Friday, May 19, 2006

Thank God I Don't Write Screenplays

I have relatives and friends who work in Hollywood. Of course, in this town that's like saying Bessie-May out around Appalachia has a couple pinheads in her non-branching family tree. One thing I'm abundantly clear on after listening to their incessant whining about The Industry is that I want absolutely nothing to do with it.

But there are those who still aspire. After all, someone has to make it big in this town. Jeremy Slater and Dan Whitehead of How To Write Screenplays. Badly. would like you to know that you're not it.

Willing to share their expertise nonetheless, they set the record straight on what to do in Hollywood.

On writing sex scenes:
Spend any amount of time in the movie business and you'll hear some jumped up little ball-smear of a studio bootlicker tell you that your screenplay needs more romance. Even if your script is about a guy stuck on a desert island with a volleyball (and, yes, that idea was stolen from me and turned into a movie you may have seen - rest assured, my original vision contained a lot less dentistry and a lot more cyborg pirates).

It's here that a little Hollywood translation can go a long way. When they say "romance" what they mean is "fucking".

On Politically Charged Thrillers:
The question isn't should you write a politically charged's how fast can you crank one out? With the recent runaway success of films like Bullworth and Welcome to Mooseport, the market for political issue films has never been hotter.

On Mr. Ed:
The sad truth, of course, was nothing quite so glamorous. It turns out the horse wasn't ad-libbing his dialogue after all; he was simply repeating jokes written by some cabal of erudite Jews in a smoke-filled Manhattan writer's lounge somewhere. Much like my tender pelvis during one of Uncle Herb's midnight visits, the illusion was shattered.

If only more screenwriters would share their secrets with the rest of the world we might all be getting casting couch blowjobs from Oklahoma ingenues. I mean, without having to pay for it.

1 comment:

David Terrenoire said...

I'm adapting a really bad novel for what promises to be a really bad film and when I asked the producers if they had any mandatories, one of them cleared his throat and said, "Well, we would like to see breasts in the first three minutes. Is that doable?"

Yes, I told him, it's doable.

Breasts. Check.