Thursday, December 14, 2006

An Amusing (?) Hollywood Anecdote (First In The Series)

Early in my so-called career, I was working on a feature project for a very well known producer at a very well known studio. At some point, we wound up involved in some renegotiations because the producer wanted another draft of the script, despite my having already turned in all the contracted drafts. Since a), these producers wouldn't blow their noses unless they were getting paid and b), part of being a "professional" writer involves "money", things got a little sticky, until one of the big producer's underlings got unhinged on me and said, "who do you think you are? A big shot?!! I don't see a Mark Verheiden film festival anywhere?!"

That project eventually fell apart, but I was always struck by the underling's condescending argument. Cut ahead a couple years, and I had two #1 boxoffice movies come out two months from each other, TIMECOP and THE MASK. And in a bizarre bit of synchronicity, the movies played together on a double bill at a second-run theater in Pasadena, CA. Meaning I actually DID have a "Mark Verheiden film festival," kinda. I even took pictures of marquee in the event I ever ran into Mr. Underling again, but alas, it was not to be.

The moral of this story? Hmm. Probably the same moral you get from almost every Hollywood writer's anecdote: "producers can be real jerks!" (But some are great, honest!)


Anonymous scifisly said...

Hey, I SAW that double-bill! Gotta say, Time Cop was a cool idea. How did you get to write that? Any cool stories about Van Damme?

4:09 PM  
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