Showing posts from May, 2010

Clint Eastwood's 80th birthday today

Happy birthday to a wonderful, actor and director. Happy 80th to Mr. Clint Eastwood!
"Like all artists I want to cheat death a little and contribute something to the next generation.
Dennis Hoper.

We will miss you...


There comes a point where [a successful actor] can't accept unsolicited material. You're told, "You're going to get sued" if you open up that brown package that arrives at the office that may have a great screenplay in it.
This [now] true of almost every [Hollywood player]: No major agency, no production company, no studio accepts unsolicited material. This is why movies like My Big Fat Greek Wedding take forever to get produced. Nobody wants to do it. [But] it would take just one person saying, "You know, I really believe in that idea" [for the project to be a success].

So I was frustrated over the years at the cutting off of a pipeline that, quite frankly, has been the basis of my career. The best material I've found is stuff that got chucked over the wall -- people who didn't have an agent, first-time, second-time filmmakers who went on to prove themselves later. I was really frustrated by the fact that I had to cut off this avenue that I t…


Here’s a recent email conversation I’ve had with an assistant working for film production company, as you’ll see this one lets slip some surprising revelations on the « unsolicited material policy » of some studios production companies and agencies and uncomfortable with my questions starts contradicting herself...

This is how it all began:

I caught this strange film on tv last week, actually the film wasn’t remarkable at all, in fact, it was boring for my tastes, but there was animation and I thought I had to contact the guy who had made it, since a friend and I recently wrote an animation screenplay.
So as most screenwriters do, I queried the DIRECTOR/PRODUCER about the script and sent him an email as I was watching the animated sequences of his film. His ASSISTANT replied to my query a few hours later.

First message the « traditional « query letter sent out to the production company:

Dear Director

I’m currently seeking a production company for my screenplay…etc…

Reply from his…

Happy birthday to Helena Bonham Carter

Happy birthday to the wonderful actress Helena Bonham Carter-memorable red queen in Tim Burton's Alice in wonderland-love her acting since Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.
Very surreal and very illegal!

Here is a copy and paste of one studio «submission policy» found on their website, I have changed the name of the studio for legal issues.

Our studio has a policy that it does not accept or consider any unsolicited materials, ideas or suggestions of any nature, including, but not only, scripts, script ideas, original artworks etc (Unsolicited Materials). This is to avoid any misunderstandings if your ideas are similar to those that our studio independently develops. Accordingly, you may not use this website, or information obtained from this website, to submit Unsolicited Materials to our studio by any means (including, but not only, by post, fax or email).

Note from Jordan: As you see the first paragraph is the surreal thing (for those who are unfamiliar with it)…Apparently they are very afraid of being sued by the writers! (lol) They don’t even accept suggestions!

Interesting note: «You can’t submit to this studio by post, fax, or emails…» but appa…
Pacman's 30th anniversary today! I was a big fan when i was a kid!
A few months ago, a French screenwriter hired me to translate his screenplay into English, he just contacted me back telling me a producer wants to purchase the translated screenplay, both have praised my English translation, and now the screenwriter wants to hire me for another script of his, I love being a screenwriter, but being a translator also is a very interesting job!
"Here's to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square hole. The ones who see things differently. They're not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can't do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do."

apple computers inc
A few outstanding quotes from Mr. Woody Allen taken during his press conference in Cannes this week,
i wanted to share with you-Needless to say i agree with him completely on everything (life, death and old age)

On Saturday, Woody Allen, the Oscar-winning filmmaker, returned to France – where he continues to be embraced by French audiences – for the world premiere of his latest film “You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger” at the Cannes Film Festival. While the film doesn’t diverge much from the American director’s familiar themes of love, death, and older men and younger woman, Allen was in top form at the press conference, delivering responses to the international press as if speaking lines from one of his early-career comedy routines.

When asked about the film’s cynical view of life and romance, Allen responded, “I have a very grim perspective. I do feel that it’s a grim, painful, nightmarish meaningless existence, and the only way to be happy is if you tell yourself some lies. One mus…
For the believers, if God created men then who created God?
Just wondering… Isn’t Hollywood film industry turning into the « remakes  industry« ?
On my exercise bike, doing some gym and watching « total eclipse » fascinated by the destiny of two genius.

« I have no intention of taking a job. My work is going far too well - I can't afford to waste time earning money. « 

« The only unbearable thing is that nothing is unbearable »

Arthur Rimbaud in Total Eclipse
Weird to see some celebrities relatives complaining on tv or in the magazines that their son/daughter, brother or sister needs help, are they really trying to help them or just trying to fill their wallet? What do you think?

The break-up

I finally cancelled an option agreement I had with a producer for 2 of my short screenplays today

I feel relieved actually, because the producer had optioned the scripts several months ago and never did anything with them! So I could not wait to break this « uncomfortable » chain between us.
The contracts were some my first contracts and at this time, I had been told to accept anything I was proposed…Which I have done, but with a lot of doubts!
Indeed the producer proposed a 24 months option for a short screenplay…2 years to get a short film made!!!! Impressive, wonder how many years they would have request for a feature screenplay option???
Moreover, getting paid for my option period has been an awfully slow process, they kept pushing back the option payment dates over and over again and never paid me the money stated in the original contract for the 2 screenplays, so legally, there was a breach since the beginning!

And the funniest part of this anecdote, is that the producer, start…

Hey, wait a minute isn't this illegal?

Screenwriters often ask me what « unsolicited material » means…Well, as I’m the frankest person you’ll ever met and since I will never repeat what people robotically repeat decades after decades, and just nod in submission, I'm going to tell you exactly what this means:
When you receive a reply from a production company saying they do not accept unsolicited material, this means you are not part of their circle of friends, or you haven’t slept with any of them, or you’re not one of their relatives…To sum up the « no unsolicited material » policy is something I would call « discrimination »!

Hey wait a minute! Isn’t discrimination illegal?

Do not listen to those few (political correct and hypocritical ) people who will claim studios do this to avoid being sued if a movie similar to the idea you sent is made! It’s bullshit! Studios have million dollars to pay lawyers to defend them and win the trials! Young screenwriters don’t! Are they really afraid??? Nonsense! Thousand of comparab…

Natasha Richardson's birthday

Remembering Natasha Richardson today.
We miss your grace and talent.

Tim Burton's Alice in wonderland: A haunting marvel!

If you want to enter a magic world, a world, where the only limit to imagination is the genius of both Lewis Carol and one of the most talented film maker of all times: Tim Burton, plus if you want to experience a total immersion in a breathtaking 3D spectacle, then this film is for you!
Tim Burton’s vision of Alice, is simply marvelous! Magic! The colors, the mind-blowing beautifully created sets, the story, every piece of dialog and character is fabulous!
Johnny Depp and Helena Bohnam Carter are incredible in their atypical parts, and Mia Wasikowska (playing Alice) is just perfect.
From its very first second to the very last minute, this film is a haunting poem, that will stick in your mind, a long time after your viewing!
Then, finally you’ll become impatient to embark for another journey in Tim Burton’s wonderland as fast as possible! (Personally, I have already reserved my ticket to see the Cheshire Cat, the
queen and the mad hatter again very soon!)

"Now he has departed from this strange world a little ahead of me. That means nothing. People like us, who believe in physics, know that the distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion."
Albert Einstein.