Monthly Archives: October 2008
Now charging $250 for advice she herself never followed
Pasadena native Sally Trenton recently transformed herself into “one of Hollywood’s top script consultants,” despite having been one of Hollywood’s worst screenwriters for the past six years.
“I’ve found that it’s much easier to critique other people’s work than actually create quality material of my own,” said Trenton. “Plus I’ve written so many bad scripts, I know how to spot what’s wrong with them.”
Despite never having secured representation or any discernible level of interest from Hollywood producers, Trenton, who has written 14 screenplays, claims she has the insight to help aspiring screenwriters get their scripts ready for the market.
“The last thing you want to do is send someone a script that isn’t ready,” she said. “Unless that someone is me, because how else would I make a living! But seriously, send me $250 and a PDF of your script, and I’ll send you back some extremely subjective notes that may improve your script up to 5%. I’ve read all the best screenwriting books so you don’t have to.”
In the two months since Trenton began marketing her services, she has already helped dozens of amateur writers take their scripts to the next level.
“Two of them made the first cut at Scriptapalooza,” she said. “It’s pretty exciting helping make dreams come true!”
Twin brothers hold down a corporate job by taking turns at the office, but their lives are turned upside down when they fall in love with the same woman – their new boss. Who also has a twin of her own! Yikes!
Writer: Scott Dern
Following an intervention, a 30-year-old slacker who still lives at home gets sent to military school by his frustrated parents. He either shapes up or the entire family will disown him.
Pitch. Based on original idea from Judd Apatow.
Angered by news of Columbus discovering the New World, Henry VII of England dispatches his own fleet of explorers, who land in Canada. Epic comedy.
Writer: John August
Interest in script overpowered by less clear factors
“I’d love to read your script,” an Endeavor agent told screenwriter Paul Boden at a party in the Hollywood hills last weekend. “I just can’t.”
When asked to clarify exactly what’s stopping her, the agent hedged.
“Oh, I know how to read. I just can’t accept any new material right now. I’d love to, but it’s simply not a possibility for the foreseeable future. I’m sure you understand.”
But Boden didn’t understand. A few hours later, he bumped into the Endeavor rep outside by the pool. The conversation eventually meandered back around to Boden’s script.
“So it’s about a teenage master thief whose father is a police detective?” asked the agent. “Wow, I like that so much I almost want to read it. But, as you know, I just can’t. Ooh, they have brie cheese.”
The agent then scooped a nice dollop of cheese onto a cracker and changed the subject to all the scripts she actually has read recently.
‘I nailed it’ claims delusional scribe
Aspiring screenwriter Bob Templeton walked out of Benderspink’s offices on Wednesday believing he made a good impression on manager JC Spink. Unfortunately, that was not the case.
“What a nutjob,” said Spink, as his assistant dabbed a paper towel in the sweat puddle Templeton left on the couch. “The kid’s writing is okay, but there’s no way I can send him around town if he’s going to act like that.”
According to Spink, Templeton’s constant voice-cracking, profuse sweating and inability to form intelligible sentences were just a few of the reasons he won’t be getting an offer of representation anytime soon.
“I’m also not a fan of the cardigan look,” added Spink. “I wish him the best of luck in the future, of course.”
Templeton, meanwhile, thinks he nailed it.
“I was a little nervous going into the meeting, but I got over that quickly and settled into a nice rhythm,” he said. “I was funny, articulate and showed I’m good in a room. Combined with my writing ability, I’m basically the total package.”
‘Won’t take any lip from either side’
In an effort to avert a second guild strike in less than a year, the government has assigned sassy TV personality Judge Judy as federal mediator in the ongoing AMPTP-SAG negotiations.
“We could not be happier with their choice,” said SAG executive director Doug Allen. “Judge Judy is in the unique position of understanding the law, Hollywood and negotiating tactics. Plus she’s got some ‘tude on her!”
The stern TV judge has promised to bring a quick end to the proceedings.
“I won’t stand for any shenanigans by these jerks,” she said, referring to both sides. “Between the whiny actors and the selfish, egotistical producers, we’ve got a whole lot of crybabies in this town. Well guess what? Playtime’s over!”
After just one day on the job, Judge Judy has already fostered an environment conducive to shouting, theatrics and simple life lessons.
“It’s going great!” said an AMPTP spokesperson. “I’ve never had this much fun crushing people’s dreams – anything goes when double-J is on the bench!”
ICM script reader Josh Danali vowed to give his Hollywood dream at least four years to come to fruition. Then he read your awful spec screenplay about alien robots from the past, and he decided to quit the business after just six months.
“I knew I was going to move back to New Jersey by page 30,” he said of your screenplay, Robot Martians. “It was truly that bad.”
According to Danali, he suddenly realized that he didn’t want to be associated with an industry that even remotely entertained idiotic ideas like those found in your script.
“It wasn’t even the fact that the script was the worst piece of shit I’ve ever read,” he said. “I mean, it was. But the real worry was that I could actually see some agent or producer reading it and thinking ‘hey, this alien robot thing could work.’ That’s when I knew it was time to leave the biz.”
When asked whether you should continue writing, Danali suggested you may have a future in crafting direct mail copy for a marketing services firm.
When a small town mysteriously becomes flooded with insatiable supermodels, the local “normal” women must fight to keep their men from straying into the arms of the gorgeous aliens.
Writer: Ben Wexler
A CEO is sent to a minimum security prison, but when a wing of the nearby supermax prison burns down and the dangerous criminals temporarily move in, the CEO must stop the thugs from taking over.
Writers: Adam McKay, Will Ferrell
Based on an original idea by Ferrell.
Untitled Kate Hudson Romantic Comedy
Writer: Andy Tennant
Plot being kept under wraps, but may involve sickly sweet humor.
‘This is so not a Stan Lee’
Producer Henry Fuller loves everything about the spec he just read, except one little detail.
“It’s not a comic book adaptation,” he said. “No capes. No cool costumes. It’s just original, compelling and funny. I’m not looking to option one of those right now. It would be much easier to make if the romantic interest could, say, pick up a house instead of just being a lonely realtor.”
And Fuller isn’t alone. According to one industry study, 59% of Hollywood executives are solely interested in films where at least one character has the ability to fly.
“Or at least possesses superhuman strength,” said an exec at Warner Brothers. “Themes and a strong concept are not enough these days. You need childhood trauma manifested as a super power.”