Monday, August 14, 2006

My comment cherry was broken by a guy calling himself “alwaysright123”. Here’s his comment. And here’s my response. (Oh, and in the future, if anyone has a real question I’d be happy to answer it in a much more nurturing way. I’m here for you. Pick my brain.)

“Wow, that is a very instructive and insightful post. I have a question. Let's say my script opens with 75 consecutive blocks of narrative, my protagonist dies on page 40, and Atreu from Neverending Story makes a cameo on page 109. What are the chances I'll be a working screenwriter? – alwaysright123.”

Fantastic question, alwaysright123. Sounds like a great script. The only problem would be getting Noah Hathaway to commit. For those of you who don’t know, Noah Hathaway played Atreu in the Neverending Story. In later life, he studied and fought Muay Thai boxing, did a few more industry projects, was a Super Sport motorcycle racer, was an LA bartender, got married, got black belts in Tang Su Do and Shotokan, studied American Kenpo, and taught “a close-quarter combat-training course for flight attendants and pilots for the airlines." He now runs a motorcycle chop shop called 5150 Choppers in Miami. With all of that incredible martial arts training and life experience behind him, I’m guessing that considering your imaginary screenplay would not be high on his list of things to do to continue to better himself as a human being.

What are the chances that you’ll be a working screenwriter? Actually, on second thought, why don’t you send your script to Noah and see what he thinks. I’m sure he loves guys like you; smartass wannabes who sit across from him at the bar and make sarcastic Atreu remarks, thinking to themselves that the ability to make early 80’s references is a sign of creative intelligence. (Note to self… Do a blog on why pop culture references and self deprecating humor are the lowest forms of comedy.) Check out Noah’s listing on IMDB. I’m guessing he has more credits than you’ll ever have. Why would I think that? Because by writing a mock comment on this site you’re showing that you’ve obviously not yet chosen to take your craft seriously. You’re still poking at the establishment, mocking the competence of those who have more experience and who are more motivated than you. That sounds like the same sort of behavior that comes out in development meetings when overwhelmed baby writers with potential scoff at the notes of their agents and managers. Not because the notes will hurt the story; on the contrary, actually. Scoffing writers, in my experience, are writers who have a small bit of talent, and a genuine set of brains, but have never taken the time to fully study their craft and push themselves to reach their potential. They soon die a miserable, prolonged death in development hell. And, true to form, they blame everyone else for their project’s failure to move forward.

What are the chances that you’ll be a working screenwriter? Good question. Perhaps instead of tooling around the blogosphere and leaving sophomoric comments on people’s blogs, your time might be better served by pushing yourself to write some solid scripts. You’ll be surprised to see that the harder you push yourself, the less often you’ll think you’re the smartest guy in the room. Delve deeper, alwaysright123. Challenge yourself instead of just challenging others. Until you do, you will never, ever be a working screenwriter.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ouch. Perhaps he was trying to be funny and/or ironic?

I'm curious about coverage reports. Say someone foolishly submits a romantic comedy to Wes Craven's prodco. Obviously not a good match, but if the writing and structure are good will it still get recommended?

8/17/2006 9:51 PM  
Blogger HollywoodThresholdGuardian said...

Good question, anonymous. I'll answer that as well as give some general comments on the world of coverage in my next blog posting.

8/18/2006 9:50 AM  

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