Notes On My Life From a Studio Exec
August 24, 2008
Dear Doug, just a few notes. LOVE YOUR WORK.
Recently, the people we buy are bought as pitches and concepts, not fully written people. You have too many children, too concrete of a world view. Divorce your wife at the end of the second act to put more at stake in the third act.
We’re looking for something unique and different, but not YOU unique and different. Give use unique and different but within the realm of seen-it and same. Can you be any less 6’8″? The audience has higher expectations thanks to people like Bono and Dali. Eccentric but bankable. Think Julie Taymor but talented and easy to work with.
Character is really important these days…I’m told. I haven’t greenlit anyone or anything with character though I once saw a guy tip the valet five dollars. Your character has come up a number of times and we’re hoping to see something new. Like character times character. I suggest you go to a coffee shop and overhear conversations. Try to get a stronger sense of how people talk and hear what sounds natural. Try to incorporate that into your general communication skill-set.
I can already hear you defending yourself against my notes. Middle aged writers like yourself will often defend themselves against notes without fulling hearing the note first. If you disagree with the note, know that I’m not the kind of executive who makes you take my notes. I’m just offering suggestions to make you into a better person. And by better person I mean ‘You without four kids, without your faith and without so much height’. I mean, damn, do you play basketball? (No, I didn’t write that joke. I hired David Mamet and he did a punch up after Darabont.) Anyways, please incorporate my notes or we’re going with another person.
Your first act was weak and that’s usually a bad sign especially when your life is at the turning point. I don’t see any villains either and that isn’t going to work on a hero’s journey. I don’t mean to presume…this is a hero’s journey, right? I mean, you’re 6’8″ so I didn’t think it was a RomCom.
Call me some time after the holidays and we’ll set lunch for a few months after that. LOVE. YOUR. WORK.