Make ‘Em Like You

I was editing an exceptionally lame script for this guy. It had been pretty painful because, evidence to the contrary, he thought every word was a gem. The script has slight chance at getting read; slim chance at getting moved up the ladder; no chance at getting sold. It’s hack, plotless, and poorly structured.

I really could do nothing for it. The patient was dead and rigor had set in. Of course, I didn’t know that when I took the job but knew I was in an overflowing bucket of shit and potatoes before page one was turned.

I did my job as quickly as possible. I hate the smell of rotting brain cells in the morning. I sent him back his script with my notes. I was as kind as I could be. I’m not totally evil. He’s not a pro so I treated it as such. I’m not saying one day he can’t be the greatest writer of all time but I’m also not saying I can’t become a flamenco dancer.

It took some doing but I did make some points that stabbed through his cement encrusted head. I’m not saying it wasn’t a contentious arrangement or that he will pay attention to my notes or that any of this matters but, just as we are ending our acquaintance, he says,

“They don’t make ’em like you anymore.”

I smiled at him and responded with,

“That’s because my parents are dead.”

6 responses to “Make ‘Em Like You

  1. How do you bill for this kind of thing I wonder? Do the shit and potatoes cost extra? Cement stabbing is very hard work, I know! So what, $100 and hour? Or does it go by the page? Just curious.

    Oh, and I’m sorry about your parents.

    Thanks B&G!

  2. That sounds like a “Who’s the Boss” script…but it made it despite sucking.

  3. David: Shit and potatoes IS extra but I’m sure they’ll find it worth it. I know concrete stabbing is difficult but it keeps me focused on the task at hand: hate.

    This one guy was being an asshole to a friend so I told him if he didn’t back away I was going to stab him in the forehead. He looked at me and said,

    “That’s the scariest threat I’ve ever heard.” And went away. It doesn’t ALWAYS have to be hard. They just make it that way.

    I found charging by the hour makes people whimper. It’s by the page and I tell them up front so the chance of ‘misunderstanding’ is lessened. And I get it up front. If it’s less work I do refund money. I read it first for free and if I think I can help that’s when we discuss money.

    I have to interject. What would you think if someone you’ve never seen asked for the key to the rest room, you told them if it’s locked that means someone is in there then they said, “Do you have a trash bag? A big one?” If it’s not what I thought you’re probably not as sick as me.

    When someone is in front of me and says, “Sorry about your parents.” I answer,

    “That’s okay. You didn’t kill them.” I love that expression but not as much as this one. “I did.” That’s a pretty good expression so I let them go with, “But don’t worry. I was acquitted.”

    MTAE: It is amazing what does get made. I’ve been fortunate to read some incredible scripts that never get made. Never been fortunate enough to write one (good or made) but if the shit I read sticks I’ll keep tossing.

  4. Okay, that? Was an awesome response. As was the continued responses in your comment to David. I doubt I’d be able to keep a straight face long enough to observe the full impact. Which makes YOU funny and ME… not so much.

  5. You are funny, and I appreciate funny, ergo you are appreciated!

  6. Your terms are extremely fair and quite reasonable. If I wrote a script, I would not hesitate to ask for your help. Lucky for both of us, I’ve never written a script, and never will. Thanks for saving us from some even worse crap than the crap that we have to watch now!

    Thanks for your interjected question! It made me think so hard, that I now have a headache. I would think the same thing that you did, for I am a sicko. In fact, their question sounds an awful lot like something YOU would ask … along the lines of that toilet paper to food ratio that you ask cashiers. Funny guy you!!

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