Wow! Look at all the people who've been checking the site out. Thanks, your support means much. Don't forget to drop me a note; I've committed to returning comments.
Big Bro left early this morning after building a beautiful ramp for the now mobile Mom. He got to know our great Hollywood neighbors. I swear, we live in Mayberry, not a big city. So much foot traffic with so many friendly, nosy people! :)
I finished my script and missed the contest deadline by twenty minutes. Self-sabotage, sure, but also completely up to one bitchy UCLA secretary on a power trip. She accepted a couple dozen scripts without the signed paperwork that was required (and I had), but came down on me for twenty minutes because "Rules are rules". Hope she has a very happy life with her house full of cats, cuddling with the scripts she arbitrarily rejects. Whatever.
It's just another way UCLA shoots themselves in the foot. Their program is only as valuable as their successful alumni say it is, and a secretary just deleted someone the program head thinks is a brilliant writer. How dumb is that? It does them no good to have yet another pissed off alumna who doesn't want to represent their program because of their mickey mouse bureaucracy and lack of focus on what's important.
I can't tell you how pissed off my classmates are at various horribly stupid problems in this program, including the half-assed coverage we just received from our section professors. What we're receiving doesn't match the glossy program brochure, and feels very half-hearted. I don't know one satisfied student, yet the administration blithely carries on thinking they've got the best screenplay program in the country. I was a loyal bruin alumna, but this treatment is forcing me to check out USC.
The good news is, I got to write THE END on another feature-length script. I'm going to polish it a couple more times over the next two weeks and exchange it again with the best two readers in my class. A script is never really "done," but this one will be ready for my portfolio in two weeks. If I can go back and shine up the one I finished last September about Mom, then I'll be ready to look for an agent in June when I finish my third script (at UCLA, my fifth finished feature script...like a good writer, I tossed out the first two I ever wrote as exercises. And my produced plays and short films don't matter to an agent).
Received an email from my new section professor asking us to bring the two page synposis for the spring quarter script and the first five pages to class next week. Yikes! They weren't kidding about writing the next one in ten weeks, while overlapping with the one we were finishing! Geez, no spring break for me. But I'm thrilled with my new teacher assignment because he has the best record of students succeeding, which is what I want.
Big Bro wants me to share some of the Hollywood stories I know. Thought you all would find it interesting. A friend of mine entered "Project Greenlight" two contests ago. If you submit a screenplay, you're required to read x amount of scripts. Apparently, there's a bit of a cheating going on. The writers are so competitive they knock others out of the race by giving them lousy coverage.
According to my friend, you get a handful of reviews from other contestants, all with a vested interest in having you fail, then the Project Greenlight people delete your high and low score to try to make up for the BS going on. Yeah, I'm sure that does the trick. Now I get why the scripts that have won have been so lousy!
The weird thing about Hollywood is that a good movie starts with a good script, but most production companies literally hire untrained secretaries and interns to do the script coverage when they're finished with their awful daily grind of grunt work. Sorry, but one weekend seminar with Robert McKee can't make an illiterate nineteen year old recognize a good script.
The system is all backwards, and it doesn't take a higher degree in Organizational Development to see what's not working. They should be paying beaucoup salaries to qualified writers and screenwriting professors who know what the hell they're talking about. They'd get a much better return on their multi-million dollar investments. Crazy, crazy, crazy, and so easily fixable.
If you haven't been watching the new (and probably last) season of Project Greenlight on Bravo, tune in. You can still catch up; they're rerunning the first three episodes and it is fabulous. The process of making this movie is more frightening than any horror movie they can dream up. The crazy thing is, I was rooting for the schluppy hollywood outsider to make it as a director, until he turned into a raving idiot. I've never watched anyone be that clueless or self-destructive. I'm sorry if anyone knows him;
I don't mean to be mean. I'm just shocked someone who's been working near the industry for thirty years could blow the best thing that's ever happened to him by being so tragically uneducated and uninformed. A great reminder to everyone else to check your ego, read your film history books, and be ready for your big break!
Talent - Preparation = Compulsively Watchable Reality Television.