain job, and half the time you're turned down on your script, because the tone is wrong, or whatever - they don't think you're the right fit. But in the case of a production re-write, things move very quickly. The director said he wanted me, a meeting that usually takes weeks to get together happens in a few days - and my scripts are sent over at the same time. The head honchos, who are all extremely overstretched and taxed time-wise don't want to waste any time - so it's easier to meet with the writer, to make sure they like the new ideas - and if they do, then read the scripts to "lock" the deal. In this case reading me first, could be a waste of their time if I came in with crappy ideas and they wouldn't hire me anyway. (And they lost all that good time reading a writer they wouldn't have hired, see?) And - consultant - well, not exactly, but the writer does have a lot of power, particularly this close to production, where the movie is really shaped by the writer and director. And don't forget, talent may take your scene and trash it, (happened to me on Fire Down Below) or improv and toss out your lines. but it was the writing that got the movie made, that made it make sense, that moved people enough to back it, and perform it, and that is the energy you try to honor and support as the process puts you into the mix with everyone else.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005  
Blogger Jessica said...

Got it. Thanks.

I feel a bit guilty pulling you away from screenwriting to answer my comments. But as long as you keep posting, I'll keep reading and looking forward to your next one. Again, thanks.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005  

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