So my manager's like: What sample should we send them? (He means which of my scripts would serve as ample proof that, like, I can write this movie.) Something with "girl power" and "action" he tells me.
He tells me "It doesn't have to be a feature (film) script. I'll even submit something you did for tv."
He leaves me with a "think about it and get back to me."
I hang up... and sigh. My old reaction, before I learned how fucked up this whole business is, was to hang up the phone and jump up and down... like..."I actually have a shot at this! How fucking cool! Yay, my dreams have come true! I am doing what I love love fucking love!!! I can't believe it! When so many other people have jobs they loathe... I actually might get paid to follow my passion, follow my bliss... Yay for me! Life is beautiful!" And my naive little heart would be pumping pumping pumping... the adrenaline surging through my clear and as-yet-unclogged-by-cynicism (aka acknowledgement of reality) veins...
But now... I sigh heavily. Because -- fuck. I don't have a good sample. Thus, I don't have a prayer.
What I have are various things that each have an element of what these people are looking for... and taken together, you could see (if you could be bothered to, like, think a little independently and extrapolate a bit....) that I am more than capable of doing this thing.
My most recent gigs were for a big studio, writing sequels to two well-known films: a hugely successful chick-flick comedy focusing on the marital mishaps of women in their 30s, and an iconic love story with supernatural elements shot two decades ago...
So far, neither of my sequels have been produced. And as the division of the studio that hired me to write these films has been closed down and the people fired, their projects now shuttled to yet another division, my scripts are no doubt languishing on the new guy's hard-drive. More likely, the new guy's assistant's hard-drive... while the new guy tries to mark his shaky and probably temporary turf by peeing all over it with material that he and "his people" generate, rather than looking at stuff that was developed by the very smart and talented previous guy and his fabulous team.
Before those two scripts? I did an indie romantic comedy with characters in their 30s.
And before that? Lots and lots of TV. Most recently, genre stuff. Sci-Fi and action. I'd like to be specific, but I'd also like to stay married... to my current husband. And if I name these shows, it won't be too hard to google and IMDb your way to the name under which I wrote these things... ie you will know who I am... thereby knowing who my husband and kids are... thereby... big marriage problem.
So yesterday, after doing what I was never able to only a few years ago -- namely, forgetting all about this as I had to run my errands, and finish up yesterday's post for Righteous Venting and put the finishing touches on my guest post at The Scarlet Dogma and volunteer at my kids' school (because normally I would've dropped EVERYFUCKINGTHING to find just the right sample, doing everything short of, like, taking crack so I could WRITE a new sample in like 47 minutes, and I would've obsessed over this entire situation) -- I get home and take a deep breath and have to acknowledge that --
I WILL NOT GET THIS JOB. DON'T STAND A FUCKING CHANCE IN HELL. SHOULD I EVEN BOTHER, SHOULD I EVEN WASTE ONE IOTA OF MY TIME TRYING TO FIND A SAMPLE WHICH I KNOW WON'T DEMONSTRATE EXACTLY WHAT THEY'RE LOOKING FOR?
Because insanely, Hollywood tries to make this an exact science. They want to see my "other" chick surfing movie in order to know that I can write a chick surfing movie. Or a chick swimming movie to see that I can possibly extend my creative reach all the way over to chick surfing movie... They can't look at my body of work, full of strong female characters and lots of so-called female "bonding" and also filled with dynamic female characters who talk tough and kick-ass just as well as the male characters... and realize that I can write their damn movie.
And yet... I will now publish this post... and go into my basement... (my real basement, not a metaphor for my external hard-drive or some deep recesses of my soul) and look through some old tv scripts and see which one I can send. And most likely, they're from an older computer and an older screenwriting program and I may be fucked and not even have them saved anywhere accessible... so I might have to scan in the pages to make a pdfuckingf file... which I will then email to my manager.
And then... I will promptly forget about it. Hopefully.
But I guess I still have to try... I think... Because this addiction is a little too hard to kick. Because even though the business of it all is an utter, soul-sucking nightmare, I love the work itself, the creative parts of what I do, or what I used to do more often. Because seeing a good film still inspire and moves me. Because I haven't yet decided that screenwriting is a thing of my past. Because even as I type this, I have at least two or three new scripts in various stages on my (real, not metaphorical) hard drive.
But -- none of them is done. And none of them is about a female surfer.
And so once again, I am about to get my hopes (Blue) crushed.