Saturday, August 02, 2008

Writers are crazy

You hear that a lot. Not to your face so much, but that tends to be the perceived wisdom in the industry. Not just in the industry, try telling a doctor or an accountant what you do for a living and be truthful about the insecurity and just how far you are out on a limb as far as a career and and a pay-cheque are concerned and you can see the crazy-meter hitting red in their eyes.

But define crazy? Writers don't live within those parameters. I'm considering becoming Bi-polar. It works for Paul Abbot. Talent will always be viewed as 'suspicious' by those with the money in this industry. They can't quantify it and reduce it to a formula of the sure hit, which is what every fibre in their being is aching to do.

We are in the ENTERTAINMENT industry. Define entertain? It's impossible to do on a subjective level. You can be a producer who says ' I'll put this actor in this project with this writer and director, and they are all big names so I can't go wrong.
Oh dear
Check out Eddie Murphy's last three films. If you're a glutton for punishment.

In meetings it never ceases to amaze me the disrespect the money people have for the audience. 'Will it play in Preoria' was the famous HW litmus test, and to my mind yet another of those damaging out of context sayings that are taken as gospel.

Good drama will always play. Anywhere. It doesn't matter what the subject matter is. It just needs to resonate I.E say SOMETHING to a big enough audience. To do that you have to step out of the conventions of life. Take a hard look at something that most people don't think about until you highlight it. Then they do. I'm not talking about being 'preachy' I'm talking about being 'meaningful' in a truthful way. Not patronising, not egotistical, just honest.

That's what writers should always strive to do. I've been as guilty as anyone for writing crap. I've got mouths to feed. But I tried to make it as truthful as possible.

If that makes writers crazy then more power to us.

3 comments:

Faith said...

Just discovered your blog via the BBC. 'I'm thinking about becoming bi-polar' was hilarious! I agree with your post, I don't think writers are given enough respect really. I couldn't believe it when I disocvered there is actually a lot of snobbery surrounding screenwriting which came as a shock! Keep up the good work....

English Dave said...

Welcome Faith, and I'm glad you took that comment in the spirit in which it was intended lol

Ladyhihi said...

I'm thinking about becoming bi-polar' was hilarious! I agree with your post, I don't think writers are given enough respect really.



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