Screenwriting : What to Consider When You Think You Suck by Joleene DesRosiers

Joleene DesRosiers

What to Consider When You Think You Suck

Matthew Weiner created Mad Men. Some of you already know that. Moving on..... For those that have been rejected, feel like giving up, or think what they have sucks because someone told them it sucks, please consider this: 1) Weiner couldn't get Mad Men in front of big networks, so he pitched what he called his "advertising project" to small production companies that told him things like: "You don't know what you're doing." "Are you pulling our leg?" "Are you aware of how uncommercial this is?" (And one of the most painful for him:) "This is one of the most beautiful well-executed, exciting things I've ever read, but I'm afraid we just don't do this kind of show." 2) He bounced his project around town for four years, hearing these kinds of things. 3) David Chase (Sopranos) gave it to HBO, eager to help him with the project, but HBO didn't want to do a period piece. 4) He kept going until AMC, a fairly unknown network, said yes. Other writers and producers felt sorry for Weiner when AMC picked it up because no one even know the channel existed. 5) From the time he started writing until the time he landed his idea, It took seven years until it finally got on screen. SEVEN YEARS. People will always have an opinion. They will tell you what you have sucks or it's flat or it's not good enough. To them, perhaps it isn't. But if you know in your gut, and I mean REALLY KNOW you've got something, keep going. Weiner said, "When someone rejects your work, register the fact that they don't like it, but don't listen to the reason why. People feel that they have to say something, and they often give a capricious justification to keep from hurting your feelings. But if you alter your work for every rejection, you'll end up running in all different directions trying to please an imaginary audience. It can be damaging and destructive." (info from 'Getting There,' by Gillian Zoe Segal)

Fiona Faith Ross

I think this probably resonates with all of us. lol Great post, thank you.

Izzibella Beau

Thank you, thank you, thank you. I really needed this bit of inspiration today.

Terri Viani

Chiming in about Matt Weiner: my producing partner had the pleasure of meeting him when we were at AFF and spent a chunk of time talking to him at a party ( I was at one of the screenwriting events, darn it), and said he was the nicest, friendliest, most encouraging person. I have his article from Fast Company bookmarked and read it again on the discouraging days. =)

Joleene DesRosiers

@Lynn - I'm gonna have to dig that up and watch it.

Jorge J Prieto

Joleene: Thank you for sharing Mr. Weiner story behind Mad Man, with those of us(I read it b4) who had not heard it. I decided long ago, that I would not change a thing in a screenplay unless I hear the same observation from two different readers. Or unless I get paid a great deal of money. Keep writing, my dear. You are my type of writer. Still reading Letters to Frank, btw. I'm liking it.

Joleene DesRosiers

@Jorge Thank you. xoxo

Steven Harris Anzelowitz

Food for thought-- "You always pass failure on the road to success"---Mickey Rooney.

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