Dreams on Spec

by Emon Hassan on July 10, 2008

What would be the point of documentaries like this? To let the world know how tough it is to make it as a Screenwriter in Hollywood? To kill off a few falsely guided dreams and encourage them not to quit their current job and move to L.A.?

If you know wannabe writers at all, this will have the opposite effect on them. Instead of reflecting on, assessing, and abandoning their non-existent writing career, they’ll say: “What a jerk, that guy. I can do a whole lot better than that cocksucker. I can’t believe (s)he thinks his/her movie will get made.”

And the process continues.

Top 3 winners in all this (based on my scientific research):

1. Final Draft or MovieMagic Screenwriter. Writers won’t touch free scriptwriting software and spend hundreds of dollars on these because all the ‘real Screenwriters use these.’ Up yours.

2. Script Consultants and their ‘transformational arc of protagonist’ charts. That chart is useful for one thing: twist it and twist it until it becomes a noose you can hang yourself with.

3. Screenwriting teachers. There are exceptions, but most of them are as knowledgeable about Screenwriting as I am about wine tasting.

Top 3 losers in this:

1. The unfortunate tree that becomes that bad screenplay – and its descendants that become the dozens of drafts after. Sorry tree, I contributed too.

2. The family members who endure some of these wannabes. In the documentary there’s a scene where one of the Screenwriters tells his wife, “You know I’m trying to get Teri Hatcher to read my script.” Her response is worth the free Netflix rental.

3. The public that’s paying to see a piece of shit accidentally make it to a big screen. Public is very forgiving, however. They’ll come back, pay another arm and some leg to see if you’re still writing and presenting shit on a shiny platter.

Documentaries like this are still fun to watch. Only because of exchanges like this that sticks in your head and goes on repeat:

“Did you get a mushroom?”

“I did not get a mushroom”

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