October 29th, 2007

A screenwriter's nightmare

After a fabulous Halloween weekend, I had a dream last night that I woke up remembering, and that actually left me slightly depressed...

I had written a screenplay that was a sort of psychological thriller involving warring clans of magicians. The script sold, and was handed to some hotshot young director, with the budget upped to nearly a hundred million. Shortly before production was to began, I was invited to the set to do some last-minute rewrites. I arrived to find that everyone on the production was very gracious to me - but they kept showing me locations and props that I didn't recognize. "How did you envision the rennet?" a prop guy asked me. "The what?" "The rennet..." I had no idea what he was talking about.

The director (who was all of about 22) had stacks of these spiralbound notebooks that he kept enthusiastically showing me; they were full of little sketches of how he envisioned things. Again, of course, I recognized nothing. I was finally shown a few scenes from the script that the producers told me they wanted me to rewrite, but they wouldn't show me the whole script. I realized the script had been so thoroughly rewritten I recognized none of it, and I told them I couldn't rewrite the scenes.

For some reason, everyone wanted me to act in one scene. The scene was set in some sort of magical bar; I had two lines, involving ordering a drink. The bartender set this drink before me - it was greenish-yellow, and had a small black drop in the center. As I watched, the drop became a spider, and continued to transform into other things. My line was supposed to be something else, but what I ended up saying was, "Hey, bartender - if these guys can all do such amazing magic, won't EVERY MEMBER OF THE AUDIENCE be wondering why the fuck they don't use it to make the world better?" I heard the director shriek, "CUT!!"

Then I woke up.

I'm sure magicjoe can more than relate to this about now...