How Screenwriting is Like Dating

In follow up to my post yesterday, today I was thinking about how writing a screenplay, or rather, trying to get a screenplay made, is a lot like dating.

When you write a screenplay, it is like a precious jewel, your pearl that you’ve spent months, maybe years, rubbing from the sands of your mind into a shiny, valuable orb of perfection.

Then you need to thrust it out into the world.

Now, you could just pass it on to the first person who comes to look at it.

But they could be a player. An ex-con. A serial killer. Or simply just telling you what you want to hear to get you into bed with them (which is the actual lingo film makers use, at least in the UK, for people they are working with: “I’m in bed with this director”).

What you want to do is look for the right person, who will treat your pearl with the respect it deserves, who will want to raise it with you, and has the same ideas about what it should be like when it grows up.

And to make it worse, most of this happens in an online-dating-like atmosphere. You upload your precious pearl onto inktip.com or the like, and people peruse it, judging it by the attractiveness of its name or time period in which it lives. And then if someone takes interest, you have to send flirts and spend lots of time chatting about everything but the subject at hand before you furtively meet at a coffee shop and become confused about who should be paying for this.

Sometimes this endeavor could take years. Unfortunately in the film making world, fertility has a short shelf life. So if you spend too much time trying to get one pearl into the right bed, you may find that all your eggs have dried up and you’re no longer able to reproduce. That’s why they always say to “keep something else in your pocket” – always have another idea ready to reload. You should be putting as many pearls into the world as you can, in case some don’t produce any results. Basically, screenwriting forces you to be a slut.

But eventually, through many miracles, you will find the person or team that will love your pearl as much as you love it, who whispers sweetness to your pearl’s ears and encourages it to be better than it was originally. This is the person you want to marry (or get in bed with).

May all the screenwriters reading this find true love.

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