Thursday, 16 October 2008

Codeword: Demented

Before I recount this story, let me just say that this sort of thing happens to me ALL THE TIME. I’m under no illusion that at the outset of any ‘writing career’, you’ve got to be pretty relentless when it comes to chasing down work, but the big difference with this one was how much it made me laugh (interspersed with a good degree of, ‘Oh, shit! Whatever next?’). I will try and be as discrete and polite as I possibly can be, so apologies in advance if you think I’m being coy – I just don’t want to upset anyone unnecessarily here, but perhaps it’s unavoidable at the end of the day - who knows?

Back in July this year, I responded to a highly unusual script call (through the Shooting People screenwriting bulletin, I think). Four times out of five I don’t even receive a reply, but on this occasion I did. The script I offered as a writing sample wasn’t exactly a 100% fit for the requirement, but it seemed unusual enough for the recipient (who we’ll call ‘Naomi’) to give it a whirl. And she liked it. It wasn’t quite what she had been tasked to find, but still – she stated she would be very happy to pass it on to some producers and directors ‘over here’.

I whizzed over another script and Naomi read that one as well. She liked it, and asked if I had optioned it to anyone? Uh, nope – not since I last checked anyway ;-)

In the meantime, I had a brainwave (a rare occurrence round these ‘ere parts) and plugged Naomi’s name into Turns out she’s an actress based in Los Angeles – a few minor credits, and then a role in this, directed by none than...

Uwe Boll.


It’s a living, as they say.

A couple of days later, Naomi e-mailed me to say she had passed one of my scripts onto the director Pitof. For the uninitiated, Pitof (or Jean-Christopher Comar to use his real name) was the visual effects designer for one of my favourite movies of all time, Delicatessen. He moved into directing with Vidocq in 2001 before re-locating to the States some time later where he directed...



All this really shows is that you have absolutely no control over who reads your scripts – and indeed, why would you want any at this stage? Once the things are out there, it’s all you can do to hope that they’re not being used to prop open fire exits or being used as murder weapons or something.

That said, I’m reminded of a great Adrian Reynolds post here – I’m obviously a long way off from writing treatments set in the world of cage fighting and starring Jean-Claude Van Damme, but a boy can dream, eh? ;-)


Elinor said...

Demented doesn't cover it, Chip.

Chip Smith said...

Any suggestions? I was trying to think of a word that sits somewhere between optimism and crushing disappointment, but none came to mind ;-)