Thursday, February 07, 2008

Another movie murder.

My film career is as dead as Bill Holden's. Last night, after several stressful collaborative script sessions with the producers, I cut my losses and walked.

The main money guy had read Syd Fields' book, watched The Sting twice and decided he knew everything there is to know about screenwriting. I found myself teaching story craft to this pig-headed moron once a week and it was exhausting.

To quote from a few dozen bad movies, I'm too old for this shit. I have other projects, like scratching my ass, that are more rewarding. Yes, I will miss the money. Yes, there was the promise of future film projects that would have been more satisfying, but the prospect of working with this jerk on anything more creative than matchbook copy was making my soul shrivel like a raisin in the sun.

I had to move on.

Life is far too short to spend in the company of assholes.

So, I wonder, why does God make so many of them?


Jim Winter said...

There was an old Far Side cartoon showing God in a kitchen with the Earth boiling in a pot on the stove. God is shaking a box labeled "Jerks" over the Earth, saying, "Just to keep it interesting."

I suspect it's truer than Larson intended. Somewhere in Einstein's papers, there's probably an equation to back this up.

John McFetridge said...

Good move. I remember the day I walked away from screenwriting. Funny, friends kept trying to get me to go back, I had to finally ask them if they'd give an addict more drugs? (I suppose I didn't really want to find out the answer to that).

One thing that helped me realize I'd made the right decision (to walk away from movies) was looking at the past twenty years of films (which shocks me when I realize that takes me back to 1988, not 1968 like I think it should) and realizing how almost all the ones I really liked were based on books.

That wasn't true in the 70's when there were a lot of great, original stories coming out of the movies - and when I thought I'd like to get involved.

People will say it's because of the big money involved, too much to take any risks, but it goes deeper than that. It's now a gold rush attitude, independent films are just Hollywood auditions and everybody wants to make comic books.

It's tough for us old-timers to look at the movie biz and see it for what it really is now -- wasted opportunity.

You take John Sayles out of the mix and there's not much left.

I think if you really care about telling stories, if you care about the characters then you have to look to novels. And then, you know, hold on to the movie rights if you want, the asshole will listen more to a novelist ;)

norby said...

Sorry to hear that, but if it was already causing you that much grief, well, it's not worth it obviously.

Beneath the Carolina Moon said...

Oh well. You know the quip. If assholes could fly, this place would be an airport...Never mind Hollywood. You know what falls from all those mid air collisions.