Liar, Scripts on Fire
As they say, Anonymous
(there are a lot of meetings that use your name, by the
way), anything can happen in Hollywood.
Or wherever screenplays are sold (that sounds
like a commercial).
I’m sure somebody somewhere some time has done
that very thing. The
problem with that cart-before-the-horse approach (or
synopsis-or-idea-before-the-script) is that, like in
Hollywood (or New York or Toronto or Vancouver or
Detroit – you get the picture) so much can happen
before that script is written.
Characters can change (not just their clothes –
which can make for compelling scenes); locations can
change; storylines and subplots can be altered;
demographics can shift (that’s sort of like an
earthquake but nobody gets hurt except older folk); even
the three stooges of screenwriting, Theme, Premise, and
Pace, can suddenly change to the point that one would no
longer recognize them.
(They’re really not the three stooges of
just wrote that because I was picturing seeing the three
of them poking each others’ eyes and bonking heads.
“Why youuuuu... Take that, Premise.”
“You missed me, Pace.”
“Nyuck, nyuck, nyuck.”)
So it can be a bit of
a tightrope walk to first proffer a synopsis or an idea,
telling a producer that you already wrote the screenplay
and you didn't. And,
like a tightrope (or quicksand) it’s not a very sound
foundation to work on.
Not to mention that there’s that little
commodity (sometimes very little in this business) of
off a relationship with a producer – a business
relationship – by lying normally doesn’t make for
that solid of one.
That’s not to say that many driven people in
the film and TV world haven’t dropped a few white lies
(or outright, planned prefabrications) along the way to
get to where they are now.
Wasn’t it Steven Spielberg who pretended to be
Steven Spielberg in order to get somebody to hire him to
direct a movie by Spielberg?
(Or some Hollywood myth like that.)
And we all know about the infamous casting couch
that people sit in in casting directors’ offices and
get cast for shows that have a couch in them.
(Maybe I should brush up on my Hollywood lore.)
Anyway, you know what I’m getting at.
Once you start lying, you have to remember those
lies and cover them with more lies, and, before you know
it, you’ve lied so much you end up telling the truth.
(Maybe I should have quit when I wasn’t ahead.)
Okay, the point that I’m trying to make is...
Well, actually, if you
think you’ve got a good idea and a producer likes it
and you can punch out a quick, fantastic synopsis (it
will need to include the story, just so you know – in
case you missed English Literature in junior high) and
then, if the producer is sold on that, you could lock
yourself in the room with your computer... (you two will
have to become very good buddies.
Hey, that’s a great idea for a buddy picture):
Computer And Me
and the PC
... for three days and nights (have somebody
slips meals under your door – so they will need to be
very short food), and, when the producer calls for the
script that he hasn’t seen one page of, pretend to
have laryngitis or tell him this is your identical twin
and that you (the other identical twin you) have left
for three days to visit your dying aunt or went to her
funeral if she kept doing that, and that should give you
enough time to write about 100 or-any-number-beyond-that
to about 120 pages.
That could work.
Now all you have to do is make sure that
everything you wrote in your synopsis is in the
you think of it, a screenplay is really only a
stretched-out synopsis with a FADE IN and a FADE OUT and
a few conversations in between.
By the way, this is only the synopsis of the
e-mail that I’ve already written.