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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.


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.

Monday, July 11, 2005

This is Just Weird

Called friends today for an impromptu dinner. They have a daughter our age, we've know them for years, from pre-school, thought we'd have some pizza. Feature writers, they last year had great success with a TV pilot and are now show-running a top ten show and about to enter their second season. It's really a great success for great people.

So here's the weird part. I get the guy on the phone, he says sure - unless a previous engagement happens, an actor on their show may come to dinner with them, and as they start pre-production next week they would want that if it happened. Cool, no problem, so we're plan B. Then his wife/partner calls an hour later to say sorry they can't do dinner tonight, but really want to get together, and that when her daughter heard my voice on the machine she said her daughter really said she wanted to come over for dinner and see my daughter too!

Machine? Heard what machine?

The point of the story is not to make fun of my friend, but to ask what the hell does this town do to us? She was in some kind of producer mode, handling me - care taking me, whatever - putting out a fire she imagined I was, because it's become some pre-set mode to operate from. She got a cryptic message from her husband about my call - didn't realize that I actually SPOKE to him, she thought it was a message. So she wanted to make me feel good, while saying no.

What was weird for me, was that if I pointed out how big a lie she was telling, it would make ME appear rude. So I just said...uh...sure!

What do you all think out there about this? Harmless? Or endemic of a larger problem of knee-jerk falsehoods that could make one woefully paranoid if they thought about it too long?

Don't get me wrong, sometimes to play the "game" out here correctly, you need to be selective with the truth. It's the nature of the game. Okay, that being said - this was dinner. Pizza.

It was just so...weird.


Blogger The Moviequill said...

I guess the saying 'let's do lunch' is still alive and well? (funny post)

Monday, July 11, 2005  
Blogger The Awful Writer said...

Could be a gender-related thing in this case. Your guy friend laid out the facts (let's get together but it might not work for these reasons) and you said 'fine, no problem'. Then his wife/partner learned how blunt he was and went into repair mode (but effed up). This sort of thing happens between my wife and I every so often.

Monday, July 11, 2005  
Blogger Philip Morton said...

Moviequill: not exactly, it's become a bit arcane. It's gone back to normal lingo. But let's do drinks is the new one. Also let's do coffee if you're meeting before start of business day. Odd, hmm?

awful writer: I hope you're right, better that than the shape shifting from who she was into who she might be.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005  

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