Thursday, September 24, 2009

Holiday Horror Films

Or... Conversation with a Mindless Development Executive: Part One

"So, John. Loved the script. Loved, loved, loved it. So scary. So smart."

"Thank you."

"We definitely want to find something for you. I have a couple of short stories, and a comic book that we're looking for a writer on, but you seem like you have such a unique voice, maybe we can hire you to write an original for us."

"That would be great."

"Great. Okay then, let me tell you what our mandate is as far as thrillers go. We want to do Holiday Horror. Horror films that are centered around holidays, because there's already so much pre-awareness built in. The marketing practically handles itself. You know, like Halloween, Black Christmas, Mother's Day."


"Was there a Thanksgiving horror movie?"

"Not really. It was a joke. Eli Roth made a fake trailer for a movie called Thanksgiving that was between Death Proof and Planet Terror."

"I didn't see Grindhouse. Like the rest of the country."

"Well, there were a bunch of trailers between the movies, and Eli did one of them. It was for a movie called Thanksgiving. Actually pretty funny."

"It's a good idea for a movie. I wonder if he'd be willing to flesh it out as a feature." (yells at assistant) "Put Eli Roth on my call sheet!"

A moment of uncomfortable silence.

"But so you get it. Holiday Horror. Like Thanksgiving. I was thinking you could do a fun one centered around Graduation Day. You know, all the High School Kids with the caps and gowns, and somebody's like killing them because they picked on him when he was a kid or whatever."

"The Principal says some kid's name to come get his diploma and the kid drops from the ceiling with a noose around his neck?"

"Exactly! You totally get it! So, like, Graduation Day. Or St. Patrick's Day. Like the killer gets you if you don't wear green or something. Stuff like that. Do you think there's one to be done for Easter? If you made the psycho wear a really creepy Easter Bunny suit. Like Donnie Darko?"

"You've definitely got my wheels turning. Let me go home and think about it, see if I can sketch something out for you."

"Great! Great! Thanks so much for coming in, John. So good to meet a horror writer that actually GETS it."

I drive home.
I contemplate various means of suicide.
I turn on the computer.
I start to write a treatment for "Yom Kippur"

J. R. Hax

Thursday, September 17, 2009

I Will Not Write Your Fucking Script

So, yeah, like everyone else I read Josh Olson's blog about how he won't read anyone's fucking script. And like everyone else I found it funny, and true and I patted myself on the back because he validated me in sort of an off-handed way. He said that a real writer cannot be dissuaded from writing by anyone. Let me tell you, brothers and sisters, that's me in a nutshell. I'm like the Job of Screenwriters. I scream to the Heavens, "Oh Hollywood, why hast thou forsaken me?"

Hollywood doesn't answer. Just gives me more boils or infections or broken generators.

So I've made a decision. If Hollywood is going to forsake me, then I'm going to forsake it right back. I make a pledge right now, with the whole internet as my witness, that I will NEVER write an assignment for a studio. I don't care how big the paycheck is, I don't care who the director is, I don't care how many times those clowns in the Armani suits tell me they want to be in the John Ray Hax business, I will not succumb.

Bite me, Hollywood. I will not write your fucking script.

J. Ray Hax

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