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Last Monday was like a bad joke: have you heard the one about the producer I met two years ago calling me out of the blue to see if anything had happened with the thriller script I had pitched him? Yeah something happened… I turned it into a comedy.
I had my Monday planned out. I was about to go do errands when my phone rings. I’ve been getting a lot of wrong numbers so I decided to nip this one in the bud.
It’s a producer I met 2 years ago at the Great AMerican Pitchfest. I pitched him a thriller inspired by the selling of my grandparents’ summer home in Door County, Wisconsin. He wanted to know if anything happened with that script because he came across my one sheet again and was interested in seeing it. Well…
I had toyed with writing thrillers half heartedly. I like Hitchcock and had some ideas. I was doing it more to see if they would sell or I could get picked up. The only person I think I scared was myself while I was writing it. There were sometimes I couldn’t walk in the dark. I also could have scared the readers, in that they were horrified I thought that draft was ready to be sent out and I thought the idea was well executed.
Many people had questions when I pitched the idea. Why did the protagonist do this? Because it’s a thriller and people do nonsensical things. Because when you ‘re scared you don’t always use common sense.
As I got more into comedy I started to see more of the comedic possibilities with the script. People had also found the idea laughable (which is not the desired effect when you’re pitching a thriller). So I switched my thriller to a comedy. It’s a great little comedy.
Well, the producer I haven’t talked to in 2 years preferred the thriller. So I dropped everything and revisit the script I haven’t worked on in two years.
I’m proud of myself. I didn’t freak out. I used to look at my work and only see how far I had to go in order for it to be good and get frustrated. Then I’d either not work on it or I’d scrap what I had and start over from scratch. This time round, I used various rewriting and editing tools to flesh out and reshape my screenplay. So I’ve improved as a writer, which is good to know.
It still has ways to go, so I shouldn’t have sent it to him, but I did. But it radically improved over a couple of days…which was scary. Now I wait to see what he says.
Whether he takes it or not, I have a new-found confidence with my new projects which will help in the future. So we’ll see.