Derry, Northern Ireland

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

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Love to write...and rewrite...

I know I whine about it and bitch a lot, but reality is...once it's done...well, once I reach the point of where I'm trying to decide whether to use the or a in a sentence, I know I've done my best. And I'm finally at a point where I know my writing's good -- even in the face of criticism or dismissal of it. The last couple of days have helped me build up my certainty and shown me I finally have a nice, thick hide.

I've been sending out my scripts to various people who post on InkTip and ISA and Mandy and the like, and when I do get a response it's the usual Not quite what we're looking for. Which is fine because 99 times out of a hundred, they don't even know what they're looking for...or they have far more specific requirements than they let on.

But I'm also finding that there's a surprising number of people who read scripts who have no imagination. Have no idea how a movie is made. For example, The Alice '65 has 6 scenes set in London. All interiors. The rest is in LA. I've had two groups who were looking for a romantic comedy tell me they aren't looking for anything they have to shoot outside of the US. It's too expensive. And when I pointed out these were interiors so they could be shot in Los Angeles, their response was, "But they're set in England. We'd need English actors and stuff."

Adam, the lead of A65, is English. And I, personally, when I lived in LA, met half a dozen actors who were just my limited scope in the business. I honestly went blank in response.

What's even funnier? One of them said they couldn't figure out if Adam was English or German...because he speaks German at the beginning. Once. He also speaks Latin and Greek, but those do come after the Deutsch. What's more, it says, flat out, that he's English in the script. Which I mentioned. And got a, "Really?"

However, I think the best actual response I've gotten from one of these submissions is for Carli's Kills. The lead is kick-ass female. Her name is in the title. It's all about her. And I had a producer say, "If you'd make her male, we might take another look." He also added that he didn't want a gimp as the love interest; he'd prefer a hot woman who had issues and is thawed out by the hero before she dies saving him. I think he was looking for something that would give him a woodie. I just replied, "Sorry it didn't work for you."

What was he looking for? An action/thriller with a female lead.

But the latest is the one that finally proved to me I got my hide. Received it yesterday. I had someone at a production company (which shall remain nameless because I snuck the script in to them via a less-than-proper-route) send me a message that basically said, You have no idea how to write a real screenplay. To which I replied, No, you have no idea how to read one. Learn. Totally burned that bridge, but happily. I just hope nobody loses their job over this one.

Still...this made me go back through Carli's Kills, The Alice '65, Marked For Death, and Find Ray T. And for the first time since I began writing screenplays, I changed nothing (except a couple of typos; those are my nemesis). I liked them just as they were. Finally. feeling about my scripts now is, "If you don't like or want my work, you're an idiot."

My writer's ego is back and firmly rooted...and I feel good.

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