Monthly Archives: May 2009

Director of development fired for championing original idea

‘He should have known better’ says company head

Adam Noble thought he was doing his job when he suggested optioning a taut thriller written by a first-time scribe from Boise, Idaho.

Instead, Noble was fired on the spot, due to the company’s unwritten rule that any new project must be a remake, adaptation, sequel, or based on an existing property.

“For some reason, Adam thinks we give a shit about whether material is original or entertaining,” said producer Bob Jenner, a principal at the company. “This is the movie business. The only things we care about are good blow and making easy money so we can buy even better blow.”

According to Jenner, that means saying yes to projects like Free Willy 5, and no to material that actually reveals something about the human condition.

Despite the setback, Noble has faith in the Hollywood system.

“Every once in a while, a quality movie gets made,” he said. “I figure if I stick around in this business long enough, I might work for a decent producer after like 40 or 50 years.”

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Judd Apatow produces 1,000th male bonding movie

‘Guyland Chronicles’ features Rogen, Carell, Rudd, Hill, Segal, Hader and Cera


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Filed under Actors, Directors, Industry News

Script Track – May 26, 2009

Lazy Boy
A 19-year-old slacker inherits his father’s furniture store and turns it into a 24-hour video game hangout.
Writer: Tommy Bond

Boring accountant Matt Jones travels through a wormhole to a planet where everyone is a different version of him – and they’re all named Matt. WTF?!
Writer: Matt Bindell

The Braceface Killer
After a particularly painful trip to the orthodontist, a 7th grader goes on a killing spree.
Based on the New York Times article in November of 2008.

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Writer bypasses gatekeepers, places script directly into CAA’s dumpster

‘Just easier this way’ he says

caa-dumpsterAs long as there have been gatekeepers in Hollywood, determined writers and actors have tried every approach imagineable to get around them – and gain direct access to the town’s decision-makers. Screenwriter Mark Lahey recently developed his own unconventional approach when he snuck behind the CAA building and placed his romantic comedy script in one of the agency’s dumpsters.

“I just wanted to be able to tell other managers and agents that one of my scripts was currently at CAA,” he said. “But every time I tried to send them one in the mail, they returned it unread. It never even made it to the trash!”

Unfortunately for Lahey, CAA is so diligent about returning unsolicited material, their legal department combs the dumpsters every night in search of discarded scripts and query letters. It was during one of these searches that Lahey’s script ‘Friends with Benefits’ was found.

“This was a unique attempt by Mr. Lahey,” said CAA legal assistant Sherry Harpe. “But we were forced to send his script back to him, unread, and coated in caviar from one of our many lavish catered lunches. In the future, we look forward to receiving and rejecting his material through the proper channels.”

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McG confused by discussion of ‘theme’ at dinner party

A relaxed dinner among colleagues turned ugly on Wednesday when McG, director of Terminator Salvation, was asked by fellow director Darren Aronofsky what the movie “was really about.”

“He kept telling me it was about ‘these awesome robots who take over the world and explode stuff’,” said Aronofsky. “I tried to clarify that I was talking about the theme, but it didn’t seem to sink in. He just went off.”

According to witnesses at BOA Steakhouse, McG grew more and more frustrated with the conversation, eventually flying into a rage and storming out of the Santa Monica restaurant.

“I couldn’t tell exactly what was going on,” said waitress Cheri Grendell. “First McG was yelling about ‘high concept’ or something, then he was pounding the table and demanding that Aronofsky explain what the word ‘theme’ meant. Bizarre.”

McG tried to downplay the incident.

“Of course I understand that theme is a basic literary device used in all manner of stories, whether they be on the page or on the screen,” he said in a written statement released by his publicist. “The idea that a successful director and producer like myself wouldn’t understand theme is ridiculous. Terminator Salvation is obviously about the role of machines in society and cool shit like that.”

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Screenwriter’s message board handle much more successful than him

Alter ego wise beyond actual writer’s years

Aspiring screenwriter John Brenner last visited Hollywood seven years ago, during which time he had coffee with a guy who was one of 14 associate producers on Home Alone 3. Brenner’s online alter ego ‘AListerGuy’, however, is much more accomplished.

“I’ve been in countless meetings with top producers,” AListerGuy recently posted on Done Deal Pro. “Gather round, children, for I am about to dispense precious wisdom gleaned from years of developing material with producers, studios, actors and reps.”

Never shy about offering advice to newbies, AListerGuy has also driven four actual, working screenwriters away from the boards.

“No offense, but your movies are crap,” AListerGuy posted in January of 2007 in a thread about production costs. “They shouldn’t spend another dime on one of your scripts. I mean, I respect your work ethic, but the only reason you’re successful is because of your connections. Well guess what? I have connections too, and they all say you’re a shitty writer. These are TOP studio executives, my friend. So maybe it’s time you get off your high horse.”

Brenner is currently seeking representation with his spec script ‘Blazing Paddles.’

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PDF icon coolest thing about newbie’s script

‘I just love that red swirl’ says Endeavor agent


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Script Track – May 19, 2009

Animated tale about a ragtag group of farm animals that band together to save the planet from aliens.
Writer: Bobby Markum


A thriller set in the high-stakes world of Hollywood managers, where development fees, rights and commissions intermingle to create the perfect storm of confusion for one unlucky writer who dares to challenge the system.
Writer wishes to remain anonymous.

Shwing Rolls
Chocolat set in Thailand. Based on a pitch by Mike Myers.

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Script consultant gives 46 different comedies exact same feedback

Simply swaps in new character names and titles

Ted Silver of recently sent the same feedback to his 46th straight comedy-writing client, eclipsing his previous mark for identical coverage set back in 2004 when he told three dozen screenwriters their horror scripts “had plenty of scares, but needed some character depth to be more attractive to producers.”

“I provide my clients a wonderful, consistent service regardless of the merits of their particular script,” said Silver, who claims to have read for some of the top companies in Hollywood, and also once reached the quarterfinals in Scriptapalooza. “By telling every writer the same thing, I put them on a level playing field and save myself a ton of time in the process.”

Silver denies using formatted coverage reports is a scam.

“It’s standard industry practice,” he said. “Half the time we don’t know what we’re talking about anyway. But it’s pretty hard to argue with vague feedback like ‘this comedy doesn’t have enough heart’ or ‘you’re definitely on to something with this idea.’”

According to one industry watchdog, nearly 90% of all script consultants have never even visited Hollywood, and only 2% have ever worked in the film industry. Of that 2%, most were summer interns.

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J.J. Abrams ponders The Greatest American Hero reboot

‘Could be super-slick and hip’


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