September 23, 2009

THE DOCTOR IS... ME?!

Hollywood is a strange place. Filled with strange people. And with strange things happening at the strangest of times. Not that I have found any agency wanting to represent me, but I have just finished my first actual "Hollywood gig" (and by my standards, not the standards of most people, that means that something will actually be produced). A friend of mine gave two of my screenplays to a producer, the producer asked me to give an opinion on a screenplay that is about to shoot (with actors and all, and while I cannot tell you who they are, if I could, you'd know all of them). And so I did.

And about two days later, after talking to the director of the pic, the same producer asked me to punch up the script, pepper and salt it, so to speak. A bit of humor here and there. And that on a deadline of 26 hours!

Script doctoring? Me? Never thought that would be my first bigger break into the film industry, and I have no idea how much of my stuff will survive and make it onto the big screen. For here's what good doctoring is about. It's not about you. Not about your vision, not about what you think is best. Or getting a credit. It is very close to what I had done in the magazine industry for a while. You get called in late in the game, your job is to help, to provide a second set of eyes, another brain, another perspective. You consult. You give suggestions. But always remember. This is NOT ABOUT YOU! Don't get emotionally attached to what you suggest. Don't fight for an idea.

I repeat: THIS IS NOT ABOUT YOU! You are there to help. You are there to be a professional, try to punch up another person's vision, make it clearer, maybe, but ultimately you are there to serve that person's vision.

Some of my suggestions were loved, some were not. Some were taken, some were not. It was definitely a weird experience for me, since in fiction all I have done so far is write original stories... but ultimately, it was a very enjoyable experience, collaborating with a producer who was respectful, professional and polite. Something I had yet to experience in the US-based entertainment industry, and something I didn't experience at all at Seven Seas, or in my limited dealings with Tokyopop, or anywhere, really, within the comics industry.

Also, said producer has read my scripts, and they are starting to circulate now, which is another little bonus, considering that I don't have an agency. Oh, and did I mention that this gig has paid more than I have "earned" in the past two years writing two massive ORIGINAL books? Not focusing on comics anymore... best decision I have made in my life.