Wednesday, September 13, 2006

You're my best mate, you are

Got a Q from Lucy in the comments:

Now you're a respectable screenwriter with credits and everything (damn you and well done), do you find people kiss your ass more? Or is too early to say?

(Before I answer, this is my first and last apology for the self-analysis that is about to happen: this blog was always meant to explain and demystify the whole process from the inside out, from the point of view of a writer (me) trying to get into the business, and what happens when you do get in. I'm not boasting, or being narcissistic, just relaying my experiences etc etc. If that bothers you, please feel free to get your own blog and write about what self obsessed wankers we all are. Message ends.)

I'm still waiting for the "everyone is my new best friend" thing to kick in, but I suspect I won't get as much of that. Mainly because (a) I'm not an actor, and (b) I'm not a director. Even when I do get interviewed, there's rarely an accompanying photo, and, let's face it, nobody ever broke into the business by sleeping with a writer. Except that time I slept with that writer who got me into the business (Gallagher, you never call anymore, did I mean *nothing* to you?) Besides, I can spot bullshit a mile away, so I won't be taken in by ass kissers should they ever appear. There is a definite dividing line between my life before Severance was released, and after, but things aren't actually that much different. The 5 things that needed writing were on the go before it was released, they just happen to need finishing this week. I have been getting a lot of emails, but they're mostly "well done", "how did you manage it", or "loved the movie". Only one person has sent me one of their scripts, but it was a very polite email and they weren't asking for or expecting anything (side note: I really will probably never get time to read anybody's stuff, and I don't think I'm allowed to anyway for legal reasons, so it's probably best not to send anything). Several people have asked if I have any tips for breaking in, to which I can only answer "write a script and sell it", as that's what I did. But that's not very helpful, so I point them towards other, more knowledgeable sites. Anyone who has asked for advice, I've answered to the best of my knowledge, because I know what it's like trying to find information when you're starting out, so I'll always do that, either by reply or on here.

I'm going to a special thing next week that came directly off the back of Severance (more news on that later), and have been invited to that NPA panel thing as a writer/expert/bluffer. Neither of those would have happened without the movie. Apart from that, I still have to finish the things I'm working on, still have to find solutions to story problems, figure out endings, and so on. I've got quite a few meetings lined up, but I'm still doing 2 days a week in the dayjob, so my life is more or less the same, in that sense.

The only thing I've noticed is a gradual shift in the way I'm treated at meetings and in general in the industry. Having a credit somehow magically bestows a certain something on you, it automatically means you're some sort of professional, and not to be dismissed so lightly. Make no mistake, I'm not suddenly all powerful. But there's definitely some slight change there. Part of it is probably my own self belief - I've noticed myself just getting on with it in these meetings and story discussions, not apologising for ideas, not downplaying myself, just stating my opinions and standing behind them solidly, good or bad. And I think it's probably that more than any sort of perceived importance that is affecting how I think I'm being treated. Of course, I may just be imagining the whole thing. But there's definitely something there. I feel more confident, very much so.

Still though, I'm hoping to collect at least a few ass kissers, yes-men, and sycophants, surely writing has to be good for some freebies...

9 comments:

Jools said...

You still smell of wee though!

lou said...

i'd volunteer to be a groupie-ass-kisser but frankly i'd rather kiss jodie's ass. it's much better formed and i don't know where yours has been... ;)

hells said...

I'm always pleasant to Ass-kissers..Only because it only takes one mistake to make them ass-kickers. *shudders*

Chris (UK Scriptwriter) said...

I suppose the only "yes men" (or women) you want are those that are in positions to buy your scripts.

Those yes men/women I could put up with.

Dom Carver said...

Yeah, they could say 'YES' as much as they liked. There need to more of them.

English Dave said...

You bugger. I pissed a whole afternoon up against the wall reading your blog.

Huge congrats on the movie.I loved it.

I write for TV nowadays. You don't get your arse kissed there. Spanked maybe. But not kissed.

James Moran said...

Lou: Be my guest, just let me get the video camera's battery charged up first.

English Dave: Blimey, you're a brave man, delving into the archives. There are things in there. Hungry things.

Stephen Gallagher said...

Hey. I never did find my wallet after you left.

Anonymous said...

there is a difference 'tween the pre you and the post you - WE NEVER SEE YOU ANYMORE! Thanks be to the gods.








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