I have a screenwriter friend in Los Angeles who has for many years been my eyes and ears in the movie industry. He’s been out there since he was 23. He’s 46 now. He’s had numerous deals, several things made with and without his name on the project. He has done rewrites and spent time on a few TV shows.
He’s made money. Not a living, but money—reminiscent of playwright Robert Anderson’s maxim about writing plays: You can make a killing, but not a living.
My friend has not made a killing.
But he keeps at it.
He’s married to a woman who makes decent money so he doesn’t have a big financial monkey on his back and he lives comfortably. But he wants to earn more money.
He’s also angry. His therapist told him that he’s the angriest person she’s ever encountered. My friend wore that as a badge of honor. For years he’s been referring to himself as The Angry Screenwriter. A.S. for short.
Besides being angry he’s cynical.
He’s also very funny. And witty. I mean Oscar Wilde witty.
He felt he was too lazy to start his own blog on the movie business. (He’s not lazy. He’s one of the most prolific writers I know) After thinking about it he felt that because of his addictive personality he’s concerned that once he started blogging it would take up all of his time. (It probably would. He is an addictive personality).
Instead he asked me if he could tell me what’s on his mind and use Screenwriters Rehab as a way to vent.
I happily accepted.
Here’s the first thing that came out of his mouth:
“My ambivalence is becoming a problem. I care deeply about an idea, then I hate it. I want to leave this town, then when I actually start to think about doing so, I have abandonment issues. I want to kill my agent, then I want to send her candy because she got me a meeting. I want to make my work edgier, then when I do I feel that I’m becoming a different writer. I want to be more aggressive about networking and hustling new contacts, then I figure why bother? I don’t know how to be charming. I don’t know how to play the game. Then I convince myself that I’m very charming and I’m good at working the room. This is what I mean about my ambivalence. I’m curious if anyone reading your blog has the same problem.”
And there you have it. Him, actually. The Angry Screenwriter.
Welcome to his world!