Monday was another bipolar day in the life of my screenplays. I received some…shall we say…challenging coverage from a manager (or, in reality, the manager’s assistants) on AUNT MOLLY’S MELTDOWN and HUNGRY LIKE THE WOLF. Out of four possible grades – excellent, good, fair, and poor – both scripts received an overall grade of “FAIR”. Which translates to “PASS” in terms of this particular manager taking me on as a client. Now, I’m obviously used to the rejection, but it’s usually wrapped in “It’s just not for us” verbiage. (Also known as, “It’s not you, it’s me.”) In other words, I can walk away disappointed but still feeling like my writing made a good impression (if not good enough). So to see FAIR across the score board, with some brutal commentary accompanying it, was pretty dismaying. Especially considering that these two scripts have been solid performers in high-profile contests. AUNT MOLLY’S MELTDOWN just landed in the top 10% of this year’s Austin Film Festival Screenplay competition out of over 6,500 submissions! HUNGRY LIKE THE WOLF made it to the top 10% of the PAGE International Screenwriting Awards! And, damn it, I’m proud of them.
But as I’ve learned so unequivocally in this business of show, you have to take the bad with the good. And at least there was some good news to counter-balance the bad news received on Monday. BLACK SEA ROSE (also a top 10%-er at Austin this year) received a read request from a well-respected, award-winning production company. An awesome agent I used to work with during my days at Nickelodeon (she represented a few of the writers on my crew) kindly forwarded a query letter to the company on behalf of me and co-writer Jill and, lo and behold, within fifteen minutes of her sending off the e-mail, we got the read request. Exciting news for a project that’s been years in the making and a bit of comforting salve on my bruised ego.
But don’t think I’m getting cavalier about my work. I know there’s always room for improvement and when my eyeballs can view the aforementioned coverage again, I will absorb it with a cooler, more rational, solution-oriented mind. Plus, I’ve got the CineStory retreat coming up next weekend, which should get the analytical creative gears oiled up and churning.
Good or bad, I must keep moving FORWARD.