Hollywood is one fickle town. One minute they’re inviting an unknown with open arms, the next day they’re giving him or her the boot in favor of someone else. A prime example of this insane behavior was trending all over my Twitter timeline this weekend.
First, there was a huge win for all aspiring screenwriters everywhere. This unexpected, yet exciting tweet came from the fairy godfather himself, Scriptshadow (aka Carson Reeves).
THE DISCIPLE PROGRAM (found on Scriptshadow) SELLS!!!! – bit.ly/KA5hsl
— Carson Reeves (@Scriptshadow) May 19, 2012
It’s stories like this that keep me hopeful. “The Disciple Program” was written by unknown writer Tyler Marceca from Brooklyn. I have no doubt that ScriptShadow played a huge part in helping this deal go down (read HERE) after Tyler sent him the script for the site’s Amateur Friday contest. He’d originally written the script for a “logline-to-feature” contest on The Writer’s Store and won. I remember his daily tweet updates for the past months: the initial “this is something real special” reaction to reading the script, recounting Tyler’s journey to meet with agents, and now this! Tyler’s been signed by WME and the film has been sold to Universal with Mark Wahlberg to star/produce.
Important note: Tyler shopped around the script to different agencies with the purpose to get the film packaged as a movie, not just another spec collecting dust in a reader’s office. A very smart move on his part. ” The Disciple Program” was the first unknown script to ever make Scriptshadow’s 10 list, which just another reason Tyler’s story is so inspiring. ScriptShadow still holds an Amateur Friday Script contest. What are you waiting for?
NEW Amateur Friday Submission Process: To submit your script for an Amateur Review, send in a PDF of your script, a PDF of the first ten pages of your script, your title, genre, logline, and finally, why I should read your script. Use my submission address please: Carsonreeves3@gmail.com. Your script and “first ten” will be posted. If you’re nervous about the effect of a bad review, feel free to use an alias name and/or title. It’s a good idea to resubmit every couple of weeks so your submission stays near the top.
But of course, just like that, the other shoe dropped. Seriously, is there something in the water on the NBC/Sony lot? First, they leave us biting our nails by pushing “Community” into a mid-season hiatus. Next it’s renewing the show but shoving it into the Friday night “where go shows go to die” time slot next to…ugh…”Whitney”? And now this? Creator and showrunner Dan Harmon was fired from his own show! I couldn’t believe the tweets at first. Harmon’s such a class act and post his own “press release” via Tumblr. You can read it HERE. His response was witty, yet full of conviction that what went down was messed up.
If you aren’t aware, “Community” is a strange phenomenon. If you were to judge it by ratings alone, the show ranks pretty average and should’ve been canceled a long time ago. Luckily, the show helms some of the biggest superfans since “Arrested Development”. Alas, aspiring and current TV professionals have learned a dark lesson this weekend. It doesn’t matter how much of your soul you put into your television show, a suit can revoke all your rights to it without so much as a phone call or email. Yes, “Community” will have a fourth season, but without Dan Harmon and chucked in Friday night death, the thrill is gone.
I’m bookmarking these two stories because both are a reminder that this is a business first and foremost. Few are chosen by the Hollywood gatekeepers and even more are cast aside mid-career. To know that and still press forward in your dreams is the best armor any indie can have.