Your Screenplay Is Not Your Penis

An article called, "Why Producers WILL NOT READ YOUR SCRIPT – shocking case study from one exec," is making the rounds on the internet, and details an actual exchange between a writer and an exec.  In it, we get a front row seat to one very long, brutal act of career suicide.


Like many of you, I could barely get through it, and later had to have my anal sphincter surgically removed from my stomach after it had made the long crawl through my bowels and intestines in an attempt to hide from the mortification witnessed on the page.  

It must take a spectacular cocktail of mental disorders for the writer to commit career suicide like this, right?

Wrong.  

I've given enough notes to know that this reaction from script writers is all too common.  Hell, it can be seen on an almost daily basis on any public scriptwriting board.  Any critique, any rejection, large or small, is met with wildly out-of-proportion rage/pleading/denial/crazy-making justifications/psychotic rants/melt downs/{insert anything but a professional thank you here}.

Sure, a solid argument can be made that anyone attempting to get into screenwriting must have some sort of serious mental disorder, but the ones that actually make it, learn to overcome it, or at least get it under tight control.  

If you recognize yourself in this post, frequently find yourself lashing out against rejection, feel the entire industry is against you and that nobody knows what they're talking about, and/or haven't yet managed to reel in your personal brand of disorder enough to graciously accept rejection, this post is for you.

Your screenplay is not your penis.  Stop reacting to rejection or critique like it is.

Stop it.  Right now!

When someone passes on your script or points out its weaknesses, they're not that girl laughing and pointing when your drop your pants.  

It's not personal.  It's business.

So why would you shove it in somebody's face and insist that they change their mind?  Doubt that would work for your penis with the laughing girl... you'd look like a world class jerk, and could possibly get arrested.  So why would you think it's okay in business?

We all believe in our scripts.  Of course we do.  But like your penis, your script won't be everyone's cup of tea.  I don't care what kind of tricks it performs or how spectacular it is.  Hell, it could have the ability to bring about world peace - doesn't matter.  Some people just don't get turned on by what you've got.  Deal with it.

I repeat, it's not personal.  

I get that you put your all into a script, and rejection is hard.  It hurts.  Just like your penis, you want everyone you show it to, to love it and beg for it, and ask for more.  But it ain't gonna happen.

But unlike your penis, which you're stuck with for life no matter how much you spend on those spam email products that promise to improve it, your script can be reworked, improved, and transformed into something better.  

Show some class, folks.  Be professional.  Use rejection to get better, work your ass off, and one day you might just have the script that makes everyone else whip out their pages and try to measure up against.   

***** 

And to those of you this post in no way applies to: 

You're awesome!  Stay classy and keep up the good fight (and feel free to forward this to those jerkwads who need to hear this, 'cause unfortunately, we all know a few of 'em.)




2 comments:

  1. All writers need to work in TV for a while and get their scripts rewritten, stomped on, eaten, spewed up, thrown at walls - on a weekly basis. It's all about letting go and getting on with it.

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  2. Agreed. Instead of all the script consult services out there, someone should put out a shingle for script insult services to prepare new writers for the real world.

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