‘Better make it a double…I’ll be up late writing under contract’
48-year-old screenwriter Mark Slidell continues to work mentions of his unpaid writing assignment into nearly every conversation he has, as evidenced by a recent order at a Burger King drive-thru.
“Yeah, give me a cheeseburger and a large fry, please,” said Slidell. “You know what? Better make it a double. I’ll be up late writing under contract for a script that will go straight to studios next week.”
Slidell, who teaches fifth grade math for a living, has mentioned his assignment 342 times in the past month. Almost 300 mentions have come on writing message boards, but many have occurred in odd locations.
“Mr. Slidell was in the middle of a geometry lesson, when suddenly he showed us a pie chart showing the number of writers who ever get an assignment, even if it is completely unpaid,” said Jimmy Percival, 10. “Plus, every time he opens a laptop, he says someday we could be watching one of his movies on there. It’s kinda creepy.”
Slidell doesn’t see anything wrong with constantly bringing up his near-accomplishment.
“I was at a funeral the other day, and someone got mad because I said I would personally never die without achieving success in film,” said Slidell. “I only mentioned it because the deceased never even had a manager. I’ve had four.”