Derry, Northern Ireland

Derry, Northern Ireland
A book I'm working on is set in this town.

Friday, August 22, 2014

LA Story

Hmm...time for another little story about the wonders of Hollywood. Once upon a time, a writer-director's script got optioned by a lower-end production company, and he was told he could direct it, so long as the budget remained in the mid-six-figures. That's cheap, for Hollywood. Happiness abounds.

A bank account was opened. Ten percent of the money arrived into it. A start date was planned. Crew were hired. Casting was done. Locations scouted. Storyboards worked up. All is good to go...except for the money meant for the actual production. Seems the money guys didn't quite have that. Oh, it's due to arrive any day now...meaning never, in Hollywood Speak.

Of course, none of this would have been brought up during the signing of the contracts. And other job offers would have been turned down. So many people who expected paychecks got told, Maybe next week...also meaning never, in Hollywood Speak.

What's sad about this was, the project could have been truly fun -- a nice little revenge thriller with stolen money and innocents trapped between warring factions and the whole nine yards. Because of this, the script was seen as damaged...and no one else was willing to go forward with it. Unhappiness abounds.

Of course, I have my own LA Story...even though mine happened in Houston twenty years ago and nearly made me a murderer. Everybody in Hollywood's got a story like this. Sometimes 2 or 3. So while I feel for people who believe in the promises of others, I also wonder why anyone would think the money will come in unless it already has come in. Moral of the story -- never sign a contract based on promises; base it solely on cash. Half up front, so even if you do get stiffed, it's workable.

That's saved me a few times, I have to admit...but not always...

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