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THR Classic: Local scribe not some overnight failure

‘It’s taken me years to achieve this little’

Ben Noble has been writing screenplays for 15 years, a fact he’s quick to point out whenever he’s lumped into the same category as other aspiring writers who have only been wasting their time for two or three years.

“It’s a real slap in the face to be compared to some new writer fresh out of college,” said Noble. “I’ve been failing at this ever since I left NYU’s film program back in 1994. I’m not some overnight failure.”

Noble, who bags groceries at Von’s for a living, was recently forced to defend his long-term ineptitude at a company party.

“I was over at Jose’s apartment and he introduced a new produce guy as a ‘struggling writer, just like Ben,’” said Noble. “Bullshit. That kid doesn’t know the meaning of the word struggle. Has he ever been divorced because of his passion for writing? Is his dog named Spec? I didn’t think so.”

** This THR Classic was first posted in June 2009 **

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First-time writer pretty sure his script will change the way humans think of entertainment

Will also make him insanely rich

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Script Track – May 4, 2010

The Alamo 2
Texas Governor Rick Perry leads an effort to secede from the United States, only to have his forces wiped out at a local Alamo Car Rental location.
Writer: Johnny Killeen

They Might Not Be Giants
New twist on Jack & The Beanstalk, in which Jack finds a world full of tiny people up there.
Writer: Alex Garamond

Cinco De Mayonnaise
Based on the popular condiment. Plot being kept under sandwich wrap. Zing!

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Spec market greets script with evil, booming laugh

Literary agent Bob Wendell knew the spec market was rough, but yesterday marked the first time he’d ever heard a cackle emanate from the sky once he started sending copies of his client’s new spec to producers.

“They said things were getting better, but that howl of angry condescension can’t be a good sign,” said Wendell, looking at the dark clouds above. “And for some reason, every time I send a PDF to a studio contact, my computer crashes. Eerie times, man.”

Wendell isn’t the only one dealing with the abnormally difficult spec market. According to manager Terri Mason, one of her client’s screenplays literally burst into flames when she tried to hand it to a producer.

“One moment I’m giving my friend a copy of Lover’s Landing, a hilarious romantic comedy with heart, and the next thing you know, a giant bolt of lightning incinerates the script, nearly killing me,” said Mason. “It’s just not worth it right now.”

In fact, some writers have sworn off writing new specs altogether.

“The more I think about it, game show writing really isn’t that bad,” said WGA member Allan Bourne. “You get free lunch, you learn a lot, plus you don’t have to hear that your script didn’t sell because the credit markets are too tight. What does that even mean?! Maybe if I’m on Jeopardy long enough, I’ll find out.”

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