Thursday, September 10, 2009

Pop Culture Entitlement

Blows the cobwebs off the blog.

So, I haven't had much to say in terms of a blog. I've been doing my thing. Making great head way into the realm of the screenwriter. Met with producers and agents. Given pitches. Had conference calls coast to coast. And as much as I have to say on the topic, the more I learn, the less I feel like blogging about -- or even sharing. Sorry.

But this post came up. Josh Olson's insight on why he will not read your screenplay.

And you know what? He's dead on the money.

What blew me away, actually, was not his article. But the comments below it. They were filled with hate and vile for the things he had said. He had only uttered the truth.

It's funny -- in the comments, you can actually SEE the people he is talking about in the article. The dick moves. You can see the people that are too self centered to take an objective look at their work and realize -- "Hey, maybe I need to really hone my skills."

They ask for an opinion. He gives one. And then they get pissed at the result. You didn't want an opinion. You wanted a pat on the head. Hell, that's even what he is saying in the god-damn post you just read and are now criticizing.

Where did this sense of entitlement come from?

Is it American? Or is it just Californian?

Hey nubs -- I have a hint for you.

Here's the scenario:

You are approaching an established writer because of some poorly conceived notion that they can actually get your script to someone who matters. I know you see their credits. You assume, "Hey, if I gave my script to that guy, and if they like it, I got it made." Right?

I mean, why else are you giving it to them? Why not a friend? Or an agent? Or a producer?


They are trying just as hard to get their next project made. Yes, there might be a hump or two missing on their journey. But they don't hold the key to making your career.

Only you do.

I've had one on one conversations with a handful of screenwriters. Oscar winners. Creators of pop culture legend. And movies that I just personally hold a high value to. And you know what came of these? Nothing. My career didn't move forward. They couldn't refer me to an agent. Not even their agent. Why?

It's not their job.

In a town that is constantly looking for new content. Constantly looking to break the next big thing. A town where half a million scripts are registered with the WGA every year and less than a hundred are bought on spec -- ask yourself...

Why do you think giving your screenplay to the competition is going to help?

And then you get pissed, take it personally, when you are rejected. Get used to it. Seriously.

Used it as fuel to get better. That's all you can do. And that's the only thing that will lead you down the path of becoming a better writer. Take the criticism in stride. Fix your problems. Or move on.

And I am still puzzled by the comments. What satisfaction do you get out of tearing someone down? Someone that was being brutally honest. Someone showing you what you are up against. Even if you disagree with him -- you've put him on this holy pedestal of your own success. If that's how he sees your script, you can guarantee other pros are going to see it the same way.

So what's your answer?

No, taking it on the chin and learning from it. Nah, it's easier to rip apart and discredit the guy who gave you honest feedback in a public forum where you remain anonymous and free from attack, than to actually make your writing better.

Good. Keep doing that.

Less competition for me.

No comments: