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An anecdote...About 6 years ago when the agency I was with at the time was trying to turn me into a writer who would "feed the goat" (i.e. write for market), a certain trash-action writer within the stable was held up as someone to emulate.
He was nice enough. Not a lot in his head or heart -- and its showed in his kickass "male" writing with its cookie-cutter virtues. I couldn't write what he wrote; I just didn't think that way. I wasn't THAT kind of writer.
I was my OWN kind of writer writing my OWN kinds of scripts. For this, I was called unbusinesslike, recalcitrant, unrealistic and (my fav.) a nuisance writer.
Needless to say, my agency & I parted company. I felt like doophus for a while -- I'd failed Hack Writing 101. I was just another bozo "artiste".
Many screenplays later -- and not much success, either -- I look back on those days and think: "I was lucky. Getting out of the agency meatmarket was the best thing I could have done". Now, I write my specs in relative obscurity, harbouring at 50 no secret hopes of recognition -- the kind that fuels the lives of 20-something newbies (as it should -- since I, too, was once a 20-something newbie when John Lennon was still alive).
I do have one thing, though: a corpus of spec screenplays (solo and co-written(, some of which I'm pretty damn proud of. They, themselves, validate my efforts in lieu of a life in Hollywood. I'm old enough now to have no real regrets.
And that writer who was recommended as a model? Well, he's older, too. But he's made it to Burbank.
Saw his pik in the newspaper the other day. Still writing male action fodder. As a roomie of mine used to like to say about his father's business: "It smells but it sells".
Male action fodder may feed the goat and pay the rent, but does it do anything else?
Hang in there, Bro, your turn will come.
Who does this Stu Woolley guy think he is? Huh?
CONFESSION: I'm his writing partner. I gotta say his scripts are DAMNED good--even the ones he didn't write with me.
You have something he doesn't have... My respect as a writer who hasn't sold out.
You are "the man"!!!
I hope to someday direct a screenplay you have written, and assist you in the award recognition you will have earned.
Stay the course.
Does this mean we're in the same boat?
Does this mean we're breathing the same air?
Does this mean we're eating the same fish?
GOTTA THINK SO!!!D.G.
P.S. Gramma Moses started late too!
I'm in the same age group as you. Graduated NYU Film School in 77, got side tracked in advertising for years, but kept writing " on the side. " Left all that ten years ago, took some ugly day jobs, got paid poorly for an unproduced indie or two in New York, Quarter Finals in Austin 2000, am shooting a first set up on a digital short this Sunday with an HBO crew working for free because they say the writing is better than their pay shoots, and bustin' ass trying to finish two scripts for the festival circuit. You're not alone, and don't you ever give up. May 1 (Nicholls) May 15 (Austin) Get you're work out there and stay alive until " it happens. "
Best of luck...
I've seen you place highly in a few competitions so you must be doing something right. Keep the faith and wait for your day in the sun :)
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