‘They also don’t want members from Ohio’ he claims
Were it not for the Writer’s Guild and its draconian practice of making sure writers get paid decent wages, Cleveland scribe and part-time shoe salesman Eric Denson would be penning most of the movies and TV shows produced in Hollywood.
“I keep telling companies I’ll write their movies for like 20 bucks,” said Denson. “But since they’re WGA signatories, they have to pay me like $60,000 minimum or something like that. And if they’re going to pay someone that much, it’s not going to be a guy from Ohio. The Guild screws me again!”
According to Denson, whose script ‘The Coldest Icicle’ was recently bounced from Scriptapalooza in the first round, the Writer’s Guild is a “cabal of connected old white males who care more about money and health care than they do movies.”
When asked if he thought the Guild was biased against writers not based in Los Angeles, Denson snorted.
“Of course they don’t want people like me in their little club,” he complained. “I’m exactly what they’re afraid of: a totally unknown guy from Ohio who is willing to work for free.”
Self-proclaimed Hollywood screenwriter Ralph Buckner is actually a 44-year-old carpet salesman in Oregon, his live-in girlfriend recently explained to him during an argument over their monthly budget.
“Maybe if you spent half as much time trying to sell carpet as you do trying to write the next great screenplay, we’d have money for rent,” she said. “News flash, Ralph: you sell carpet for a living. Stop spending $80 a month on screenplay contests and script consultants!”
Despite substantial evidence to the contrary, Buckner considers himself more a writer than a salesman.
“Selling berbers and plushes 35 hours a week is what I do to pay the bills,” said Buckner. “Writing screenplays is who I am. [His girlfriend] Anna is just jealous because I’m the creative one in the relationship.”
Buckner has worked for Oregon Carpet Company since 1994. His screenplay ‘Blue Collared’ advanced to the quarterfinal round of Scriptapalooza in 2002.
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!”