Tuesday, January 6, 2009


I met a writer for drinks last night. Not a client, a writer who I’d given some pro bono advice to in the past. This writer had come to L.A. with a degree from a prestigious eastern film school, worked at breaking into the business for 4 years, made little headway and now was moving back home.

We talked about the type of movies he liked to write and why it was so incredibly difficult, if not impossible to get anyone to pay attention to his work. Mind you this was not a discussion of the quality of his writing, just the subject matter. This writer hates violence and usually dislikes just about every film in the current top 10 box office, and his screenplays reflect this.

I pointed to a phrase my partner Rima often uses “Anytime a movie gets made, it’s a miracle.” There is a lot of truth in that. With the average cost of a studio film topping at over $70 million, a lot of people get to comment on whether or not your script should become a movie: Creative, Marketing, Legal, Finance, Producers, Actors, The Director, Budgeting, Distribution (Domestic & Foreign) etc, etc.

Unless all of these disparate groups find it in their own self-interest to make your movie, it won’t happen. So it needs to be a “win-win” for everyone, not just the writer.

I include this video from the space shuttle launch as a metaphor for this. Simply replace the departments at NASA with the departments listed above.

You might want to think about this when choosing your next subject.

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