Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Screenwriting For Real Money

March 01, 1987

Regarding the Feb. 22 Outtakes item by David T. Friendly about the latest generic "first-time-writing-team" to sell their moronic low-concept screenplay, when are you going to realize that the figures you always get duped into printing are in every instance illusory and only encourage still more dilettantes, neophytes, amateurs and no-talents to descend on Hollywood in crippling droves.

No one , not even the few survivors, if they can charitably be called that, from the last era of professional screenwriting--Towne, Goldman, Schrader, etc.--gets "$300,000 up front and another $300,000 as a bonus if the film is made!"

All screenplay deals in this town follow a fairly standard form of an option or commencement of first-draft payment, followed by various staggered rewrite or polish fees, al applied against a total sum paid on principal photography (seldom as high as you're all too eager to believe and proclaim)--and all contingent upon final determination of screen credit, whether sole, shared, or nonexistent.

I know these trifling Outtakes scraps give you journalistic rubes more time to be working on your screenplays, but how about a "Whatever-happened-to" article concerning the literally hundreds of "hot young writing teams" (singly, they couldn't come up with a page) who do somehow achieve credit on literally half the movies made in these wretchedly uninspired times--but, thank God, never rate an encore.

CARTER McCOY

Los Angeles

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|