Lance, you have several ways to deal with those with
options, and there are definite options to handle those
who have deals. What those are, however, I haven't a
clue. (Not really.) Have you ever heard the
expression, "Don't compare your insides with others'
optioned and 'dealed' outsides"? The thing to
remember is there really is nothing or nobody to compare
yourself to. So what if somebody has a deal or an
option?! Big deal! (Sorry. Bad
pun.) You don't know him or her from Adam.
(Unless he is
Adam and you always harbored
inordinate envy towards this particular person named
"Adam," and, now that Adam has a deal or a
paltry option, you're even more incensed that he takes up
space and air on the same planet that you inhabit.
And if she
is Adam, then you probably don't have
much to worry about, anyway -- if you know what I
mean.) If you do find yourself in such a position of
envy and you can't seem to stop beating yourself up and/or
comparing yourself with somebody who has had some fortune
in his or her screenwriting career, don't panic because
there are some excellent techniques that you can employ to
neutralize the pain: 1) Under no circumstances, ever
talk to that person again. 2) If that person who now
has a deal or option speaks to you
pretend that you just received a call on your cell-phone
from a studio or your agent and act as if that person no longer exists and will not be a part of your posse.
3) When you're alone, calm yourself and take
yourself into a meditative state and gently imagine a
beautiful aura around this person with the deal or option
and see this aura bursting into flames that will consume
the person's entire future as a screenwriter. Then
visualize this same person phoning you desperately for a
favor and see yourself affirmatively hanging up.
Trust me: you'll feel so much better.
Actually, it's a nice milestone to reach when you option a
script. Deals can be quite lovely, also. It can be a
sign of a "start of a beautiful relationship," and,
hopefully, the relationship is with a sincere producer
who has his stuff together and knows how to produce a film and take
a screenplay all the way to where it needs to go. In my time,
I've signed several options. Option signing can
bring on a nice sensation. You can swagger a little as you
walk into a room of other writers and casually let it be known that you
"just signed an option." It's the "option
swagger." You see it all the time. And, then, of
course, there's the "I just signed with an agent" jaunty stride.
Watch out for those types in restaurants. They knock over
plants. And let us not dismiss the piece de resistance of
steps: the "three picture deal - watch out for my
boots" strut. When you see that coming, pull in your feet (and
children) and get out before the ceiling comes down on you. If
you're still not sure of the kind of personnel Iím referring to,
here's some more clues: These recent signers usually have two
to three cell-phones, make obnoxiously loud calls no matter who is
around them, emphasizing words like "shoot, "studio,"
"exec," and "my agent" whenever possible.
They usually laugh louder than they need to. They look like
they are on coke most of the time (not the beverage) and they act
like everything, including custodians, crossing guards, and
octogenarians revolve around them, as the rest of the cosmos does
and should. Don't ever expect that these
people will actually hear anything you say. They're far too
busy percolating their next script and pitch meeting. They
may, however, confuse you with a parking valet or waiter and
possibly give you a very nice tip. If that happens, simply say
"thank you" and tell them how much you enjoyed their last
picture. Works every time.