Thursday, June 22, 2006

Inside the Palace: Your Hollywood Update

Longtime readers of the Portland Freelancer have been inundated by a pretentious series of scriptwriting anecdotes. This is not going to stop, nor should it. Most times the little twists and turns along the way are all you really get. Why wait till it's obvious nothing will happen to try and glean any enjoyment you can from the process? So here I go with another screenwriting post. It will be as pompous and pointless as any of them - that is a guarantee. Of course, if the situation breaks my way, these will immediately elevate in stature and become the priceless research for my autobiography. Who knows what will happen? We will travel this road together, my blogger friends. So roll your trouser cuffs up and sit back. It's Hollywood update time again:
There are two main situations when I don't hear from the producer. The sad ugly one is when he has lost faith in me and I am no longer in play. The other time is when we have just done another contract and he is pitching it to the studios. If I contact him then, it's like I'm pressuring him - looking over his shoulder. He doesn't like that and it serves no purpose. He will also not contact me during this phase just to chat. He will only call if something significant happens. Today he called and we had a good talk. The tone in his voice is tremendous. He now sees meeting me as a great piece of good fortune - we're at that stage again. If this latest script doesn't sell, he will plod on. He will finish making the rounds, spending a lot of capitol and goodwill getting meetings with Hollywood big-shots. Then he will become sad and I will be a reminder that it didn't work out. I will fade into the outer reaches of his projects where I will remain till a new script or a chance phrase at a party about one of my other scripts, puts me back into play again.
There are millions of people writing screenplays in this country. The hardest thing to get is access. Once you find a messenger who can get in, that person becomes your only audience. That is who you write for. It's all about making it through the front gates of the palace. Portland should be a little proud of me, for one thing is true: I have entered the palace. My script will not be read by a script reader and kicked up through the levels till someone doesn't like it. My script will not be entered in a contest on the Internet. Not that there's anything wrong with those ways - whatever works. But of all the levels, mine is entering at the best, which is to say the top. Through good luck and fortune, my script - this very day - was carried by hand to a Vice President at one of the biggest studios in Hollywood. This man currently has - I'm going to dilute these numbers to protect his identity - a film in the top 5. I could go on but it is all meaningless unless something happens... Wait. No, that's not quite true. Just getting inside the palace took a lot of doing and I marvel at the circumstances that led me there. One other thing: The messenger is himself a Hollywood producer, and has pitched the holy hell out of this for me. It is also cool that we are now friends. In fact, half the call was about the chances of his house in Sedona catching fire. The other half was about the chances of the script catching fire. This has been your Hollywood update.


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