How To Succeed
As A Screenwriter...On Your Very First Try!
by James L.
In 1980, after having
received my MFA degree in Painting, from the San
Francisco Art Institute, where I was also
employed as a full time Maintenance worker, I was
also writing screenplays, and keeping
abreast with the goings on in H-wood. Even had a
WGA agent, after she read my first action-comedy
script, "How To Weigh The Earth."
(She showed it to Mel Brooks, who said: "Sorry,
but me or my staff write all my stuff.")
Colin Higgins, (1941-1988),
was a great screenwriter, and I was very familiar
with his 1971 outrageously funny script "Harold
& Maude", so when I saw that he was to
appear on some TV interview show, I definitely
made a point of watching it.
After the moderator praised
him again for his "H&M" script, he
then asked Colin what advice he'd give to
beginning screenwriters about getting their
script produced. Colin said: "Well, for me,
it was fairly easy...After I wrote it, I
gave it to my supervisor, who was a movie
producer, and he liked it."
The next morning, when my
supervisor, a very large-framed Irish, former
SFPD officer, came in, I handed him my screenplay.
He said, "Thanks, but
what the hell is this, Jim?"
It's my screenplay." I
"So, what th' hell am
I supposed to do with it?"
"Make it into a movie,
of course...You're my supervisor, aren't you?"