Monday, November 8, 2010

That was a good movie, I had nothing to do with it.

Wow – That was a really good movie, and I had nothing to do with it… kinda.

As part of my continual desire to work in the entertainment industry I have taking many temp job. Not as many as I would like, in the areas I would have liked, or for as long as I would have preferred. They have varied in the different types of companies and departments I’ve worked for.

The jobs have mostly been desk jobs, answering phones, typing, and filing.

One job I had a few years ago was at one of the major motion picture studios. Which in itself is a thrill to me, being able to walk the studio lots is really exciting. I don’t care if I see a celebrity or not, this is where the magic happens. I am part of that magic.

This particular job was actually for a producer and his production company that was leasing offices upon the studio lot. His regular assistant was out and I filled in for a couple of weeks. I answered the producers phones, arranged conference calls and meetings, filed, and arranged delivery of scripts and other required necessities. Another assignment I handled, usually during the down times of the day, is what is called “Script Coverage”.

Numerous scripts are delivered to the producer each day ending up in his ‘slush pile.’ Agents, representing their client writers, send these scripts with the idea that it would be ideal for the producer to consider it for production. The producer, however, doesn’t have the time to read each and every one of these scripts; it just isn’t possible or he’d never be able to get anything else done like produce that movie you worked so hard on to write.

So one of the producer’s assistants (little old temp me at the time) reads the script for him and writes a brief summary about it and whether he should consider purchasing the script and eventually producing it.

While working for him I read multiple scripts, wrote up my thoughts about them and if I thought they would make good movies or not. Two of the scripts were terrible, one was interesting but I wasn’t certain could find an audience in the current market.

The fourth script was a super hero movie. As a comic book fan this was something I could get into even if it was bad. I also recognized why the agent had sent it to this producer for he also has connections to comics. So when nothing else was going on in the office I sat down to read it.

Interesting. This is a super hero movie from the point of view of the super villain. I like. Oh, that next bit was unexpected, and the villain wins. Or does he?

After finishing the script I wrote up my summery and opinion and told the producer that he might like this one, and to consider it.

Several days later my temp job there ended as the regular assistant returned.

A few years have now past and a certain big headed, blue skinned, super villain is stomping all over the adverts for an upcoming film. Okay, another super hero film, cool. Then in the last couple of weeks before the release of the film they start showing a new series of commercials for it with certain scenes that seem very familiar. So I was very curious to see if this was the film I thought it was.

So yesterday, my fiancée and I got the chance to attend a studio movie screening:


I sat there enjoying the entire film, and loving the fact that the audience was laughing at all the right places, and the story held together very well.

About ten minutes into the film I no longer had any doubts. Here before my eyes was a successful animated super hero film, and it was the script I had read several years earlier. I got a bit of a thrill of that. Especially since I had written up positive Script Coverage for my producer.

Megamind had an opening weekend as being number one at the box office earning $47.7 million dollars (according to the Hollywood Reporter).

As much as I would like to believe that what I wrote about that original script got this movie produced, I know that isn’t so.

Remember how I said that agents send out copies of their client’s scripts to producers. They do, to multiple producers and studios. The producer I was temping with at that time was probably only one of many that received a copy of the Megamind script. He did not produce this movie, nor did the studio where I temped.

Somewhere out there in the great Hollywood wasteland is another assistant, maybe a temp, who wrote up script coverage, which made it to the right producer at Dreamworks. I tip my virtual Script Reader’s hat to them. Maybe they’ll read one of my scripts someday soon.

Kevin Paul Shaw Broden

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