Saturday, September 29, 2007

Don't be that guy

No, this blog hasn't gone the way of some of the other links on the sidebar (I know they need cleaned up). A little vacation, a lot of time in libraries, researching and drafting the script.

In the interim, one person catching the eye, if not the ear, of some people around town is this fellow, a screenwriter named Kevin Michael:

Mr. Michael and his writing partner apparently have a romantic comedy script titled "The Hoboken Beach Diet" that, like any other screenwriters, they would like to sell or obtain representation from. Good for them. All of us at whatever level probably harbor similar aspirations.

To that end, beyond the obligatory website, (sparse) MySpace page, and YouTube video, Michael recently took to parading in front of the offices of several local agencies, production companies, and power watering holes dressed in the above-pictured spandex costume. I have not read any announcements in the trades that a sale or offer of representation was forthcoming.

Is it possible that someone will see these stories or look at the websites and decide to at least read the script? Sure, it's possible. It is always the case that everyone here is really looking for the next great script. My guess (without having read it), is that "Hoboken Beach Diet" is not the next great script. At least not yet. But, for the sake of argument, let's assume that it is where it needs to be in terms of being ready to go out to producers and agents.

Any credibility that Mr. Michael might have with the script is, I think, undermined by a stunt like the staking out offices in ill-fitting spandex wrestling costumes. Certainly nobody is going to invite him into their building in that getup. More than that, it is likely to brand him as an amateur and likely prevent the agents or producers from even wanting to request the script for a read at all.

Which is not to say that some level of initiative or self-promotion is to be avoided. Witness Diablo Cody, the midwestern stripper turned LA writer who is now getting some early Oscar buzz for her screenplay, Juno. Cody leveraged her memoir and the blog she started while writing for City Pages in Minneapolis into a burgeoning screenwriting career (and management by Benderspink). Ironically, for someone whose previous career involved taking her clothes off, Cody didn't have to bare any skin to get through the doors as a writer. She did it with a fresh voice and -- quelle surprise! -- good writing.