Monday, March 29, 2010

Will Write For Food

I remember the first time I was ever paid for acting.* My buddy Merrill had a coworker who was doing some industrial/educational films and asked Merrill if he wanted to help him (for pay). He told me about it and I either whined and cajoled or begged with class and dignity that he get me on one of the shoots. So, before I knew it, I was holding the boom mike for something like three dollars an hour. Not a lot of money, no, but considering I would've done it for free, it's not too shabby.

Well, the producer of the educational shorts seemed to think I was amusing, and he was writing another project and asked if I'd like to star in it. Before I could say yes, he said, "You'd be paid for your time." So, of course, I said no, and went home to download JPEGs of Britney Spears' head on Grace Jones' body.

Oh wait, no, that's what I normally do. In this case, I said "Sure," and we shot the project during the summer. I was even paid to do pick-ups a month or two later.

Wait, what was I talking about? Oh yeah, other than the occasional contest prize, I never got paid for my writing--my other passion--in all the time I remember.

Until recently.

Late last year, I did some rewrites on a film script that was doing a few days of reshoots. The experience was absolute bollocks and I really regretted the waste of hours and effort at the time, but now I just shrug it off as a learning experience. I was almost paid for writing there.

But cut to March 2010. Somehow, someone somewhere thought it would be interesting to give me a screenplay premise and see what I'd do with it. So, I had a meeting, we discussed the idea, and I wrote three proposals for ways a film could go. And I got paid to do it.

Now, sure, it doesn't look like my ideas really lit the producers on fire, and the last I heard, someone else was onboard, steering the ship in a new direction, but to my amazement, another producer read my proposals and thought I had something to offer. So he and I had a meeting Monday and, barring any unforeseen laziness on my part, it looks like I'm hired to do a treatment for a period Adventure/Drama in the next two weeks.

The most exciting thing about all this is that success with these projects could lead to more projects in the future. Chances are I'll screw it up somehow, but I hope that day is a long way off.

Rish Outfield

*I don't count the first time I did extra work. That's not really acting, since they can (and often do) replace/supplement the flesh-and-blood extras with cardboard cutouts. I ought to blog about that sometime.

1 comment:

Abigail Hilton said...

EEEEEE!!! :D *dances*