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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.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

The Train Is Leaving The Station

The energy around a production re-write is very frenetic and exciting. Since my last post about my friend's call, (yesterday) my reps have chatted with the movie producers, fees have been discussed and my "money meeting" has been scheduled for this week, the one where they hire me in the room if they like what I have to say. And tonight I meet with the director to get his notes.

It is very much like a train leaving a station and it pretty much sweeps up you and whisks you off and everything else going on in your life comes to a halt.

Great for adrenalin junkies and stress freaks, the production re-write is a great test of talent and the spirit as well. As a teacher of mine once said, when you're in the white water, all you can do is paddle. Meaning, don't think too much, don't complain (you're going to complain to the rapids that they're going to fast?), and focus on your work. It's good advice.

And in the midst of all that hurry, all that demand and rush to judgement, you have to find the stillness inside you where your talent dances, and your peace of mind that keeps you true to your own inner voice about what's right for the script.

It's a great test, and a great ride.


Blogger Fun Joel said...

Awesome! Best of luck!

Tuesday, July 12, 2005  
Blogger Warren said...

Yeah, congrats, and good luck with the meeting!

Wednesday, July 13, 2005  
Blogger TN_Dreamer said...

Sweet. I would be bitter and say "Lucky Dog" but I'm sure you've worked very hard to get where you are. Congrats & I hope it all works out.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005  
Blogger Philip Morton said...

18 years in a career so brutal it pounds half the people I know down to sand and disperses them back across the country when things don't work out. I used to call it "elation/despair life" as the highs are so sweet and the lows are so awful. The trick, in the end, is finding the joy in your relationship with the work. You and the work are all that matter for you to produce your highest level of material. And then making sure you're taking none of the rest of it personally, producer/actor/director's brutal notes/conflicting feedback, studio being in love with you - then not, too many cooks spoiling your broth, too much work, then no work, in cycles over and over again, you craft something with aching detail ove months, and watch it taken apart on one shooting day, the list goes on and on - you've just got to love writing and love the movies, or boy will it all feel that way.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005  

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