Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Deleted scenes from the Hollywood Temp Diaries

I haven't had any work in six weeks. So writing the Temp Diaries is a bit tougher when you have no Temp work to write about. Lucky for me, I have a backlog of entries that didn't make the grade and/or was too lazy to finish. Periodically I'll dust them off, make a few changes and post them as filler content. Think of it as the "Deleted Scenes" on your DVD reissue of Logan's Run. Like these "Deleted Scenes," you'll soon realize why it didn't make it the first time.

[The following was originally written August 10, 2008]

I didn't write today. I haven't written for about four months. Sure, I have this blog, but I mean writing scripts -- things with act breaks, scene headings and characters based on me.

Since moving to Hollywood, I've written numerous specs, pilots and movies. I'd love to send them to agents, networks or production companies. But agencies don't accept unsolicited submissions. Nor do networks. Nor do production companies. You gotta know "people" to get the scripts in the door. And regrettably, I've yet to meet these elusive "people." I suppose I should leave my apartment more.

It's hard to motivate yourself to write when there's no guarantee of any pay off. Heck, I'd settle for someone to tell me I don't have a chance. That way I can get on with my life. Writing the first few scripts is fun, it's just everything after that is somewhere between daunting and unrewarding.

This may not make a lot of sense to anyone outside Hollywood. So for those of you I offer this food-based analogy...

Let's say you want to make gourmet pizza for a living. So you lock yourself in your apartment for a few months creating what you believe is the perfect pizza. This pie has it all -- goat cheese, baby spinach, pine nuts and a crust to die for. (Let's call this the Arrested Development. )

Confident in your creation, you ask some friends what they think. After a couple of bong hits, they tell you, "Dude. This is the best pizza in the history of man! Can you hand me the lighter?" You're riding high (no pun intended) until you leave your apartment. That's when you see all your neighbors have the same idea and are installing a woodfired ovens, buying pizza stones or reverse-engineering a pie they just bought from Mozza.

But you persist. You send pizzas to Wolfgang Puck, Gordon Ramsay and Mario Batali in hopes they'll hire you.

Three weeks later, the mailman returns your pizza in a grease-soaked box that's been rubber stamped, "We don't accept food from strangers."

You take a different approach -- sending pizzas to the sous chef, the line cook and even the dishwasher hoping to entice one of these malnourished, underpaid underlings to try a slice. If they like it, you hope they make semi-orgasmic noises drawing the attention of the head chef. It doesn't work because the assistants are quickly fired for making noise.

You then an appeal to the executives at Little Caesars. The problem is these people didn't know goats had udders, think it's immoral to eat spinach fetus and question whether pine trees have genitals. They want something simple, offers mass appeal and won't cost a lot. They want a cheese-like substance, red sauce and seasoned "meat." Let's call this pizza the According to Jim.

So in one last gasp, you go the YouTube route and give your stuff away right outside of Spago. Your "logic" is the hoards of people gathered for free snacks will pique the curiosity of Mr. Puck. He'll try a piece, and, before you can say "Prego," you'll be running the show for his entire homemade pizza line.

The reality is his Wolfie's helicopter drops him off on the roof, so he never even sees you or the crowd you've amassed. You end up broke, hungry and wondering if Domino's is hiring delivery people. They aren't.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Of course they don't accept unsolicited material. If you've ever had the job at the other end of reading the heaps of garbarge that come through the floodgates you would understand. And in my case that was already stuff that AGENCIES were sending out. You want to be a writer? Get a shit job at Target and write in every spare moment of your life. Steer clear of industry jobs and people. When you're done with your amazing script submit it to one of the more legitimate screenplay competitions. Goldwyn, Sundance, etc. The cream rises. You don't have to know people.

Post a Comment