(Originally posted May 23, 2013)
In the last blog, I was pretty tough with my thoughts concerning getting your screenwriting work produced. I imagine there are readers who think I am the cynic of all ages and that I am promoting the sugar daddy syndrome. (I prefer using the term “sugar daddy” to “mentor” because SD is more realistic and M is showing you still aren’t facing reality totally.)
I’ll tell you what I am promoting. I think people should look at their circumstances realistically. This amounts to self-promotion. Here are three concepts that will help make that job easier for you.
FAULTY THINKING – All of us in the USA are taught from kindergarten on the “happy ending” philosophy. The guys (Goldwyn, Lasky etc.) who started the motion picture business in the very early days realized life was tough. They sold dreams in their new art form called “movies”. They quickly realized you could get somebody’s nickel for admission over and over again if you fooled them into thinking that in life everything will always work out with a silver lining. Hollywood became synonymous with that particular wrinkle in our national psyche. Some films were made with a Hollywood ending (happy) and a downer finale for Europe where they loved sad endings. An example of this was the film LOVE (Anna Karenina), with Greta Garbo, which had two endings. A happy one for Hollywood and a tragic one for Europe.
ACTUALITY: YOU must get over the happy-ending thinking that in real life has got a half-Nelson on your brain. Use such cockeyed beliefs in your writing of course if you want it to have a ghost of a chance in Hollywood—AND by no means have a downer ending or you’ll never get to first base even with a sugar daddy. Just stop believing in consistently happy endings in real life—meaning that good is just bound to happen. Look at your last three days. Did everything work out in your life hunky dory? So don’t get your real life mixed up with your fictional life.
FAULTY THINKING – We are a church-centered society since the days of the Pilgrims—and those Pilgrims were a tough group of people. Most churches exist on the premise that if you attend them and give money, Jesus or someone else will bring you relief and make all your dreams come true. This causes many people to feel there are options in the “getting what you want” world.
ACTUALITY: Such thinking is like both teams in a sports match praying to God to win. It just doesn’t work like that. So don’t think Jesus is going to be your sugar daddy no matter how much you appease him with money or homage. However, you could use the churches in Beverly Hills or Malibu for your scouting activities in trying to run into Mr. or Ms. Right.
FAULTY THINKING – If I go to a psychic or a therapist or some esoteric toro poo poo artist, they will, for a price, tell me what is going to happen and when and how. So many people spend many hundreds of dollars on these charlatans and all they get for their dough is a few feel-good moments. Also don’t get addicted to writing workshops. All you’ll get for your money is some rarefied toro poo poo at an expensive price. Use that money to buy people drinks at a bar in Malibu, etc.
ACTUALITY: Don’t pay anybody any money. The idea is for somebody to pay you money. If you pay, you’ve got the handle and the brush mixed up. Go to any show-business-connected social networking get together but preferably those that are free or have a very small price tag. Social networking means just that—being SOCIAL.
In the next blog, I will actually begin a series of the nuts and bolts of writing. Even so, remember that your major job is to find someone who can help you. The nuts and bolts will just make you a better find.