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Screenwriting Help E-Mail (Previous)

Updated every Monday, one selected e-mail will be posted and answered here each week. With many years of experience in the film and television business, I look forward to providing answers to your questions (often with a humorous eye) about screenwriting or the entertainment industry in general.  Please send your e-mailed questions to: Script Advisor.  You may also wish to visit our Screenwriting Help E-Mails - The Archives.

This week's question: 

A project just fell through, Dch, and I don't know what to do with myself.  I really thought I had a sale there.  Do you have any wise words?

Rochelle in PA

This week's answer: 

Wishful Selling

Rochelle, I know how that can hurt.  Do you feel it in your gut like I do when the roadblock or stop sign or red light appears?  Another good one is when a producer changes direction in midstream.  (I didn't mean to mix my metaphors again, but somehow "changing directions in mid-road" doesn't quite say it.)  I know that this is probably not going to feel like this helps, and may even feel like it hurts even more than before you sent your e-mail to me, but, chances are that you never had a sale to begin with.  The wishful thinking and desperately hoping part of you may have wanted you to BELIEVE that you did.  And there's nothing wrong with that.  As long as you keep the right perspective.  We have many parts of us, many I's as the lauded philosopher, Ouspensky, indicates in his writings.  Your "I have to make a sale right now" I just got a little louder than the other I's.  Maybe even drowned them out.  The reality crash is worse when we're not balanced and lost in expectations.  We have a tendency to live in the future, especially when that future looks brighter and one that has you selling a screenplay, without consulting the present.  That's why it's a gift.  Or something like that.  (If one more person says that to me or tells me about the footprints on the beach, I'm going to give them a gift and strangle them on a beach.  Who's carrying you now, pal!)  Not really.  Just chalk up the aforementioned outburst to some producer in my past saying "no".  In midstream.

Under a red light.

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