I got a call a few weeks ago about an old script of mine, The Big Break. I get calls about it every once in awhile. I wrote it after my first pitch trip to LA. It’s about a hack writer from Boston (he writes things like kung fu fighting mimes) who becomes the biggest writer in the industry when all the other writers die in an earthquake. Haven’t, obviously, sold it but I’ll never fail to take a meeting.
Maybe I should rethink that.
I’ve had meetings in opulent office and oppressive rooms; top flight restaurants and greasy burger shacks; the upper most floors in hotels and motels where I feared touching the floor.
I’ve dealt with fawning and blustering people; ones who were in it to cast their mistress; others who had the money but not the brains of an athletic sock.
So, as you can see, I’m ready for anything.
I meet this guy in a mid-range restaurant, not a chain but not far afield. I could tell almost immediately that this guy was a wanna be writer. I know that because he must have had more pages of notes on the script than actual script pages. He wanted to change so much I asked why he was interested.
“Why don’t you just write one of your own?”
“I’m not a writer. I’m an idea man. That’s why I’m a producer.”
Oh, I understand now. He has a large bowl of affliction alphabet soup and can’t squeeze out the concentration it would take to pound out ninety or a hundred pages.
It didn’t take long to figure out that he was also an ‘amaducer’. That’s what I call amateurs who don’t have what it takes to be a producer.
We chat for a while and, while I offer to sell him the script so he can do whatever he’d like with it, that’s not what he wants. I’m sure he doesn’t know exactly what it is he wants so he starts to toss a fit. Not a big one, he’d be too embarrassed for that, but one that proved all he wanted to do was toss some money at his ego.
I’d had enough so told him so. I told him maybe he should take some of his money and hire someone with production experience because,
“You shouldn’t put a little dick in the big chair.”