Did anyone see the premiere of On The Lot last night? The first task given to the fifty (fifty!) aspiring filmmakers was to pitch a movie to Carrie Fisher, Bret Ratner and Garry Marshall based on one of five log lines.
A country mouse is captured by a phrmaceutical testing lab and must escape.
A man about to become a priest meets the woman of his dreams just before taking his vows.
A box of military equipment destined for a base is delivered to a suburban house in error.
A slacker is recruited into the CIA.
And I've totally forgotten the last one...
It was painful. (And probably not that entertaining for non-writers, non-filmmakers.) They only showed a couple of even half-way decent pitches and a lot of really terrible ones. Amazing how little most of the contestants seemed to know about storytelling. I think many of them wanted to show how creative they were and how they could think "out of the box" but that only works if you actualy come up with a story to go with your wacky idea! Ratner made it clear to them their pitches had to show their movie had a clear beginning middle and end. Some of them were so crazy. Did these people forget that the prize is a development deal with Dreamworks????
Made me think of one of the reasons I've been hesitant to consider writing screenplays instead of novels -- in spite of my obvious love for movies. In movies there are two main (often conflicting) creative people involved in developing the story. The writer and the director. (and that's before the actors and everyone else gets involved.) I'm not sure I could cope with being only one half of that equation especially because the director seems to be the one with more control, more respect (and better paid) and last night proved how some of them are SUCH IDIOTS without a clue about storytelling.