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.