Screenwriting : Movies That Insult My Craft by William Jeffery

William Jeffery

Movies That Insult My Craft

Just want to vent to fellow screenwriters that might be able to relate. A horror script I wrote called GENTLEMAN CALLER was lauded by several professionals as original, shocking, a great twist and possibly introducing audiences to the next horror icon (their words). It even won 2nd place in last years New Blood screenplay contest and got me in touch with actual studio executives that had nothing but praise for the script and was even told I'd be called at the end of the week with an offer and then...nothing. And that's fine. That's the business and it happens. Those that had nice things to say about the script at very least validated all the hard work I put into it and seemed to understand its intention to be original and engaging. So when a piece of absolute worthless, lazy, nonsensical, lazy, boring, did I say LAZY, money-grabbing garbage like BYE BYE MAN is produced and released under the guise of "something original"....It completely insults me as a writer.

Phillip "Le Raconteur" Hardy

William me lad: It's understandable for you to feel that way and "Bye Bye Man", which I know noting about, is scoring a whopping 24% review rating on rotten tomatoes. However, I'd like to point out a couple of things:

1. You were number two at New Blood and that's quite an accomplishment. Just because your original prospects didn't move forward doesn't mean you won't sell "Gentleman Caller" to another interested party. There are always folks looking for horror. In 2015, wrote a horror script for some knucklehead indie film producers per their requirements and we couldn't come to terms. I have other folks looking at the script as I type. Look at everything you write as inventory and calling cards to showcase your talents.

2. Start working on something else if you have not already done so.

3. It can take years to sell a script. Get on board the writer's train for the long haul.

Best of luck.

Danny Manus

anything called Bye Bye Man was destined to suck. worst title ive ever heard.

Jorge J Prieto

Phillip: As always, great advice. I second everything you said.

William Jeffery

I also agree and thank you for your words of advice, Phillip. I may have represented what I was venting about poorly. I was thrilled about everything that happened with my script & I'm still out there chugging along. The point that I didn't make clear is that we are all here working so hard to make the best product we can, including writers a hell of a lot better than me, and it even when it's acknowledge to be a good, it's the piece of lazy, money-grabbing half-assed waste of time like The Bye Bye Man that somehow gets made and unleashed on the world. I was just venting on how bad that movie was. But thank you for taking the time.

Dan MaxXx

Thats the wrong attitude. I can imagine you are a PITA to colloborate with.

Owen Mowatt

Mr Hartman, if you insist on commenting like an insensitive ass, then please do not use the word "we" in your reply. You certainly don't speak for others.

Richard Gustason

When something like that happens, just remember it's not on you it's on the studio. If they chose BYE BYE MAN over your work, it says something about what the studio decided. Just keep plugging away and you will get there. I've been in the same boat and learned that I am not bad with my writing (still need work to get it right though) but if it's not picked up, then it's not picked up. You can't control what studios do. Lesson in Hollywood learned.

Dan MaxXx

Bye bye Man based off book. STX Entertainment & Huayi Bros wrote the checks.

Bill Costantini

William: "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger." Keep the faith, and try to lead a well-balanced all-around life: physically, emotionally and spiritually.

Over 1,000 films were domestically released last year (more like over 1,600). At least you have chances. Good luck and Happy Writing/Selling, William!

RIP MAGGIE ROCHE (Oct. 26, 1951 - Jan. 20, 2017)

Daniel Flint

I like to think of it like this: Wow, if THAT movie got made, then if I keep working, i'm bound to sell my script!

Dan Guardino

Today studios want projects that are further along. It sounds like you have a great screenplay but you probably need a name actor and director attached. You might ask those people that thought, it was a great script if they know any producers that might be interested in the project.

Allen Johnson

Not to be glib, but if you get insulted over every film that is made that you feel you could have done better, you will be wasting all your time on being angry and have nothing left to create with. One person's success in no way prevents you from achieving the same.

Travis Sharp

I think a movie has only really failed when it fails its core audience. Much like music, if it makes the people it was intended for happy then it did its job. Did you simply dislike this movie or do you go as far as to say a more simple minded 17 year old would also hate it?

Todd Hutchinson

William, are you unable to produce this script yourself? Horror for the most part can be done at a decent budget, unless your script calls for a larger (millions) budget. I would try to find Producers in your area and shop it around regionally.

Travis Sharp

That's unfortunate, but common.

William Jeffery

Again, I may have buried the lead on my original comment. I see in the haste and anger that I wrote it that I was making it sound more about me. That was my mistake. I only mentioned the accolades of my script and the positivity to it to contrast the insult that is this movie. I thank everyone for the words of encouragement. I've been doing this a while. I've had films made (very few) and I've had movies rejected (many more). My skin has been thickened & I don't get upset like this over every movie I don't like or whatever, but this movie was such an obvious scam that I felt compelled to write about it and thought fellow writers here who I know are talented and work so hard to make a quality product could relate. As for John Harman, I congratulate you on your success?

David E. Gates

You can make a bad film from a good script. You can't make a good script from a bad film. Chances are "Bye Bye Man" read good, hence leading to production... and thereafter is usually when it gets screwed up.

C Harris Lynn

Don't let others fool you, venting is good and is why the Internet was invented. "Bye Bye Man" has been universally panned, so you're in good company there as well. Movies like that often get made just for their return potential; horror movies are a staple commodity for a robust ROI, and always have been. It has nothing to do with it being good or bad; it has to do with being able to make it cheaply, and push it into wide distribution with strong PR/coverage.

Make a pseudonym and pen some burners. If those sell (and there's a decent chance some will), use your return as seed money for the project(s) you really want to do. Be sure to let folks know you have some backing when you pitch, and not let them know your pseudonym.

Dan MaxXx

You're gonna be venting again when "Slender Man" is released in 2018.

C Harris Lynn


Shelley Reece

Don't stop doing what you are doing.

Aray Brown

Haven't seen The Bye Bye Man, but don't need to, to know that it's complete crap. There are a lot of shitty movies and they will continue. We can either gripe about it or focus solely on our craft and what we bring to the table, why we write in the first place. Focus on the passion. If you focus on the shitty movies coming out of Hollywood, it will turn you off of the movie industry. I speak from personal experience. It's a money making business. Even though they lose money, they still make it. Look at it this way, that's why they need us

Dan MaxXx

Now if people actually want to know why some filmmakers get $$$$ , just dig into their careers. Stacy Title, the director, has a track record of B-schtick horror with her husband who wrote Bye Bye Money. The Duo has a track record of making movies.

They were able to walk into STX Entertainment offices and convince the Bosses to spend $$$$ on them. New York Times movie critic liked the movie. The movie made money. The Wife/Hubby duo will get another opportunity to improve their craft. The duo didn't wait by the phone for Luck. They hit the streets, network, paid dues. I'm sure they are passionate about their careers.

Shelley Reece

It’s cool. I’m with you. Things can change

Dan MaxXx

Wow, a year old post. Speaking of horror, one friend of a cousin is working on Slender man. Sony Studios. Trailer looks scary.

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