What If. . .?

Another call for submission. I don’t know why I do them other than I’m always looking for work. I guess the success rate (success = paid) is high enough to keep my interest but the cha-ching rate (cha-ching = picked up for a full run) startlingly low.

It’s also a cattle call. I’ve been on the other side and had to slog through hundreds of submissions. The truth of the matter is, a good 60% I didn’t watch or read all the way through.

Here you are, working hard to deliver the best product you can only to have some jag-off flip through a few pages before tossing. Sucks, don’t it? Feel like tossing a fruit flavored nutty, don’tcha?

Get over it!

This isn’t a world for the faint of heart, hell, this isn’t a world for those with a heart. It’s not fair, it’s not about quality, it’s about opinion and filling a tiny, incredibly specific need that only exists in someone’s head. The old I’ll know it when I see it trick.

So swallow your pride, dignity, a fifth of gin and either get back in the game or pull up a seat.

This request was one of those, ‘Here’s a premise. . .go!” type of things.

The only good thing is I’ve worked for the people before so they let me see some of the other submissions.

Hey! Hey! Hey! What did I say about it not being fair?

It’s perception because this sounds fair to me. I get a little boost but do not get a free ride. I get to see what’s out there but there’s no guarantee I’ll be able to catch up. They’re just doing it as a courtesy. Like vultures sharing a wildebeest.

We’re willing to share the soft, white underbelly. Until the other blinks.

I’ll admit some of the submission were very good. It’s a ‘What if. . .?” premise. Such as, ‘What if your nose was upside down?’ That’s a simple one that really wouldn’t fill the two minutes. I mean, if that was true the first time it rained, you’d drown.

While reading the submissions (still only reading 40% all the way through – and it’s only 2-3 pages) I see a small opening I can use. A premise I like. By that I mean a premise I can write a two-minute script about in less than two minutes.

It was a ‘what if office workers acted like athletes’ bit. Specifically, the ticks of athletes.

A new hire is being walked thorough the office and passes a guy adjusting his cuffs, spitting on his hands, slapping them together before pressing the button on the copier; a guy tears out of an office slamming everything in his path before kicking over the water cooler; a woman grunts every time she makes a key stroke; a guy celebrates a page coming out of a printer by kissing his hands and pointing them skyward; a guy standing over another person reading a report before spiking it and dancing before they go into an elaborate handshake.

The new hire looks around a tad bewildered but the other guy doesn’t take notice. They get to his cube, part ways, the new hire looks around for a second before three guys rush up and dump a cooler of ice and drink on him.

Silly, possibly stupid, potentially hackey, but, to the best of my knowledge, pretty close to what they were looking for. I was told they weren’t looking for another ‘what if George Lucas directed Reservoir Dogs?’ Trust me, they got plenty of those. That’s why they came to me. They wanted something cheap, fast, without a hint of potential litigation.

In the end, I didn’t get the job. It’s a tough blow to spend two minutes typing only to have some nameless, faceless, low echelon twerp judge my work, my total worth!

Damn! I was pissed!

So I cross checked a co-worker.


8 responses to “What If. . .?

  1. Hell, I liked that athlete premise. Maybe they were afraid it would look derivative of that “Office Linebacker” from a few years back (even though yours was broader and funnier. Especially the grunting as she hit every key. 😀 )

  2. “Another call for submission” ?

    The first thing I thought of when I saw the first sentence was you having some mouth breather on the ground, in an arm bar lock, growling for them to submit, “Tap out, muthafugger, or I’ll snap your arm!”

  3. Reminded me of the Southwest Airlines and ESPN commercials – my faves. 🙂

    Vultures sharing a wildebeest – I think I snorted!

  4. The premise alone screams of an ESPN commercial…they have been decently creative with those these past couple of years…even though they are a bit predictable.

    This new one they’re showing with the Brett Farve comeback with the two lanterns in the tower is quite “smart” for ESPN. I am sure there is a lot of explaining being done after that commmercial.

  5. How about the old Carlton Fisk package check-cup adjustment before every pitch? Or the Nomar-esqe obsessive-compulsive macareina-like prep?

  6. “Another call for submission” ?

    The first thing I thought of when I saw the first sentence was you having some mouth breather on the ground, in an arm bar lock, growling for them to submit, “Tap out, muthafugger, or I’ll snap your arm!”

    Surrender, Dorothy !

  7. Bleed all over ’em! Let ’em know you’re there!

  8. That was definitely not the “submission” I was picturing–where were the whips, handcuffs, hockey goalie masks, rubber chickens, chainsaws and hot paraffin vats? Now THAT’S submission!

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