Monday, April 16, 2007

8: The young producers

At the corner of Fairfax and Sunset, there's a Coffee Bean that I've been told is THE place in West Hollywood to be seen.

On our way to the Ralph's a few blocks away, we pass it in our Mini-Coop and say, look there it is, can you see anyone there? And, of course, in the nanosecond we have to look, we see plenty of people in a brief blur. But none of the blurs look like anyone we know. From our film life. Or our real life.

And so I never think I'll go there until one day, a producer calls me and says, "I read your script. You're a great writer. Let's talk." and he suggests we meet there because it's near where I live AND near where he works.

I arrive a little early to scope the place out. It's basically a patio where the tables have been bolted down to the contrete with a little glass enclosure attached where lattes are born.

There are people there, but the people who are PEOPLE aren't there - which means, in the Hollywood sense, no-one is there.

When my meeting guy pulls up, I'm playing backgammon on my phone. I look up and admit I'm a retard for playing and he introduces me to his business partner. I feel even more retarded for not knowing he had a partner.

They both laugh however at my self-deprecating comment in a way that I realize they got a kick out of the somewhat uncool admission about fooling around with a game on my phone.

As we wait in line for passion lemonade ice teas and double espresson shots, we chat about where they're from. One is from Northern California, the other is from Chicago.

There is some more in depth introductions as we sit down on the patio that is suddenly crowded.

I tell them about myself. Playwright. Married. Baby on the way. Move here from New York. Making money writing advertising as I try to see if a transition is possible. I'm honest and as funny as I can be - which isn't very. (That is, it's more honest than it is funny.)

But they laugh. And they seem relaxed. They tell me about their lives. Both are married, both have worked together awhile. One has spent some time doing theatre. They both want to make movies, own a few scripts and are trying to put some packages. They don't want to make my script which they like, but, honestly, would be too expensive to make for them.

I ask them what kind of material they own.

They have two scripts that they've developed, they say, one a family movie, one a very weird horror story with a heavy psychological bend to it. Though each piece of material is quite different from the other, they talk about both with a sense of sincerity about making them that I like. They don't want to make trash, but they do want to have fun.

I like them very much.

They ask me what else I have. I describe a play I've written that I'd like to transfer to the screen and another movie I've written that I'm considering reworking so I could shoot it in LA rather than SF.

They're intrigued by both. After about an hour and a half, we go our separate ways. As we part, they ask to see the scripts I described a few moments ago. Of course, I say. And I mean it.

When I get home, Heather asks how it went. I tell her that we hardly talked about the script I sent them but they'd like to see more.

She says, well, you've had your first real Hollywood meeting.

I just think, man, I'd like to work with those guys. They seemed real.


Jeff Shattuck said...

Congratulations on your first meeting. By the way, if it makes you feel anybody, I lived in LA for almost two years and never spotted anyone of note. I mean, not even Angeline (are her billboards still up?). Good luck with this producer duo. After seeing The Shooter, I'm more than ever convinced that good writing is in short supply.

malachy walsh said...

Yeah, I love Wahlberg - the whole cast was excellent - but man, that movie could've been A LOT better.

patrick said...

Congrats on a meeting where you had them wanting more and you actually all got along as human beings. That's the cool thing about being out there, is that you can actually meet face to face with people. I've worked with a couple movie folks, but it's always been on the phone, and those relationships seem to evaporate pretty quickly. Good luck!

frank's wild lunch said...

You didn't see Perez Hilton? It's his office!