Since that night I've been extremely irritable. Some might even say bitchy. But mostly I was depressed. That hasn't helped me with my writing deadlines. And now, in this disastrous economy, I am tasked with raising $11 million in P&A financing for our third film project. All I wanted to do was lie down until this feeling went away. Then, thanks to Kevin at LA Observed, I read "Screenwriting in Hollywood: A Modest Proposal" and felt a little better. Here's an excerpt:
Novelists, playwrights and poets are not rewritten by other writers. Even journalists do the deed pretty much alone. But screenwriters not only routinely and eagerly replace each other, they are tactical in their competitive quest for credit, credit that is not only emotionally gratifying but financially existent. Without credit, future opportunity, immediate and contingent compensation, dissolve. All that hard work to get beyond base camp, undone. Back to square none. Meaning - what do you tell your family, friends, former classmates, neighbors, and people you’ve yet to meet - that you did work on something glamorous for possibly years even, but in the end, your name didn’t scroll by?
And the other question that will not leave your mind is the calculation of cash you didn’t get and residuals you will never see.
This belief and its subsequent practice of multiple screen authorship is a unifying principle that not only does not serve its community of believers, but actually endangers its members from achieving prosperity in a scarce economy.
I've come to the realization that producing is a necessary evil for me and I need to just get over it. Conquering the written word is still what makes me truly happy, but if I have to produce to protect my work or another writer's words and vision, then I'll take that battle on. A long time ago, someone once suggested to me that, "It won't hurt if you don't clench." I didn't buy it then, I don't think I'll buy it now. I think I'll try it my way. The picture I have in my head of the kind of producer I want to be is a little bit clearer now.