So you’ve finished your commission, the script’s as good as you can make it and you’ve delivered it into the hands (or at least the inbox) of the producer … what now? How do you face the nail-biting wait for approval? How do you cope with the nagging fear that, instead of a script, somehow you’ve emailed him a pile of shit?
Never fear, for I have compiled the definitive guide to waiting for the verdict. Obviously I’m not really using ‘definitive’ in the dictionary definition of the word (because dictionaries are clearly the work of Satan, God wants you stupid and naked. So do I) but have redefined ‘definitive’ to mean fatuous, incomplete, inaccurate and completely pointless.
- Get those nails cut, don’t catch yourself biting them until you have bloody stumps where once were fingers – act now, before it’s too late.
- Try to forget about it … medication helps. Or, if you prefer, a severe blow to the head. Although, be wary of this method as it can lead to you developing a new personality, becoming a down and out and going on weird and wonderful adventures with a stuntman/bounty hunter.
- Cast your mind over the script, mentally compare what you wrote to your original idea – whether that be the logline, the synopsis or the treatment … have you succeeded in delivering what you were hired to do? If the answer’s no – why the fuck did you send it in, you numpty? If the answer’s yes you’re probably wrong you over-confident twat.
- Think about the characters, the key scenes, turning points, plot elements … are they clear? Do you remember them as making sense or being natural? Have you adequately disguised where you stole them from?
- Make a vague list of things you think might need improving. That way, when the producer gets in touch (assuming he’s still talking to you) and he takes that deep breath in preparation for laying out exactly how bad your script is – you can beat him to it. Shout the bits you don’t like at him while he’s breathing in. If you’re lucky, he’ll be so surprised he’ll have a heart attack, die and no one will ever know how poor your work is.
- Spend all the money you’ve been paid so far – make sure you blow it on perishable goods so no one can demand it back. For God’s sake don’t buy anything which might increase in value unless it’s wine or whisky which you can consume quickly.
- Maim a relative. If you can confidently claim your nan/auntie/second cousin was at death’s door, causing you great mental distress and rendering you incapable of producing your best work – you’re onto a winner. If, on the off chance, you’ve actually written something half decent you can prove you work well under pressure.
- Stay away from the phone and your email. This has two benefits: a) it stops you harassing the producer day and night with “Have you read it yet? Have you? Have you read it? What about now? Okay, I’ll stop bothering — what about now? Come on you corpulent cunt, read the fucking thing.” And b) if you can’t get the bad news then it doesn’t exist. La la la la la.
- If the producer is someone of note – use his name before he fires you. Shout it about town (any town will do, I use Leamington Spa), tell everyone you’re working together and he loves you so much he’s asked you to marry him. If it’s not someone of note, lie and pretend it is.
- Um … I can’t think of a ten.
- Practise crying. At the first hint of bad news, break down in tears and sob like a baby. If you can do real tears and going blue in the face on demand, you’ve got a glittering career ahead of you. I draw the line at lying face down and banging my head repeatedly on the floor, but then I’m lazy and never prepared to give it 110%.
- Write a stupid blog post to take your mind off it.
Actually, I haven’t done (m)any of these things. My week so far has mainly consisted of spending a fucking fortune on a pair of sofas, another fortune on car maintenance (did you know you weren’t supposed to get Renaults wet? I fucking didn’t), a third fortune on stuff to match the new sofas (cushions, rugs, new cat … etc), giving away all the stuff I spent a fortune on last time I bought a new sofa (including the old sofa), festooning the house in lights and tinsel, putting up the Christmas tree then realising I can’t get my new projection screen (92 inches!) down with the bastard tree in the way and beating the hell out of the brown sashes because it’s ‘good training for them’.
Tomorrow I’m going to get a new phone and spend a fourth (or is it fifth) fortune on Christmas presents because I want a shiny new toy and I enjoy buying presents for my lovely wife.
In all this time I haven’t thought about the script more than five times a minute and if I don’t hear by tomorrow I’m going to … is that the phone?