What is it really like to make your living as a screenwriter?
A weekly look at the realities of Screen Writing
This week has been taken up mostly with draft 2 of ZERO-B, a film script. It has taken a long time to get to this stage. The producer loved the first half of draft one and hated the second half so have been pitching endless versions of various solutions and finally found a direction he likes. This is not a well paid job unfortunately and the only way to make it cost effective is to write it quickly. The first movie I did for him worked out very well.This one has gone very much the other way. It has monopolised my time for too long. Thing is I think if you agree to take on an assignment then you have to do it to the best of your abilities until the job is done – unless the person you’re working for is an arse and the producer I’m working for on this is most definitely not an arse. I want to do a good job for him.
When not on ZERO-B I’ve been working on TIME WALKERS, a spec TV idea. Still on draft one and just over halfway through. It’s fine but there’s something missing. It’s too talky at the moment. I know I have a big exciting ending planned for ep 1 but the main character isn’t interesting enough. I wanted him to be an everyman because something extraordinary happens to him but I haven’t got his voice right yet. Still that’s what rewrites are for. I’ll work it out.
There’s another TV project I have out there – FIGHT BACK. It’s with a production company who have had it for over a year and it’s only inching forward at a snail’s pace. They keep coming up with little tweaks they want done to the proposal or the script (wrote the first 20 pages on spec at their request). It’s a little disheartening to be honest. I’m not feeling much passion from them for the project, which is a shame because I really love this idea.
Lastly, one of my older scripts (TORN) has been sent to Vin Diesel this week to see if he wants to star.
Book I’m reading is Dominion by CJ Samson. It’s yet another one of those tales reimagining the world had the Nazis won WW2. This one is a little slow going but depressingly realistic. It feels a little too close to what could happen now living as we do in a post-Brexit/post-Trump era where bigotry seems to becoming increasingly acceptable. Audiobook is I Heard You Paint Houses by Charles Brandt. It’s the true story of Frank Sheeran, a hitman for the mob and Jimmy Hoffa. Martin Scorsese’s supposed to be doing the film version with Robert DeNiro (as a 6’4” Irishman? surely that’s a role made for Liam Neeson) and Al Pacino as Jimmy Hoffa. Been catching up with the movies up for awards. Saw La La Land (wasn’t too keen) and Lion (preferred that but with reservations). Going to watch either Moonlight or Nocturnal Animals tonight.