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.


6 Responses to “Notes On My Life From a Studio Exec”

  1. earlvagary Says:

    how much of that is for real?
    i say stick to your guns, you know what you’re doing
    than crush him like the tall beast you are

  2. Matt_L Says:

    Addendum: Your mustache is giving off an “I shave with a waste-making disposable, or precious energy-wasting electric razor” vibe.

    Perhaps try a full beard look, or a more eco-friendly solution (in olden times, our Gaia-friendly ancestors used to use sharpened stones!)

    Additionally, we’re worried about how much your printed pages are contributing to your carbon footprint. Let’s consider going webcomic.

  3. Acrosurge Says:

    That was a display of Dilbert-like reality; that is to say, hilarious, sad, and absolutely true of studio exes.

  4. PNHassett Says:

    What if you love your work but nobody loves you?
    I think most of it is about presentation.

  5. tennapel Says:

    Not everyone is going love you. Not everyone is going to love your work.

    You only need enough people to love you to bring you strength. I have a loyal handful of people I lean on pretty hard. They are my rock. The rest of my friends are just supplemental and a blessing.

    But if your goal is to get work, and people love your work (and your work is GREAT) then you’ve nailed the first half of the arts. The second half of the arts the greats had a pretty tough time figuring out…how to live well outside of the studio.

  6. PNHassett Says:

    How much of it is about showing intellectual force?
    Burne was a force to be reckoned with and probably abrasive.
    Despite all that, people admired him for it….why you’d want
    to be around that kind of narcissism all day is beyond me,
    but it worked for him.

    How much of it is about showing intellectual force and confidence
    in yourself? I guess it’s a sense of dogged determination?

    It seems once you figured out the art part, then it’s about convincing
    people you know what you’re doing.

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