Anything Goes : A Screenwriter's Life by Jack Comeau

Jack Comeau

A Screenwriter's Life

With a title like that, you'd think I'd be posting in the screenwriting section but, as a brand new member, this is more or less a getting to know you letter or rather, you all getting to know me. Growing up dyslexic, I never read anything I wasn't forced to until I was nearly out of high school. Little did I suspect at the time that the written word would become my passion. Early aversion to the written word is probably one reason I came to embrace film as the best way to reach hearts and souls. For decades I my living as DP/Lighting Director. As with painting, you can tell a wonderful story, or at least augment one with light. I'm proud of that work. I won an Emmy and worked with many A-list stars as well as three sitting US Presidents. All through those years, my passion grew for writing, not just screenplays but novels too. I finally started scratching out scripts, bad ones at first but I learned. I've taken every screenwriting guru's seminar, read all the books (I'll take about my opinions on these in a future post) Finally my work started to taken seriously, placing in contests and getting options (few and far between). Very bad arthritis in my neck, spine, knees and ankles made me no longer competitive in the lighting world. I became a full time starving screenwriter, nearly starving anyway. I quickly found out that a screenwriter's life is similar to Ralph Kramden's life on THE HONEYMOONERS. I'd brim with excitement bursting through the door shouting to wife, "We're going to be RICH!" Then the thing I was so excited about would fail SPECTACULARLY the very next day. I'll do a future post of a tragic/comic litany of my "Hollywood heartbreak" stories. They're always a hit at parties. I've become a pontificator, as you might be able to tell. I'm not so ego-inflated that I think I'm right or I'm passing down pearls of wisdom. I just need to get my thoughts out on paper and I like to share the sharable ones. I like reading other people thoughts on them, positive or negative. Well, that me in a nutshell, a big nutshell, I guess. Maybe a coconut shell? -- All the best! Jack Comeau

Sydney Cuthbert

Jack, welcome to Screenwriter's Heaven/Hell. Is it worth it? Absotively! I've been doing it for what seems like forever, and I actually sold one that I co-wrote, though it never got made. For me it's more about having to barf my ideas into a concrete form whether or not anyone else ever sees them. I wrote my first screenplay at 13 (ages and ages ago) and never looked back. Hang in there in that nutshell.

Jack Comeau

Thanks, Syd! Will do.

L.M. Butler

Thanks Jack for posting this. I want to hear from more screenwriters and what struggles their enduring in the process of writing and trying to get noticed. For me it's about the process of writing and telling that story that keeps me going. I know I might be the only one excited about what I'm writing, but I do it anyway because I'm driven. Best of luck to ya! L.

Jack Comeau

I hear you, L.M. The act of writing and touching any heart or souls is reward enough. That what draws me to the keyboard everyday. Everything else is just icing on the cake. All the best! Jack

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