Dear directors,

first of all, can I just say thank you for deigning to come down from Mount Olympus and walk among us mere mortals? We really do appreciate and respect your innate genius and your ability to magic an entire movie out of thin air without any help whatsoever.

Except a small army of extremely professional experts.

But apart from them, it’s all you. Give yourself a round of applause.

Oh, you already are.

Can I also add a personal thank you for condescending to make a film from one of my scripts? That’s particularly nice of you and I really am ever so grateful to be part of your vision.

Despite the fact the producer came up with the story and I wrote the script.

But apart from that, it is your vision. And I’m being momentarily and uncharacteristically serious about that. I know there are plenty of writers who get massively bent out of shape about the credit “A (insert name of pretentious twat here) film”; but not me. Nope, I’m quite happy for you to have it. As I will doubtlessly explain at great length in another post at some point in the future, of all the people involved in the film making process, you directors come the closest to deserving that credit and hey, you’ve got to market the film somehow, right?

It does, however, give me a nice gooey feeling inside to know if you fuck this film up, the next one you work on (providing you’re clever enough to shunt the blame onto someone else) will be “From the producer of …” or “From the writer of …” or even “From the people who brought you…” which could be the caterers from some past hit for all I know.

So you’re welcome to the God-like credit. Have it. It’s yours. Well done you.

I do have one request though. Just a tiny one. A teensy little one, nothing major. Could you, and I’m really trying to word this politely now, could you … no … would you mind awfully, leaving the fucking script alone you ball-achingly stupid cock-ring?

I’m not saying you can’t develop the script, I’m not saying you can’t bend the story to your will, change character names, the ending, the theme or even the fucking plot; but for the love of God (who doesn’t exist and certainly isn’t you) will you stop tweaking minor things and demanding a fucking writing credit?

It’s just fucking rude.

I’m pretty certain you don’t just wander on set, rip a sleeve off someone’s dress and demand a wardrobe credit. The lighting guys would probably have a complete and utter hissy fit if you nudged a light two inches to the left and claimed you deserve a lighting design credit. And I’m absolutely fucking certain you don’t push the actors out of the way, pick up a teapot and claim an acting credit – so why the fuck do you feel it’s perfectly acceptable to change “Hi” to “Hello” and claim a co-writing credit?

I mean, what the fuck?

Fine, if you want the protagonist to die in the first scene, that’s up to you; but here’s how you do it – you ring me up and you ask me to change the script. It’s your fucking movie, you can ask me to do whatever you want (as long as the producer lets you) and I will make the changes – after hanging up, kicking the cat and calling you a cunt, of course.

This is my job, this is why I was hired – as a story expert. Just like the DOP is the camera expert (or lens expert or whatever the fuck he does) I’m here to carry out your will in script form. Just ask me. Go on, try it. Why is my fucking department the only one you feel the need to weasel a fucking credit out of? Why? Answer me god damn it!

I’m fucking sick of getting emails telling me so-and-so has been cast as Billy – only for me to wonder who the fuck Billy is. There’s no fucking Billy in the script. Ah, you say, I’ve added an old man to the lesbian sex scenes.

What? What the fuck? Why would you do that? Why didn’t you behave like a decent fucking person and ask me to make the changes?

I would have told you you’re being a fucking twat and an old man, by definition, isn’t a fucking lesbian; but after I’d calmed down, I would have changed the scene so that it wasn’t a lesbian sex scene.

I’m not being precious about this – a script, as soon as it’s sold, stops being my property – it’s yours, that’s fine. If you want to remove me and hire another writer then that’s fine too. Of course, I’ll slash your tyres and set fire to your gonads; but it’s part and parcel of the industry. At least if you hire another writer you’re hiring another expert, I …

Hmm, I’ve just realised, I’ve been describing myself as an expert – bit of false advertising there. Sorry.

Anyway, fucking knock it off. I’m perfectly capable of altering the script to fit your idiot fucking idea of what a script should be. If I prove I can’t do it, by all means replace me but at least have the fucking courtesy of letting me do my fucking job.

And for fuck’s sake, for fuck’s fucking sake, can you please, please, pretty please, stop handing over the scripts you’ve fucking bastardised and filled with spelling, grammar and format errors to actors, agents and the crew? The ones where the plot doesn’t make any sense because you’ve relocated every other scene to Italy because you fancy a holiday. The ones where you’ve changed the character’s name but not all of the time, just enough of the time for it to stop making any fucking sense. The ones where you’ve put dialogue in the action lines and action in dialogue, with some random fucking words in the margin that might be your shopping list for all I fucking know – can you please, please stop giving those out to people WITH MY FUCKING NAME ON THE FRONT.

And no, the solution isn’t taking my name off the script and replacing it with your own, mis-spelt and in turquoise crayon. The solution is doing exactly what you do with every other fucking department under your command – command them to make the changes for you.

What’s another word for that?

Oh yeah … fucking direct me you power hungry cunts.

Other than that, hope you’re doing well and I’ll see you soon.

Love,

Phill

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Categories: Industry Musings, Rants | 7 Comments

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7 thoughts on “Dear directors,

  1. Brit Writer

    *Stands and applauds*. Feeling your pain.

  2. I think you need a few more ‘fucks’, can I have a co-credit?

  3. Maybe the producer can take a hit out on him? 😉

    Seriously though, very NOT COOL of the director.
    You could always turn up on set and change the blocking of a scene or two and claim a co-director credit?

  4. Calm down, dear, it’s only a commercial. Oh no, it’s a feature. You’re probably right in that case.

  5. Pingback: Script trajectory « The Jobbing Scriptwriter

  6. Pingback: Writers’ Rights « Swords and Lattes

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