Never Trust a Director


You slave over your baby. You give 'er every ounce of your being. You go over her again and again with a fine tooth comb - tightening, tweaking, perfecting - until finally, she's ready.

You choke back tears as you send your baby out into the big bad world, knowing the trials that await her. But have you prepared her well? Will your baby withstand the production beast, or will she emerge from the other side, a chewed up bloody mess, barely recognizable as the perfect child script you once knew and loved?

All you can do as a parent scriptwriter is make sure your baby has the tools to face whatever may come along. Just as no decent father sends their teenage daughter out on a date without pepper spray and a taser, no screenwriter should ever send their script to the Hollywood wolves to be raped and beaten without some sort of protection.

So how do you rape proof your script?

First, you have to know the predator.

It's those evil producers, right?

Nah. Producers are harmless. Sure, they'll want a rewrite or fifty, and often have some pretty crazy demands, but it is still up to you to make those demands work. And what their wants really boil down to is nothing more than a makeover for your baby. No threat there.

No, the predator you need fear, the predator so horrible that script pages spontaneously crumple into shivering balls on the floor at the mere mention of, is none other than the dreaded spawn of Satan director.

You see, unlike actors, directors are smart. And they actually have a creative vision of their own. It is your job as a screenwriter to make damn sure that they don't ejaculate vomit their creative vision all over your pages.

Oh, they'll argue that it's their movie, not yours, but we know better. We know full well that contrary to popular mythology, scripts don't magically pop into existence when casting starts. If it weren't for writers, there would be no casting couch and directors would never get laid. (Why else do you think so many of their kind walked the picket line during the writers strike?!) But that's not the point. The point is, without writers, there would be no movie.

But Hollywoodland is an ugly place, and once a director gets his claws into your script, the reality is that your baby is on her own. You can't protect her anymore. You can only stand back and witness the carnage. If you haven't prepared her well, well... the things a director will do to her are just too unspeakable to mention.

I know your urge is to lock her away, to protect her for her own good, but then the world would never know her beauty.

No you, my friend, are left with very few options:

1) Sleep with the director.

This pulls their attention away from the virgin flesh of your script, and basically amounts to throwing yourself on a perverted grenade to spare your baby the worst of it. Directors tend to be only slightly higher than writers on the good looks gene scale (but only because they have to go out in public more), so if you can make this work for you, it's a solid option.

2) Threaten the director.

Dig up some juicy dirt and threaten to expose. But in a world where any publicity is good publicity, this is very hard to do. You need the type of career ending dirt that you can only get from either reducing yourself to doing the above, or being related to the slime ball and knowing something so personal, so damning, so shocking, that they will bow to your every wish rather than have it exposed. I'm still working on this angle, so I have no idea how effective it is.

3) Become a director.

(Sorry, I should have warned you not to eat lunch first.)

Clearly, very few people have the stomach to make any of the above work. No, your only real hope is to arm your script with the tools she needs to succeed... out there... with *shudder* them.

In order to do this, many writers make the grave mistake of directing from the page. Some even go as far as including camera angle after camera angle to make sure that their vision comes across.

DON'T DO IT!!!

This will only enrage the beast, and ensure that the attack on your precious baby will be that much more cruel.

There is unfortunately only one way to rape-proof your script against directors. It's shocking and rather unconventional, and it may be illegal in some states, but it works:

Write a damn good script. And not just any damn good script. A script with vision that transcends the page and is so damn overwhelmingly phenomenal that it overpowers any free will the beast may have, and they immediately need to be one with your vision in a loving, nurturing, beautiful moment of bliss, and any thoughts of violation in the name of creative vision go out the window.

This isn't 100% fool proof. There are horror stories of good scripts ravaged beyond recognition. But it does provide some protection, and gives your baby a chance for a marriage made in heaven rather than the violation from hell.

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