Cannes: Day 4

I don’t know whether to be pissed off or not.

I woke up this morning and felt like shit. I just couldn’t be bothered to get up and drag my aching arse into Cannes, so I didn’t. There were a couple of meetings this morning, but I knew one of them was a waste of time and the only other one I was interested in was this afternoon, a follow up meeting to yesterday’s intriguing one.

The only problem was, they didn’t want me at the second meeting. I’m not sure why, but I guess it’s all business stuff so I wasn’t too bothered. It’s pointless sitting in on producer-stuff meetings, other than out of curiosity; which I have very little of, since they don’t really have anything to do with me.

Other than deciding the fate of my script, but I’ve already pitched the thing, so it’s out of my hands now.

I hung around the hotel all day, just chilling and went into town this evening to meet Marion for dinner. It wasn’t a total waste of a day, I got a lot of thinking done. I worked out the plot for the non-existent TV mini-series I was asked about yesterday, and I came up with an idea for a producer I was chatting to who wants a ‘British Dodgeball’.

I have that now, it’s done.

So I get into town, eager to hear what happened in the meeting. The exciting second meeting where the producers who’d shown a lot of interest in the project wanted to see us (or rather Marion) again. The meeting which could potentially make the difference between whether or not the project goes ahead.

“Well, ” I ask “how’d it go?”

Marion smiles and replies:

“I can’t tell you.”

Stunned pause. I think I blinked a lot.

“What?”

“They told me not to tell anyone.”

“Tell anyone what?”

“I can’t tell you.”

“They specifically said you can’t tell me?”

“No, they said I can’t tell anyone.”

Seriously, what the fuck? What’s going on? Why can’t I be told? And what is it I can’t be told?

I was on the verge of shouting when I thought again. Most of the details in these things make my eyes glaze over and my ears shut themselves off. To be honest, most of the producer-y details of a project bore the living shit out of me.

I’ve tried to pay attention, I’ve tried to take an interest and learn more about the film industry; but I just don’t care. I like being a writer, it’s just me and the laptop. It’s simple. All this messy stuff with locations, cameras, post, crew … in a way, I just want to hand someone a script and have them hand me a ticket to the premiere.

As you can tell, I have no directorial ambitions. Even less producer-orial ones.

Still, I have trailed around Cannes lending moral support, showing a united front, as we try to move the project forward. I’ve sat (slept) through a lot of meetings, I want to know what’s so fucking important I can’t be told.

But do I have a right to get stroppy? Marion’s being working on this project for eight months or so now and I haven’t been kept informed of all the details. I just get a general round up every couple of months or so; which is a damn sight more than I get from some people who’ve optioned my scripts – “Oh, you’ve started production? Really, when?”

If I wasn’t here at all, I wouldn’t be pressing her for information because I wouldn’t know anything had happened. I’m not supposed to be involved with these sorts of negotiations, it’s not my job.

And yet … I am here, I have been (a fairly useless) part of it all. God damn it, I want to know.

What the fuck is going on?

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Categories: Festivals | 9 Comments

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9 thoughts on “Cannes: Day 4

  1. James Moran

    No way, that’s bullshit. Sure, she doesn’t have to tell you every little detail, but the *least* she could say is “it’s businessy type stuff, can’t really tell you, but it’s nothing you need to know about so don’t worry”. If it’s about you or the script, then she should tell you. Should tell you anyway, I mean, it’s not like you’ll phone up all the trades and blab or anything. This is exactly the sort of thing that drives me crazy. Again: we make the stuff up, out of our heads, from nothing. It’d be nice to not be treated like some mutant nephew in the attic. You have every right to be stroppy, that’s very arsy on her part. Can’t tell you – give me a break…

  2. You need to become a producer. Then you’d have to be told what was going on.

  3. when you do find out what it is, phill, I’d love to know what you think of why it was withheld from you in the first place, e.g. “ah, I see, completely justified”, or “meh, is that it? you could have told me that and I wouldn’t have thought twice about it”.

  4. Gordon Robertson

    Well, since she smiled I imagine it’s good news. Think of it as a Christmas present that someone has said you’ll like. You just need to wait a little longer to unwrap it.

    You’re one step nearer to production, methinks (I hate it when people say ‘Methinks’ – it’s not funny, you know).

  5. Andrew Walker

    Keep heart matey – believe me, its no reflection on you or what is going on. I’m sure she will tell you something when the time is right. If there’s real interest in the product, people tie you down to all sorts of agreements including exclusivity and non disclosure, if I know Marion she has everyone’s best interests at heart.. You have a talent that’s for sure and you will be recognised soon. Btw – love the blog! : From the guy who did the poster.

  6. Hi Andrew, great poster by the way – really helps to sell the project.

    For everyone else, read the next post while I go cook some humble pie.

    Sort of.

  7. Pingback: Cannes: Day 5 « The Jobbing Scriptwriter

  8. Moviequill

    I hate that “I have a secret” bullshit, just more ways people try to flaunt their perceived power over another

  9. Marion’s just not like that. She’s not the type to flaunt her power. It literally was a deal between her and the company and they asked her not to tell anyone just yet.

    If anything, it’s my desperate need to be ‘in the loop’, even when it doesn’t concern me, which caused my bad temper.

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