Thursday, July 09, 2009

Goofing Off
There were no helicopters to wake me up this morning. I guess the news shows can go back to covering Sarah Palin, the strangest politician of the bunch, and that is saying a lot. I have no comment on Ms. Palin, but figure if she ever runs for another office one would have to ask if she will stay with that new job more than a year.

I got up this morning thinking, "It's my birthday Saturday, so I think I will goof off." Then I asked myself, "Didn't you goof off yesterday?" Compared to a guy who works in a coal mine I probably did goof off, but it was a day not entirely devoid of creative ventures.

I am meeting with a couple of guys who have an idea for a musical. Besides just the fun of hanging out with a couple of funny guys, it is a compelling idea. Most of my mid day was spent brain storming concepts over home roasted Sumatra coffee. One of my partners is a stickler for coffee. He imports green coffee beans from a private grower and roasts them to his own taste. He throws out the beans that have come to his idea of an expiration date. The coffee is very good but very strong. I am never sure if the idea of the show is that exciting or I am having heart palpitations.

However, here is my take on writing projects: there are millions of good compelling ideas, success hinges on the writing. In fact good writing can sometimes trump a fabulous idea. Most people think the idea is the hard part, actually it's the fun part. It's akin to the make believe games that kids love to play.

A friend of mine wrote an Academy Award nominated movie and is always being "solicited" with "good" ideas. People with serious intent schedule a meeting with him to say something like, "I have this idea for a movie about a cream cheese factory." Maybe they have a loose plot or a few scenes in mind that could take place there, maybe not. At any rate they then say, "You write it and we can become 50/50 partners." Unless the guy is the caliber of Stephen Speilberg what writer would give away the profits to half of his work? And the truth is, Stephen Speiberg types are not looking for partners.

When you see a dual writing credit it means one of two things. The two people are writing partners and have a long established relationship, have worked out all the economics and write better as a team than individually. Or some unknown writer brings a finished script to a better known writer who has the clout to get it produced. The established writer will add his name, maybe make a couple of minor changes, or not, and take 50%. Writers will gladly share half the profits of someone else's work if it looks like it will get produced.

There are stories all over town about writers who get a million dollars for a script, only to have it totally rewritten by other writers at a tenth of the fee. The original writer gets screen credit and the ones doing the actual work get no recognition. If that movie becomes a hit the original writer jumps to the A list.

Okay so.. so much for my plan to goof off, it seems I started writing instead. Will someone please agree to rewrite this blog and make it better, funnier and more relevant while keeping my by line.

As you were,
Jay

2 comments:

the other one said...

how is it you can write about writing with ease and I can barely get pen to paper (or fingers on the keys) without having a stroke?

my brain has a million ideas at any given moment (ok, I exaggerate) but grabbing ahold of one and actually forming words in any fashion that makes sense (or of interest) is extremely difficult for me.

achhhh... me hope rite gud 1 daaay.

Anonymous said...

I actually am a professional playwright...so, tell you what, I will rewrite what you just wrote for 50% of the profit after it's filmed.
Deal?
BWAHAHAHAHA!

-PDG