Monday, February 13, 2006

In the Company of Friends

My wife and I had dinner with some friends the other night and before I'd even managed to massacre my second basket of free bread the subject of my blog came up. This happens quite frequently--mainly because I tend to bring it up. This particular time it was my friend:

FRIEND: So, Josh. Read your blog today.
ME: Thanks for taking the time.
FRIEND: These people, these studio executives. The ones that make the decisions to hire you...Do you think they like it when you call them shitbags?
ME: Is that what I did?
FRIEND: Quite clearly.
ME: I didn't think it was that clear.
FRIEND: You call them shitbags. I used to be one of those shitbags.
ME: And I call myself shit. It's an analogy.
FRIEND: Do you hate your career so much that you just want it to go away?
ME: I love my career.
FRIEND: Well you are a dumb motherfucker.
ME: Is that cheese bread?

At this point the conversation took a hard right-hand turn as Michael Caine walked past me and sat down at the same table as Anjelica Huston. I tried to hear what they were talking about but it soon occurred to me that the chances they'd read my blog were quite slim. So I returned to my food.

My friend continued to berate me for my suicidal tendencies and (because he used to be one) argue that most zookeepers aren't smart enough to distinguish between a metaphor and actual monkey shit flung at their face. In fact, for most of the monkey population (or in my friend's case, monkey sympathizers), it's an easy answer to impugn the intelligence of the people on the other side of the cage. We've all got authority issues, and it feels good to look down on people for their giant key rings and their high powered hoses and their striking similarity to Nazi guards.

It feels really good.

But it's...wrong.

Hollywood zookeepers are among our country's most educated, intelligent, and qualified work force. They are high achievers, highly motivated, very focused, and, by and large, very well dressed and pretty. (Especially the boys. The boys are very pretty.)

In fact, I'll go out on a limb and say there are far more bad screenwriters than there are bad executives. There are some seriously American Idol Audition Episode-quality screenwriters whose only qualifications for being considered a screenwriter is the mastery of Final Draft and the ability to thread the brad through the hole without tearing the paper.

That said, I'll also say this: while the number of horrible screenwriters outdistances the number of horrible executives, the number of outstanding writers also exceeds the number of outstanding executives. It's extremely difficult to be a great screenwriter (or so they tell me). But it's damn near impossible to be a great executive. The system doesn't allow for it. Human nature doesn't allow for it.

Because to be a great executive you have to be able to do...nothing. You have to have the security, the sensitivity, the balls, really, to read a script and say to your boss: "You know what? It's pretty fucking good the way it is."

And who the hell's gonna do that? First off, most scripts aren't pretty fucking good the way they are. Most scripts fucking suck. Most screenwriters suck. Most movie ideas suck. Most of the reasons a particular movie is getting made suck. So executives are conditioned to think EVERY script has a pretty good dash of suck. It's a good bet to make. It's like betting with the house.

Even the best scripts have a hint of suck in them. A scene pushed too far, an extra character beat, an internal moment which could be dramatized...Whatever it is...The trick for development folks is to recognize those few sucky things in a good script and then...ignore them. Just...let them go. Get a director. Get an actor. Get the fuck going with what it is that you and only you can do better than anybody else: pick up the fucking phone and get people excited to make a movie.

Because if you think your job is to make a bad script good, or a good script great, or God forbid, a great script perfect, you are a fucking idiot. These are quixotic quests, rarely achieved. And never achieved without the consent of the writer. (You can lead a monkey to water, but you can't make him amp up the stakes for the protagonist.)

It's not your fault. I don't blame you. You're not "trying to justify your job." This is your job. You're not "creatively frustrated." Or if you are, you sure as shit aren't as creatively frustrated as I am. In fact, I'd argue that the more "creatively frustrated" an executive is, the better he probably is at his job.

Because (and I'm paraphrasing David Mamet) unless you're an artist, unless you've written drama, unless you've been HUMBLED by the process of MAKING IT ALL WORK you will still maintain the arrogance drilled into you from birth and solidified by your graduation from Yale that YOU KNOW THE ANSWER TO THE QUESTION.

And most likely you do not.

Recently there's been an extremely painful and fascinating exchange over at the Artful Writer site. The subject is mostly the vanity credit and we can thank Craig Mazin, Josh Olson, et al. for their passion on the topic. I won't weigh in here--I can't imagine having anything to add--but I am interested in a particular C-storyline discussed: namely, whether or not Craig Mazin's friendly relationship with the executives he works with: a) colors his view re the writer's place in the industry, and b) if true, does it make him more "studio sympathetic" and less "writer-friendly" and c) if true, as Craig is our WGAw board member and has drank the Kool-Aid, aren't the rest of us sincerely fucked?

And the answer to all of it is: I don't have a fucking clue.

But there are two types of writers in Hollywood and I'm not here to guess who's one and who's the other. To put it simply there are those who fall in love with the johns and those who don't. The ones who don't are the ones who embrace the idea of the Infinite Monkey. They are catankerous, perennially defensive and passively antagonistic to their employers. They're fat and ugly and unshaven and if they've succeeded in the industry it's usually in spite of themselves.

They're usually miserable.

Then there are the screenwriters we rarely talk about: They're at every premiere and at every birthday party at the Chateau Marmont. Their Treos are packed with the home phone numbers of producers and their kids have weekend playdates with the kids of the newest VP. They shun the spirit of the sweatpants and at Hollywood's Ellis Island they are the first to shorten their name and remove the consecutive consonants. They're slim and pretty and shop at Fred Segal and are almost always more successful than the other Monkeys.

They're usually miserable.

Because at the core is an inherent tension for writers in Hollywood that is rarely true in other businesses. If you're a writer in Hollywood almost ANYBODY can be your employer. ANYBODY. That kid you pushed out of the way to get the last German pretzel at the farmer's market? His movie just sold at Sundance for $6 million. That really cool guy you "accidentally" showered with in college and never called again? His boss just put him in charge of hiring a writer for that one book you've always wanted to adapt.

Anyone can hire you. Anyone can fire you. Anyone can give you notes. And will. Whether you love them, hate them, fear them, embrace them. It doesn't matter. Eventually the power dynamic rears its ugly head. Despite my love of the free sushi lunch, I make it a point to pay my own way when I'm socializing with my zookeeper friends. It's humiliating to have a friend expense your tequila at the bar when all you've talked about is your kids' poop. Even Julia Roberts had her limits in Pretty Woman. (Actually, I don't think she did have her limits. But I can't really remember the movie that well. Was she a whore or a princess?)

Some years ago a friend of mine brought me in for a job. It was a big opportunity--pretty much a greenlit movie with a major international action star fully committed. We always talk about the movie pitch. Well, this was a movie CATCH. All I had to do was meet the star, hear the movie he wanted to make, and nod my head. The job was mine. That was it.

My friend takes me to this enormous house International Star is renting in Beverly Hills. It's completely void of any furniture save a kitchen table and some chairs. Beyond that I saw the biggest living room I've ever seen in my life. In the center of it was a very large metal pole that had little to do with stripping and everything to do with the high-level acrobatic training done by the International Star and his very acrobatic entourage. At least that's what they told me.

I was introduced to the International Star, who, for reasons soon to be obvious, I will refer to as International Star. After some small talk, I settled in to hear the movie. What happened next was forty-five of the most entertaining and annoying minutes I have ever spent in the film business. International Star stood across from me and proceeded to act the movie out, giving me examples of action scenes, stunts, sight gags, etc. He never stopped moving for the better part of an hour.

And here's what he kept saying the entire time:

INTERNATIONAL STAR: So...we have a bar scene first. Maybe...a bar fight? Six men against me...I'll balance on a chair like this...take out all my funny International Star thing...maybe drink their drinks...then we have some story bullshit...After that...I rescue this girl from...the whorehouse? Maybe bandits...I'll do my funny International Star with this chair here...Then some story bullshit...and I find this other girl tied up...there's a chair gag...then some story bullshit...

Here's the conversation I have in the car with my friend afterwards.

FRIEND:'re in, right? It's fucking awesome, right?
ME: You've gotta be kidding me.
ME: Story bullshit? STORY BULLSHIT? My part in all this is...story bullshit?
FRIEND: Oh don't be so senstiive. That's just International Star. He'
ME: He refers to my job as bullshit.
FRIEND: Which is exactly why I need you. You'll make it better than bullshit.
ME: No way. Not doing it.
ME: I don't, actually.
FRIEND: I already told him you would.
ME: What!
FRIEND: I told him you'd do it. I told him you were perfect. He'll take it as a personal affront.
ME: I don't care.
FRIEND: I stuck my neck out for you. You can't fuck me like this.
ME: I'm afraid I am fucking you like this.

And so I did.

Two weeks later I got this phone call from my friend:

FRIEND: So. I just wanted to give you an update on the International Star thing.
ME: Look, I'm sorry if I made you look bad--
FRIEND: Don't worry. I fixed it. We hired someone else.
ME: Good. That's great. How did you--?
FRIEND: I told him that I had second thoughts about you. That after thinking about it I decided you weren't a good enough writer for the project.
ME: Wow. You're fucking good.
FRIEND: Aren't I?

By the way, I always told my friend I'd give him the heads up if I decided to blog about this. It's the least a friend can do for a friend.

Heads up.


Blogger Dan Culberson said...

Hey, Josh.

Just wanted to let you know that I was informed not to make any more comments, and so I haven't. However, I just HAD to comment after this brilliant post of yours, because my informant told me about this International Star, and I know who he is. But don't worry. I won't tell. And I salute you for turning down the job.

2/13/2006 4:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great blog man. You talked about the very early years and the A list writer years. What about the stuff in between? When could you quit doing whatever it is you did before you entered the zoo for good?

2/13/2006 4:26 PM  
Blogger William said...

The kid is back!

2/13/2006 5:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow you really do hate me.

Good Times! Look forward to the next chicken bowl.

2/13/2006 5:24 PM  
Blogger said...

Whoa. You're almost as stubborn as I am.

But not nearly as funny. :)

2/13/2006 7:07 PM  
Blogger Justin James said...

God bless you... you glorious shit flinging monkey.

2/13/2006 7:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Except for the chair gag and saving girls that sounds a lot like Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever

2/13/2006 10:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ROR. i love this blog. i will continue to read it.

2/13/2006 10:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2/14/2006 3:45 AM  
Blogger Godsbane said...

Outstanding! I wannabe an Infintie Monkey type writer! I'm already mostly miserable, I just need to be able to write.

Though I'm guessing I'd be lucky to be featured in an American Idol Audition Show with my current level of development.

It's funny that you got yelled at for calling your work Monkey Shit, but that you get flak for refusing to work for that smacktard because he called your work Bullshit!

I love this blog.

I have my own guess as to who the International Star was... But that could just be a result of my predisposed hatred for the guy I'm thinking of.

2/14/2006 4:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, that's pretty brave. Aren't you afraid you'll walk into your kitchen next week and there will be some dude balancing on a chair?

2/14/2006 5:16 AM  
Blogger ellen said...

So what did Michael Caine and Anjelica Huston order?

2/14/2006 5:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for being a curmudgeonly old bastard, man. It's encouraging to me, that I don't have to learn to completely love the taste of Nazi shoe polish.

2/14/2006 5:41 AM  
Blogger RMD said...

From one who has been fired over a short story... Man, you have big balls. Good luck with that.

2/14/2006 6:46 AM  
Blogger josh said...

Monkey note--
As is my policy, I've deleted comments which hint at, guess, or wonder about the actual names involved in the post. Whether accurate or not (in this case not) I'd rather people not get into a guessing game over these things. ANYONE in Hollywood can and will be an asshole.
Including me.
Especially me.

2/14/2006 7:12 AM  
Blogger Mary Lewys said...

I respect that you are true to who you are, good and ill. It's beautiful.

2/14/2006 7:41 AM  
Blogger Bryan Ierardi said...

My god, it's full of international stars!

Josh, you're too cool. Keep goin' brother!

2/14/2006 8:02 AM  
Blogger Blork said...

Wow, what an awesomely bitchy post! This is a new milestone in blogging awesomeness. (Someone should adapt it into a short...)

Sadly, similar crap exists in pretty much all writerly variations. I do technical marketing writing, and I am constantly banging my head against the wall over the stupidity of my peers and overlords. I don't even get the payoff of the occasional success, since my output is just soul-destroying lies and bullshit. But enough about me, lets talk more about you. So, what do you think of me?

2/14/2006 8:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

phew i'm releaved josh i thought for a moment there you'd deleted my post cause i was right. i'll play by the rules next time. keep up the blogging, and don't forget to update us on the snakes on a mutha-chuffin' plane. love that one.

2/14/2006 8:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1st - I love this blog


B) I want to see that movie

2/14/2006 9:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ha! a bunch of people in this coffee shop I'm sitting in are wondering WHAT I just read that made me whoop out loud.

You're not really a monkey, Josh. You are Kaa dancing hypnotic figure eights in the dirt, mesmerizing the rest of us until we are completely at your mercy.

Don't worry, I won't tell anyone.

2/14/2006 10:26 AM  
Blogger Robert Green said...

rather than...respond...i'm going to say this-- at the dinner my friend had with josh, i hear that what he said wasn't exactly as josh reported it. less here at my mostly useless blogatorium

2/14/2006 11:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have seriously made up for me having sat through Chain Reaction. Many times over.

2/14/2006 11:55 AM  
Blogger Michael said...

Great blog. Did you see this other link?

It reminded me of you...

2/14/2006 12:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just continue to be amazed at how famous people rent giant houses and put absolutely jack in them for furniture.

Hello? Save the money and stay at a nice hotel! Or perhaps a really nice furnished apartment!

The question is, whom did Josh shower with accidentally in college?

2/14/2006 2:48 PM  
Blogger Alicia said...

You, Josh Friedman, are a demi-god. I joined the Scribosphere during your hiatus, heard whispers of your genius and have anxiously awaited your next post. It is great to see you return with such a resounding roar. The rumors were true...

2/14/2006 2:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Look, you became a screenwriter, so face it, you became a whore. You say there are two kinds of writers, but the fact of the matter is both relinquish all control of their craft to most anyone willing to pay. And now that bothers you?

You get your pants in a twit because a prospective "John" offers you employment but does so in a way that offends your unrealistic view of what it is you do.

I liked it better when you wrote about cancer.

2/14/2006 5:06 PM  
Blogger josh said...

I also liked it better when I wrote about cancer. But until I can figure out how to get paid to have cancer I'll have to keep whoring myself out to Hollywood.

2/14/2006 6:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Come on.

It is not really about the cancer. You are quite good about the truth. Something so rare today.

2/14/2006 8:04 PM  
Blogger CRooney said...

You're awesome. You make my job seem, well, still boring and pointless, but at least I get to read your blog here.

2/14/2006 10:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know who International Star is, I am going to spill the beans, yes it is definitely __________

2/15/2006 7:34 AM  
Blogger ellen said...

Don't you just love people who comment anonymously? I'm as fond of them as I am of hit and run drivers.

2/15/2006 10:09 AM  
Blogger Mrs Mopro said...


this is the only internet entry that ever deserved the invention of this little "shortcut" (?).

thanks for your healing energy, josh, for your talent to use words the right way and for meeting international stars.
i'm just so glad you're still here / back whatsoever...

2/15/2006 1:19 PM  
Blogger Jay D. Homnick said...

Well, reading this was certainly an education. As a political writer-qua-humorist, the occasional urge to consider screenwriting is endemic.

You have gone a long way in convincing me that it might also be epidemic.

2/15/2006 2:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Want to get paid for cancer! No prob. I am an icelandic cameraman and have just recently finished filming a reasearch journalism tv documentary about a guy who got stomach cancer and turned morphine black market mogul. Aparantly contalgen is quite the euphoric if you just boil out the boring candle wax and shoot it straight into your veins, he actually rented an apartment for the sole purpose of selling his drugs (got prescriptions from about 25 doctors every a bit of work is envolved)...opening hours were 13:00 to 14:00, and 17:00 to 18:00....that´s one way to make money of getting cancer. By the by, don´t forget to sell the drugs at about a thousand times higher a price than you get them for....cancer can be a real lottery ticket.

2/15/2006 8:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Contalgen eh? Where can I get in on this action?

2/15/2006 8:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can get it by using a tanning bed weekly and drinking aspartame-sweetened sodas six times a day, that's where.

2/15/2006 9:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Ellen -
My name's James. Does that REALLY make me any less anonymous? Than, Super Karate Death Monkey, for example? You could be a 7ft tall man for all i know.
Ah - the wonders of the internet.

2/16/2006 4:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You forget to mention what comes after the notes. Seeing the movie. Seeing what they did to it. Wondering what ever made them go through versions with you, giving you notes, having you rewrite a story that before hitting the screen was transformed by someone else to something completely different than what you wrote, and equally completely different than what they asked you to do in your notes.

Now that's when misery hits.

Love your blog, man.
Screenwriting? Not so much.

2/16/2006 2:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've just wandered into stream-of-consciousness heaven/purgatory. You've confirmed that in Hollywood, the more things stay the same, the more they stay the same. Keep those raw thoughts coming. Live and be well to enjoy many opportunities to procrastinate.

Thanks. Two opposable thumbs-up.
A fellow hypochondriac. (in good standing, of course. dues payed-up and all)

2/16/2006 3:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dude, you're slipping. Don;t listen to these sycophants - that barely made any sense. The whole first part of the story, when you were talking about the Hollywood Hierarchy was a mess. Go back and read it. It makes no real point. But guess what? You're a big time screenwriter (really you are) so all you have to do is wow em in the end. With a thinly-veiled story about an "international Action star" and how you got to go to his house. It's just lame. In the past you're blogs have been tight, but this one is a wreck. Time to start spreading them out a little. This thing has gotten too big for you and the dummies who worship you don't even know it. Good Night and Good Luck. I hope DePalma did a better job with the Dahlia than you did. That shit is way too important and you're script were'nt great.

2/16/2006 4:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"You're script weren't great."

Depalma, is that you?

2/16/2006 6:32 PM  
Blogger Patrick J. Rodio said...

Wow, even Icelandic cameramen are jumping on the wagon. Yikes.

Your post was funny as hell, by the way. Love hoe your buddy threw you under the bus. Then backed over you.

2/16/2006 9:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Hmmm. Okay, tell me what THIS means. I'm pudgy as hell, often don't shave, never spend any social time with executives, but I still like the people I work with.

Well, as much as I like anyone...and I don't really like anyone. You know, maybe it's not that I'm friendly with execs. Maybe it's that I hate humanity so much, I don't hate regulary humanity any less then exec humanity.


Hey, serious question. What's with the "monkey" talk? You, John Rogers, your commenters (Super Karate Death Monkey?)...what the fuck is a "spec monkey"? When did this happen?

2/18/2006 1:04 AM  
Blogger lattégirl said...

So, after all that, Josh, have you had the pleasure of working with any executives you would consider top-flight?

2/18/2006 5:35 AM  
Blogger josh said...

Monkey, as in infinite number of, and equivalent number of typewriters.
Latte girl--
I've worked with a number of lovely and helpful studio execs and producers. I won't name them here. They know who they are.

2/18/2006 7:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...



Duh. I'm an idiot.

2/18/2006 3:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

'Josh, do you ever wonder if this blog is you're true calling?'

Ditto, What super karate said.

So glad everything worked out re the ugly tumor!

It freaked me out (and it IS all about me). I actually found myself trying to explain the situation to real people in the outside world.
Poop bags are for depositing the poop from the lawn of someone you like to the lawn of the neighbor you despise.


2/18/2006 4:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

- they find the old road and sit in the car
- character bullshit
- They pull in at the old, seemingly abandoned petrol station. The old toothless dude freaks them out.
- On the road again. Character bullshit.
- "Surely not this abandoned, rarely used track? We're not stupid. Are we?"
- they discover the mansion.

2/21/2006 3:53 AM  
Blogger Robert Green said...

first of all--holy shit josh, a lot of people read your blog! like, too many, almost!

and then they come over to mine, many of them. and leave disappointed. whatever. i beg forgiveness of them all. i haven't figured out tags yet, so you are stuck wading through the political shit to get to the good juicy dev exec indie producer foolishness. my bad.

about monkeys. might as well pimp my wife while i'm here and check out the monkeys. several of them worked on "Chain Reaction", funny enough. as writers, i mean, not actors, obviously.

another tale from development hell later today.

2/21/2006 11:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey platypus...


If you're trying for "funny," leave that to Josh.

2/22/2006 4:38 PM  
Blogger said...

Speaking of being disturbed by a lack of faith, check this out and pass it on:

It's one of the entries at the contest.

And here's a handy link to all of the other creative talent:

I entered mine just a couple days ago, very late in the game.

March 1st starts a whole new contest with all new material.

You should create your own and submit it.

Yes, you.

Keep the Faith!


2/24/2006 7:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I loved this story. I laughed even while it was making me angry. I loved it because it's such a great example of the sort of tale a writer of screenplays should be able to tell and yet it simultaneously illustrates exactly why a good writer might be well advised not to actually write any screenplays. I'm being entertained *and* encouraged to steer clear of the movie business. Who could ask for more?

2/24/2006 2:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Try to make it like a bit of Dream On, Larry Sanders and Drew Carey Show all-in-one. Start and open the show with you typing out and posting the blog to your readers."

Cast Johnny Depp, sprinkle with beautiful women and hot tubs, and you've got yourself a winner!

2/27/2006 5:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

... with Jason Alexander as DFL.

3/01/2006 7:24 AM  
Blogger Dean ASC said...

International Star was Patric Swayze, wasn't it? I can totally see him doing exactly as you describe. Not to say he's a hack. It just sounds like a perfect follow up to Roadhouse.

3/01/2006 2:56 PM  
Blogger Geoffrey Milder said...

Great stuff, thanks for the read.

3/02/2006 4:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another two classic articles in a row from the [- Inifinite Fried Monkey Man -]

Tom, England.

3/04/2006 10:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


3/04/2006 10:26 AM  

Wow, I really love your blog.

Good title, nice template, excellent links.
And the other... You know, bullshit... It's okay too.

Just kidding.

3/08/2006 7:31 AM  
Blogger MaryAn Batchellor said...

You've been gone 23 days now. Last time the hiatus was this long was bad news. Hope all is well.

3/08/2006 9:19 AM  
Blogger said...

Just a shameless plug for my latest entry at the Huffpo festival:



3/08/2006 6:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I miss you......

3/09/2006 11:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

annoyed. It's like Ken levine wrote...

Doesn't matter what he wrote. He wrote it daily.

A month between posts?????

Your sympathy over the illness is officially used up!

If you're afraid of not living up to past posts, your fans will forgive you. Just write, dammit. I'm tired of clicking for blue balls.

3/12/2006 10:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I miss you too! I love reading your blog and I want to hear more!

3/13/2006 9:20 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I miss you...

3/16/2006 5:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blog. Blog. Blog. Blog...

(What? It works at concerts...)

3/17/2006 4:23 AM  
Blogger Roger Alford said...


Hoping that will bring you back. It's better than you could have ever dreamed.

3/17/2006 10:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hope everything is okay... you are missed.

3/17/2006 5:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are dead to me.

3/19/2006 4:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is nothing worse than finding a good blog and seeing an old date on the last post.

3/23/2006 5:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We are nearing forty days and nights with no new post... seeing as how I am in fact a professional shitbag now, your blog is the only thing that brings joy and meaning to my despicable career. Please, Josh, don't leave me here alone... I don't know what I'm doing... if only I had a brilliant writer to feed my two solitary brain cells... must... find... arghhhh...

3/23/2006 11:10 AM  
Blogger Jacob said...

The title itself, sometimes abbreviated as "SoaP," has emerged as Internet-speak for fatalistic sentiments that range from c'est la vie to "s--- happens."

3/23/2006 7:06 PM  
Blogger Kris Madison said...

Just stumbled on your blog after Googling "Snakes on a Plane" & I'm hooked. I see some other commenters complaining about the lack of updates, but (lucky me!) I get to start from the beginning & catch up on your archives. Even better than discovering a new band that already has several records out.

3/24/2006 2:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's the thing Josh - you area great blogger. I mean great, up there with Defamer, Brainsluice and Introversion, and you can write, I mean write the @#$! out of an anecdote. And thats the prob, mi amigo. You are an anecdotalist, not a screenwriter. WOTW and Black Dahlia were someone else's story, and your one original work back in the late 90's kinda died a peaceful death in that great hospice in the sky for B movies. Meanwhile, lets call a spade spade - the highpoints in WOTW were Dakota Fanning and the special effects, in that order, and not Tom Cruise or the dialog.

3/24/2006 9:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3/25/2006 3:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, and please let your action film director friend know that he better pull off a helluva job on X-Men 3, or else I know a passel of Marvel geeks ready and willing to bust his ass.

3/25/2006 3:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Only marvel geeks could horde themselves in a 'passel'.
somehow the prospect is even less imtimidating than it sounds.

3/27/2006 1:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK- if you can read through and delete posts (I have no idea what the post said, I'm just seeing that the "blog administrator" deleted it), then can you please, please, please, pretty-pretty please write a new entry?

I know this isn't a paying job, but we miss you!!!

3/27/2006 9:02 AM  
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Blogger Kerri. said...

Explain this whole Blog Phenomenon to me.

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Blogger Hal Jalikakic said...

I know I fall at the bottom of a shitload of comments, but loved the words today Josh, pure fuckin' truth, turning down that project inspired me...long live the monkey shit flingers of the world, or at least our little corner!

4/24/2006 10:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4/25/2006 3:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

5/06/2006 12:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So uh, we're talkikng about Jackie Chan aren't we? Just a guess.

5/17/2006 8:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a fairly successful TV writer and in almost 20 years, I have NEVER met even one smart or even creative, studio or network exec. All morons. All unqualified for their jobs. Some very nice. Some with good hearts. But not a smart one in the bunch. And THAT is why TV blows.

5/27/2006 4:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jackie Chan is so abused. :(

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Blogger Matt Shields said...

commenting on a dated post after 110 previous comments... feels like i have the same chance of getting read as blindly submitting a script to Bill M.

soooo, early in your post you mention the writers who fall for the johns and those who don't and that both are miserable. makes sense, since they are writing for others. my favorite writing has come when i'm actually trying to write a story i want to write, the way i want to see it told, without regard for: beats, A-B-C storylines, attention grabbers by page 10, internalizing externals and externalizing internals... in fact i know what very little of it means, really, and yes, i have tried to learn over the years

now the only way to see this story made is to make it yourself or get it to someone who you know wants to make it the way you wrote it and has the ability to do so... in either case it will have to be a no-budget-rent-the-camera-yourself job, which will play at a couple of art-house theaters bent on NOT showing anything commercial... i have succeeded in doing this, bad sound and all.

as for selling a screenplay, nope, haven't managed that yet. but i have no illusions that what i do sell will ever get turned into the vision that inspired it. i imagine that is painful, but many things are painful and money from a sale can always go towards scuba diving somewhere exotic.

i've decided that when i write what i really enjoy writing, said writing will only get discovered long after i'm gone and some historian is delving into my "little-known other works".

by the way, i really enjoyed reading your post

7/06/2006 4:19 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I'm assuming that some of those deleted posts resembled the massive spam postings currently at the bottom.

I guess that whole stripper program worked out a way to decode those word verification things.

11/07/2007 5:45 PM  
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I heard your name on NPR last week and thought, “Nah…” A few clicks later -- why, yes; and I was impressed to read of your accomplishments. Next up: the clue to #34 across of today’s New York Times crossword puzzle: “'Floral' film of 2006 with Josh Hartnett and Scarlett Johansson.” So I complete the crossword puzzle -- my usual pre-snooze routine if I'm not reading something terribly interesting -- and find myself unable to sleep tonight due to my own workplace-related writing problems. What better time, then, to chime in here at none other than “I find your lack of faith disturbing” to let you know, in case you ever did wonder, that I knew exactly who you were when/as you filled out that application on a clipboard – ah, those were the days; doesn’t make a strike seem so bad now, does it? – in the summer of 1988. So much was known but not said, so little said and unknown. You handed the clipboard back to me, I thanked you politely, and that was that. So, then, Josh of the back row in geography class, good luck with the strike and all things worth fighting for on this map, in work and in life.

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'Then we have some story bullshit': my favorite laugh of the day.

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