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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.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Read Your Own Contract

Well, that's not a brilliant piece of advice, nevertheless it's important. It's something I shied away from for years as I had brilliant people to do that for me - who could the discuss legalese in normal English. I look at a legal contract and it literally looks like streaming code from the Matrix. My instinct is to run and literally hide, put my fingers in my ears and start singing, do anything but have to sit down and read that!

But I've come to learn with time that part of owning your own creative authority, is also owning the business side. Show-Business, after all, right?

Well, today I sat down and read my contract on my adaptation job. I read it carefully, painful as it was, I just kept taking deep breaths and reading the same sentance over and over until it finally made sense (kind of like looking at the 3-D optical illusion - you stare long enough you finally see something.) Well, I found out that one of the numbers on my payments was wrong, and my agency didn't catch it (third pass on the contract, too). Now, they're brilliant too and probably would have caught it, but maybe not. And if no one did and I signed it - trouble. There's a certain feeling of empowerment when you call up and say - hey this number is wrong - and they say - hey, you're right.

Own your authority to be creative, and own your authority to deserve to earn. They're both equally important.


Blogger shecanfilmit said...

I also check my taxes pretty carefully too after the guy has done them.

Saturday, March 25, 2006  

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