Friday, May 16, 2008

Joining the dark side


Around two years ago, I interned at a small but fairly well-known (and well-funded) production company. My main duty was script coverage. I passed very little scripts along, but the ones I liked I pushed and followed along and asked every once in a while to see if my bosses would do anything with them. I was always happy when I get a “we’ll consider him for our new TV show team” or “his current projects don’t fit what we want to do, but we’re keeping him on the list of writer-for-hires”. Not much meat on the bone, but it’s a bone.

One of the scripts that stuck with me was a dark comedy about anorexic girls. The script was littered with logic potholes, and the transitions were as rough as a washboard (when there was any attempt of transition). Despite all that, I still recommended it. The idea was marketable but not generic. The pitch was catchy. It was entertaining but “about an issue”. When I left the company, that script was green lighted. I don’t think they took my in caps note about needing rewrite.

Right now, I’m employed at a foreign, independent and/or documentary film distribution company. Our acquisition one-man department is gone for two weeks, so I’m covering his work. Among the films I’ve screened, the one by far the best was a documentary about solar car making. Yep, you heard me. Grad students making a solar car. I thought I would change to the next film after it has its fifteen-minutes-chance. I became really sympathetic and involved with the team in 10 minutes, and watched to the bitter end. I was personally saddened when they didn’t win the race, and called my sister to tell her. Am I going to suggest the film to our VP or President, even just the regular acquisition guy? I have no clue. Solar car making. I can’t figure out a way to pitch it without it sounding incredibly boring and geeky, and worst of all, market-less.

Perhaps all I need is a little more faith that its goodness would shine through to our president like it did to me. But all I feel are doubts, and a little, calm voice saying “even if we take it on, it’ll just be a dust-gatherer on the shelf”. Am I one of the soulless system bitch that beats down actual good artists and promote lesser works for the sake of money? Or am I just realistic?

Funny to feel like one of those people who are keeping me and my peers from having a chance.

3 comments:

Onyx Enforcer said...

I don't know, sounds like something that could be marketed. People tell me we're in an age of environmental awareness and apparently the world is changing or something. I think the people who might squash a film that pushes a revolutionary idea like that would be the corporate giants who make too much many off of the way we live our lives today.

Cake Man said...

Films like that are in style now. Look at WHO KILLED THE ELECTRIC CAR?. That premiered at Tribeca a while ago and got picked up for distribution. It's not huge, but I know a lot of people who have seen it. There is clearly a market.

DOA said...

You guys are right. I haven't really thought about the environment friendly stand point. Our company is all about human rights, so that might actually fly. I'll see what I can do...