Catchy title. I think I'll keep that one!
But this is about writing for a living.
I was talking to a writer the other day who was in the classic dilemma. He'd agreed to adapt a book. Pitched his take on it which was loved. A paranoid thriller vibe. He writes a treatment. The deal is done, finance in place. Pretty serious bucks.
Then he gets a call from his producer. ''So and So star whom we want has read the book and wants it to be more faithful to it so can you take out the paranoid thriller aspect?'
Well he could, but by doing so he'd be left with a metaphsical rambling down a remote Italian river where not much happens.
The only reason he agreed to write the script was because he could make it so much more.
So what's a girl to do? Legs in the air and take the money? I guess that depends if you have a buck for a cup of coffee or not. This particular writer is on a hot streak so the decision maybe isn't as hard.
But it still is.
That is a mighty cheque to kiss off, especially - as is normally the case for most writers - any of the other six irons you have in the fire can vanish like blood, grease and ink in a soap powder advert.
More power to him. He kissed it off. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying you SHOULD do this. I guess I'm saying that in my opinion if you are in a position to do this then it is better for your writer's soul to do it.
Good writing comes from the gut. If someone has just ripped the guts out of the reason why you wanted to write the piece in the first place then even the most seasoned whore is going to take a look at that gnarled dick now staring at them and say 'No thanks'
Shortly after that conversation I'm in a cab heading for the airport and home when my agents ring. A prodco had been in touch asking if I'd be interested in writing for one of their shows.
I didn't like the show that much [seen half an ep] and hadn't heard great things about the prodco. I hummed and hawed. My agents being long in the tooth latched on to this immediately and made the right 'not a great career step, not good to work for noises'
Emboldened by my 'screw those bastards' earlier conversation with said writer, I said ' Tell them 'No thanks.'
In the plane I kicked myself all the way home.
But I slept pretty good that night.
When you start off, any work is good work. Ask Renny Harlin about 'Nightmare on Elm Street 4'
But the time comes when you have to become a courtesan more than a street walker if you want to progress as a writer.
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3 years ago