Friday, December 13, 2013

We interrupt our regular programming for a grump session entitled: If you don't want my advice, don't hire me.

I want the people who hire me to get the money they pay me back. That means, I want them to succeed in whatever they are doing. I have said before that I am brutally honest, and I am. If I ever make it big, I will either have to stop talking (and have my husband talk for me) or I will have to hire someone to talk for me. I do not mean to be rude, but I cannot and will not say - "Oh yeah, that's a great _____! You are going to go far with it!" when I think it is awful. I will do my best to find the bright spot, because I don't want to crush people, but this is not a part of my nature.

Well, I took a job from a guy who was bragging about all the money he has spent on Guru. He hired me to "review" his screenplay and give me my opinion of it. Then, in a private message he added that I could edit it, too. Okay. Whatever. He also wanted me to call him, and like all people who have enough money where they think they can buy the world but no class to match it, he said not to worry about my bid. He told me he would pay me an hourly rate and asked what mine was. When I told him $18, I could hear him gulp. Yeah, that's a lot to dish out for your screenplay hobby. I was nice and said I would lower my rate, because at this point it seemed like all he had gotten was masses upon masses of cheap coverage that were like film critics "I like it/ I don't." He wasn't ready to take the dive and pay a real writer to fix his errors or even point them out. ($36,000 is the going rate to have someone write your screenplay. Please note: I am cheaper, but not cheap to most people.)

Now, he has written many, many screenplays and never gotten them accepted. And based on what I read, he never will unless he decides to put forward the $75 - 100 million and form his own production company to accept them. (I don't think he's that rich based on his attitude - Most of the really rich people I have met usually have class and don't need to brag about how great they are.) But it irritated me that he felt I wasn't qualified to work on his script because I live in Indiana and not Hollywood. Really? Welcome to the 21st century where screenwriters can choose their hometowns and commute through computers.

During our conversation he also started telling me about all these other projects he has and how he could work with me on those. I inwardly groaned. No, I do not want to write posters. No, I do not want to edit your sleezy biography and no Tropic of Cancer was not that big of a hit. I already have jobs lined up for a while; I just need little ones to sustain me through writers block. But, I played nice on the phone.

Then, I actually got into the script and began point out the editing/ plot/ character/ formatting issues he had. I spent two days writing him extensive feedback on how to make his script better (in short, hire a professional that is not me to rewrite this mess you made). And, I wasn't nice. I am not in a nice mood this week, and I used all my nice up on the phone to him. I was actually pretty upset to find that the first half of the screenplay was formatted and written correctly and the entire second half  was not. I sent it to him and asked him to release the meager amount he had placed in SafePay and then sent him an invoice (not through Guru yet) for the more than $200 it would cost him at our agreed upon rate. I told him I would understand if he didn't want to pay the invoice in full.

To be continued (Thursday)...

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