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  • Paul Davidson

All My Fame and a Glass of Water

It’s a neverending cycle here in Tinseltown. Write a script, send it out to Producers, who throw it at the wall (i.e. Studios), then sell it…or if you don’t, expect to become bloated very very soon.

“Bloated? you wonder to yourself… “What does he mean by bloated?”

That’s always the process in this town. If you sell a screenplay, well, riches are yours. But if you’re someone like me who has written/produced for TV, published a book, written movies for cable…but not sold a screenplay… Once a script has made its rounds, it’s time to get on the meeting circuit.

Development execs in Hollywood have three job duties.

1. Keep track of new scripts, and make sure your company gets it to read. 2. Give notes and development suggestions to writers currently employed by your company who are writing or rewriting screenplays. 3. Take lots and lots of meetings.

It’s sort of silly when you really think about it. Development executives (which every Producer and Company and Studio has) are all about the “meet and greet.” Meet writers, find out their ideas, be sure you get their new scripts when they come out, and ask them when they enter the door if they’d like a free bottle of water.

Over the years, the choices have become more varied. What used to just be a styrofoam cup of tap water turned into warm bottles of water, then evolved into chilled bottles of water or soda or juice. Sometimes you may even get lucky enough to be offered a scone or a cup ‘o coffee. One Development executive once asked me if I wanted to come with her to get her car’s radiator fixed as part of our meeting, and get lunch (on her company) while we waited.

I have walked out of meetings with books and videos, t-shirts and hats, posters and DVDs. The “meet and greet” is a virtual flea market of Hollywood schwag.

Writers, themselves have their own job duties:

1. Write new scripts, and make sure every company gets it. 2. Take notes and development suggestions from my managers, to finish my rewrites and original screenplays. 3. Take lots and lots of meetings.

In the end, when it all comes down to it, it’s the Executives who get the shorter end of the stick. They have to give out the water. All writers have to do is drink it.

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