Friday, September 6, 2013

Do You Have A Great Idea for a Movie?

Everyone who one way or another has managed to do some work in the movie industry knows the story . . . there's always someone who has an absolute "can't miss" idea for a movie or tv series.

With me, sometimes those people are surprised when I won't work with them.  It's not that I want to turn down work, if you want to hire me, get in touch with me!

It's just that although everyone's story is different, there really is usually a customary starting point, then a more or less typical path of ascent.  It isn't easy, and there are no guarantees, if there were, we'd all be a-list movie stars -- well I know I would be anyway.

Don't believe me?  I know, people have hired me to advise them, and they didn't believe me, so why should you?

Today, I'm not telling the story, Jill Soloway is. 

Jill Soloway
I don't know Jill personally, but Jill Soloway is a writer/director. She won the US Dramatic Directing Award for her first feature, AFTERNOON DELIGHT, at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. Her short film, UNA HORA POR FAVORA, premiered at Sundance 2012. Jill is a three-time Emmy nominee for her work writing and producing SIX FEET UNDER. She was also the showrunner for HBO's HOW TO MAKE IT IN AMERICA and Showtime's UNITED STATES OF TARA. She authored TINY LADIES IN SHINY PANTS, a humorous post-feminist manifesto/memoir. She lives with her husband and two sons in Silver Lake. Follow Jill on Twitter: @Jillwaysolo Afternoon Delight's Facebook Page: AfternoonDelightFilm Afternoon Delight's website: Jill's personal site is:

Jill's comments will be published in three segments, as I'm writing, two have been published, one will appear soon.

Click here to read Part 1
Click here to read Part 2

Jill probably says a lot of things you don't want to hear, like "Stop smoking pot. I’m serious. Just stop it. I know it’s the best feeling in the world and if you’re self-medicating so you don’t kill yourself, then fine, keep smoking because I certainly don’t want your blood on my hands. But it’s the biggest motivation killer in the world and if you’re a guy it gives you man-breasts and it doesn’t make you a better writer, it only makes you think you’re a better writer." And "No one, including me, gives a shit about your ideas. I get e-mails and phone calls from people who think that coming up with an idea is the ticket out of their tedious life as a hairdresser in Iowa City. WRONG. No one buys ideas from people who aren’t in the business. If they do I’ve never heard of it. There are two kinds of producers out here, non-writing producers and writing producers. Non-writing producers get paid for their experience. Writing producers get paid for their voice. If you can’t write, you need experience, so get out here and start at the craft service table like the rest of us. This entertainment business is an industry, not a lottery. We all had to work. When you think you can jump in without doing the work, it’s an insult. Would you like me to come to your beauty salon and ask if I can do just one person’s hairdo because I had a great idea for a style?"

OK, I guess that's enough for one day, now here's what you want to hear . . . yep, if you work hard and smart enough, you are fortunate enough to be in contact with people who have done what you want to do, then maybe you can accomplish what you set out to accomplish.  And if you get in touch with me, tell me what you have, if I can, I'll help you speed up the process.  But if you are working to make water flow upstream, it's going to take you a bit longer than your competitors.

Steve Thompson
s t e v e @ t h o m c o m m . n e t

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