Thursday, October 28, 2010

the occupational BLOW OFF

Some of you might think it’s kind of a sham to write a blog about break ups when you’re in a relationship, engaged, and planning a wedding. It’s not a sham, I promise! Yes, maybe my dating BLOW OFFs are in the past, but I’m a writer living in Los Angeles. That means I face rejection on a daily basis. Writing is a lot like dating and as long as it’s my chosen profession, then I’m stuck dating for the rest of my life. Let me break it down for you.

Hip Pocketing: This is when you meet with an agency or manager who’s interested in your work, might send it out to various networks, studios, production companies, but they’re not sold enough to sign you yet. In other words, they’d rather string you along until they decide if you’re good enough for them.

The “general”: This is when you have a general meeting with a production company or studio/network exec. They’ve read your work and they like it, but they don’t have any writing assignments or projects for you right now. In other words, it’s all a case of bad timing. This is like dating a guy who claims he really likes you, but he’s just not ready to be in a relationship right now.

The “pitch”: Ugh. The dreaded pitch. This sometimes feels like a first date that you think goes super great, but then you never hear from the person again. Here’s how it works. You meet with a production company or studio to pitch them a movie idea. You try to be as funny and fascinating as possible. Generally, you walk away feeling like you did your best…after all they told you what a fantastic job you did. BUT come to think of it…things did get a little awkward when you said good bye… Regardless, you’re almost certain they’ll hire you and there will be a long harmonious relationship in your future. They don’t. And the worst part? They don’t even have to be the one to tell you. They make your agent do their dirty work.

Attachments: This is when you get a production company, an actor, or director “attached” to your project. In other words, if a studio or network buys it, they’ll either produce it, star in it, or direct it. Awhile back, I had a big celeb attached to a script and the guy was emailing me ideas and calling me on the phone. It felt like we were besties for a few days there. Then, for a variety of different reasons he was off the project and disappeared from my life forever. The same thing happened with a well known director and his production company. They made me feel like my script was the best thing they’d ever read and when it didn’t sell, I never heard from them again. This is like the guy who moves the relationship super fast, then freaks out, and bails. Or the guy who tells you how awesome you are just to get you into bed.

The false alarm: This happens all the time. It’s basically when for whatever reason you’re certain a project is going to sell. Sort of like when a relationship begins and you think you’ve found “the one.” You end up telling all your friends and family the exciting news and when it doesn’t pan out, you feel like a fool. Just like dating, the highest of highs are often followed by the lowest of lows.

green light/red light: This just happened to me recently. You’ve sold a project and it’s actually going to get made! It’s a dream come true. Actors have been cast, a crew has been hired, a budget and production calendar are in place…and then they pull the plug. This is the equivalent of getting engaged, planning a wedding, sending out all the invitations…and then having your fiancé tell you a week before that he’s changed his mind.

And in between all of the above comes the constantly checking your phone and email to see if your agents or managers or lawyers are reaching out with good news. It actually takes a whole team of people to get you a date. Sooner or later, you decide fuck dating and you just start to whore yourself out.

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