Saturday, October 22, 2005


I didn't get the notes from the A-list producer this past week as I had hoped. I really didn't expect to -- the word is he's swamped at WB. Expect them next week. I'm working on another script, but I really hate to start one script and then have to abandon it when the notes do arrive for the sports script which is titled "Top of the Seventh". The other script I'm tinkering with is a supernatural thriller about a detective and a dead priest.

Hey, it seems I have the same blog title as another blogger in LA. His blog was online first and he has one great blog... so check it out at My address is still the same and I changed the title to "The NY Screenwriting Life". There is an LA life and a NY life, which I think we can all benefit from in learning the difference, which hopefully our blogs will prove.

I spent Thursday at the Apple Store in SoHo. I played with every gadget they had on display (the new iPod Video is frikkin' amazing). But just when you buy something from Apple lately, they come out with something better a month later. These new iPods are like Oprah. They just keep getting thinner. It's hard to keep up with all the technologies out there (many writing programs, too.) I personally use Final Draft... only because several years ago I responded to a contest online about screenwriting and WON Final Draft version 6. It makes writing very easy (formatting scripts).

My manager is a stickler for formatting. When she first read one of my scripts, she left me a five minute voicemail on my cell asking me why on earth did I capitalize a VERB?! Never cap a verb! she told me. I thought it looked good on paper, she didn't. I don't cap verbs anymore. She also told me my font on my title page looked "amatuerish" and asked me to change it before she proceeded in submitting the script to studios/producers. I did. I now use Times Roman 14 pt. for the title and under that my name in 12 pt. Makes for a very clean page. No "Written by" or any of that stuff. Just title and writer's name. Period. Because fortunately, when you have an agent, they put your script in a cover with the agent's name and contact info. And actually, these days Hollywood is mostly reading scripts as PDFs and online.

So glad to see screenwriter Shane Black back at work... and on the screen. For those who don't know Shane Black, he wrote "Lethal Weapon" when he was like 22. He became the hottest writer in Hollywood during the 80's. Made millions and millions, $4 million on one script! A record breaker (still is, I believe). He got rich, overwhelmed, over-rated and his movies in the 90s tanked "The Last Boy Scout" and "The Long Kiss Goodbye". Shane Black disappeared. His career was dead. Fastforward ten years... and he's back writing and now directing "Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang" starring Robert Downey, Jr. and Val Kilmer. It's getting mixed reviews, but I guarantee it will be worth seeing (if not for the chemistry of Kilmer and Downey alone). Shane Black says he wouldn't of been able to get the movie made without powerhouse producer Joel Silver (who launched "Lethal Weapon" with him). Today, nobody would take a meeting with Black, return his calls, his scripts didn't matter anymore. Execs in LA are too young to remember Shane Black's mojo at the time. He's got to prove himself all over again like every writer.

I guess if you make $4 million and write a bad movie people get jealous and resentful. Umm... what about all the actors and actresses who get paid between $12 to $20 million and make lousy movies not worth $10 at Loews?? They move on. People forget (except maybe Demi Moore's Striptease and G.I. Jane). Anyway, welcome back, Shane Black!!

Have a great weekend! And thanks for your comments, everybody!


Mona said...

Wow, Janet, so much fun info. Love the Oprah comment. Parents told me they'd be getting me an ipod for xmas and when they asked me which one I wanted (if i wanted the nano) i told them i wanted one i could actually hold onto. Wouldn't be too good with that small nano thing...
And crazy about the lethal weapon writer. I had no idea! Fun stuff!

Baba said...

Hey Janet, I'm just loving your blog. It's been cool remembering some of the finer moments of this insane writing life. Crazy about the Shane dude,that he got to the pinnacle so young only to crash and burn. And now the poor sucker is back to "The stuggling life," with the rest of us. Another reminder that the surprises never stop coming when we decide to take up or pens/pound the keys. I really like your new story idea too. I think that's an area of real fascination for most of us and I just plain like the idea! Definately sounds like something you should work on. Maybe while you're waiting for Mr.A-list to get those notes out you can work on outlining this new idea so that nothing is lost while you're away from it wilst in the editing throes of TOS. Anyway, looking forward to your next installment! Just crappy that you have to deal with spammy messages on your blog. What's the heck is it with those fools!!! Can't they see this is serious stuff and your readers don't appreciate having to weed through the trash to get to the treasure? Love ya, Ms.Screenwriter!