I had a dream the other day that I was stuck in LA traffic, late for a meeting with a film producer. And when I say traffic, I mean that the cars had virtually stopped. I drove in the shoulder and veered through off ramps just to make some time.
The trouble was, this wasn’t a dream. It was a memory.
As I began my writing career, I had aspirations of becoming a screenwriter. I dashed off three or four of my own scripts. Read Variety. Even started filming a Dracula script with my friends. It was through Variety that I found a producer/director that needed his script punched up. I won’t mention the name. The script is still active and I could get paid upon production. I’ll also develop the mutant power of telepathy and go to Vegas and make millions at poker. The chances are about the same.
This script was along the lines of the Syfy network movies. You know the ones I’m talking about. They have a colon in the title—Magma: Volcanic Disaster, Kraken: Tentacles of the Deep. Only this script wasn’t fantasy or scifi. It was a heist flick where girls took off their clothes every five pages or so for no important reason. Yet, and I have to emphasize this point, the producer wanted this to be a serious action film.
I took on the job and worked many late nights grasping for reasons to justify the main female characters disrobing. I managed to get the producer to cancel all but two of the scenes. (Maybe if I hadn’t, the film would have gotten made. Who knows.) Anywho, I live in San Diego and the producer was, well, in Hollywood. A few times a week, I’d drive up there to meet him and go over the script. It was hell. I never got paid. Not even for gas.
What can I say? I was young and hungry. The opportunity looked good. I learned plenty from the experience. I could finish a whole script under deadline. I could convince someone to ditch unwanted scenes. I could dodge cars while driving fifty in the shoulder.
How far are you willing to go for your writing?