“You say you read a lot of spec scripts, is that so you can get ideas?”
True story, that was a true question asked at the notes on craft seminar last night at the WGA. Really? Yes really? The worst part is that was not the dumbest question asked.
I love going to panels and hearing from the show runners and even sometimes the cast because you get a real feel of how the show works, and the same is for screenwriters. I love to hear all their stories about the business, and how it works and doesn’t work for you.
I love hearing about so in so’s screenplay went through 6 writers and umpteen rewrites before it became the version we saw on the screen.
But there is always that point in the night when I cringe and just want to go out running, but not without first apologizing to whomever is up there speaking.
Why? Why? Why do these people ask the most ridiculous questions? And why are they always 3, 4, or 5 part questions? Usually whatever these people ask has been covered in the original lecture.
It is the part that makes me want to leave.
That said, last night’s panel was amazing. Diane English, (My Sister Sam, Murphy Brown, The Women), Tom Rickman, (Coal Miner’s Daughter, Truman, Tuesdays With Morrie), and Bruce Joel Rubin, (Ghost, The Time Traveler’s Wife), rounded out this very experienced and successful panel of writers.
Daniel Petrie, Jr., (Beverly Hills Cop, The BIg Easy, Toy Soldiers), was once again the moderator, and did a fantastic job, just like last week for the notes on concept.
I find it is always great to go to these panels because even though we as writers know these things, usually, at least for me, every time I come away with knowledge that hadn’t sunk in yet or something. I always come home and then change my script in some way. It is just the dumbfuck questions that drive me crazy.
The part that is funny to me is the fact to that person that question was really important, or made sense. Like the guy who was asking about when the writers decided to follow the voice of the characters, or listen to their talent? Like WTF? I still don’t know what he meant by that.