a gaffer, a best boy and a grip walk into a bar


I’m on the next-to-last paragraph of the outline of a new script, which means two things: I can shave half my beard off, and I can stop spending every night drifting to sleep conjuring ways of making it more complicated. When I’m writing a script, it’s more like I’m wearing it, a smear of words and ideas hanging off me like dryer lint. It’s a mode where you’re never quite “not working”; even in a rest state, you’re background-processing the piece for flaws.


one of the rooms at our manager’s office in Beverly Hills – you could build a house out of these scripts

The beard thing is especially liberating, as I swore I wouldn’t shave until I got these two outlines done, and I’m starting to look like one of the murderers in “Deadwood”. I figure being half-complete means shaving something, so I’m thinking of going with an Abe Lincoln.

Some creatures, like giraffes, come out of the womb looking relatively normal; others, like kangaroos, begin life as misshapen globs of blind Play-Doh, squirming the millimeter miles from womb to pouch. The first crack at a script is more like the latter than the former.

So I ask… and of you got anything exciting half done right now?

0 thoughts on “a gaffer, a best boy and a grip walk into a bar

  1. jif

    oh memememe! I have a half dozen half done pitches that I am working on – we are heading to Puglia in June for 2 weeks and I am doing some pre-trip research to put together a few food and travel article pitches on Puglia. By the way, dear xtcian readers, if any of you have been to Puglia and would like to share your suggestions or ideas on what to eat, where to go, secrets, hidden treasures – I am all ears.
    Um, one more project in the works that is only one-third done – a third kid. Due in September. Yay!

  2. Anne

    God, that pile of scripts is …. I dunno, obscene but also intriguing!!!
    For those who don’t know, I was unemployed for three weeks in Feb. before being engaged by a longtime friend, now 80, to help him write, edit, and self-publish his family history. And a rich and fascinating history it is. (Said family was prominent in Russian politics and military for centuries.) I am still in the research and reading phase, working with a scholar in Moscow and a translator in Mass. Coolest part is coming up in June: This friend is taking me to Russia (St. Petersburg and Moscow, and countryside near Moscow) to visit ancestral homes, castles, churches; monuments and streets named for ancestors; etc. And it’s paying enough that I don’t need to take on other freelance work for a year. Not bad, eh?

  3. CM

    Jif! Congratulations!!!
    I love that photo. An instant classic.
    I’m about half-done with a young adult novel that is really taking off. But since I haven’t sold a book in 7 years, part of me wonders if it’s all for nought. Still, I can’t not write.

  4. LFMD

    My house is half-cleaned. I work from home on Mondays and Wednesdays, and those days are consumed by conference calls. While I listen to the calls, I clean my house. By the end of my 3pm call, the house should be 100% clean.
    That photo is very disturbing to me. Is the agent showing off? Seems like once your script ends up in the stack, it will never been read. Hope it all ends up in the recycle bin at least!
    Anne – I have the wrong kind of friends. I am envious of your Russia project! If I had a chance like that, I would be thrilled. For now, I have to settle for the perverse satisfaction of cleaning my house on the Insurance Job’s dime.

  5. Tanya

    As for that pile of scripts…eesh. All that says to me is “please, look how important I am, I can’t be bothered to read YOURS.” But, maybe it’s a pile of scripts that have all been made into movies/tv shows? I trust you know what you’re doing with said “manager,” Ian!

  6. Jason Savage

    got the better half of a burrito waiting in the fridge. couldn’t finish it all and be expected to function in public.

  7. jje

    Adding my congrats to Jif! :-)
    Funny you should mention this today. I just finally put myself out there on facebook with the unveiling of my adorable little logo for a gumpaste cake topper venture I’m starting. My website URL is secured and I’ve got a blog and a FB page created (not yet published), but I’m dragging my feet on getting any copy written at the moment. I’ve already done two orders and have four lined up to keep me busy. For now, my plan is to focus on the work itself, but get the FB page up so I can post pics of the toppers. I’m sticking to local right now, but eventually I’d love to sell via etsy. Who’d have thought a journalism degree at Carolina would lead me to sculpting cake toppers – LOL! But it’s just for fun and pin money – no grand expectations of becoming the next Cake Boss or Chef Duff.
    And I just started personal blog to document my days with my two boys and the various art projects we do.

  8. Sean

    We’re about half way done with the pre-production on our next season, where we’re producing either three or four pieces. Half way done with pre-production is a little like being half way done with a script, you’re about 5% of the way to having a completed project…

  9. Annie H.

    Happy happy new babies! Love it…
    I am not halfway, but some-percentage-into, a grand project whose manifestation was deftly midwifed by none other than Ian and Tessa. There has been help from Seth. Help from other brilliant friends. I have never been so passionate about my work life. THANK YOU.


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