Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Hollywood Dictionary: Volume 16 -- The Writers' Edition

More from the Hollywood Dictionary...

COVERAGE -- In a town where those wearing the fewest clothes win, coverage would seem to be the last thing anyone in Hollywood would want. But writers crave coverage. Could this be because writers are ugly and, if given the option, would prefer pull the bed sheets up to their eyes making them look like one of the Sand People? Nope. The coverage we crave has nothing to do with $300 True Religion hip-huggers or Christian Audigier belly shirts. Coverage for us is when a Hollywood exec's assistant compiles a three paragraph, Cliffs Notes summary of your 160-page Magnum Opus, thus sparing the exec from doing his job. Months later, after you've been rejected, you find out the assistant didn't grasp your modern interpretation of Shakespeare's Cymbeline because she's "more of an America's Next Top Model fan."

NOTES -- So let's say you've demonstrated enough discipline and moxie to finish a script. Now you need to go back through and fix all the plot holes and unresolved story lines. The problem is you've spent six months reading and re-reading your own work. You're at the point that you can't even recognize a typo in your name much less find inconsistencies in your main character. That's why you have friends -- or as we writers call them "people who gently provide feedback on our scripts, paying special attention to our fragile psyche." So you give these people your script and ask them what needs fixing. We call these notes. [TIP: "Your script sucks" in not considered an adequate note.]

POLISH -- This has nothing to do with jokes about hockey teams drowning during Spring training, screen doors on submarines, light bulb changing with a rotating ladder or being stuck on a broken escalator. This is the other pronunciation of the word (-lish). It means taking your script, incorporating the notes (see above) and making it glisten. This becomes very useful for beating your head against when you see American Gladiator: The Movie has been green lit.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I actually knew most of these already, which makes me feel cool. I hope you do more of these. This is one of my favorite features, and I learn quite a lot from it.

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