Big Bill Martell has an excellent post here titled Smoke and Mirrors http://sex-in-a-sub.blogspot.com/
Yep this is an industry where the BS factors looms large in every field. From the writer or producer exaggerating their credits, contacts or heat to the actor telling you he was one of the leads in Terminator 2. As he believes the movie centered on the first cop who was killed, in his own mind he is right.
I've been caught out a couple of times by the BS factor. Once in L.A was particularly nasty.
To cut a long story short, I was in LA and my agents had blown up, so I'm not working and unrepped. Just another Joe Schmo to the busy producer or agent.
Finally I catch a break. The receptionist at A BIG AGENCY tells me they have a new agent just started, let's call him MS, and looking for talent. Send in a script.
I did. A couple of weeks later I give him a call. By this time I'm working for tips in a Reseda carwash you understand. MS says he loved the script. He wanted to hip-pocket me. Get it out to his contacts and if any interest came he would sign me.
Well that's manna from heaven to me who is doing 12 hours six days a week as the only English speaking guy in the carwash.
So the script goes to CastleRock and Paramount and .......I forget who else. I call MS at BIG AGENCY on a weekly basis for updates. It seems to be going up the chain everywhere. Things are looking good.
He calls ME at the carwash, man if those guys spoke English they would be so impressed, and tells me a company had read my script and had me in mind for a rewrite on a project. Big Bucks. Yahoooooooo!
A week later I call back. Someone at BIG AGENCY answers the phone. I ask for MS and am told 'He doesn't work here any more'
Bit of a shocker, but I politely enquire where he can be found and the phone is slammed down on me. I'm standing there with a little more than mild apprehension.
Again, long story short but I track down the prodco who MS said was thinking of hiring me for the re-write. When I phone I explain about MS and the rewrite project and that I was sorry to bother them but I couldn't get a hold of MS.
The lovely lady [called Elaine] hesitated for a second, then suggested I come in for a meeting. Wahooooooo!
But not really. She sat me down and explained that there was no re-writing project and there was something I should know about MS.
Elaine had been to a party the week before. She had met another agent from BIG AGENCY there and mentioned she knew another agent there who kept promising to send her scripts but never did. His name was MS.
Agent took her aside and asked if she was sure his name was MS. She confirmed it. They had been talking on the phone for almost a year.
Agent told her MS was not an agent. He was the receptionist! I guess they fired his ass after that.
That dipshit wasted the best part of six months of my life.
Couple of UK examples. No name no pack drill for obvious reasons.
A couple of years ago an American guy turned up here claiming to be a writer on E.R. He got a few meetings pitched a few ideas, and low and behold one was bought. This went fine until the first script was delivered. It wasn't exactly what you might consider E.R standard. In fact it was crap.
By this time other writers had been hired for other episodes and the juggernaut was on it's way.
One of those writers was an avid E.R fan and knew the name of every writer on the show. He knew our guy wasn't one of them. He tipped off the producer, who by this time was tearing his hair out trying to get American guy's scripts to work. Yankee Doodle wasn't so Dandy after that.
I believe the show is now several series in. He is not a writer for obvious reasons. His career here as a writer is shot. But he'll still get a fat juicy format fee.
Another tale about a BAFTA winning writer. This is as told me by the producer of the show which got a Bafta. Although this writer got the credit for the script - it was actually a page one re-write by a script Doctor. Hardly one word of the original writer's script remained in the final draft.
The original writer turned up for the Bafta award. As he was entitled. It was his name on the credits. He expressed a degree of feeling guilty, but shit - It's a BAFTA man. That's going on my CV.
BS happens all the time. But on balance I think it backfires more than it works.
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