Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Thoughts on The Business

My agent has been pestering me about my progress with the script, and by "pestering me" I mean "not returning my phone calls." However, I managed to reach him in his office today after repeatedly spelling my name to his assistant. "Johnny, baby!" my agent exclaimed as soon as he got on the line. "How's it hanging?"

I detest that sort of vulgar small talk, so I immediately began explaining my idea of turning my ongoing screenplay into a franchise of films, related book adaptations and merchandising tie-in foam puppets and latex novelty items. After several minutes, I had to put more quarters into the Liquor Emporium payphone, and my agent took advantage of the resulting pause in my discourse to change the subject. "Listen, John," he said. "There's a hot new writing assignment I'd like you to take a meeting on."

"Haven't you been listening?" I nearly shouted into the greasy phone receiver. "I'm hard at work here on a screenplay that's going to change the very concept of entertainment as we know it! It's like 'Titanic' meets the Bible! I cannot possibly halt my progress for anything, much less the sort of trivial, demeaning script assignments that my spec will render irrelevant to the world!"

"This would be a paid writing assignment," my agent emphasized. When I was quiet, he said, "John, are you still there?"

"I'm listening," I said.

"Great, I thought you'd run out of quarters again. It's a genre project, a fusion of two big brand titles that the studio just acquired, and they're currently looking for writers to pitch takes the story. You ready for this? 'Leprechaun vs. Anaconda.'"

"Well, that actually presents a fascinating dynamic, as leprechauns are supernatural..." I started to say, then stopped myself before I could go further. "No, dammit! Nothing will delay my work on 'The Shroud!' Not a broken generator, not a hand injury and certainly not a 'Leprechaun' sequel!"

"Actually, they said they'd prefer for the pitch to follow the continuity of the 'Anaconda' series," my agent said, but I didn't hear anything after that. I really had run out of quarters that time.

As I left the Liquor Emporium with my environmentally conscious canvas grocery bag bulging, I fumed over the callous insensitivity of the business, and the effect it might have on an artistic type with anything less than my confidence and stamina. To be diverted by such meddlesome inconsequentialities when one is hard at work on the next major work that will change the landscape of narrative art! I mean, was Charles Dickens asked to consider a 'Leprechaun' sequel? Was Proust? Was Shakespeare?

Well, they would understand the insults I had suffered at the hands of their casual ignorance soon enough. Soon they would realize the level of genius they had been neglecting, even as it flourished under their very nose like some sort of hardy desert foliage that needs very little water to survive!



Blogger Templates by