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Screenwriting Help E-Mail (Previous)

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This week's question: 

It seems all this wheeling and dealing and ďpackagingĒ is more important than the script, itself.

Gregory


This week's Answer: 

All "Packaged Up" and Nowhere to Go

You definitely have a point there, Gregory.  Often the script takes second (or fifth or twenty-third) place to the packaging you mentioned.  But itís the nature of the game, being that the game takes so many players, who all have to have their piece of the pie.  (I know thatís a mixed metaphor Ė unless the players happen to have a big pie waiting for them after the game.)

Deals are made, and wheels are... wheeled.  Or something like that.  Itís the nature of the game.  (Oh, I already said that.)  These days, itís WHO is in the film more than WHAT is in the story.  (And we wonít even talk about the HOW Ė even though I donít know what that means; but it sounds good, doesnít it?) But, if you look back, youíll realize that this has been the case in Hollywood all along.  During the golden years of Hollywood, the studios usually chose their projects according to what actors they had on contract.  In a sense, their packages were already often partly put together.  The difference today is that actors usually have to sign contracts for each project.  As do directors.  And directors of photography.  And directors of catering companies.  This is not an easy business, and that applies to packaging.  Try to have some compassion and not be too hard on those in it who are packaged. 

Itís got to be difficult being covered with all that paper and tape.

DcH 

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