Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Mystery That Is Coverage

I've been on a blogging hiatus. Mainly because I have a script that is actually gaining traction. Being the superstitious fool that I am, I don't want to jinx it.

But there is something strange that has come up. Something that I had no idea about.

Let me start off by saying, I set out to write an Action/Adventure picture that females would enjoy (yet, still be a balls to the wall action/adventure flick). I love Blockbuster movies, but I have a hard time convincing a date to come see one with me. And I understand why. I mean, this summer was atrocious.

So I did it. And the script is good. It's not just good. It's excellent. At least that's what the word that has been getting back to me has said.

But here's where the Twilight Zone music comes in...

Every positive piece of coverage on my script is from a woman.

Mission accomplished, right? WRONG. Unfortunately, Hollywood is still very patriarchal. When the script gets bumped up to producer level, which is overwhelming male, most of the producer's simply "don't get it."

The lead is a female. She's our 'in' to the story.

This creates a variety of dilemma for a producer. They can't relate to her character, simply because she is a woman. Instead they try to relate to the male character in the script, who is more or less a comic foil. And now we have real problems, because our producer is projecting himself into the embodiment of the fool in what is supposed to be a heroic action/adventure script.

And it is. Just from the point of view of the female. Which is the whole point of the story. That this female lead is overshadowed by her comic foil male counter-part.

My female readers have understood that with no problems. In fact, written coverage that has scored off the charts. A handful of male readers as well.

The problem is ... do a handful of male producers want to make it?

And that is yet to be determined.


This experience has reminded me of Bill Martell's blog about "Passing Notes," in which he discusses a similar problem. He tackles it from the POV of a writer being forced to change the intent of the story. However, I think it reflects a larger issue. Take a gander.

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