Why (I Think) Writers Are Miserable

November 28, 2007

Stay with me here (I’m still figuring this out):

Last week we were invited by some friends to join their Thanksgiving festivities. One of the other guests (I’ll call him Chuck) was an aspiring Hollywood writer. I know this because it was impossible for anyone in attendance to avoid learning this. Or avoid learning how many spec scripts Chuck has written. Or avoid hearing again how tough it is for Chuck to get a break in this business.

This guy annoyed the crap out of me.

Now wait – wait a second. This post is NOT a mean-spirited rant about this guy or how miserable he is. Read the rest of this entry »


Random Question #22

November 23, 2007

If you had a time machine, would you go forward or back?

The Strike (And Me) Part One

November 20, 2007

As the WGA strike enters its 4th week, things get more and more interesting around here. And by “here,” I mean the fringes of the business. With the strike, writers can’t write or submit anything and studios can’t read or buy anything. So… where does that leave all the agents?

If no deals are getting done and no money is changing hands, agents are starting to feel the squeeze. After all, 10% of nothing is nothing. But agents have one thing to look forward to: the after-strike euphoria. The longer the strike goes on, the longer there is nothing getting produced or bought or scheduled, the bigger the vacuum that is created. And once the strike ends, there will likely be this huge frenzy of buying and shooting as studios try to fill that pipeline with quick and constant product before dead air hits the TV and multiplex. At least, that’s what everyone is counting on.

So if you were an agent, and none of your existing clients will write anything new during a strike, and yet you want to accumulate as many scripts as you can to have ready to feed to this hungry beast once the fast is over, what do you do with all this free time brought to you by the strike? You go look for new writers to represent. And that means… Robb (and a hell of a lot of other writers on the fringes of legitimacy).

Since the strike began on November 1, my script downloads on inktip.com have picked up a little. I am sure there is a ton of increased traffic on the site, and I am getting a modest number of eyeballs. I’d been keeping an eye this and didn’t see anything to get excited about – until today. William Morris – one of the biggest and most powerful agencies in the business – today downloaded both my scripts on the market, Aftershocks and I Hate That Guy!. This is easily the biggest player to check out me and my stuff in quite a while, probably ever. This could be good – Supervillain is still under option, which looks good on my inktip resume as people check me out. And as Supervillain’s producer told me the other week, a financing deal for Supervillain may benefit from the building vacuum as well. The key is that these two sides could feed off each other, each one creating heat and legitimacy for the other. We’ll see.

Could be good.

Now, to bring myself down from this nice moment: Just imagine if I had more COMPLETED scripts to put up on inktip… like Psycho Ex or Dead Guy


Random Question #21

November 16, 2007

What do you most like to think about?

Supervillain Update

November 9, 2007

I know everyone out there is hearing about the writers’ strike and thinking, “yeah, yeah, DVDs, residuals, internet – but how does it affect ROBB?!” I thought the same thing. So I emailed the producer who has optioned my script and asked her. Here’s what she said:

>>It’s hard to peg exactly how the strike will affect everything, but it could very well be helpful. We’re definitely still trying to find a home for Supervillain. We even have a potential investor for 85% of the budget if we can find the other 15%.

>>…the strike could end up being helpful, since there will be a lack of content in the market soon, but the tricky part is that November & December are the lightest buying months anyway, so a lot of places are just holing up and waiting to see if the strike is over by the new year.

So… 85% of the budget is there – anybody want to make an investment?

Hey, if we sell the house

Why Do Blogs (Mostly) Suck?

November 8, 2007

A friend of mine (the friend who issued The Challenge and who later did that write-up of me and who runs her own business) gets frustrated with me. Why? Well, because I have a complicated relationship with blogging (among other things).

Some people make money and even a living through blogging. I’m a frustrated writer and I have a blog, so she wonders why I don’t do this, or at least try to do this. I don’t market myself or my blog, and although intellectually I know you have to market yourself and your writing, and hard, I have an immediate skepticism and distrust (disgust?) for people who do.

In an ideal world, it’s all supposed to be on the page. If the writing’s good, people are supposed to show up. And if the writing is no good, people aren’t, and you are supposed to learn from this. But we all know where this is going.

Call me a jerk (okay, you’re a jerk), but in my opinion almost all blogs are embarrassing, a cross between PLEASE READ MY DIARY and throwing up. Like this. Many are people trying to flog their businesses, and after the first 4 or 5 posts of “this is how we make it happen!” and “you too can be a customer!” they really don’t have anywhere else to go – although they do keep going. And going. But I did say “almost” all blogs – I subscribe to a few blogs and they are invaluable. But the other 99.99% are all crap. An endless multiple-posts-per-day crap-fest.

So then why do I have a blog at all? Many reasons – one of which is probably to prove that I am better than most bloggers. I try to put fairly meaningful stuff out there for potential discussion. And this post could use some of that right about now.

Why do people blog anyway? To get attention, mostly. And again that raises my skepticism/disgust. People saying “look what I can do!” like we’re still in third grade, checking their blog stats for some measure of status. But wait – why do I write? If I am disgusted with people’s lame attempts for self-importance by blogging a bunch or useless diary diarrhea, aren’t my scripts – or at least all my talking about my scripts – the same thing? Is this post meaningful or just mental masturbation?

Talking/blogging about the process keeps me thinking about it, keeps my ideas flowing, but is that all? And even if it is, why? WHY does it keep me motivated and keep me on my toes? Because somebody may be watching?

Do “creative people” get attention because they are creative? Or are they only “creative” because they need attention?

And did I mention that other peoples’ blogs (mostly) suck?

It’s Theirs!

November 8, 2007

Got the call – escrow has finally CLOSED on the condo! Only 8 days late. We (more importantly, our buyer) survived the credit crunch. YES!

Okay, back to unpacking…