I see a lot of adverts on websites like mandy.com requesting screenplays. I read them with optimism. Go back to them looking for a glimmer of possibility, ultimately rejecting them as more trouble than they’re worth.
Am I cutting my nose off to spite my face?
I don’t know. I do know the promised credit, festival submission, and copy of the film, is not enough. If you want my work, I want to be paid, even for a short. Getting paid means ou mean business.
I’m also suspicious of would-be directors who have no writing skill at all, because it seems to me, if they have no writing skill, they have no understanding of how hard it is to actually write something.
How do I know this?
Because every time I have given a director a project screenplay, they’ve requested changes, massive changes, the kind that change the story. If you don’t like the story pass. As if I hadn’t thought about every aspect of the story, every word on the page, and made a conscious decision to write it that way. It seems to me the directors job is to tell the story, as written, not the other way round.
Perhaps I will regret writing this, because it’ll probably alienate potential collaborators, but that’s what I am looking for, collaborators, people who respect what I have done, enough to tell that story, as written.
The posters of these adverts could write the screenplays themselves. That’s why I started writing, I had stories I wanted to direct. Failing that, if they have stories they want to tell, and are unable to put it on paper, they could hire me to write it for them, not take what I’ve written and turn it inside out.