Wednesday, 18 July 2012

The shallow business of film: Promises and pie crusts are made to be broken.

No they are NOT, Jonathan Swift. At least, not in MY world.

I just wish people wouldn't MAKE promises at all. Oh yes, I know that people hear what they want to hear...Another quote on the subject, this time by Edgar Watson Howe: "Half the promises people say were never kept, were never made."

Am I sounding just the teeniest bit bitter and twisted? Yup. Here's what has happened.

I won a contest, on the strength of the first ten pages of The Melting, the prize for which was this:  "XXXX will get your pitch up to speed so that you’re ready to be introduced to a network of contacts tailored to your project. He will help you position your screenplay for the industry and recommend to you the producers and executives who are just right for you." 

At the end of our meeting I was told "Give me a week and I’ll send you a list of the right people to approach and I want to talk to a director friend in the States because The Melting is a studio film and he’ll know the right people to talk to in Hollywood." (I KNOW he said that, because I was so delighted, I wrote it down, the exact words.)

After MONTHS of waiting, during which I sent the occasional very courteous e-mail, I was finally given the e-mail address of ONE contact, in the UK, who 'had agreed to read my script.' (Even that sounded pretty grudging to me.)

I sent it off, with another courteous e-mail, only to get a reply saying that I hadn't pitched it properly... (Excuse ME, I didn't realise I HAD to pitch it. I thought it was all arranged.)...but he went on to say that THIS TIME he'd be kind to me and read it anyway. 

Caroline, feeling a little frustrated when dealing with patronising producers
I could imagine him patting me on the head and saying 'Very good dear. Now I wonder which of us gentlemen put that idea into your pretty little head.'

TEN WEEKS went by. A few days ago I mailed him. Courteously. After a couple of days I got this.

"I read The Melting but am going to have to pass. Disney is doing Snow Queen (Frozen) as a big tent pole so it's got some heavy competition."


Listen, I'm not feeling sorry for myself - just very angry at the way writers are so very often treated.

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