Thursday, March 22, 2012

No actually, You Don't Want a Screenwriter

Someone forwarded this on to me today. We get these kind of requests through Act One all the time, but this one was so egregiously offensive, I am sharing it for posterity....

Looking for a professional screenwriter to help get a Christian feature project ready to shoot. The project has been in development for over two years and has several drafts and treatments written by one of the producers and another screenwriter. The project has a director and producer attached, and interest from a small but respectable distribution company. The style is family comedy set in a holiday background.

The person (or persons) we are looking for needs to able to take what we have and mold it into 100 pages of a screenplay similar to to feel of Liar Liar and Groundhog Day, with major elements of Fireproof and Courageous mixed in. (If you don't know what Fireproof or Courageous are, please do not apply for this job). This is a paid position, but please keep in mind this is an independent project with a very limited budget. We are also not associated with the WGA so we require an independent writer.

Our team is spread out throughout the country, but you will mostly be working with with our producer in [somewhere far from the hub of moviemaking]. This can be done over Skype or Google.

Requirements for this job:
1. Have written at least 3 full length screenplays, and are proficient at all screenwriting formatting and industry standards of screenwriting
2. You are a writer who uses and believes in "The Hero's Journey"
3. You know, and have seen Fireproof and Courageous
4. You are an expert at using Final Draft
5. You have collaborated on screenplays with other people before
6. You are willing to work for less than you would normally get paid
7. You know how to write comedies and family films
8. You are a Christian

If you meet ALL of these requirements than by all means send me a bio, a writing sample, and why you want to work on this project.


Here are the snarky responses that I will not be sending back to this sorry fellow. But he really deserves them.

"Should the writer have also seen Lawrence of Arabia, Sunset Blvd, Casablanca and The Godfather? Or would that make them ineligible?

"Because I believe in the Heroes Journey, it is impossible to not see this invitation as somewhere worse than than the Belly of the Whale and certainly a more brutal Road to Trials. I am going to have to pass on the Call to this Adventure."

"No, no, I think you must be thinking of some other Ground Hog Day."

"Thank you very much, but I am going to have to pass on this offer so as to make room for professional opportunities."

"After having written more than three screenplay and extensively studied the craft of movie writing, I could not promise to mimic the unique stylings of Fireproof and Courageous. Sadly, I just know too much."

"It was refreshing to see you state upfront your intention to under-compensate your writer. Most self-styled producers don't admit that."

and finally,

"Hmmm. You have me confused. It seems clear you really aren't looking for a screenwriter. I do know an out of work youth pastor who loves movies and has a lap top. Should I send him your way?"

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