The Scott Shaw Blog

Be Positive

Do Your Research

It’s kind of funny… I got this email this morning from a guy pitching a script to me. Of course, the guy states, that it has a great plot and could be made into sequel after sequel. Okay…

Hello. I’m a Zen Filmmaker!!! Do your research!!! I don’t use scripts!!! And, do I look like the kind of guy that could finance your project? I shoot my movies for like $300.00. Now, if you want to talk about financing one of my films, that’s another story. Happy

You know, I always find it funny—this whole film game thing… There are all these people, writing all these scripts, trying to get them financed and produced. And yes, some of them are brought up. But, for anyone who is actually in the middle of the film game and you go to an agency that handles screenwriters, it is scary the stacks upon stacks upon stacks upon stacks of scripts that are out there—screenplays that will never get made.

I wonder if there is a heaven for dead screenplays?

You know, it’s not that the screenplays are necessary bad. It’s that they will never make their way into the right hands that could/can do something with them. I mean, think how many bad movies you’ve seen where you’re just shaking your head about the poor or unrealistic story development and/or the ridiculous dialogue. That movie got written, got financed, and got made.

Hell, back in the day, I used to write scripts. …Until I realized that art can never be memorized, it can only be lived.

You know, every now and then, over these past many-many years of being in the film game, someone hits me up to finance the making of their film. I guess that’s okay… Thanks for thinking about me. But, to take this to a deeper level of life, what is actually going on here? Is it someone thinking about someone else? Is it someone trying to help someone else? Or, is someone trying to help themselves? I think the answer is obvious.

…Promising how much money a movie based on a screenplay you wrote could make is ego-fueled speculation at best. Every screenwriter thinks their script is the best script ever written. Find flaws in it, tell them it’s not that good; that it’s just rehashing the same story that’s been told a thousand times before and look out! They will call you a liar and hate you.

You know, when people have come to me offering me roles in films, music videos, commercials, and stuff like that, I appreciate it. They are reaching out to me and at least trying to offer
me something. But, most of Hollywood is not like that. They are all about their ME.

Don Jackson used to go into this rant as everyone used to come at him trying to get him to give them money to get their movie made. He would scream, “Me, me, me, me, me, me!” I think I actually put one of those rants into one of the docs I made about him. …He used to love to have himself filmed all the time so after he passed I was left with a lot of very useable footage. Anyway…

What it all boils down to is people want something from someone else. They want them to finance their dream. And, I get it, Hollywood is an ego drive game. But, the moment any of that happens, art is gone. Then it becomes nothing more than someone trying to getting something for themselves.

So, people… Here’s the paradox… The Zen koan, if you will… “What happens when you pitch a screenplay to a filmmaker that doesn’t use screenplays?”

The answer is…